The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 17, 2006


The sounds of music in Carlisle

Music is in the air in Carlisle. Fresh, young voices will soon be raised in the seventh-grade play, hymns waft from churches on Sundays and Old Home Day bands will start feet tapping. But music in Carlisle has rarely taken center stage — until now. From now until Old Home Day, music will be a recurring theme in town, with an emphasis on early music. Exhibits, lectures and live music available in the next several weeks underscore the importance of music in Carlisle's past and our continuing interest in this lively art today.

The melodeon or seraphine, a small organ, was played by Timothy Wilkins at services during the 1850s at the First Religious Society.

(Photo from the Carlisle Historical Society)

Carlisle's musical journey begins at Town Hall with an exhibit that opened last week and extends through April 21. "Music to Our Ears: Carlisle's Musical Memories" is sponsored by the Historical Society and curated by Conni Manoli-Skocay and Stephanie Upton. Drawing from the Society's collections, the exhibit features 19th-century musical instruments used in the church and on the Civil War battlefield. Sheet music written by Carlislean George Grees and music of the Carlisle Cats band from the Walter Woodward Collection are on display, as is an early 20th-century Edison phonograph. The exhibit, supported in part by the Carlisle Cultural Council, establishes the importance of music in Carlisle's past. It is open during normal Town Hall business hours. A reception, open to all, will be held on Sunday, March 19, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Town Hall.

The seventh-grade musical, Once Upon a Mattress, carries forward a more recent Carlisle tradition. Its final performance is tonight. The musical scene shifts to the Renaissance when the Cambridge Society for Early Music returns to Union Hall on April 8, at 8 p.m., for a program called "A Lily Among Thorns: Renaissance Music of Love and Lament," with works by Josquin, Brumel, Palestrina, la Rue, de Brito and others.

Fast-forwarding from the Renaissance to the 18th

On Sunday, June 11, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., the legendary Carlisle Cats will perform at a free concert at Heald House, home of the Carlisle Historical Society. Residents are invited to bring a picnic basket, spread out on the Heald House lawn, and enjoy old-time musical favorites as previous generations of Carlisleans have done. The Cats, a group of local adult and teen musicians, will play familiar marches and tunes, and music composed by George Grees. The Cats will perform again at Old Home Day festivities on July 4.

Carlisle's musical celebration might not be called a festival, but who knows? Perhaps next year spring will again usher in the sounds of music throughout the town.

Historical Drum (Photo from the Carlisle Historical Society)

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito