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Heritage Music Gathering Returns to Windham New York After Two Year Hiatus

Written By Editor on 7/5/22 | 7/5/22



On the occasion of U.S. Grant’s 200th birthday, the Heritage Music RE-Gathering returns to the Windham Civic Center from August 5-7, 2022, after more than two years of trials, heartbreak and tribulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout its 22 years, the Gathering has presented the popular songs and tunes that expressed the hopes, compassion, dreams,deep sense of humanity and patriotism that tells the story of the founding of America. This year’s ‘in tune with history’ music experience will present America’s story in song as we celebrate our deep love of country andemember the victims of COVID-19 while paying tribute and offering thanks to all front-line responders.

On Friday evening, August 5 at 7 p.m. Frank Marquette will present “POE LIVE” with the tales that shocked and terrified audiences and pulp fiction aficionados of the mid-19th century America. The evening’s program will explain Poe’s tales of mystery and madness including The Raven, Annabelle Lee, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Tell Tale Heart.

Enjoy a free community BBQ and Ice Cream Social prior to the show from 5 to 6:30 p.m.!

Saturday evening’s Grand Concert will have a limited total capacity and social distancing between patrons, if appropriate. Masks will be made available inside of the Centre Church. The performance will be two and a half hours long with a live simulcast on WRIP 97.9 FM for the first hour, from 7-8 pm.

Nationally recognized pianist Helen Beedle will perform a prequel of famous selections celebrating America’s rich music landscape at 6:30 p.m. As COVID-19 positivity rates continue to drop, the Heritage Music Gathering will continue to review our concert, music showcases and presentations to insure we are in accordance with governmental guidance and safety recommendations.

Special thanks are extended to the Windham Foundation for its support of the Grand Concert lineup:

Pianist Helen Beedle will present Composers of Color: Music of the 19th Century South. Her performance includes a set of dance pieces by Basile Bares, of New Orleans. As a creole of color his performances were noted in the New Orleans Tribune. Bares was trained in piano, theory and composition. In spite of being a slave, his name appeared prominently in his numerous piano works. Ante-bellum New Orleans had one of the largest free black populations in the country. Thomas Green Wiggins, blind from birth and born into slavery in Georgia was a celebrated concert artist from early childhood. Known as Blind Tom, his very unusual phenomenal piano playing was known worldwide. Wiggins performed for Queen Victoria and President Buchanan, but lived a life of exploitation. Additional performers and highlights will include the 77th NY Regimental Balladeers, Providence Brigade Band, Susquehanna Travellers, Jolly Tars, Steve and Lisa Ball, and the Irish Volunteers.

There will be daily camp programs throughout the weekend including a medical surgical exhibit with demonstrations, artillery display, meet and greet with Mark Twain, children’s “limberjack“ workshop, music showcases, 79th NY Highlanders display, quilt and doll exhibits, jam sessions and a living history music program “Music & Musket” focusing on the importance of brass bands in the Civil War.

Saturday morning from 10:30-11:30 a.m. a children’s combination art/music limberjack workshop will engage children 5 years and older. Participants will paint a wooden limberjack and be instructed how to use the “dancing jack” as a percussion instrument. On-site musicians will accompany the children with the fiddle and bones.

The Hensonville Hose Company will provide free community barbecues on Friday and Saturday. An ice cream social sponsored by the Communityof Windham Foundation and Stewart’s Ice Cream will follow Friday’s BBQ.

The 2022 Heritage Music Gathering’s poster was designed by historical artist Mark Maritato. For decades. this Connecticut artist has brought military historical events alive on his canvasses. Mr. Maritato has been a featured artist at the Heritage Gathering over the years and his original oil paintings are renowned among private collectors and public institutions.

Admission to “POE LIVE” and the Grand Concert live radio broadcast “Hard Times Come Again No More: America’s History in Song” are free and first come, first seated. Both programs begin at 7 pm. For additional information call 518-734-5655.

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