Professor Arranges Civil War Musical Numbers for CD12.13.2005
EMORY, VA — Three pieces of Civil War-era music arranged by an Emory & Henry College music professor will be included in a compact disc album of brass music.
The three arrangements by Dr. Matthew Frederick come from the 26th North Carolina Regimental Band's collection of music, the only complete set of Civil War band books in the South. The pieces have not been performed since the late 19th century.
The musical numbers for the CD will be performed by the American Brass Quintet, the faculty brass quintet for the Julliard School of Music and America's premier brass quintet. The release of the CD is expected in the fall of 2006.
The title of the CD, "Cheers Boys Cheer," is also the title of one of the pieces arranged by Frederick. The other two pieces arranged by the professor and included in the CD are titled "Screech Owl Quickstep" and "Grand Confederate Quickstep."
"The remarkable aspect of this music is that it has not been played or even seen for more than 100 years, and now it has the chance to be performed and celebrated," Frederick said.
The pieces were designed to cheer the spirits of Confederate troops on long marches and after battles. The North Carolina Regimental Band was a personal favorite of North Carolina Gov. Zebulon Vance.
In arranging the pieces, Frederick worked with rare music books that often were hand-written and in poor condition. Many books suffered water damage. A few were stained by blood.
"One actually has a bullet lodged in it when the book literally saved the life of the musician who was carrying it in his pocket," Frederick said.
The Moravian Music Foundation in Winston-Salem, N.C., holds the seven volumes of music books from which Frederick worked. A summer research grant from Emory & Henry and the Mellon Foundation helped fund Frederick's efforts.
Frederick serves as an assistant professor of trumpet and director of instrumental studies at Emory & Henry.