Sydney Worthley ready to bloom at Tulip Festival

Sydney Worthley ready to bloom at Tulip Festival

Written By Jeff Wilkin of The Daily Gazette

Sydney Worthley has made plenty of catches.

Now she’s pitching her talents as a singer and songwriter.

The 14-year-old Worthley — a catcher on the Voorheesville High School softball team — will perform Sunday afternoon at the 69th annual Albany Tulip Festival.

Worthley will be on the “Local 518” stage, and will be part of an afternoon that will feature the Delfonics and Erin Harkes on the festival’s main stage. Joining Worthley on the local platform will be the Ramblin’ Jug Stompers and the Dyer Switch Band, among others.

Saturday’s music will include Minus the Bear and The Palms on the main stage, and Cannon the Brave and Dryer on the local stage.

Albany’s signature spring Mother’s Day weekend party in Washington Park will also have the usual attractions:

  • More than 140,000 tulips in shades of red, blue, orange, yellow, white and purple.
  • Tulip Queen coronation, Saturday at noon at the Lakehouse Theater.
  • About 100 artists selling homemade crafts.
  • A large fine arts show
  • Food vendors
  • The “KidZone” family fun spot
  • A “School of Rock” tent for up-and-coming musicians
  • A cultural heritage tent
  • The 19th annual “Mother of the Year” award, which will take place Sunday at noon
  • The Royal Tulip Ball, Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the Albany Capital Center

Worthley has been playing guitar since she was 9 and performing in public since 2012. She has won the Saratoga County Rising Star Award and in 2014 won the Capital Region Teen Idol competition.

“I’ve always wanted to perform, since I was six,” Worthley said. “Once I started going, I really couldn’t stop it. It makes me feel more like myself when I’m doing it.”

She has sung at McGeary’s Pub and Emack and Bolio’s in Albany; she has performed at Gaffney’s in Saratoga Springs.

On July 18, she’ll play Williamstown, Massachusetts, at the Clark Art Institute’s outdoor summer concert series.

Worthley mixes pop, country, rock and folk into her sets. She’s into love songs, she’s into power ballads.

“It’s going to be very high energy and it’s going to debut our upcoming album, it’s going to be full of all the songs that will be coming out in our album later this summer,” Worthley said of her set, which will begin at 2:15 p.m.

The album, “Strong,” is being recorded with session musicians Leo Valenchis Jr. and Derick Noetzel. Valenchis will be on guitar for the Tulip Festival show. Andrew Gabriel will play drums.

Worthley believes in packing her songs with plenty of emotion. Some deal with loss; two close relatives died just months apart in 2015.

“They all have different stories,” Worthley said of her pieces. “They fit in that genre of being strong and persevering.”

Worthley finds time for her music, sports and studies. It’s been easy to balance all three.

“It’s not as bad as you’d think,” Worthley said. “I get a lot of good feedback from my classmates and everybody I’m surrounded by. Everybody supports me, so it’s actually been a really great experience.”

Worthley’s influences include British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and The Band Perry, a country-pop group. She loves songs that tell a story, and hopes to be singing those stories long after she has caught her last game at Voorheesville High.

“I’m aiming for a really big audience,” said Worthley, who will perform an album release show July 1 at Jupiter Hall in Lucky Strike at Crossgates Mall in Guilderland.

“I’m trying to relate to anybody,” she added. “I really want to be big and out there, I want everybody to be hearing my music, I just want to get my music out there.”