The Music of Occupied Philadelphia

October 14, 2018 - 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Museum of the American Revolution, Liberty Hall

Free with Museum Admission

Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra Tempesta di Mare's principal second violinist, Rebecca Harris, and Matthew Skic, Associate Curator at the Museum of the American Revolution, will bring to life the music British Army officers and Philadelphia Loyalists danced to during the 1777-1778 British occupation of the city. The music performed by Rebecca Harris and Tempesta co-artistic Director Richard Stone on lute comes from a 1785 London publication by Hezekiah Cantelo titled ‘Twenty Four American Country Dances as Danced by the British during their winter quarters at Philadelphia, New York and Charles Town.’


The manuscript was found in the virtual library of the International Music Score Library Project (imslp), a subscription-based collection of public-domain musical scores. It contains tunes and choreography for each of the dances - many of which are named for individuals or places who played prominent roles during the times, such as 'The Belles of Flat Bush (A Village on Long Island so called)', 'Laurel Hill', and 'The Brandewine.' Throughout the 60-minute performance, Matthew Skic will illuminate the people and stories mentioned in the music and make connections to the core exhibition at the Museum of the American Revolution.