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March 30, 2009

CW hosts 18th-century music events

Spring into step with the delightful melodies of the 18th century during Colonial Williamsburg’s engaging music programs. Visitors can experience several interactive events in the Historic Area and Art Museums all play host to entertaining music programs this spring. From elegant chamber music to lively vocal and fiddle music, guests are sure to be tapping their feet to the rhythm of colonial Virginia.

Programs running from March to mid-June 2009 include:

  • America’s Music, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Tuesdays in April at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Enjoy music that has come from distant shores to become our music. Each week will feature a different performer and instruments including fiddle music, the evolution of the banjo and hammered dulcimers.
  • African American Music, 7 and 8:30 p.m., Tuesdays, Thursdays and 7 p.m. only on Monday, April 13 and Friday, April 17 at Great Hopes Plantation. The African American community borrowed from the many cultures of Africa and Europe. In the 18th-century African American community, there were opportunities for everyone to participate, whether it was singing, dancing or playing an instrument. Help us keep the rhythms, sing the songs and dance the dances adapted by the West African people during colonial America. As you walk the grounds of the plantation with the setting sun, you will have the opportunity to explore the diverse nature of African American musical culture in colonial Virginia. Audience participation encouraged. Weather permitting. Tickets are $12 for adults and youth ages six to 17 and $6 for children under 6.
  • Palace Concert, 7:30 and 9 p.m. Tuesdays at the Governor’s Palace. The regal Palace of the Royal Governor comes to life by candlelight as Colonial Williamsburg’s early music ensemble, the Governor’s Musick, offers an elegant evening of chamber music. The concert repertoire is custom crafted to each performance and varies throughout the season. The program includes music known in colonial Virginia, as well as music from Europe and England. Tickets are $12 for adults and youth ages six to 17 and $6 for children under 6.
  • Music for a Revolutionary Generation, 11:30 a.m. and noon Fridays at the Raleigh Tavern. Experience musical diversions in a time of change. Members of the Governor’s Musick, Colonial Williamsburg’s resident performance ensemble, will perform selections that would have been popular in both England and Revolutionary America during the 18th century on appropriate period instruments. A valid Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket is required.
  • Dance, Our Dearest Diversion, 7 and 8:30 p.m. Saturdays at Capitol. “Virginians will dance or die,” wrote an 18th-century diarist. What better time than the 21st century to learn a few new dance steps in the candlelit Capitol? The Hall of the House of Burgesses comes to life as you experience one of the favorite pastimes of colonial Virginians. The dancers discuss various types of 18th-century dances, from country dances to minuets, and demonstrate them for the audience. At various intervals throughout the program, guests will be offered the opportunity to participate in the fun! Tickets are $12 for adults and youth ages six to 17 and $6 for children under 6.
  • From Ear to Ear: African American Music through the Ages, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 4 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum—Hennage Auditorium. Explore the roots of 18th-century African American music during this exciting musical concert. Travel on a musical journey from Africa to the Caribbean and on to America. Enjoy the intricate rhythms of Africa and discover how African music was reshaped and transformed into a distinctly “soulful” African American musical sound. Tickets are $12 for adults and youth ages six to 17 and $6 for children under 6.
  • Musical Diversions at the Courthouse, 7:30 and 9 p.m., April 10, 11, 22, 24, 25 and May 23-26 at the Courthouse. Colonial Williamsburg’s tavern entertainers present lively vocal and fiddle music from the 17th and 18th centuries. Information regarding dates for specific performers and ensembles will be available with guests’ reservations. Tickets are $12 for adults and youth ages six to 17 and $6 for children under 6.
  • Silver Buckles and a Viol, 7 and 8:30 p.m., Fridays except April 10 at the Capitol. Join us at this new program for a musical journey spanning the 81 years between Queen Anne’s capitol to a Revolutionary backwater. Enjoy an evening of "full various and devicefull musick" performed on the viola da gamba and harpsichord featuring music by Handel, Telemann and Abel.

    Unless otherwise indicated, a Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket or Good Neighbor Card provides access to enjoy these programs. For reservations and more information, call 1-800-HISTORY.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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