Ampersand to return for Lancaster Court Day
, 2015

Ampersand to return
for Lancaster Court Day

As part of the Lancaster Court Day Festival on April 12, Ampersand will perform songs of the colonial and early American eras at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. This will be their third visit to Lancaster County.

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Each one-hour concert will take place on the Mary Ball Washington Museum and Library grounds, 8346 Mary Ball Road, Lancaster, announced executive director Karen Hart. The event is sponsored by the museum with support from a grant from Rappahannock Foundation for the Arts.

Visitors should bring their own lawn chairs or blankets, said Hart. Food concessions will be available and picnics are welcome. Pets are not permitted. 

Admission is free and other festival activities including arts and crafts vendors, children’s old-fashioned games, history exhibits and museum tours will continue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Ampersand describes itself as “a group of musicians who combine their love of music with a fascination with history, focusing on music that everyday people would have heard, sung, and played and exploring how traditional folk tunes weave through the centuries and decades.” 

The group’s core members Beth Lawton and Dick Hogle, of Denton, Md., have collegiate backgrounds in history and American culture studies and more than 20 years of musical experience, said Hart.

Joined by Lawton’s son and fellow musician Topher Lawton, at the Court Day performances they will present a variety of traditional songs with roots in colonial and early America and featuring vocal harmonies and folk instruments such as guitar, hammered dulcimer, banjo and mandolin, she said.

“We also explain the history of the songs, where and how music fit into the lives of early Americans, and how songs, tunes, and instruments have evolved over time,” said Lawton. “We find great joy in bringing this music to modern ears. Listeners are encouraged to ask questions, explore areas of particular interest, and join in on sing-alongs.”

“We hosted Ampersand in 2012 and 2013 for concerts of Civil War music and had great audience response.  Ampersand provides quality music that is entertaining as well as educational for all ages,” said Hart.  We are very excited to bring the group back in a new way in the Court Day setting and with a different program of colonial and early American songs.” 

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