News Releases

July 15, 2009

History And Music Come Together At Mount Independence

Music on the Mount Set For This Friday

ORWELL, Vt.— Visitors can capture the sounds of colonial America when Music on the Mount returns with a special concert program on Friday, July 17, at the Mount Independence State Historic Site in Orwell, Vermont, by the Seth Warner Mount Independence Fife & Drum Corps.

The concert, which begins at 7:00 p.m., is free and open to the public (the hat will be passed), though there is a $5.00 fee for parking.

The Fife and Drum Corps is under the direction of Rustan Swenson of Shoreham. Enjoy the stirring music of the American Revolution and colonial period, as well as dramatic readings, and other fun. Swenson will provide lively commentary about the music and its uses, both military and civilian. This group, consisting of young and young at heart area musicians, has been much in demand for parades and programs since its founding several years ago.

“We urge visitors to bring their lawn chairs or a blanket and a picnic and enjoy an evening of inspiring music in an inspiring setting,” said David Mace, a spokesman for the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. “It really is stirring to hear the music that was being played during this critical period in our nation’s history.”

Mount Independence, a National Historic Landmark, was built in 1776-77 by American troops as a defense against British attack from Canada. On the night of July 5 and 6, 1777, the American Army under General Arthur St. Clair withdrew from Mount Independence and nearby Fort Ticonderoga, after British General John Burgoyne advanced down the lake in an effort to cut off New England from the rest of the United States.

Faced with a British force more than twice his size that had occupied high ground from which they could bombard him, St. Clair abandoned the fortifications without a fight, and two days later at the Battle of Hubbardton soldiers from Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire fought in a decisive rear guard action to halt Burgoyne’s British army.

The fact that his withdrawal had preserved the army and led to the stunning American victory in October at the Battle of Saratoga didn’t prevent an outraged Congress from officially censuring St. Clair for the loss of the forts. But he argued that his conduct had been honorable; demanded review by a court martial; and was ultimately exonerated.

The museum is open daily from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Regular admission is $5.00 for adults and free for children under 15. The extensive grounds feature six miles of walking and hiking trails. The site is on Mount Independence Road six miles west of the junction of Vermont Route 22A and Route 73 in Orwell. It is a scenic 1 hour and 15 minute drive from Burlington, 20 minutes from Middlebury, and about half an hour from Rutland. Call (802) 948-2000 for more information.

To learn more about all the state historic sites, visit

Source: Division for Historic Preservation
Last Updated at: July 15, 2009 13:48:41