105 Brattle Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

Columbia’s Musick (Richard C. Spicer, director and harpsichord; Margaret Lias, mezzo-soprano; Thomas Gregg, tenor; Peter H. Bloom, baroque flute; Judy Bedford, baroque bassoon) will perform music for George Washington on July 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm, Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site, 105 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138. Free admission. For information, call 617-876- 4491.

Columbia’s Musick, a vocal and instrumental quintet dedicated to music from early America, presents a rare musical portrait of George Washington, with wide-ranging and seldom-heard music tracing his public and private lives. The concert includes war songs, presidential marches, welcome odes that celebrated his arrival wherever he went, chamber music from the collection of his step-daughter Nelly Custis, dance and theatrical tunes that he enjoyed as an exquisite dancer and a theater enthusiast, a small sampling of the songs lamenting his death in 1799, and festive music from 19th-century commemorations of Washington’s birthday, including a song from 1815 that later evolved into “Hail to the Chief.”

Engaging narratives set the stage for the music, based on director Richard Spicer’s extensive research.

Columbia’s Musick is one of the few ensembles in the country devoted to the seldom-performed repertoire of 18th and early 19th century America. The ensemble is led by Richard Spicer, keyboardist and conductor, and historian and educator who performs and lectures nationally and internationally with particular emphasis on music heard in early America. The ensemble members are mezzo-soprano Margaret Lias (who has sung with the Atlanta Singers, Handel and Hayden Society, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and at Westminster Abbey in London with The Collegiate Church of Saint Peter); tenor Thomas Gregg (who has appeared with early music ensembles including PanHarmonium, Texas Baroque and Orchestra of New Spain and with opera companies in New Orleans, Memphis, Boston, Washington, DC and elsewhere); flutist Peter H. Bloom (who has performed in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia and is a winner of the American Musicological Society’s Noah Greenberg Award for his work in 19th century American music), and bassoonist Judy Bedford (known for her performances with the Handel & Haydn Society, Mostly Mozart Festival, and other historical ensembles).

In capturing the sounds heard by Americans in Washington’s lifetime, the concert will feature favorite English and European composers such as Thomas Arne and Franz Joseph Haydn, European composers who immigrated to this country (like William Selby and Alexander Reinagle), and a few native-born American composers such as Francis Hopkinson and Oliver Holden. The concert also illustrates the popular practice of setting new American lyrics to familiar British tunes (for example, a Washington welcome ode to the tune of “God Save the King” and Susanna Rowson’s birthday song, to the tune of “Anacreon in Heaven,” a British club song that later inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner.”)

Columbia’s Musick has performed widely at venues including The Metropolitan Museum, The Peabody Essex Museum, Sturbridge Village, The American Independence Museum, The USS Constitution Museum, Boston’s historic King’s Chapel and elsewhere. The group is a member of the New England States Touring Roster and the South Carolina Arts Commissions Artists in Education Roster.

Columbia’s Musick is managed exclusively by Americas Musicworks, Rebecca DeLamotte, Managing Director. www.americasmusicworks.com

Added by delamotterd on June 15, 2012

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