Last Winter Colony Concert Series before summer will be held Sunday

The Winter Colony Concert Series continues this week with “Music For Flute and Piano,” the last concert before the series goes on summer hiatus.

The concert, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 23, at the Aiken County Historical Museum, will feature flutist Tammy Evans Yonce and pianist Kimberlee Turnbough, along with concert organizer and guest vocalist Diane Haslam. The concert will be followed by a champagne reception with the musicians at The Willcox; concert tickets entitle the holder to one free glass of champagne or soft drink.

“The most substantial part of the program will be a piece by Claude Bolling, ‘Suite For Flute And Piano,’ which is jazz inspired,” Haslam said. “I believe it was originally written for Bolling, who was a very accomplished pianist, and Jean-Pierre Rampal, a famous flute player.”

The program will also feature works by Schumann, Saint-Saens and Massenet, among others.

Yonce serves on the faculty of Gainesville State College, Newberry College and USC Aiken and teaches through her private studio. She has performed with contemporary music group Ensemble Ilusis and published articles in Flute Talk magazine.

“The Bolling piece is really interesting,” Yonce said. “It combines flute and jazz piano in a kind of fusion or hybrid. Audiences always like it.”

Turnbough teaches secondary piano and accompanies individual singers and woodwind players at Newberry College. She received her Master of Music degree and certificate of graduate study in musical performance from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where she studied with Dr. Charles Fugo.

“I think the Bolling is my favorite piece in this program, as well, because it stretches me,” Turnbough said. “It’s out of my box. I’m not usually a jazz player, so it’s good for me to work with.”

Tickets to the concert are $10, available in advance at the museum or at the door.

For more information about the concert, call the museum at 642-2015 or Haslam at 649-6050.

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Chamber music series kicks off Feb. 14 with ‘Love Notes’

A new chamber music series at the Aiken County Historical Museum kicks off with romantic “Love Notes” for Valentine’s Day.

“Love Notes,” the first event in the Winter Colony Series, will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14 in the Banksia ballroom. The concert will feature love songs and piano pieces by classical vocalist Diane Haslam and pianist Larry Millen, and poetry read by Jim Anderson.

“Larry Millen is a wonderful pianist who spends most of his time as a doctor,” said Haslam, who is organizing the concert series. “There’s only going to be one solo piano piece in this concert, but it’s one people will love – ‘Claire de Lune’ by Debussy.”

Violinist Laura Tomlin, owner of Carolina String Academy, will also appear in the Valentine’s Day concert, according to Haslam.

Featuring works by Schumann, Faure and several Victorian composers, the program is designed to recreate a possible evening’s entertainment in an estate such as Banksia a century ago.

Haslam is a professional vocalist in the classical music world and has performed with the Netherlands Opera Company, the Cincinnati Opera, the Augusta Opera, the Augusta Choral Society and the Aiken Choral Society.

She is an adjunct professor of voice at Newberry College and gives private voice lessons at her studio, Vocal Dimensions.     Full Details…..

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Dedication of watering trough, hunt breakfast part of Aiken’s birthday

Horses taking a stroll downtown can stop and have a cool drink of water now that a historic water trough has been put back to use.

The Banksia Watering Trough was recently installed on South Boundary Avenue, behind the Frederick Ergle log cabin. It will be dedicated in memory of Dogwood Stable’s Summer Squall on Jan. 23 as a part of the City of Aiken’s 175th anniversary celebration. The event will be held at 11 a.m. at the South Boundary side of the Serpentine Wall of the Aiken County Historical Museum, rain or shine.

The museum is located at 433 Newberry St. S.W.

Elliot Levy, director of the Aiken County Historical Museum, said the trough was moved from behind the Aiken County courthouse to South Boundary by County employees who also installed the trough.

A water fountain was also installed at the site, he said.

“When people go riding or walking in the woods, they can get water from the water fountain, and their horses can get water from the horse trough,” said Levy. “It looks wonderful. It was cleaned up properly, and it looks like everything was done with pride.”

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Civil War-era skirmishes will take place at Aiken museum

The Aiken County Historical Museum will take a trip back to the civil war with an encampment of living history re-enactors the weekend of Jan. 15.

Re-enactors from the Palmetto Sharpshooters and the Hampton Legion out of Columbia will stake their tents on the grounds of the museum the evening of Friday, Jan. 15, with Confederates settled on the South Boundary side of the property near the red schoolhouse, and a small camp of Yankees by the cancer memorial garden, according to museum Executive Director Elliott Levy. But the real action, including a skirmish with firearms drawn, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 16.

“We got permission from Aiken Public Safety to have the skirmishes,” Levy said.

Gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday, and the Wheeler Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans will hold a prayer breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. Skirmishes will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and a cavalry unit also will ride out of Hitchcock Woods at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“It’s going to be quite an array,” Levy said. “It’s not quite an official preview of the Battle of Aiken, but it’s very much in the spirit of that re-enactment.”

At 3 p.m., horse-drawn carriages will bring re-enactors portraying Gens. Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Wade Hampton, Jeb Stuart, A.P. Hill and Stonewall Jackson from the campsite to the museum for a Generals’ Reception in the main ballroom; there will also be a Ladies’ Tea in the parlor at 3 p.m. The encampment ends at 6:30 p.m., and re-enactors will reconvene at the Aiken Municipal Building at 7 p.m. for the Coker Springs Ball.

“The generals are all part of an organization called Voices of the Past, and we travel around giving presentations in character,” said Eddie Rodgers, who portrays Gen. Wade Hampton. “We’ve all researched our characters pretty thoroughly.”

The encampment is free and open to the public for self-guided tours. For more information about the event, call the Aiken County Historical Museum at 642-2015.

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Museum offers hat-making class for upcoming 1835 celebration.

Period costumes from the 1830s will be shown at the Aiken County Historical Museum at Banksia through Jan. 10.

The exhibit will demonstrate various articles of clothing typical of those worn by Aiken residents at the time that the town was officially founded by charter in 1835. The founding and history of Aiken are the focal points of the 2010 yearlong celebration recently announced by the City’s Celebrate Aiken Committee.

On display at the museum will be dresses and hats common to the times, and patterns for interested seamstresses, as well as information about the basic tenets behind the styles of that period.

The styles varied among the various classes of women, according to their means, but every woman strove to be fashionable in her own way. For instance, hats were “quite gaudy,” said Mary White, director of education at the museum, adding that women adorned their hats with feathers, flowers and other bric-a-brac.

White noted that all of the hats on exhibit are for sale, and others will soon be available for purchase at the Museum Gift Shop in the $40 range.

Also available at the museum will be handouts on how to adapt modern clothing to become 1830s-style garments and how to make and decorate an 1835-appropriate hat for Aiken residents to wear to some of the Celebrate Aiken events.

There will also be a handout listing sources for purchasing period clothing.

Those who wish to make their own hats for the upcoming 175th anniversary of Aiken celebration may attend a workshop at the museum on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Full Story…

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Friends’ fundraiser brings ‘Roadshow’ flavor to museum

The Friends of the Aiken County Historical Museum has planned a fundraiser that will bring the flavor of “Antiques Roadshow” to the museum.

The Friends will hold an Antiques Appraisal Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the museum. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served; there will be a $5 fee per item to be appraised with a maximum of three appraisal items per person.

“We’re calling it Aiken’s own ‘Antiques Roadshow,'” said Friends treasurer Penny Alexander. “We did one six years ago, and we’re doing it again now as a fundraiser for the Friends, which will ultimately benefit the Aiken County Historical Museum.”

The event will feature object appraisals by pottery expert Tony Riley, glass and bottle expert Bill Baab, art expert Barney Lamar, jewelry expert Walter Thompson and numismatist and philatelist Bob Popiel to assess coins and stamps.

“We realize it’s a busy day with the Steeplechase, but sometimes people want a break from the crowds, and how fun will this be,” said Elliott Levy, executive director of the museum.

“It’s a great way to learn about Granny’s gift to you and to see what other people have brought,” said Friends Secretary Del Hickey.

The Friends of the Aiken County Historical Museum supports the museum’s budget for landscaping, acquisitions and education programs, Hickey said. Full Story…

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Historical Museum showcases musical icons from Aiken County.

The Aiken County Historical Museum has debuted a new exhibit celebrating those who have made beautiful music in Aiken County throughout the years.

“The Musicians of Aiken County” will be on display in the ballroom throughout the month of October. A reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11. The exhibit features memorabilia from such luminaries as Flo Carter, Peggy Lee and James Brown, and contains both items from the museum’s permanent collection and on loan from musicians and fans in the Aiken area.

“We’re going to be the permanent repository for Niles Borop’s awards and memorabilia. The Gospel Hall of Fame asked him for some things, but he didn’t want to break up his collection, so we’ve got them now,” said Mary White, the director of education at the Aiken County Historical Museum. Borop, an Aiken native, is a celebrated gospel musician and songwriter.

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New exhibits showcased at museum in September.

September will bring a few fresh looks to the Aiken County Historical Museum as new exhibits go up on Banksia’s walls.

The museum’s main exhibit in the ballroom will be a Ladies of Aiken Polo photography exhibit, on display from Sept. 1-30. A needlepoint exhibit will be on display in the parlor throughout the month, and an art exhibit by local painter Lynn Carlisle will go up on Thursday, Sept. 10, with pieces in the ballroom, the Ladies of Aiken County room and the Winter Colony room, according to museum educator Mary White.

“The Ladies of Aiken Polo is one we wanted to do last September, since September is kind of the kickoff for polo, but we couldn’t get it together in time. So we’ve been working on this exhibit ever since,” said White.

The needlepoint exhibit is being organized by the Aiken chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild and the Aiken Stitchin’ Belles, a chapter of the Embroidery Guild of America.

Carlisle specializes in canine portraiture. The works on display in September will be private commissions on loan from their owners and not for sale, but Carlisle will be available for new portrait commissions through the show, which will remain on display through the end of September, White said.

A joint reception for all three exhibits will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, at the museum. The reception is open to the public.

The museum’s staff is also looking for a few helping hands. A two-day training session for new docents will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the museum; lunch will be provided both days. Thursday’s training will feature a lecture on Aiken County history by Owen Clary, while Friday will be an in-depth tour of the museum.

Those interested in signing up for docent training or with questions about the September exhibits can contact the museum staff at 642-2015.

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