Concerts from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2021 at 12 Noon (ET)

Brother Arnold Hadd

Brother Arnold Hadd

Kevin SiegfriedKevin Siegfried

How to watch...

You can interact with the artist via text chat exclusively on Facebook during and immediately after the premiere:

The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, more commonly known as the Shakers, was founded circa 1747 in England. The Shakers emigrated from England and settled in Revolutionary colonial America in 1774. From their inception, the Shakers composed thousands of songs, dances, hymns, and anthems which were an important part of Shaker worship. Shakers' earliest music was shared by word of mouth and letters circulated among their villages. Many Believers wrote out the lyrics in their own manuscript hymnals. In 1813, they published Millennial Praises, a hymnal containing only lyrics. Other Shaker scribes used a form of music notation called the letteral system, using letters of the alphabet for notes, along with a simple notation of conventional rhythmic values. The Library of Congress Music division has manuscripts in its collections with such transcriptions. Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in Maine, established at the height of the Shaker movement in the United States in the 18th-century, is the last active Shaker community in the United States, and has three members as of 2021. Brother Arnold Hadd, one of those members, actively carries on the 200-plus-year oral tradition of singing Shaker songs. Brother Arnold has been collaborating with American composer Kevin Siegfried, whose choral arrangements of Shaker songs are frequently performed by modern vocal ensembles. While staying true to the essential nature of the original songs, Siegfried’s choral arrangements serve to bring the music to a wider audience. Siegfried also does archival research and work in the Sabbathday Lake Library and sees his choral arrangements as a form of musical stewardship, helping to safeguard and bring awareness to this important American musical tradition. This concert will offer a glimpse into the transmission, history, and meaning of Shaker song, and Brother Arnold’s relationship with Kevin Siegfried. Brother Arnold will demonstrate songs as he sings them, and Radiance, a Seattle, Washington, choral ensemble, will perform Siegfried’s arrangements.

A free noon concert series presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the 2021 concerts will stream on the American Folklife Center’s Facebook page, Wednesdays from March 10 - September. Artists will be present in the chat area to say hello and answer questions during the concert and for a few minutes after it ends. Video will also be posted online here and on the Library of Congress YouTube channel. NO TICKETS REQUIRED.