Early American Music and Arts
Welcome to Early American Music and Arts. We are musicians, artists, and historians who are passionate about bringing the past into the present. Bringing the past into the present? How is that even possible? Is it even possible? With Early American Music and Arts, it is. We are dedicated to preserving many of the arts and skills that helped define pre-industrial American culture. From performing music on the harpsichord and flute that Washington enjoyed to offering hands-on demonstrations of how 18th century people made cosmetics, embroider clothes, we present the ingenuity of yesteryear. Please explore our site to learn more about our many offerings, and feel free to contact us regarding booking a program. We are more than happy to work with you to create the ideal presentation for your organization. Eric Lichack, Eliza Vincz and Peter Cutul offer a variety of their own separate programs as well as programs done together.
Erik Lichack holds his BA in Music Education, with a concentration in harpsichord. His teachers include Gwendolyn Toth and Kenneth Hamrick. Originally a percussionist, he studied with Mitch Erwin and Barry Centanni. Erik researches, collects, and performs popular music from America and England during the last quarter of the 18th century. Also a researcher of Revolutionary War military music, he is the main contributor and co-author of Military Music of the American Revolution, which is now used by the West Point Band, and various living history groups.
Erik has experience teaching music in private and public schools and has also worked at Fort Montgomery State Historic Site, assisting with educational programs from fourth grade student field trips to Army staff tours and demonstrations. He constructed the site’s reproduction clothing for the interpretive staff, helped care for a colonial garden, and demonstrated eighteenth century music and crafts. Erik is also part of 3rd New Jersey Regiment, Fife and Drum Corps Performing from the unit’s surviving fife book and other period sources on antique and reproduction instruments, the band is dedicated to preserving the memory and music of the fifers and drummers who served in the 3rd New Jersey Regiment, the “Jersey Greys.”
Eliza Vincz holds her BA in History of Art from Rosemont College focusing on the social, political, and economic aspects of late 18th century fashion in America and Europe. In addition to studying the fashion, she also creates her own period clothing using materials and techniques used in the late 18th century. Eliza does research on period hairstyles and cosmetics implementing her research into her overall look and presentation. Eliza is a ballet and Ceili Irish dancer and does research on dances practiced in late 18th century America and England. She is also knowledgeable on the history of tarot card reading in the late 18th century and does historical tarot card readings with reproduction cards. With experience in musical theatre, Eliza brings enthusiasm to her living history presentations that makes history fun for all ages. She currently works at the Library Company of Burlington where she is in charge of the children’s story time.
Peter Cutul has worked as Head Interpreter at Fort Montgomery State Historic Site for the past 8 years, where he has designed and led school programs, group tours, and many of the site’s special events and living history programs, including the ever popular Evening Lantern Tour and the site’s summer camp program. Peter specializes in Revolutionary War Era Drumming, Gardening, and Woodworking, in addition to regional Native American skills. He is a graduate of Bates College where he majored in History and Anthropology. Since graduating, over a decade ago, he has also worked with Children and Adults alike teaching wilderness skills and campcraft. Peter is also part of 3rd New Jersey Regiment, Fife and Drum Corps Performing from the unit’s surviving fife book and other period sources on antique and reproduction instruments, the band is dedicated to preserving the memory and music of the fifers and drummers who served in the 3rd New Jersey Regiment, the “Jersey Greys.”
Contact Information: Erik Lichack or Eliza Vincz at [email protected] or by phone 201-221-6843 or 609-500-2740
Gordon Thomas Ward
Story-Songs of History
Audiences adore this evocative presentation of original songs and their inspiring stories celebrating the rich histories and secreted tales of our shared past. Many of the songs Gordon performs are from his CD Welcome to the Past. Presented in brilliant detail, Mr. Ward uses a “behind the music” format combining enchanting anecdotes, vocals, and a multi-instrumental accompaniment to transport listeners on a captivating journey through various time periods and historic events including the Revolutionary War, the Civil Way, railroads in NJ, Trail of Tears, the Lenape, Robert Frost, and more!
History on the Hoof
An educational performance troupe that employs storytelling, roleplay, displays, and music to illustrate historical topics. Stacy Roth and David Emerson offer a variety of their own separate programs as well as programs done together.
