Laurelyn Dossett

Singer/songwriter Laurelyn Dossett lives and writes in Stokes County, NC. Her songs have appeared in film and television (Hell on Wheels, Ain’t In it for My Health) and have been recorded by many artists including Grammy-winning Levon Helm (Anna Lee) and Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops (Leaving Eden).

She has partnered with Triad Stage’s Preston Lane on six plays-with-music: Brother Wolf (2006), Beautiful Star:An Appalachian Nativity (2006), Bloody Blackbeard (2008), Providence Gap(2010), Snow Queen (2013, and Radiunt Abundunt (2016). In 2018 she wrote the songs for playwright Mike Wiley’s Leaving Eden; it premiered at Playmaker’s Repertory in 2018.

Her song cycle, The Gathering: A Winter’s Tale in Six Songs was commissioned by the North Carolina Symphony and premiered in Raleigh in 2011, Grant Llewellyn conducting. Guest artists on that project included Mike Compton, Rhiannon Giddens, Joe Newberry and Jason Sypher. The cd “The Gathering” made many of the top 10 holiday cds in 2011, including the NY Times, the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. The Wall Street Journal said “It’s what the holidays were before shopping and Irving Berlin.” It was reprised by the Winston-Salem Symphony in 2019, Timothy Redmond conducting.

Laurelyn has written songs for various protest movements in North Carolina including My Beloved Enemy and Vote Against Amendment One. She remains a voice for social justice and environmental activism in North Carolina and beyond. The River’s Lament is her testament to the devastation of the Dan River coal ash spill. She founded and continues to host the annual “Songs of Hope and Justice” at the North Carolina Folk Festival.

Laurelyn has taught songwriting and singing at the Augusta Heritage Center, as well as at many universities, workshops and festivals. She is the recipient of the Betty Cone Medal of Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship for songwriting, the Chris Austin songwriting contest at Merlefest, and has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts.