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May 25, 2007

Museums of Colonial Williamsburg feature a variety of summer programs

The Museums of Colonial Williamsburg bring 400 years of history to life this summer through music and lectures. Guests can explore the diverse cross section of people who settled in Virginia and how they influenced the culture of the Commonwealth.

Programs include:

  • Memorial Concert, 2 and 4 p.m. June 2. Musicians and musical historians David and Ginger Hildebrand commemorate George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, as well as the soldiers and officers of the Continental Army. Music played a central role for those fighting in the American Revolution, from the common ballads celebrating heroes to the drinking songs, theater songs and dance tunes that cheered one and all through dark times. This varied program includes military and patriotic marches, a minuet and songs of the tavern and drawing room—all in memory of those who put their lives at risk to achieve American independence. All music performed on appropriate instruments; spoken historical commentary helps put each piece into context. (1 hour) Included in museum admission, but requires a free reservation which is available at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket location including the Museum Store.
  • Whoop and Holler, 1:30 p.m. June 14. In this multi-media concert and lecture, Carson Hudson shares the history of the Virginia banjo from the 18th century to what we are familiar with today. Hear music played on reproductions of early banjos. This program also will be offered throughout the summer on a floating schedule. (1 hour) Included in museum admission, but requires a free reservation which is available at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket location including the Museum Store.
  • To Be Seen As An American, 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays June 26-Aug. 30. Meet three black women who didn’t accept society’s limits on what they could accomplish. Lydia rose from slave to entrepreneur, Katie Marie was educated but not given the resources to teach others and Clara Byrd Baker fought for equal rights in the 20th century. These Williamsburg women’s work spanned three centuries, opening doors and providing new opportunities for the next generation. (45 minutes) Included in museum admission.
  • From Ear to Ear, 7:30 p.m. June 23. Colonial Williamsburg’s guests can explore the roots of 18th-century African American music during the concert, “From Ear to Ear.” Featuring traditional African instruments and glorious vocals, the concert brings the audience on a musical journey from Africa to the Caribbean and on to America. Guests will be provided instruments to join in rhythmic ensemble. As guests learn to play and experience the music they will discover how African music was reshaped and transformed into a distinctly soulful African American musical sound. Additional ticket required.
  • “Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635,” 5 p.m. June 28. Research historian Martha W. McCartney is the author of four books, plus numerous published articles and reports, and has received five historic preservation awards. Her book, “Jamestown Island: An American Legacy,” was chosen by the National Park Service as “best in the field” in the book/cultural history category. Her most recent work “Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607– 1635: A Biographical Dictionary” brings together a variety of primary sources about the colony's earliest European inhabitants and the sparsely populated and fragile communities in which they lived, resulting in the most comprehensive collection of annotated biographical sketches yet published. Maps identify the sites of Virginia's earliest plantations to link more than 5,500 people to the cultural landscape--establishing a specific location and a timeframe for these early colonists. (1 hour) Included in museum admission.
  • 400 Years of Musical Virginianna, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. July 4. Recording artist Bob Zentz and several of his friends take you on a time traveler’s journey through the music of the Old Dominion, from colony to Commonwealth. This chronological sampling of the instruments, songs and the people who made this state a hotbed of musical innovation and activity from the age of exploration, through modern times. Enjoy a smorgasbord of stories, tunes and songs, intricately woven into the tapestry that is Virginia, today. (1 hour) Additional ticket required.

    Entrance to The Museums of Colonial Williamsburg is through the Public Hospital of 1773 on Francis St. between Nassau and South Henry Streets. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For more information and reservations, 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. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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