Early American Music Historian David Hildebrand to Speak at Old Sturbridge Village Oct. 3

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Expert on the Star-Spangled Banner and patriotic music featured in museum's Distinguished Speaker Series

STURBRIDGE, Mass. (September 26, 2013): Early American music historian David Hildebrand, director of the Colonial Music Institute, will discuss the history of the Star-Spangled Banner at Old Sturbridge Village on Thursday, October 3 as part of the Village's continuing OSV Overseers' Distinguished Speaker Series. Hildebrand will meet the public at 6:00 p.m. and speak at 7:00 p.m. The evening includes free light refreshments, and a cash bar is available. Tickets are $10 per person and $8 for OSV Members.

Hildebrand, who has appeared on the History Channel and C-Span, will talk about the creation of the national anthem and will explain how music and poetry became musical expressions of patriotism during and after the War of 1812, illustrating his points with slides and music, and he will answer audience questions. Details: www.osv.org; 800-SEE-1830.

America’s beloved Star Spangled Banner is one of the most familiar patriotic anthems in the world, according to Old Sturbridge Village historians. Today’s familiar lyrics were penned by lawyer Francis Scott Key after witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. The Defense of Fort McHenry was set to the tune of a popular British drinking song, Anacreon in Heaven, and became the Star-Spangled Banner.

The Star-Spangled Banner joined many other widely circulated patriotic airs of the early republic, including Hail Columbia (1789) and America (1832), which ironically was set to the tune of the British national anthem, God Save the King. The U.S. Navy officially authorized use of The Star Spangled Banner in 1889.  President Woodrow Wilson declared it the national anthem in 1916, but Congress did not legally make it so until 1931.

Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is one of the largest living history museums in the country.  The museum is open daily 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. seven days a week.  OSV offers free parking and a free return visit within 10 days. For times and details of all OSV activities visit: www.osv.org or call 800-SEE-1830.

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