Students learn history through song

Dover Adult Learning Center hosted the NH Humanities program: Rally ‘Round the Flag: The American Civil War Through Folksong.

Woody Pringle and Marek Bennett presented an overview of the American Civil War through the lens of period music. Audience members participated and sang along as the presenters explored lyrics, documents, and visual images from sources such as the Library of Congress.

Through camp songs, parlor music, hymns, battlefield rallying cries, and fiddle tunes, Pringle and Bennett examine the folksong as a means to enact living history, share perspectives, influence public perceptions of events, and simultaneously fuse and conserve cultures in times of change. Showcasing numerous instruments, the presenters challenge participants to find new connections between song, art, and politics in American history.

Bennett teaches music and comics in New England and the world beyond. He holds a Master’s in Education from Keene State College, and is a rostered teaching artist with the NH State Council on the Arts. His work includes the graphic novel The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby and the NH history web-comic Live Free and Draw. His historical band is The Hardtacks

Woody Pringle is both a musician and educator teaching at many NH colleges and organizations. His credentials include a BA in Social Science from Johnson State College and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His music is often aired on NH Public Radio’s Folk Show and many radio stations throughout the country.