Events > General Information

Our events feature live music performances that entertain, inspire, and inform. In each of the following programs, Matthew Sabatella weaves an engaging narrative through a selection of songs that illuminate a theme or story from America's past. They are appropriate for any age group.

Some performances are optionally available as multimedia programs. These are accompanied by relevant historic images projected onto a screen. Look for -available with multimedia- under the program title.

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America's Music: From Plymouth Rock to Rock & Roll

-available with multimedia-

America's Music: From Plymouth Rock to Rock & Roll
America's Music: From Plymouth Rock to Rock & Roll

America's Music: From Plymouth Rock to Rock & Roll is a 90-minute live multimedia program that celebrates the music of America. Since before the United States declared independence, songs, instruments, and musical styles were carried to the New World. As people from different backgrounds interacted with each other, unique new forms of music emerged that could only have been born in this nation of immigrants. This program takes the audience on a journey that connects traditional folk songs, spirituals, work songs, fiddle tunes, Appalachian music, ragtime, blues, jazz, old-time country, bluegrass, and early rock and roll.

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Songs of Westward Expansion

-available with multimedia-

Songs of Westward Expansion

When the American Revolution ended, the United States was just a narrow strip of land along the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout the nineteenth century, the boundaries of the country expanded as Americans pushed westward in pursuit of land, riches, and adventure. In this program, the songs of the people tell their story. The journey begins in Colonial America and follows the paths of the pioneers, sailors, immigrants, ‘49ers, farmers, slaves, soldiers, cowboys, homesteaders, and railroaders who moved the country across the continent and into the twentieth century.

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Songs of the American Folk Music Revival
Songs of the American Folk Music Revival

During the 20th century successive waves of singers and folklorists became interested in older forms of American music. The folk music revival peaked in the 1960s as the focus on traditional songs gave way to singer/songwriters who were informed by older music but wrote their own songs that addressed issues important for their generation. The program includes plenty of well-known songs by artists including Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives, The Weavers, The Kingston Trio, Odetta, Peter, Paul, & Mary, Bob Dylan, and more.

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Songs of American Workers

-available with multimedia-

Songs of American Workers

Music has been tied to work at least since the beginning of recorded history. People have sung songs while working. They have sung about work, working conditions, and other issues of concern to workers. This program tells the story of labor in the United States through the songs of workers and labor movements. It includes music of farmers, lumberjacks, slaves, indentured servants, factory workers, railroad workers, coal miners, unions, and more.

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Songs in the Life of Abraham Lincoln

-available with multimedia-

Songs in the LIfe of Abraham Lincoln

This program celebrates the 16th president of the United States through the music he cherished. Abraham Lincoln was a man of remarkable determination, compassion, honesty, humor, and melancholy. From a childhood on the American frontier to a presidency that changed the course of history, Lincoln's life unfolds through these Old World, play party, minstrel, campaign, slave, Civil War, and sentimental songs.

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Tribute to American Soldiers
Tribute to American Soldiers

This program focuses on the music from American military engagements, including the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish-American War, and both World Wars. It is perfect for Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

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The American Dream
The American Dream

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

With these words from the Declaration of Independence, the American Dream was set in motion. This program explores the notion of the American Dream through the lens of the music of the people.

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300+ Years of Banjo

-available with multimedia-

300+ Years of Banjo

How did the banjo, which has roots in West Africa, become a symbol of American whiteness? Through historic images, recordings, and live performance, follow the fascinating story of the banjo from its African roots through its development in the Caribbean, early history with people in slavery in North America, growth in popularity through blackface minstrel performances, presence in the Victorian parlor, integration into dance and song traditions in Appalachia, and its role in 20th and 21st century folk, old-time, bluegrass, country, popular, and world music.