Red Cedar Chamber Music Performs Seven Score and Ten

Herbert Hoover Library

                                                                                                               210 Parkside Drive

P.O. Box 488

West Branch, IA  52358-0488





Red Cedar Chamber Music Performs

Seven Score and Ten in West Branch


West Branch, Iowa – The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum presents Red Cedar Chamber Music performing Seven Score and Ten in the Figge Auditorium in the Museum at 210 Parkside Drive in West Branch, Iowa at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 20, 2013. Flutist Jan Boland and guitarist John Dowdall, joined by area historian and storyteller Michael Zahs, commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. American music that inspired the troops, supported the war effort and entertained those at home is interspersed with readings from Civil War letters and narrative.


Admission to the program is free. For information call 319-643-5301.


The performers bring an Iowa perspective to the Civil War era, interspersing the music with conversation about the impact of the war, including readings from Iowa letters of the time paired with some of the earliest tunes published in Iowa.


Performed on instruments from the period, the concert features poignant ballads like Aura Lee, lively dance tunes like Governor’s Grays Schottisch and The Cruel War Quickstep, battle-inspired melodies like Ellsworth’s Funeral March and Sherman’s March to the Sea, fife calls that led the troops into battle and nostalgic tunes sung by soldiers both North & South like Auld Lang Syne.


Music and dancing were the main 19th–century American leisure pursuits and were especially important to ease the hard circumstances of everyday life during the Civil War years.  Artistic Director, John Dowdall notes, “Audience members will hear beautiful ballads and dances by America’s first popular composer and musical icon, Stephen Collins Foster, plus music by his American contemporaries and will likely feel the urge to tap their toes to an energetic schottische or waltz.”


Jan Boland and John Dowdall have been performing 19th-c. music on period instruments, a wooden flute and a gut-strung guitar from 1830, for nearly 30 years. In 1997 they formed Red Cedar Chamber Music to explore chamber music for flute, guitar and other instruments. Red Cedar Chamber Music’s first recording, Czech Chamber Music, received a Critics’ Choice award from the American Record Guide, which stated, “Chamber music should be just like this—intimate, bonding, and conversational.”


Flutist Jan Boland, the Executive Director of Red Cedar Chamber Music, holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Iowa. Guitarist John Dowdall, the Artistic Director of Red Cedar Chamber Music, holds a Master’s degree in musicology from the University of Iowa. They have each been awarded a Solo Recitalist Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts and together have appeared in concert at festivals in Europe, Canada and the U.S. Their concerts and ten recordings on the Fleur de Son Classics label feature musical interpretation on both modern and historic 19th-century flutes.


Red Cedar Chamber Music’s newest compact disc featuring chamber music written by Iowa composer Harvey Sollberger for Red Cedar Chamber Music, was released in October 2012 on the Fleur de Son Classics label and is distributed worldwide by Naxos of America.


Historian and storyteller Michael Zahs has a consummate knowledge of this home state of Iowa. As one of the founding members of Ainsworth Community Together, Michael helped to purchase and renovate the Ainsworth Opera House in 1988. He is an avid collector, preserver and restorer of our combined history. Michael’s gift for educating and storytelling brings history to life through his many speaking engagements and his regular presentations at the Ainsworth Opera House ranging from rare silent films to feedsacks. Michael has for many years organized and led bus trips across Iowa to familiarize professional educators and the general public with Iowa’s history, landscape, architecture and lore.


The Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum is located in West Branch, Iowa, ¼ mile off  I-80 at Exit 254. The performance is free and begins at 2:00 p.m., regular admission fee will be charged to tour the museum galleries.