Since 1974, the Ohio Village Singers have been performing songs of early America, from Revolutionary War days to the Civil War. On Sunday, May 4, at 2 p.m., they’ll celebrate 40 years of performing together with Singing America’s History: The Ohio Village Singers 40th Anniversary Concert at Ohio Village in Columbus.
“The concert will offer an opportunity to relive the drama and excitement of history through the music created and enjoyed by those who experienced it,” says Priscilla Hewetson, who’s been a member of the Ohio Village Singers from the start and serves as the group’s director.
Hewetson says the special 40th anniversary concert will feature songs of colonial America through the Gay Nineties, including the singers’ favorite, I Am the Rose of Sharon, by America’s first native-born composer, William Billings.
Also on the program are selections such as the colonial-era Liberty Song; Say Can You Catch Them, an early political song; Now I’ll Not Drink Anymore, a mid-19th century temperance song; Get Off the Track, an abolition song; several minstrel and Stephen Foster favorites; and rousing Civil War songs as well as popular hits from the Gay Nineties such as After the Ball, Bicycle Built for Two and Darling Clementine.
The program will also include some favorite Ohio folk songs and will end with the beautiful romantic favorite, Jenny Lind’s Goodnight.
Faith Bauer of the Ohio Village Singers says the songs offer insight into the lives of the people who lived through major historical events.
“Music and history are so connected. It tells you a lot about the people who lived and sang those songs then,” Bauer says.
Mike Follin, a member of the Ohio Village Singers since 1976, says the 40th anniversary concert will be a nostalgic time for the group.
“The people who started from the beginning are pretty much the people who are still the core group,” says Follin, “We truly are a family and that’s important to us.” In addition to Hewetson, Bauer and Follin, today's Ohio Village Singers include Linda Brown, Linda Sheppard, Katie Berry, Marc Follin, Ellen Ford, Jim Mason, John Stuck, Walt Bauer, Ken Scott and Phil Minnick.
The Ohio Village Singers 40th anniversary concert will be a trip down memory lane for a lot of members of the audience, as well.
Follin says some fans have been attending concerts since the beginning. “They brought their children, and now they’re bringing their grandchildren,” he says.
Tickets for Singing America’s History: The Ohio Village Singers 40th Anniversary Concert are $12 ($10 Ohio History Connection member). The concert takes place in the Ohio Village church. Tickets will be available at the Ohio Village gatehouse on Sunday, May 4, 2014, after 1 p.m.
Questions? Call 800.686.6124.
You may also enjoy the upcoming Dinner and Concert in Tribute to Father Kemp’s Old Folks at the American House Hotel in Ohio Village from 5–7 p.m. on Saturday, May 24, featuring the Ohio Village Singers – the conclusion to the first day of the Ohio Village Civil War Soldiers’ Aid Fair. The concert recreates one of Father Kemp's Old Folks Concerts, which were widely popular among Americans of the 1800s nostalgic for the "good old days" of the 1700s. Advance registration is required by May 16 ($60, $50 Ohio History Connection member includes dinner and concert). To order or learn more, call 800.686.1541.