Music Brings War of 1812 History To Life

Jul 4, 2012

It was a special July Fourth celebration at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Wednesday:

“We’re firing our three pound piece today to celebrate the glorious Fourth!” exclaimed Theodore Schofield, a Sackets Harbor Historical Site Volunteer.

This Independence Day celebration had it all, from cannons to guitars — Dave Ruch presented his “The War of 1812: Songs and Stories From New York State’.

It’s a performance that provides a history and music lesson on the War of 1812.

“Of course our military history is extremely important, Fourth of July, so we decided to have a music and story telling program,” said Constance Barone, Sackets Harbor Battlefield Manager.

That’s right, a music show providing a history lesson. Or is it a history lesson with a music show?

Either way, Ruch teaches his audience about the war, while playing what he calls popular music from the era.

“Kept alive through the oral tradition; families signing it to their children, who sang it to their children, that kind of stuff. What we call traditional music,” he explained.

The hope is events like this will help get people interested in the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

“So that people will make note of the Bicentennial. But it may be in very different ways that they connect,” Barone said.

Ruch says his audiences are a combination of the history novice and the history buff. And, he says his performances usually become like a classroom for everyone.

“I think, audience wise, it’ll be a range of people who don’t know much about it and people who really study it. And so that’s always fun because I learn something new,” he said

For those history buffs or music lovers, or both, who missed this performance, Ruch says don’t worry. He’ll be performing again in Ogdensburg later this month.

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