Charlotte Blake Alston ’65

Charlotte Blake Alston ’65


Charlotte Blake Alston is an internationally acclaimed storyteller, narrator and librettist who performs in venues throughout North America and abroad.

An artist who breathes life into traditional and contemporary stories from African and African American oral traditions, she has made multiple appearances at the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and numerous festivals around the country including the National Storytelling Festival, the National Festival of Black Storytelling and the Timpanogos Festival. She has been a presenter and featured artist at festivals in Ghana, South Africa, Ireland, Switzerland, Japan and more recently in Austria and Brazil. She has performed at both Presidential and Gubernatorial Inaugural festivities. She was one of two storytellers selected to perform at the weekend opening of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

In 1991, Charlotte made her first appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The 2023-2024 season marks her 30th as the host of Sound All Around, The Philadelphia Orchestra’s preschool concerts and her 33srd as a host and narrator on the orchestra’s Family and School concerts. For 17 years, she was the featured host, storyteller, and narrator on the Carnegie Hall Family and School Concert series and performed as an artist for the Lincoln Center Insitute.

She has been commissioned to create both sung and narrative texts for Opera Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Opera North, the Commonwealth Youthchoirs and Singing City and has appeared as a narrator for numerous orchestras around the country including the Boston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony. Her narrative voice can be heard on documentaries aired on PBS. She is the narrative voice of Health Training Videos for Global Health Media.

Ms. Alston has received numerous honors and awards including the prestigious Pew Fellowship in the Arts, the Commonwealth of PA Artist of the Year Award, the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence Award, the Zora Neale Hurston Award, two Best of Philly® awards and two honorary Ph.d’s.. In 2021 she was named the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Official Storyteller, Narrator and Host.