Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Musical Mastermind Mesmerizes Class

We had the privilege of having Dr. Bruce Polay, father of our own Rachel Polay, come into our class and talk to us about the music of the mid-nineteenth century.

He explained in great detail the type of music by Stephen Foster that revolutionized the music during Lincoln times. He told us that many of the musical selections were discriminatory towards African American people. -

This picture is one of Dr. Polay holding a book that contains many pieces of music by Foster. Its illustrations captured the many stereotypes of African American people of the time.

Among Foster's popular songs are Oh! Susanna (1848), De Camptown Races (1850), Old Folks at Home [aka Swanee River] (1851), My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night! (1853), Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair (1854), Gentle Annie (1856), Beautiful Dreamer (1862), and The Voices That Are Gone (1865).

At the end of the class period, Dr. Polay generously offered an invitation to our entire class to go hear Knox-Galesburg Symphony.

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