Roth is an interpreter, museum educator, historian, and information specialist who has performed and presented for museums, libraries, schools, civic organizations, and festivals throughout the area. Emerson has worked at living history museums for over 25 years as an independent storyteller, teaching history through the eyes of a “person of the past.” He is a veteran of Colonial Williamsburg, Plimoth Plantation, Morristown National Historical Park, and the Old Barracks Museum. They will appear in period costumes.
Contact Information: Stacy F. Roth / B. David Emerson, P.O. Box 421, Burlington, NJ 08016;
609-239-2706 voicemail; [email protected]
Stacy Roth’s Programs-
Colonial Frolick: Early American Songs, Singing Games and More
Stacy Roth and music therapist/trumpeter Flora Newberry present their favorite rhymes, riddles, rounds, ditties, instruments, and dances from the 17th to early 19th centuries. Lots of audience participation. For kids, their parents, and their grandparents!
Fife and Drum
Revolutionary War and general repertoire available for festivals, event openings, etc.
Stacy Roth and David Emerson Programs-
Legends and Lore of the Winter Holidays
Join Interpreters Stacy Roth and Dave Emerson as they conjure the ghosts of Christmases past. Hear the traditional songs and stories, learn of archaic customs and carols and discover how the Victorians in general — and three authors in particular — revitalized and reinvented our favorite holiday. A veritable cornucopia of holiday treats certain to delight the entire family.
Christmas Carols * Tavern Songs * Songs of the Sea: Spiced Punch
Quartet with David, Stacy, and musicians and puppeteers Tom & Marianne Tucker. Costumed performance of Victorian (and earlier) Christmas Songs, Colonial Tavern Ditties, and Sea Songs of all periods — in appropriate historical dress. Our programs can include anecdotes and introductions of musical selections, if desired.
John Burkhalter III
Independent scholar and lecturer
Contact information: [email protected]
Tuneful Felicity: Francis Hopkinson and Musick
Francis Hopkinson is best known as an ardent patriot, one of New Jersey’s Five Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Delegate in 1778 to the Continental Congress and later an active member of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Like his friends Franklin and Jefferson, music and the social harmony it engendered held pride of place. Hopkinson, who maintained residences in Philadelphia and Bordentown, was a proficient harpsichordist and is credited as the first native born composer in America. The program will survey Hopkinson’s musical world and will draw specifically on printed music he is known to have purchased in Philadelphia and from London publishers and from his ca. 1764 manuscript volume of music for [or arranged for] the harpsichord.
Musical Life in Colonial Williamsburg
In 18th-century Williamsburg the study of music was a subject of serious interest and social refinement. Harpsichords and other musical instruments were imported for Williamsburg’s town houses and nearby plantations. The presentation will be based on one of the most important Colonial music inventories known, that of “Mr. Ogle, musick master lately arrived in Williamsburg from London.”
Mr. Jefferson and His Music
Polymath Thomas Jefferson, the “Sage of Monticello” was ardent in his devotion to music. Jefferson owned numerous instruments imported from London and an extraordinary collection of printed music. He believed that music was indispensable to the fabric of culture and civilization in fact “a most delightful recreation.” A brief illustrated lecture will be complemented with a performance of music drawn from Mr. Jefferson’s 1783 inventory of musical holdings.
The Fifes and Drums of the Old Barracks
The Fifes & Drums of the Old Barracks are a group of musicians who perform late 18th-century music that would have been performed by a military corps of music during the Revolutionary War. Beyond their well-researched repertoire of colonial music, their uniforms are those that would have been worn by the musicians of the 2nd New Jersey Regiment. Four of the eight companies of this regiment were raised at the Trenton barracks in December of 1775. The Fife & Drum Corps made their debut at the Old Barracks Association’s 2004 Capital Ball. Comprised of middle and high school students and professional musicians from the Trenton area, they have been organized and trained under the direction of Stephen Hudak, Andrew Wierzbowski, John Lane, James Fultz, and Timothy Ross.
They are available to perform at events.
Contact Information: Stephen Hudak at [email protected] or call 609-396-1776