Programs Combining History and Music will Delight Young and Old

Edited by Mary Lee Black.

Saturday, December 2nd offers programs that will both entertain and educate young and old alike. The morning carriage tours of the “Doors of Chatham” provide historical, architectural, and secret stories to insure that all participants will enjoy our beautiful Main Street with renewed admiration. Come join fellow Chathamites from the past to learn some of Chathamís best kept secrets. The 10 AM and 11 AM tours terminate at Emmanuel Episcopal Church at 10:30 and 11:30 where tour participants may join others inside to hear the history of the beautiful 1865 New England design organ. Kenyon Scott, musical director, will also play a selection to showcase the organís “singing diapasons, lilting flutes, mild strings, and pungent reed.” The rhythm changes then as participants are treated to two different performances by local high school chorales. The Dan River High School Chorus performs during the 10:30 segment with the Chatham High School Chorus following at the 11:30 program. All musical programs are free and open to the public.

The Pittsylvania County Courthouse is the scene for another superb program starting at 11:30 AM. Jim Crawford is on hand to introduce and to present the winner of the Best Documentary Film Award in the Appalachian Film Festival of 2006, “From Jamestown to the Buyout, Down in the Old Belt: Voices from the Tobacco South traces the history and culture of tobacco in the Old Belt of Virginia.” Virginia Senate Joint Resolution No. 174 commends this film as “an outstanding documentary film on the history and culture of tobacco in Virginia.” Rex Bowman of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reviews the film as “a remarkable achievement Ė 400 years of history condensed into one eloquent film that lets tobacco farmers speak for themselves.” Mr. Crawford will be delighted to interact with the audience to answer or explain any aspects of his film. The film is also free and open to all.

Following the film at 12:30 Kinney Rorrer and the New North Carolina Ramblers pick up the tempo with a 90 minute Old Time Music Concert sure to delight all. Mr. Rorrer plans to outline the music from various historical periods in our region. Our very popular historian and musician is sure to delight all with his knowledge, talent, and wit. This concert is provided to the townspeople and visitors as an early Christmas present from Chatham First.

The bus tours of South Main Street begin at 1 PM and 2PM from the Chatham Baptist Church Portico. Once again, Georgia OíKeefe, Governor Swanson, Rev. Smith, Jacob Sours, Captain Pigg, and the widow Matoaka Sims insure that your tour is interesting and entertaining. Tickets for the carriage and bus tours are available at $4 for adults and $2 for children.

End this historic weekend with a moving multi-church cantata, An Early American Service of Lessons and Carols, at Watson Memorial Methodist Church on Main Street at 3 PM. Our wonderful local musicians are accompanied by a string ensemble, a small wind ensemble, and master violinist from the Renaissance Music Academy from Blacksburg, Virginia. This concert is also free to the public.

These programs, accompanied by Breakfast with Santa, vendors, historic crafters, frontiersman, and native-American programs, a live auction of Chatham Arts Chairs, wonderful food, and a beautifully decorated town are guaranteed to be a special part of your Chatham Christmas.

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