Friday, March 27, 2015



(Pittsburgh, PA)- Calliope welcome to The Roots Cellar at The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Friday, April 17, 2015 from 6:00-10:00 PM
More information is available online at or by contacting the Calliope office at (412) 361-1915.Tickets are $50 *plus handling fee.
This Calliope Annual Fundraiser is in honor of Ray Werner, past president and frequent contributor to Calliope. Ray is an ex-ad man and agency owner, responsible for such gems as “You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania.” Since retiring from the ad business, he has become Pittsburgh’s own renaissance man: bread baker extraordinaire, musician, playwright, filmmaker, artist, teacher, volunteer, and trailblazer.
So please join us! Enjoy live music provided by the members of Hooley and other Pittsburgh acoustic music luminaries. Also included in the ticket price: good brew, fine wine, soda, and top-notch food. Don’t miss the acoustic music event of the year! And support a great cause to boot.

Ray Werner was born in 1938 in Freedom, PA, in a house on the side of a hill, and raised in a loving family by Chuck and Pauline Werner, the two most memorable people in his life.  The stories he tells -- in plays, films or music -- had their beginning at their kitchen table.
After a stint in the Army in Alaska, Ray graduated from Duquesne University in 1964 and studied playwriting at the Yale School of Drama. Then copywriting grabbed him, and he eventually became creative director at Pittsburgh’s largest ad firm, Ketchum, where he wrote and produced campaigns for H. J. Heinz, Alcoa, National Geographic, the telephone company, PA Tourism and others.  His “You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania” was recently named the most memorable ad campaign in Pittsburgh's history.

In 1986 Ray started his own agency, with clients like Mellon Bank, UPMC and PA State Tourism.  A good while back, he sold the agency to pursue other writing, other projects.  In 2003 Ray was elected into the American Ad Federation Hall of Fame. He had a good run, and is still running, as a writer and consultant.  His business card reads, “Writer, Baker, Music Maker.”
A filmmaker, Ray wrote and produced the film “Tommy and Me,” that was part of the Pittsburgh Neighborhood Narratives feature film celebrating Pittsburgh’s 250th birthday. 

Ray is a playwright and member of the Dramatists Guild.  His short play, “Night Song,” was selected for the 2009 Source Festival in Washington, D.C., His trilogy “Elder Hostages” had a staged reading in 2011 at the Hazlett Theater in Pittsburgh and The Theater in the District in Cape Town, South Africa.  It premiered at the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater in The Cultural District. He has had three one-acts in their annual Black and White Festival, and his “Redneck Revenge” was named audience favorite. His full-length play, Christmas Star, premiered in December, 2014, and featured the new song “Christmas Takes Me Back,” co-written with singer, songwriter Mike Gallagher.

Ray plays the anglo concertina and is a founding member of Hooley, Pittsburgh's first Irish traditional music group.  Two of his songs were recorded by the late Frank Patterson, one of Ireland's greatest tenors.

He was first Chairperson of Anne Mullaney's Friends for Haiti, a campaign that built two schools in Delandes, Haiti, managed by Partners in Progress, in memory of the incomparable Anne.
Ray is past President of the Board of the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater (PICT), and Calliope, Pittsburgh’s Folk Music Society.  Ray was awarded the first Spirit Award by PICT in 2013. He’s a former board member of the Pittsburgh Public Theater, the Leadership Board of The Pittsburgh Symphony, The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, and others.  He serves on the Marketing Committee of the Pittsburgh History Center and the board of The Magic Woods.
Ray and wife Susan have been blessed to help their St. Bede Parish build Our Lady of Apostles school in Uganda, which they visited in 2007.  And worked with Anne Mullaney's Friends for Haiti to build two new school buildings in Delandes, Haiti, managed by Partners in Progress, in memory of the incomparable Anne.

His most important community effort today is “Helping Cancer Patients Make Ends Meet,” inspired by his late brother Larry Werner.  He invites you to check out Larry’s Legacy at

Ray is a serious home bread baker and a member of The Bread Bakers Guild of America.  His first community brick oven is in Braddock, PA and he hopes others will follow. He participated in the Mattress Factory's Gestures exhibit with his art installation, "Bricks and Bread."  In September, 2014, with fellow baker Rich Jones, they conducted a brick oven building workshop at Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, PA, where they’ll be teaching classes on how to use a brick oven.

Ray and his Susan received an AIA Award for the restoration of The No. 7 Engine Company in the Strip (Architect, John Martine). They helped pioneer the first organic farmer’s market in Pittsburgh, Farmers @ Firehouse, now in its fourteenth season. 
They have four children and five grandchildren and live in Point Breeze, near St. Bede Parish, where Susan serves on various committees and Ray sings in their magnificent choir.

Founded in 1976, Calliope is a non-profit music organization that organizes and administers a variety of concert series, a folk music school, and educational outreach programs.  As the premier promoter of roots music in southwestern Pennsylvania, Calliope’s mission is to promote and preserve traditional and contemporary heritage-based music and its allied arts.  Calliope programs are supported in part by the A.W. Mellon Education and Charitable Trust Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation, The Allegheny County sales tax revenues awarded by the Allegheny Regional Asset District, The Heinz endowments, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, University of Pittsburgh Library System, and an anonymous donor. Calliope also thanks the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Chatham University.
Lisa Alexander, MFA
PR Marketing Manager 
6300 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

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