Asbury Prof Leads Civil War-era Band Event

Dr. Ron Holz will emcee an American Civil War Sesquicentennial Music Festival in Frankfort.
Dr. Ron Holz will emcee an American Civil War Sesquicentennial Music Festival in Frankfort.

Dr. Ronald Holz, Professor of Music at Asbury University, will serve as Master of Ceremonies at an American Civil War Sesquicentennial Music Festival in Frankfort, Ky., on Sept. 1-4, 2011.

Entitled “Cornets and Cannons,” the event will feature some of America’s finest Civil War-era brass bands, leading performers in both band and chamber music of the period, as well as outstanding scholars who will give presentations at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. Most of the events in downtown Frankfort are free and open to the public. Complete details can be found at www.cornetsandcannons.com.

The weekend begins on Thursday evening at the Thomas D. Clark Center, where Holz will speak on Brass Bands of the 19th Century and provide an overview of the event. Throughout the weekend, Holz will guide the multi-faceted celebration of Civil War music. Other performers and speakers include musicians who have been featured on noted films such as “Gettysburg,” “Gods and Generals” and the famous Ken Burns Civil War series, including the following:

  • Saxton’s Cornet Band (Central Kentucky)
  • Federal City Brass Band (Baltimore, Md.)
  • Old Towne Brass Band (Huntsville, Ala.)
  • Wildcat Regimental Band (Gettysburg, Pa.)
  • Camp Chase Fife and Drums (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Helen Beedle, concert pianist (Lehigh University)
  • The Metropolitan Minstrels (Indianapolis, Ind.)

The four-day event closes with a Battle of the Bands at the Ward Oates Amphitheatre along the Kentucky River in Frankfort. On the final piece, a special arrangement of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” five bands will join together, led by Holz, with the addition of church bells ringing, cannons and muskets firing, and even a few rockets.

Holz has served on the faculty at Asbury University since 1981. He is a world-renowned authority on the history, literature and culture of brass bands. In addition to his duties at Asbury, where he leads the University orchestra, he directs the internationally acclaimed Lexington Brass Band and the Salvation Army Student Fellowship Brass Band of Asbury University. He also serves as artistic advisor to The Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, Ky.

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