Washington Revels and Heritage Montgomery: An Ongoing Partnership

The genesis of this CD recording dates to a chance meeting in 2009 involving two executive directors: Peggy Erickson of Heritage Montgomery and Greg Lewis of Washington Revels. The ideas born that day have grown into a multi-faceted partnership with Revels presenting Civil War-era music and drama at historic sites in Montgomery County, Maryland as part of Heritage Montgomery’s four-year commemoration of the Civil War sesquicentennial in the county.

When Peggy asked Greg to narrate the documentary Life in a War Zone: Montgomery County during the Civil War 1861-1865, they talked about adding a musical soundtrack to enliven and enrich the video. The Washington Revels community includes award-winning audio engineers and recording experts as well as professional and highly skilled nonprofessional singers and musicians. To that mix they added nationally renowned instrumentalists of Civil War era music, plus prominent musicians with decades of experience performing music of the period at venues throughout Montgomery County and Maryland.

With the richness of material and the talent of all involved, perhaps it was inevitable that we would produce this companion CD with full versions of the musical excerpts featured in the documentary. Aside from “Maryland! My Maryland!,” little music exists that is specific to Montgomery County or to the state. Like the music in the documentary, however, the CD plumbs a wide range of expression and emotions reflecting the lives of people caught up in a “war zone” in a border state along the Potomac River near the nation’s capital.

The rest, as they say, is history....

Washington Revels

Since 1983, Washington Revels has revived and celebrated cultural traditions from around the world—music, dance, storytelling, and drama—that have bound communities together across time and place. Revels celebrations include adults and children of all ages. Audience participation is a hallmark. Our largest event, The Christmas Revels, is performed every December for over 10,000 people who sing along and dance in the aisles. Other annual events include May Revels and other Spring celebrations, Festival Day, Harvest Dance, SunFest, Community and Pub Sings, and holiday parades. Three smaller ensembles perform over 25 times a year at different venues. Whether participating from audience or stage, people invariably leave Revels events with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts.

Heritage Montgomery

The Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County (Heritage Montgomery) was established in October 2003 by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority to raise the profile of Montgomery County’s rich history. Its mission is to support heritage tourism to county historical, cultural, and natural areas thereby enhancing economic activity in the designated heritage areas. Heritage Montgomery wants to inspire the curiosity of county residents and visitors alike, encouraging them to travel around the county to experience our area’s fascinating history first-hand.