The following press release was submitted by the Vine Lake Preservation Trust.
Hear stirring renditions of Civil War folks songs sung by a professional duet. Witness the portrayal of Julia Ward Howe by a charming actress as she composes "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
"Be Jubilant, My Feet" is a free family concert to recognize 75 Civil War veterans buried or honored in Medfield’s Vine Lake Cemetery. It will be held Sat., March 16, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Church of the Advent, 28 Pleasant Street, Medfield.
The Civil War saw a boom in music publishing such as the United States had never seen. Whether on the battlefield or at home, people sang. These songs brought to mind happier times, comforted those at home, and accompanied the soldiers as they marched into battle.
Vocal performers are The Proper Ladies (Deborah Goss and Anabel Graetz), two local singers who make history come alive with their a Capella arrangements of folk songs composed during the Civil War. Some of the abolitionist music performed in this concert was composed by Medfield's Lowell Mason.
The Proper Ladies group has developed, mastered, and arranged for a Capella a rare and entertaining repertoire. Their shimmering harmonies, authentic costumes, and humorous anecdotes surprise and delight!
Sing along with familiar favorites, sigh to the romantic gems, and laugh with the Ladies as they perform the popular songs of the Civil War.
A special part of this program is a living history presentation by local actress Libby Franck who portrays poet and reformer Julia Ward Howe as she composes her "Battle Hymn of the Republic."
Julia Ward Howe was at the heart of the artistic and political scene during the three decades before the Civil War. She was transformed from a New York Belle to a Boston writer and abolitionist. As the wife of reformer Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, Director of the Perkins Institute for the Blind, she entertained and visited with poets and politicians, among them Nathaniel Hawthorne, Florence Nightingale, and John Brown, the radical abolitionist.
Julia’s anonymously published book of poems, Passion Flowers, enraged her husband and set Boston tongues wagging. However, when she wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Julia Ward Howe finally discovered a way to serve the Union cause.
Major funding for this concert was supplied by a grant from the Medfield Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.