Lawhead concert to feature Austin native for a pair of shows

Published 6:42 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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A classical touch will be coming to Austin in late August when coloratura soprano Elizabeth Hunter Ashley and pianist/composer Melinda Morse will make a stop for the annual fundraiser for Austin Public Schools music programs in Blair Lawhead’s name.

Elizabeth Hunter Ashley

The pair will perform at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Hormel Historic Home’s peace garden for the annual Blair Lawhead Memorial Concert. The shows are also part of a tour of their hometown states, sharing their love of music.

Ashley and Morse have been working together for over 24 years in orchestra performances, concert settings and philanthropic events through Morse’s original compositions.

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Ashley also performs classics by Gershwin and Barber as well as cabaret numbers including “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Performance only tickets are $15 and tickets including the show, food and beverages is $25. Food and beverage option will include a beautiful personal charcuterie cup and glass of wine. Tickets can be purchased by visiting: and click on “Calendar/tickets.”

Ashley is a native from Austin and was formerly Miss Austin in 1984 as well as an Austin Music Hall of Fame recipient.

This year she was named Woman of the Year in the field of music from Top 100 Registry and was the 2021 winner of the prestigious Vocal Coach of the Year by CorporateLiveWire California. She was also named Best of Danville Vocal Instructor for Business Hall of Fame, California three straight years in 2018-2020.

Melinda Morse

Morse was raised in Arkansas in a family of six children, going on to acquire a Bachelor of Arts from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas where she also received the Fleming Music Award for outstanding senior music student.

Morse then acquired a masters in Music in Applied Piano from Memphis State University, while teaching in the public schools. She retired after 37 years as a public school instructor and continued her piano studies from her home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

To hear Ashley, visit: