Save September 15 for great Tamworth living history program! And the week before for singing workshops!

Ever wonder what Tamworth was like in its earliest days? Curious about the legendary Parson Samuel Hidden and his leadership back then? Enjoy singing or listening to lively music? Like to learn to sing powerful a cappella 4-part harmony? Fond of early New England architecture? Wonder what our old Town House was like when new in 1793? You can experience all or parts of the above this week in Tamworth Village (scroll down for detailed schedule):

RAISE THE ROOF! Tamworth’s Parson Samuel Hidden, Singing Master, his Meeting House and the Songs Sung There, 1793-1837 September 15, 2012

A Collaborative Program of the Tamworth Historical Society, the Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts, the Tamworth Congregational Church, the Cook Memorial Library, and the Remick Farm Museum, to bring alive and celebrate:

1) Parson Samuel Hidden's life and key role in Tamworth 1792-1837 (for one, as a Music Master teaching Shape-Note Songs.) His descendants and others will outline his extraordinary life, and how it still affects the town today. Also slides of subsequent generations and their stories in brief. (Sept. 12 is the 220th anniversary of Hidden’s ordination.)

2) Shape-Note Music, its importance to New England in that era, and the joy of singing it today. WORKSHOPS ALL THE WEEK BEFORE WILL BE OFFERED by Larry Gordon, founder of Village Harmony in VT and shape-note expert, culminating in Saturday performances. Larry will also explain the history of the genre. Morning sessions for kids at K. A. Brett and the Community School—we hope the kids will join us on the 15th. Evening sessions for adults and all ages: 6-9 PM Thursday and Friday, Sept. 13 and 14, and 10-11 the morning of the 15th—we hope participants will stay and sing in the afternoon, too (see below), if possible. It is not required to attend every workshop session. Free; contributions gratefully accepted. Do one session, a few, or all. Contact: Peggy Johnson, <>  or 323-8877. Sponsored by The Yeoman's Fund. The public is also welcome to sing with Larry following Farmer's Table Lunch at the Community School in South Tamworth on Thursday, September 13, from 1:00 to 3:15 PM (lunch at 12; call 323-7000 to let them know you're coming).

3) The unique architecture of our 1793 Town House where Hidden and his parishioners sang. Peter Benes, author of Meetinghouses of Early New England, will give a talk with slides on how our Town House is both typical and unusual; Bob Cottrell, Tamworth historian (Remick Museum, THS, now Henney Collection) will lead an exploration of the building.


10:00-11:00—Shape-note song rehearsal and sing with Larry Gordon, Tamworth Congregational Church. Public welcome to listen.

11:00-12:00—Larry Gordon will talk on the History of Shape-Note Songs, with participatory singing—Tamworth Congregational Church

12:00—Lunch: BYO sandwich, or pick one up at The Other Store or the Lyceum—Picnic on a porch or lawn, in a park or cafe—See the Tamworth Historical Society display at the Cook Memorial Library—Visit the Remick Country Doctor Farm and Museum and its walking trails—All easily done on foot.

1:00 - The Remarkable Life of Rev. Samuel Hidden, with Don Sutherland and other Hidden descendants—with slides, displays and songs—Tamworth Congregational Church

2:00—Peter Benes, noted New England historian and author of The Meetinghouses of Early New England, will speak on meetinghouses and how ours is both typical and unique—with slides and songs—at the Town House, ground floor.  (Peter will have a few copies of his book for sale.)

2:45—Tour of the Town House and its features with Tamworth historian Bob Cottrell, followed by a visit to the building's original 1793 site, 3/4 mile up the road near Ordination Rock, the site of Sam'l Hidden's house, and his grave.

3:30—Final Songfest, for whoever is still ambulatory!—in the Church.

Hope you can attend! Please spread the word to others who might be interested!

You are welcome to attend the parts of the program that most interest you; there is plenty to see and do around the Village too. (The Tamworth Farmers' Market will be open 9-12 AM up the street.)

The entire program is free; some of the sponsoring groups will have contribution baskets if you would like to help promote their work.

Plenty of parking near the Church and Town House, which are right across the street from each other.

Kate Thompson for the Tamworth Historical Society Peggy Johnson for the Yeoman's Fund for the Arts