Past as Prelude

Columbia Baroque Soloists will present a special program of colonial South Carolina history and music as part of their 2012 – 2013 season. “Past as Prelude: Portraits of the Musical Culture of Colonial South Carolina” will take place on Friday, February 15, 2013 at the USC School of Music Recital Hall and will include a lecture about colonial South Carolina, a concert of chamber music played in the colony interspersed with historical narratives, and a talk-back opportunity with instrument demonstrations. SC Humanities supported this program through a Major Grant in September 2012.

Founded in 2007, Columbia Baroque Soloists is South Carolina’s only year-round professional early music ensemble. They play on historically-appropriate instruments, such as the harpsichord, chamber organ, clavichord, viola da gamba, violin, recorder, and voice flute.

The “Past as Prelude” program will begin with a lecture by Dr. Nicholas Butler about the importance of South Carolina, particularly Charleston, as a colonial cultural center and its connection with the artistic culture of eighteenth-century England. The lecture will be followed by a 60-minute concert that will give “musical portraits” of seven individuals or groups in colonial South Carolina: Frederick Gurnzweig, a German music master; Eliza Lucas Pinckney, a plantation owner; William Pillans, Scottish physician at St. Philip’s Hospital; James McAlpine, a Scottish music master; several church organists; Frances Godin, daughter of an influential Huguenot merchant-planter; and the St. Cecilia Society, a private subscription concert organization. A reception following the concert will offer an opportunity for discussion and talk-back between the scholar, performers, and attendees, and the instruments will be demonstrated.

The lecture program will begin on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the USC School of Music Recital Hall followed by the concert at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $13 per person in advance and $15 per person at the door. Students can attend free with their ID. Tickets can be purchased on the Columbia Baroque Soloists website:

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. SC Humanities programs and initiatives are balanced, reflecting sensitivity to the diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations.


Image: Baroque Instruments, courtesy of Columbia Baroque Soloists