October 27, 2021

Music From Washington’s Time by Early Music Ensemble

WHAT WASHINGTON HEARD: The Practitioners of Musick will play music favored by George Washington in a virtual concert from Rockingham State Historic Site, his final wartime headquarters, on Saturday, November 20 at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, November 20 at 7 p.m., the Rockingham Association presents The Practitioners of Musick in a virtual program, “Nothing More Agreeable — Music in the Washington Family.”

In a document dated June 4, 1777, General George Washington wrote, “Nothing is more agreeable and ornamental than good music.” The Practitioners concert, with commentary, will explore the work of three select generations of the extended Washington family.

The general, while a fine dancer and avid theatergoer, is not known to have played a musical instrument. Yet he and Martha, who had received harpsichord lessons, well understood the value of music and dance as a social grace and saw to it that the children under their care received a thorough musical education. The repertory for the concert is drawn from bound volumes of 18th-century manuscript and especially printed sheet music directly associated with the Washington family sourced in Great Britain and the early Federal period in America.

Music, singing and dance were also part of the enslaved and free Black experience expressing the daily life of labor and spiritual belief, and will be addressed as well.

The Practitioners of Musick, John Burkhalter, English and small flutes, and harpsichordist Donovan Klotzbeacher have presented or supported scholarly programs under the auspices of the National Trust of Great Britain, the U.S. National Park Service, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Princeton University Art Museum among many other local, state, national, and international entities.

This virtual event is sponsored by The Rockingham Association on behalf of Rockingham State Historic Site in Kingston, Washington’s final wartime headquarters in 1783, and is made possible with the assistance of The William Trent House Association. To join the free program, registration is required at rockinghampom.eventbrite.com.