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Smithsonian Exhibition Explores Roots Music Traditions

The Colleton Museum & Farmers Market, Colleton Center, Colleton County Memorial Library, Walterboro/Colleton Chamber of Commerce and Colleton County Arts Council in cooperation with the SC Humanities Council will explore this and other aspects of America’s roots music as it hosts the local showing of New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition. New Harmonies will be on view beginning Saturday, November 17, 2012 and continuing through January 6, 2013.

The kick-off event for the exhibition will be Saturday, November 17, featuring the nationally known Gullah/Spiritual singers, Marlena Smalls and the Hallelujah Singers and Colleton County’s own Colleton Mass Choir performing at the Hampton Street Auditorium at 6 pm. The concert will be immediately followed by a reception and the first view of the exhibit at the Colleton Museum and Farmers Market. Tickets for the concert are $10 for adults and $5 for children and will be available for sale at the Colleton Museum and Farmers Market beginning November 1.

When you stop and listen, you quickly realize that music is all around us — at a local festival, at a dance hall on a Saturday night, or on your radio or your .mp3 player. As Americans from a variety of heritages shared cultural influences, musicians found new ways to play unique sounds learned from new neighbors on traditional instruments. The inevitable intermingling of musical influences created exciting new sounds – new American music.

Colleton Museum & Farmers Market, its community partners, and the surrounding community have been expressly chosen by the SC Humanities Council to host New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music as part of the Museum on Main Street project – a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The project has also received funding from the City of Walterboro Accommodations Tax Funds.

Through a selection of photographs, recordings, instruments, lyrics and artist profiles, New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music will explore the distinct cultural identities of American roots music forms. The exhibition will examine the progression of American roots music, as rich and eclectic as our country itself.

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