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Concord Chats: Our First 250 Years!

See the schedule at, Concord 250!




“Preserving the past for future generations”


The Penacook Historical Society - A Bird's Eye View of Penacook
A bird's eye view of Penacook


Concord 250 Memorial Day Weekend Series with the Wildcat Regiment Band

The Penacook Historical Society “Unearths” A 137-Year Old Musical Time Capsule
Once-Famous Music, Not Heard Since 1878, Will Be Played Live On Memorial Day Weekend
Concord, NH:  For Concord's 250th anniversary, the Penacook Historical Society is opening a 137-year old musical time capsule: the once-famous but nearly-forgotten Port Royal Band books. Written in Port Royal, SC, during the Civil War, brought home to Penacook, and made famous by Brown’s Band in the 1870s, the band books have gone largely unnoticed since 1878. This Memorial Day weekend, in a concert series featuring The Wildcat Regiment Band of Home, PA, this rousing music will fill and revitalize our streets again, as it did after the Civil War.

“You have a really proud history,” said John Brookfield, author of “The History of the Port Royal Bands,” to be published this summer. “You’re on the map because of those books.” Brookfield led a walking tour of band-related sites last summer in Penacook, captured in a locally-produced video by Penacook Films.* Several of the original band members rose to prominence after the War, including innovative industrialist D. Arthur Brown, veterans’ advocate and NH Insurance Commissioner John C. Linehan, and NH Secretary of State Nathan W. Gove, whose son enlisted with him as a drummer at age 12.

The Wildcat Regiment Band, which performs regularly for the National Park Service at historic Civil War battlegrounds, is thrilled to be bringing the music home again. The Band performs in Civil War-era uniforms and plays on period instruments from a private collection. In addition to the Port Royal music, they will play little-known selections from the Manchester Cornet Band and the 25th Massachusetts Band. There are five events in the series, and according to Bandmaster B. J. Pino, “someone should be able to follow us all weekend and not hear any musical piece twice.”

See below for a series schedule. The outdoor Penacook and Contoocook concerts will be light and fun, perfect for families with young children. History enthusiasts will be able to engage with the Band and view their unique instruments up close on Saturday afternoon at the Penacook Historical Society. An authentic Concord Coach will be on display at the two Penacook events if the weather is fair, courtesy of The Abbot-Downing Historical Society. The series will culminate in a free Sunday evening Grand Concert with rich historical narrative at the Concord City Auditorium, and a short, reverential performance at Concord’s Old North Cemetery during Monday’s Memorial Day parade.

All events are free and family-friendly, thanks to generous donations from The Walker Lecture Fund and others. The series is a Concord 250 Partner Event.

Complete Schedule

For Concord's 250th anniversary, we are opening a 137-year old MUSICAL time capsule: the once-famous Port Royal Band books. In a Memorial Day weekend concert series featuring The Wildcat Regiment Band, this rousing music will fill and revitalize our streets again, as it did after the Civil War. Each event is unique, with different music all weekend. Five events, rain or shine, all FREE and Family Friendly!

Sat., May 23, 12:00-1:30 pm, Penacook Riverside Concert and Picnic
Riverside Park, Tanner St., Penacook (rain venue Washington Street School)
Opening concert by the Wildcat Regiment Band, with special visit from a Concord Coach.

Sat., May 23, 3:00 pm, Meet the Wildcat Regiment Band!
Penacook Historical Society, 11 Penacook St., Penacook
The Concord Coach will lead us to the historic Rolfe Barn for an in-depth conversation about the bands and music.

Sun., May 24, 2:00-3:00 pm, Contoocook Concert
Llewellyn Bandstand, Main St., Contoocook (rain venue Hopkinton High School)
Outdoor concert in honor of Hopkinton’s 250th, home of one set of the Port Royal Band books.

Sun., May 24, 7:00-9:00 pm, Grand Concert by The Wildcat Regiment Band
Concord City Auditorium, 2 Prince St., Concord
Celebrate Concord’s 250th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War with music from the Port Royal Band. Experience the full musical impact of a Grand Concert in the style of the 19th century.

Mon., May 25, 9:00 am, Concord Memorial Day Parade
Short performance at Old North Cemetery to honor our veterans and service members.

Image of 3rd NH Regiment Band, courtesy of John Brookfield: http://tinyurl.com/3rdNHRegimentBand
Image of Wildcat Regiment Band, courtesy of Rick McFerron: http://tinyurl.com/WildcatsInUniform
The Penacook Historical Society                                                       For more information, contact Althea Barton
16 Penacook St., Penacook, NH 03303                                            603-753-9609
Preserving the past for future generations                                       althea9999@gmail.com

Thank you for sponsoring...

The Walker Lecture Fund
20 Kensington Rd.
Concord, NH 03301


The American Legion Post 31, Penacook NH

American Legion Post 31
11 Charles Street
Penacook, NH 03303

Concord Veterans Council

The Penacook Village Association
PO Box 6174, Penacook NH 03303

Town of Hopkinton 250th

Contributions from people like you,

Stephen Shurtleff

Carol Foss



Upcoming “Concord Chats” events will be 1st/3rd Thursday, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., February 2015 – May 2015 (with break for summer; resuming October – December 2015) at various locations around the City of Concord including Penacook!

Concord 250, Penacook Historical Society, Concord Historical Society, Concord Public Library and more community partners are hosting the events, if your organization or business is interested in hosting an upcoming “Concord Chats,” please contact Kim Murdoch, Concord 250 Project Manager at ConcordNH250@gmail.com.

Stay tuned for more events this year to celebrate our 250th Anniversary as Concord. A neat website to visit with details of upcoming events is Concord250.org and click "Events"

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