News Releases

July 22, 2009

Coolidge Historic Site to Host Free Concert

PLYMOUTH NOTCH, Vt. – The music that comforted and sustained America’s families at home – and its troops abroad – during the war years will come to life this weekend at one of the state historic sites.

Pianist Abigail Charbeneau and soprano Ellen Nordstrom Baer will perform “Songs from the Home Front: A Tribute to America During the Two World Wars,” in the village church at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site on Sunday, July 26 at 3:00 p.m.

“This is a program that will bring back memories for many people,” said William Jenney, Regional Historic Site Administrator for the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. “The program includes songs by Irving Berlin, Rogers & Hammerstein, Jule Styne, and other musical masters of the early 20th century.”

An afternoon tea follows at the site’s restaurant, The Wilder House.

This is the second concert of the 2009 Grace Coolidge Musicales, a series named in honor of one of America’s favorite First Ladies. The concert will be enhanced by the perfect acoustics of the Union Christian Church, which is owned by the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation.

Both musicians currently teach at the Concord (NH) Community Music School. Charbeneau is a native of Woodstock, Vermont and has a master of music in piano performance and piano pedagogy from the University of Illinois.

A regular performer with the Musicians of Wall Street in Concord, Charbeneau has performed on the Walker Lecture Series and has played at two Inaugural Balls for Governor John Lynch. In addition to her teaching duties, she is the music director at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Concord.

Nordstrom Baer has a bachelor of arts in music from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She is the chair of the voice department at the Concord Community Music School, teaches at Dartmouth College, and directs the voice department at Phillips Exeter Academy summer program.

Nordstrom Baer made her European debut in 1995 with the Rome Opera Festival and has performed with the Lake George Opera Festival, Liederkranz Opera in New York, Opera Burlington, Opera North, Operafest of New Hampshire, and the Vermont Opera Theater.

The Grace Coolidge Musicales, which conclude on August 23, are organized by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation and generously sponsored by the Alma Gibbs Donchian Foundation.

The concerts are free and open to the public; donations are welcome. Seating is limited, and reservations are highly recommended. For further information, call 802-672-3773, or visit:

Source: Division for Historic Preservation
Last Updated at: July 22, 2009 15:12:05