Hildene - Music for the Holidays

MANCHESTER - Presidential son, Robert Lincoln and wife Mary and their daughters, Mamie and Jessie all played the piano and organ. Given their musicality it comes as no surprise that they would have both a Steinway and an Aeolian pipe organ in their Vermont home.

Robert and his mother Mary Todd Lincoln took piano lessons together when they lived in Springfield, Ill. Stories about the family's social time in Manchester also speak of the occasions when in the company of friends, such as the Ishams of Ormsby Hill, if a piano were available, it was Robert who would sit down and play.

So, it's only fitting that there be music filling the family's home during the festive holiday season. From Dec. 5 through Jan. 1, it's Christmas Eve 1912 at Hildene and the halls are decked in the decor of the era.

In the spirt of the atmosphere, musicians are generously volunteering their time and talent to fill the historic home with the seasonal sounds of piano and organ music from the period. This year the following musicians will make gifts of their music: Joanne Beck, voice coach and pianist; Dr. Joseph Eppink, coordinator of music education and associate professor of music at The College of Saint Rose; Dan Frank, organ major at The College of Saint Rose; Michael Gallagher, organist and music director for Christ our Savior Parish in Manchester; long-time Hildene volunteers, pianists and organists, Alan Dann and Deirdre Donaldson of Brattleboro and pianist/organist Ken Olsson of Jamaica.

When these musicians are not making music, a selection of holiday tunes from the Lincoln family's collection of Aeolian pipe organ music will fill the house.

At the Welcome Center, a trio from the Emerald Valley Recorder Ensemble and singers from Burr and Burton Academy's Vocal Music Ensemble will also spread cheer.

For more information on Hildene and for a schedule of musicians, visit www.hildene .org/calendar.html


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