Director of Library Programs
Mount Vernon welcomes David and Ginger Hildebrand to the David M. Rubenstein Leadership Hall to discuss David's new book Musical Maryland: A History of Song and Performance from the Colonial Period to the Age of Radio on Thursday, October 19, 2017. Throughout the discussion, the Hildebrands will perform on a variety of colonial-era instruments.
About the Book
In Musical Maryland David K. Hildebrand and Elizabeth M. Schaaf explore the myriad ways in which music has enriched the lives of Marylanders. From the drinking songs of colonial Annapolis, the work songs of the tobacco fields, Chick Webb’s mastery on drums, and the triumphs of the Baltimore Opera Society, this richly illustrated volume explores more than 300 years of Maryland’s music history.
This book touches on the development of music clubs like the Tuesday Club, the Florestan Society, and H. L. Mencken’s Saturday Night Club as well as lasting institutions such as the Peabody Institute and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO). Yet the soundscape also includes militia quicksteps, sea chanteys, and other work songs. The book describes the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner"—perhaps Maryland's single greatest contribution to the nation's musical history. It chronicles the wide range of music created and performed by Maryland’s African American musicians along Pennsylvania Avenue in racially segregated Baltimore, from jazz to symphonic works. It also tells the true story of a deliberately integrated concert that the BSO staged at the end of World War II.
The book is full of musical examples, engravings, paintings, drawings, and historic photographs that not only portray the composers and performers but also the places around the state in which music flourished. Sidebars by William Biehl focus on late nineteenth and early twentieth century song of the kind evoked by the USS Baltimore or inspired by the state's history, natural beauty, and romantic steamboats. Bringing to life not only portraits of musicians, composers, and conductors whose stories and recollections are woven into the fabric of this book, but also musical scores and concert halls, Musical Maryland is an engaging, authoritative, and bold look at an endlessly compelling subject.
About David and Ginger Hildebrand
David and Ginger began concertizing together professionally in 1980, turning their focus in 1985 to researching, performing, and recording colonial music. More recently they have added programs on American music of the War of 1812. The Hildebrands present concerts and educational programs throughout the country for museums, historical societies, national and state historic parks, and universities; the Smithsonian Institution, Mount Vernon, the National Gallery of Art, and Colonial Williamsburg are among their many sponsors. David and Ginger’s seven full-length recordings focus mostly on colonial and federal era music highlighting both classical and folk‑based repertory.