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The WDVX Blue Plate Special – 6/22 – Van Wagner & Ethan Weader / Sadie Gustafson-Zook & Jobi Ricco
June 22 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Van Wagner is an educator and musical artist. In the classroom, he teaches Environmental Science at Lewisburg High School. He has been selected as Conservation Educator of the Year in 2005 from Schuylkill County and in 2007 and 2009 in Union County. In 2012 he was awarded the Sandy Cochran award for natural resource education from the Pennsylvania Forestry Association. In 2015 the Red Cross presented Van with the Robert N. Pursel Distinguished Service Award. Outside of the classroom he educates audiences with his music and programs on Pennsylvania History. He received an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2018 from the Pennsylvania Heritage Songwriting Contest. In 2021 he was recognized with an outstanding alumni award by the Danville High School alumni association. His music has been featured on the History Channel, WVIA tv, Country Music Television (CMT), and in several film productions. He has released 31 original albums and published a book entitle “Coal Dust Rust and Saw Dust.” His music and programs not only entertain but inspire audiences to become involved in learning more.
Raised in a liberal Mennonite community in Indiana, Sadie Gustafson-Zook grew up playing music and attending quilt auctions with her folk musician parents. Life in a small town where her mother was a pastor was comfortable and straightforward, and she always felt supported in her music-making. On her new album “Sin of Certainty,” Gustafson-Zook explores the process of questioning all that she had taken for granted, through finding a new community in the roots scene of Boston, studying jazz, and coming out as gay.
Gustafson-Zook took a winding path of musical influence which is evidenced by the myriad of stylistic references in her work. Growing up, she sang hymns in church, played fiddle for square dances, and simultaneously played in the school orchestras and choirs. At Goshen College, a Mennonite school in her hometown, she studied classical voice, and was thrown headfirst into the world of opera when she was cast in the lead role for The Marriage of Figaro as a freshman. But as much as she loved classical music, Gustafson-Zook dreamed of being part of Boston’s thriving roots scene, where many of her favorite bands were based.