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Civil War Music Heritage Gathering and Encampment - August 2-4, 2002

The 77th New York Regimental Balladeers and Civil War Heritage Foundation will hold a three-day mountaintop Civil War Heritage Music Gathering and Encampment at Windham, NY. The music event on August 2nd and 3rd will include a series of workshops and concert performances. The program is made possible in part by public funding from the Decentralization Program of the NYS Council on the Arts, administered in Greene County by the Greene County Council on the Arts through the Twin Counties Cultural Fund. The project, the first convocation of modern day Civil War string bands in the country will feature local performers and nationally recognized presenters. We will celebrate our Civil War music heritage and historic memory. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of Antebellum and Civil War music workshops and a series of musical events that will inspire and preserve our American music heritage. We seek to develop a new generation of young artists to perform this music in order to preserve our heritage and through their talents continue to recognize the immense contribution and sacrifices that were made by our civilian ancestors and "citizen soldiers" during the War of Rebellion.

The Windham Centre Church will serve as our not-for-profit conduit organization. This wonderful concert hall hosts the highly acclaimed Windham Chamber Music Festival. The organization has an active Board of Directors and a proven track record of presenting highly successful cultural events along with managerial and fiscal competence. The Civil War Heritage Foundation an organization dedicated to educating the public about our American Heritage, The Ulster County Civil War Round Table and Civil War Heritage Foundation will provide volunteer support for the project. During the past four years the Windham Centre Church environs has served as the site for the Civil War Heritage Foundation living history weekend encampment.

On Saturday evenings the 77th New York Regimental Balladeers have staged a Grand Concert showcasing the music of the Antebellum and Civil War periods as a main attraction of the encampment. The attendance at these events has continued to grow each year. Entire families have been delighted with the variety of music and other encampment events and exhibits. Participants have had the opportunity to hear and sing the songs, melodies and tunes that inspired Civil War soldiers and civilians played on authentic instruments of the era. This year we are planning to air the Grand Concert on 97.9 FM radio.

The creation of a cultural institute and gathering with a primary focus on the string band music of the mid-nineteenth century is very unique. The only similar kinds of Antebellum/Civil War music immersion convocations currently in existence in the country are Great American Brass Band Festival located in Danville, Kentucky, the Daniel Emmett and Stephen Foster Music Festivals in Ohio and the Annual Civil War Music Muster at Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania. The 77th New York Regimental Balladeers have had the honor to perform at this hallowed ground for the past four years. We seek to replicate a similar music experience dedicated to featuring the best in Civil War string band music combined with a series of workshops designed to educate the public and develop a local cohort of modern day Civil War musicians. This event will be located right in the heart of the Great Northern Catskill Mountains.

The three-day gathering and encampment will present a variety of music workshops and presentations on all of aspects of Antebellum/Civil War music. The encampment will present living history programs, artillery demonstrations, exhibits of camp life and other aspects of the military life of the Southern and Union soldier. Workshop series participants together with the gathering presenters will apply their talents at the various music events that will be open to the public. The workshops will be designed to reflect the diverse array of styles, ethnic influences and musical approaches that defined the musical landscape of the period.

A Chautauqua Tea, on Friday, August 2nd, will feature Dr. E. Lawrence Abel author of the book Singing the New Nation: How Music Shaped the Confederacy. Dr. Abel's'presentation, followed by a book signing, will bring together the entire gathering community to discuss how music influenced attitudes towards the war. Participants will read the literature of the period, review and discuss the motivations and social/historical context behind the song lyrics. This educational assembly will provide an open forum to exchange views and opinions between each other.

A Saturday morning Children's concert will stress the roles that music and musicians played in the Civil War. Children will be exposed to the drum, fife, bugle, cymbals, triangle, and bones through demonstration or photos of the period. The young people will create their own percussion and stringed instruments, read letters and diary-excerpts and sing the songs of the period. A period dance and jam session family event will be delivered.

The highlight of the gathering is the Saturday evening Grand Concert that will feature the 77th New York Regimental Balladeers and gathering presenters for an evening of Civil War period music. Gathering presenters and workshop participants will combine their music and history talents in a recreation of a Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) remembrance program including a hymn-sing and presentations recounting the services of the gallant soldiers from our county on Sunday. This event will honor the sacrifices of all Greene County's veterans of all wars.

