Southern Piano Music from the Civil War

When: Fri., Jan. 22, 7 p.m. 2016

Savannah, GA — The Arts on Skidaway Concert Series presents an evening of Civil War era piano music performed by Dr. David B. Thompson on Friday, January 22nd at 7:00 pm at Skidaway Island United Methodist Church. Admission is free.

The American Civil War shaped every aspect of life in the South, and music was an important part of that life. This often highly emotional music was an integral element in the existence of all who heard it, whether actively involved in the war effort or not. Along with songs and military band music published in the South during the Civil War, a considerable repertoire of solo keyboard music written by white, black, male and female composers also exists.

This unique lecture/performance by Dr. Thompson brings this largely unknown repertoire to modern ears. Dr. Thompson will be dressed in period clothing and his performance will include a brief discussion of the Southern composers whose music was prominent during the Civil War and the keyboard’s role in Confederate society.Throughout the program, he will read excerpts from diaries, letters and memoirs in an effort to relay the moving effects of keyboard music in the home and the grief experienced by families whose keyboards were destroyed.

Selections to be performed included traditional dances such as the waltz, mazurka, schottisch and polka; marches; song arrangements and descriptive fantasies. These works demonstrate the range and scope of the Civil War piano repertoire and include general references to Civil War personalities and the specific connection to the South’s role in the war.

Dr. Thompson is Professor of Music at Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina.

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