Laurelyn Dossett

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

Writing for theatre has become a happy accident of Laurelyn’s songwriting career. She has partnered with Triad Stage’s Preston Lane on six plays-with-music, Brother Wolf, Beautiful Star:An Appalachian Nativity, Providence Gap, Bloody Blackbeard, Snow Queen, and Radiunt Abundunt. In 2018 she premiered Leaving Eden at Playmaker’s with playwright Mike Wiley. Her song cycle, The Gathering: A Winter’s Tale in Six Songs was commissioned and premiered with the North Carolina Symphony in 2012 and recently performed in November 2019 by the Winston-Salem Symphony.

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.