Finnegans Wake will present a concert in conjunction with a special exhibit and slide lecture on pump organs and related musical instruments on Saturday, August 17 at the Stone County Historical Museum.
Many people recall seeing parlor organs years ago when the instruments were often cherished centerpieces of furnishings in rural homes in America. Pump organs were lighter in weight and less expensive than pianos, therefore they were frequently used in schools and churches as well as in the home. Such organs belong to the free reed family of instruments that includes accordions, concertinas (a favorite of early Salvation Army bands), harmonicas, and other such instruments. The free reed developed centuries ago from the Jew’s harp, another instrument popular in a bygone era.
During the day of August 17, the Museum’s two antique pump organs will be augmented by folding pump organs used by the United States military during both World Wars and the Korean War. Such chaplain’s organs, as they were called were used to accompany hymns in the field and aboard ships. In addition to reed organs, the expanded exhibit will hold a concertina, Cajun accordion, Indian harmonium, and an assortment of Jew’s harps from various regions of the world.
The exhibit will be concurrent with a slide lecture presented by John C. Van Orman on the history of the American free reed organ and related instruments. The lecture will be at 1:00 in the Museum’s auditorium, admission is free.
Finnegans Wake will perform traditional and contemporary songs and instrumental music of America and the British Isles in a concert on Saturday evening. The trio accompany themselves on an array of musical instruments including guitars, fiddles, mandolins, concertinas, hurdy-gurdy, mountain dulcimer, and harmonium. Admission is $10 for the 7:00pm concert.
The Stone County Historical Museum is located in the old primary school building at 206 School Avenue in Mountain View.