Sing Civil War songs with Uncle Billy’s Balladeers

NEW SCOTLAND — On Wednesday, Oct. 2, the Clarksville Historical Society presents “Civil War Camp Music” with Uncle Billy’s Balladeers.

The interactive theater performance, featuring songs and poems of the Civil War, starts at 7 p.m. at the Clarksville Community Church on Delaware Turnpike in Clarksville.

Uncle Billy’s Balladeers first performed in the historic Gallupville House at the Preservation of the Union Festival in 2007.

Since that performance, founder Richard Sherman (also known as Percy Leroy), has worked with many other musicians, thespians, and historians to make the Uncle Billy's Balladeers experience even more enjoyable and interactive.

The Balladeers offer an array of programs, including theatrical productions of historic events. The Balladeers have been enjoying wonderful receptions this year, with performances at many local events and historical societies around upstate New York and environs.

The Balladeers’ favorite and most requested program, “Civil War Camp Music,” has the audience joining in on period songs of the Civil War era from both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line.

“This program has been fostered by UBB member Nancy Frueh,” says Sherman. “Nancy was the logical choice for the Camp Music program as it is basically the continuation of what [her late husband] Bill provided for so many years — music the way it was — and we are proud to play a part in continuing that legacy.”

The Balladeers use the actual words, which in some cases offend our current social and moral values, but the purpose of the show is to provide the audience with a window into the thinking of our ancestors of the Civil War era.

“I can't think of a better way than through the words of their own poems and songs.” says Sherman.

All are to recall with the audience the causes and effects as well as the results of the Civil War on the battlefield and at home.

The lyrics and images for all of the songs are provided, so all you need to do is bring your voice and immerse yourself in the experience of a time that is really not so long ago in our past.

Warning: Reading this announcement makes you a member of Uncle Billy's Balladeers for this date, so don't be late for the show!

The public is invited, and refreshments will follow the program.  For more information, call 768-2870.

Editor’s note: Marilyn Miles is the program chairwoman for the Clarksville Historical Society.