1860s songs of camp and hearth Sept. 2

The 77th NY Regimental Balladeers

The 77th NY Regimental Balladeers

The Windham-based 77th Regimental Balladeers will serve up some history with the stirring tunes of the Civil War era when they perform Monday, Sept. 2 at 1 p.m. at the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown, 778 Cemetery Rd., Margaretville.

Bring family, friends and a picnic to mark the end of summer at this wonderful concert of 19th-century music. Admission is $5. Kids 12 and under get in free.

This concert of the “heart songs of America” will close out a summer in which the Society paid tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with an exhibit on Middletown’s experience during this epic period, and with several programs on various aspects of the war. Saturday (11-2) and Monday (11-1) of the Labor Day Weekend will be the final opportunities to view the exhibit.

The Balladeers are celebrating their 17th year of preserving the songs, history and spirit of the Antebellum and Civil War period. In that time they have presented more than 350 performances. The band uses the original musical arrangements and lyrics to capture how our ancestors talked, their rhythms, accents, beliefs, their spirituality, motives and patriotism.

The troupe is fresh from a series of concerts at Gettysburg National Military Park where they have been recognized for their authentic portrayal of the music of the period. They perform with fiddles, guitars, banjos, harmonicas, tin whistles, harp, bodhran, bones, bass, trumpet, dulcimer and Estey field organ.

The original 77th New York Regimental band was comprised of military personnel from Fulton, Essex and Saratoga Counties who fought in the Civil War. The group banded together in 1872 as part of the Survivors Association of the 77th Regiment. These heralded musicians kept alive the memories and spirit of comradeship they had experienced during the war. A military note was dominant in many social events of the period and the troupe was foremost in every event given for the interest and betterment of the community. The 77th New York Regimental Band flourished into the early 1900s.

Today’s band members include John and Sharon Quinn, Bill and Barbara Lonecke, Jim Broden, Gisella Montanez-Case, Joyce Cockerham, Jennifer Brylinski, Frank and John Swarthout, Ray Smith, John Kenosian, Gus Truin and Ron Burch.

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