Christmas Celebration in the Midst of War
A musician enjoys others’ performances from the back of the orchestra.
Performed by the Pittsburgh Historical Musical Society and referring to the Civil War, we are still in the midst of war and celebrating Christmas today.
They played timely folk, classical and holiday music as would have been played in a Christmas concert during the Civil War, many of the musicians in period dress, as seen in the spectacular Victorian dress the multi-talented vocalist wore.
The Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall houses the Capt. Thos. Espy Post 153 which in turn houses the reenactors of the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves of the GAR who maintain the collection and meet and host events in the post and at ACFL&MH. One of the musicians read letters written at Christmas by members of the 9th Pennsylvania as they were on the battlefields of the Civil War. One thing that was important to them, to make them feel closer to home, was music. In this case it was a mix of Pittsburgh-themed music, songs of Stephen Foster, short classical pieces popular at the time and Christmas hymns.
The photo below shows the vocalist’s entire dress, and if not for a few wires dangling here and there it could be mistaken for another time.