A series of music workshops will be held on Friday, August 2, 2002. The workshops will include the following topics (the banjo in mid-nineteenth America and the basics of the minstrel playing style, 19th century parlor guitar, popular mid-nineteenth century songs and tunes with piano, flute and celtic harp, period dance tunes, Lincoln and the music of the Civil War, music in camp hum and strum, Irish cultural influence on Civil War music, guitar and mandolin for beginners, negro spirituals and songs about emancipation and the role of music during the Civil War). A registration fee of $40 will cover all the day's activities. The fee covers all workshops, materials, Chautauqua Tea, lunch and Friday evening events. For registration information Email or call 518-734-5655. We look forward to a wonderful weekend of cultural events in the majestic shadows of the great northern Catskill Mountains.

Civil War Music Heritage Gathering and Encampment
August 2-4, 2002
Windham Centre Church Rte. 23, Windham, NY

Friday, August 2nd Music Gathering Registration Form

Print the form below and mail it in with your $40 payment (check or money order) payable to: 77th NY Regimental Balladeers, 91 Cross Road, Windham, NY 12496. Attention: John Quinn If registering for more than one person, please submit a separate form for each individual. Your registration fee of $40 covers all workshop fees, materials, Chautauqua Tea, Lunch and Friday night events. Registration packets can be picked up at the Windham Centre Church concert hall beginning at 8:30 a.m. For information about lodging and travel directions go to the Windham Chamber of Commerce website at or Greene County Tourism office at Gather with us in the majestic shadows of the historic Catskill Mountains! Bring your voice, favorite musical instrument and passion for Antebellum and Civil War period music.

First Name:________________________ Last Name:______________________


City:______________________________ State:______ Zip Code:____________

Phone:_(____)______________________ Email:__________________________

Briefly describe your Antebellum and Civil War Music Interest(s):




Please contact us if you have any questions by phone 518-734-5655 or Email at or We look forward to meeting you at the gathering to preserve our American music heritage.

Confederate Music extended far beyond “Dixie” and “The Yellow Rose of Texas” and in fact played a significant role throughout the Civil War. From the recruiting songs that celebrated early war efforts to the “lost cause” songs of the Confederacy’s last days, Dr. Abel’s study chronicles how soldiers and civilians coped with war through music. Included in the presentation are many never-before-told histories of patriotic anthems, sentimental songs, operas and minstrel shows.

To Register contact the Civil War Music Heritage Gathering, 91 Cross Road, Windham, New York 12496 - Phone 518-734-5655 - E-mail:

