Apologies to all for recent schedule changes caused by the ripple effects of Hurricane Matthew last month. I’m also cancelling this month’s encore performance of “Opera in Charleston, Part 2,” which I had scheduled for November 10th at 6 p.m. The library will be closing early that day (in advance of the Veteran’s Day holiday), so the opera program cannot take place. That’s my fault. Hopefully these schedule snafus will disappear soon and we can get back to enjoying an uninterrupted flow of events. Thanks for your patience!
Back by popular demand, this month I’m repeating “The Forgotten Pleasure Gardens of Early Charleston” at the Hurd / St. Andrew’s Region Library off Sam Rittenburg Blvd., on Monday the 14th at 6 p.m. If you’re interested in the early social life of our community, and have an interest in horticulture, this program is for you. We’ll look at the summer “pleasure gardens” where folks strolled under the moonlight while enjoying their favorite beverages and listening to their favorite music, and we’ll look at how time and “progress” have rolled over these once-bucolic sites.
On Thursday the 17th I’ll be at the Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island to help celebrate the release of the newest U.S. quarter featuring an image of Fort Moultrie and Sergeant William Jasper. The unveiling ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m., and at 12 noon I’ll give a lecture titled “Sergeant William Jasper: An Enigmatic Hero” inside the fort’s visitor’s center at 1214 Middle Street. Both of these events are free and open to the public.
This month marks the 250th anniversary of the first concerts of the first musical organization in America—Charleston’s St. Cecilia Society. You may have heard of this ancient society before because they’re still around, to a degree, although it’s best known today as the most exclusive and secretive social club in town. But few remember that back in 1766, the St. Cecilia Society began as a subscription concert organization, and it continued to present an annual series of fashionable concerts through the spring of 1820. During that half-century of operation, the St. Cecilia Society of Charleston was the premier musical organization in America, and it drew musicians away from the northern cities of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Why did the St. Cecilia Society stop giving concerts in 1820, and why did Charleston cease to be the musical capital of the United States? To learn the answer to these questions, you can either read a book I wrote about this topic, called Votaries of Apollo, or you can join me for a free lecture titled “The 250th Anniversary of Charleston’s First Orchestra,” here at the Main Library on Tuesday, November 29th at 6 p.m.
Don’t forget that the Charleston Time Machine is on the radio as well! Join me for a weekly slice of local history on Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. on WYLA, 97.5 FM (rebroadcast at 11 a.m. on Sundays, too). If you’re outside the range of our library’s new radio station, you can find the live feed by going to YouTube.com and searching for “WYLA live stream.”
Check out the Calendar of Events for information about upcoming radio topics. I hope to have all the recent shows available as podcasts by next month—stay tuned for details!