Nothing More Agreeable – Music in the Washington Family

Sat, Nov 20 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Free

On Saturday, November 20th at 7 PM the Rockingham Association presents The Practitioners of Musick in a virtual program entitled “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 thus explore the agreeable and remarkable musical work of three select generations of the extended Washington family. The General, while a fine dancer and avid theater goer, is not known to have played a musical instrument of any sort. 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. Global trade is the thread that connects the Washingtons, their friends and associates, and a significant fueling aspect of this global trade was, in humanitarian terms, the regressive slave trade. The wealth accrued from the slave trade was channeled into the social fabric of the elite and gentry. 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 & Small flutes, and harpsichordist Donovan Klotzbeacher have presented or supported scholarly programs under the auspices of The National Trust of Great Britain, The US National Park Service, Colonial Williamsburg and The Princeton University Art Museum amongst 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, NJ, Washington’s final wartime headquarters in 1783, and is made possible with the generous assistance of The William Trent House Association, Trenton, NJ. To join the free program, registration is required through Eventbrite: rockinghampom.eventbrite.com. For more information, please go to www.rockingham.net or call 609-683-7132.