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12th Annual Gettysburg Music Muster

(8/5) Authentic Civil War music will fill the air on August 26 at Gettysburg National Military Park during the 12th Annual Gettysburg Music Muster. One-of-a-kind performances, played mostly on original instruments, will feature songs of the Irish Union soldiers, balladeers, Victorian dance music and dance performances, along with fife and drum, and more.

Performers include the 5th Michigan Regiment Band, Susquehanna Travellers, Music Americana, the 77th New York Balladeers, David Kincaid, the 26 th NC Regimental Band (re-created), the Victorian Dance Ensemble and O' Be Joyfull. Audience participation is the highlight of the Victorian Dance Ensemble performances. The 26th NC regimental band has participated in the past as the Federal City Brass band.

The day will begin on the Cyclorama Outdoor stage at 11:00 AM with a performance by Music Americana. This 12-piece orchestra specializes in period music from the mid-19th century. The repertoire of this dedicated group includes old favorites such as Kingdom Come, Dixie, Jenny Lind Polka, as well as many lesser-known but beautiful waltzes, inspiring marches, lively reels and polkas. Instrumentation includes flutes, violins, clarinets, cornets, and percussion. All Music Americana members dress in the style of the Civil War. Based in Harford County MD, Music Americana has performed in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. This will be their second solo performance at the Music Muster.

Coming for their second appearance, all the way from Novi Michigan is the 5 th Michigan Regiment Brass Band consisting of 28 members. They will present a lunchtime performance on the Cyclorama Stage and in the evening, at the Eternal Peace Light Monument. Today's 5 th Michigan Regimental band is a historical recreation of the 1861 Band of the 5 th Michigan Volunteer Infantry. The Band's musical repertoire includes popular marches, polkas, schottisches and waltzes that were played around the 1860's for parades military balls and musters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. The band director, Lieutenant Colonel Guy Smith, meticulously transcribed much of the music using material from the National Archives and original sheet music. The music is performed on period antique and replica Saxhorns and wood drums. The band wears copies of the wool uniform that was worn by the 5 th Michigan soldiers during the Civil War. Traveling with the band is a color guard and ladies in Civil War Period attire. As the sun sets, the 5 th Michigan will present a memorable concert on the steps of the Eternal Light Peace Memorial.

With a strong local following throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, "O' Be JoyFull" visits the Cyclorama Stage in their third performance here. "O' Be Joyfull", consisting of musicians Rick Garland and Bill Vitelli, combine their love and knowledge of history and music in An American Civil War Show of songs and stories of the American Civil War and the Irish. Their show is a high energy, toe tapping celebration of the songs and stories of the American Civil War, the Irish, the 19 th Century and the age when friends, families and soldiers sang together for fun and entertainment. They perform some of American and Ireland's greatest songs, in a strong vocal style, reminiscent of the singing during American's Civil War and the Romantic and Victorian ages in America. The audience is encouraged to sing along, as would be appropriate for 19 th Century entertainment. "O' Be Joyfull" has performed at the Capital Children's Museum in Washing D.C., the Civil War Institute of Gettysburg College, as well as the Longstreet Living History Farm in Colts Neck New Jersey, just to name a few.

For the 8th year in a row, the incredible lineup of the Victorian Dance Ensemble performs. This group, consisting of more than fifty people, conducts balls, performs demonstrations and teaches the dances of the mid -19th Century. Many members belong to Civil War reenactment groups, and others are specifically interested in historical dancing. The group began in 1995 and has continued successfully ever since. They carry on a fine tradition presenting demonstrations at state and national historical sites, living history and reenactment programs, and for all types of community groups. The VDE encourages audience participation and that is a highlight of every presentation. The group has developed a reputation for accuracy in attire, deportment, and dancing. The Susquehanna Travelers will accompany them again this year

The Susquehanna Travellers perform the music of 19th Century America playing the Guitar, Banjo, Recorder and Violin. They focus on Civil War era and Irish music. Also included in their repertoire are current compositions such as Ashokan Farewell, Lovers Waltz and My Darling Asleep. The musicians are Civil War re-enactors and members of the 87 th PA Volunteer Infantry. The band got its start playing traditional tunes around the campfire at the Civil War Re-enactments and with the support and encouragement of other re-enactors, the lads decided to officially form the Susquehanna Travellers. While the band certainly enjoys playing for the public, they feel most at home playing for their fellow re-enactors around the campfire. The Susquehanna Travellers will perform separately from the Victorian Dance Ensemble at 4:30 PM.

The 26th NC Regimental Band re-created have visited the muster as the Federal City Brass for the past three years, but with so many Union band performances, they asked to return as the 26 th NC. In 2005, the Federal City Brass Band introduced a new performing unit with its re-creation of the famed 26th North Carolina Regimental Band, one of the most renowned bands of the Civil War era. Based in Salem, NC, the band was made up of Moravian musicians who enlisted in the early spring of 1862 and served until the last week of the war, when they were captured during the final retreat towards Appomattox Courthouse. They took part in major campaigns including Gettysburg, where they are recorded as having performed 'polkas and waltzes' during the height of the battle to bolster the morale of the Confederate troops. Their music, from the only known set of Confederate bandbooks in existence today, has enriched the repertoire of dozens of bands since it was re-discovered in the late 1950's and recorded by the late Dr. Frederick Fennell and his Eastman Wind Ensemble. Reproduction uniforms for the 26th NC are meticulously based on the only known photograph of the band, taken in 1862. In the early evening, the 26 th NC will present a concert under the dome of the Pennsylvania Monument.

At 2:30 PM, the 77th New York Balladeers will take center stage at the Cyclorama for the 8 th year, lead by co-founder John C. Quinn. Mr. Quinn along with the Balladeers are dedicated to preserving the songs, history and spirit of the 1860's. Along with fellow Balladeers, Sharon Quinn, Bill Lonecke, Joseph Prusch, Gisella Montanez-Case, John Perreault and Jim Broden use the original Civil War music arrangements and lyrics to convey the thoughts, motives, and sorrows of the men and women who lived during one of the most defining periods of our American heritage. The songs are sung, as they would have been performed in camp or the family parlor in the 1860s. They will present a memorable concert at the Pennsylvania Memorial as the sun sets.

The day on the Cyclorama Stage will close with the ever-popular music of David Kincaid. In the spring of 1988 Mr. Kincaid decided to indulge in the passion for history he had carried through childhood. He joined the 116th Pennsylvania reenactment group. During their campfire sessions, his curiosity was aroused by the music of the Irish in the war. Realizing that so many Irishmen had fought in the war - more than 160,000 - he began his search for their music. His first album, The Irish Volunteer - Songs of the Irish Union Soldier, 1861-1863, is the grand result of his intensive research. Come listen as he performs music from his second album entitled Irish American Songs. Kincaid has captured the attention of history buffs and Celtic music fans alike. Mr. Kincaid's first performance will begin shortly after 2:00 p.m. at the Dobbin House Courtyard; he will perform on the Cyclorama Stage at 5:00 PM.

The public is invited to attend all performances free of charge. Bring picnic lunches, lawn chairs and blankets to spread on the grass. In the case of rain, all concerts will be held inside the Cyclorama Center auditorium. For more information or a full schedule of performances call (717) 334-1124 ext. 430

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