Civil War Music Heritage Gathering & Encampment

August 2 — 4, 2002
Windham, New York

August 2 & 3 - Workshop Descriptions and Presenters

The History of the Mid-Nineteenth Banjo & Basic Playing Style Jerry Ernst is an avid Civil War re-enactor who has a passion for collecting period banjo tunes and songs. He plays an 1859 model fretless banjo in the knock down style. A series of jigs and other tunes will be demonstrated and instructional materials will be provided. Mr. Ernst has recorded five CDs and published several period style songsters.
Parlor Guitar History, Style & Technique David Raphaelson has performed on the Parlor guitar at many historic sites and museums throughout the Northeast. He has recorded a CD called Moonlight Reverie on an 1840 Martin Guitar for the Farmer’s Museum, Cooperstown, NY which received favorable reviews in Acoustic Guitar Magazine. David will discuss the basics of parlor guitar style and technique. He’ll share an arrangement of Stephen Foster’s Old Dog Tray and several waltzes.
Stories Behind the Songs Harmony Grits a quartet based in Albany, New York will share the history, melodies and lyrics of the songs that would have been present in minstrel shows and Civil War camps. The members of the group include Tom and Ray Smith, Don Prockup and Steve Roth. The program will include several music arrangements with commentary about composers and demonstrations of a variety of instruments typical of string bands during the mid-nineteenth century.
All the Rage!!! Mandolin in America During the Mid-1800s John Perreault is a multi-instrumentalist and member of the 77th NY Regimental Balladeers. John is working on a Bachelor’s in Music. His love of the mandolin sparked his research about the history of the instrument in America during the 1800s. During the workshop some of the tunes and techniques that would have been employed by mandolinists will be performed.
Dancing Through Time:
Mid 19th Century Period Dance and Tunes
Jim Broden, fiddler with the 77th NY Regimental Balladeers, Jim and Sue Mead and John Gallagher, reenactor with the 15th NY Volunteers Engineers, will conduct a session on the music repertoire and dance styles of the Antebellum and Civil Era. Mr. Broden and the Meads are regular instrumentalists on the traditional dance circuit throughout the capital district region. John Gallagher calls dances at reenactments and Blue-Gray Balls. He is a member of the Old Bethpage Village Restoration dance troupe on Long Island.
Across the Great Divide:
Ethnic Influences on the
Music of the Civil War Era
These workshops will explore German and Irish contributions to the music of the period. The workshop will be presented by Joseph Prusch, 77th NY Regimental Balladeers and Mark DeAngelis and members of the 28th Massachusetts, Company K String Band.
Singing Soldiers Encampment & Jam Session This session will be led by John Kennedy a reenactor and musician from Ohio. John has played the guitar for many years as well as the plectrum banjo. He specializes in the popular music of the mid-nineteenth century. John will be joined by the other gathering artists for a recreation of a Civil War singing soldiers encampment.
Rally Round the Parlor A presentation and workshop about the songs and tunes that would have graced the parlor/concert halls and entertained the folks at the homefront. Gisella Montanez-Case, Susan and Ed Coughtry will guide the audience through the heartfelt songs of Stephen Foster and a variety of Celtic tunes. Gisella, a member of the 77th NY Regimental Balladeers, is a talented and well-respected vocal artist. Her former operatic experience with the Metropolitan Opera and knowledge of the songs of the period will be enjoyed by all. Susan Coughtry has been playing the Celtic Harp since 1987. She also plays piano, guitar, recorder and string bass. Susan is the founding member and present president of the Hudson Valley Harp Circle. She has been a frequent guest performer with the balladeers. Ed Coughtry is a music teacher at Greenville Central School District. He has a Masters Degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam. Ed is a woodwind specialist who enjoys playing in the pit orchestras of Broadway Musicals. He is active in both the Greene County Music Educators Association and Colonial Council Music Educators Association. His wonderful flute playing will be heard on the balladeers new CD.
Children’s Concert :
Tenting On the Old Camp Ground
The concert will engage the audience with demonstrations of the various types of musical instruments that would have been played in a Civil War camp. The program will discuss the role of music and the children will sing-a-long with their own period songster. The children’s program will be led by Jeannette Painter, Fifth Corps Music group. The band hails from Ohio. Jeannette has produced a CD titled When Duty Called. Ms. Painter has appeared at the Gettysburg Music Muster and 2001 Windham Civil War Music Gathering & Encampment Grand Concert. She is a teacher at St. Mary-Delaware and Trinity School-Grandview in central Ohio. Jeannette is a vocalist and plays piano and flute.
Gathering Energy from God in Song
The session will be conducted by Ms. Carolyn Evans who portrays anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman. Evans’ first person account of the life of Harriet Tubman “Her Spirit Sings Throughout the Country: Can You Hear It?” has been highly acclaimed as a recreation of "A Voice of Courage”. Carolyn has appeared at the legendary Apollo Theatre in New York City. She is a motivational speaker, poet and author. The workshop will discuss what a spiritual is, the significance of the spiritual to daily life, musical patterns of spirituals, importance and meaning of code words in the songs. The audience will be encouraged to join in a demonstration of common spirituals.
Bringing History to Life:
The Elements of Developing First Person Portrayals
Civil War Heritage Foundation members will discuss the research, physical demands, period dress and character study required when developing an accurate portrayal of a famous personality, civilian or soldier who lived during the Antebellum/Civil War era. A panel of Foundation members will discuss how they approach and develop their first person portrayals. Audience members will participate in a question and answer session during the presentation.
Additional Workshops will include: Lincoln and the Music of the Civil War

Women and the Music of the Civil War
Visit this website often for schedule and program updates.

Sponsor Advertising Booklet and Program Form for

Civil War Music Heritage Gathering & Encampment
August 2-4, 2002 — Windham, NY

Here's what you do

1.   Determine the level of your sponsorship by selecting a full page ($50), half-page ($25) or business card ad ($20).

2.   Submit your B&W camera-ready copy, contribution and bottom portion of this form to the Civil War Music Heritage Gathering, 91 Cross Road, Windham, NY 12496 Attention: John Quinn. Make your check or money order payable to the 77th NY Regimental Balladeers.

3.   All advertisements must be received no later than May 15, 2002 to be included in event booklet.

Thanks for supporting the preservation of our American music heritage!

Questions? Contact John Quinn at 518-734-5655 or e-mail

Print out this portion of the form, complete and mail with your ad.

Sponsor’s Name/Oganization:________________________________ Telephone:______________

Address:_________________________________________________ City:___________________

State/Province:__________________________________ZIP/Postal Code:___________________

The Amount of your ad: $______________ 

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