The annual Music At St. Mary’s Concert Series will resume Sunday, Nov. 4 when Columbus resident Steve Ball presents his Music of the Civil War program.
Ball specializes in the music of the American Civil War and has studied the war since his teenage years, devoting the past 20 years to studying the music of that era in American history.
He has presented programs for the Ohio Statehouse, the National Civil War Museum, the American Civil War Museum of Ohio, and countless historical societies, genealogical societies, libraries, museums, Civil War round tables and other historical venues such as re-enactments or living history programs. He has released two CDs of the music of the Civil War and is currently working on a CD of Stephen Foster tunes.
Ball has been an instructor for Life Long Learning through Central Ohio Technical College. He also provides the music for the annual Springfield Ohio Civil War Symposium, and is the narrator for the 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Civil War Brass Band. He is a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Civil War Preservation Trust. He has participated in the annual Windham New York Civil War Music Gathering and the Gettysburg Music Muster at the Gettysburg Military Park Visitor Center.
In Music of the Civil War program, Ball’s presentation features tunes starting in the mid-1850s that became important regarding the climate of the country before the war began in 1861. As the presentation unfolds, there will be patriotic songs cherished by both sides of the war as well as tunes that reflect the loss and melancholy the war produced. The history and influence of each tune is shared, as well as the progress of the war itself. His presentation gives an excellent background to both the music of the Civil War and the war itself.
Ball has a family member who served in the war and his presentation usually includes that story.
As a collector of vintage instruments, mainly guitars, Ball has built a collection of Civil War era Martin guitars, the earliest being an 1850 Martin size 3 model 17, followed by an 1851 Martin size 1 model 21, then an 1852 size 2 model 30, an 1852 size 3, an 1855 size 1 model 26, and an 1860 Louis Schmidt size 3 model 18. He uses many of these guitars in his performances. All guitars are in their original cases, and all are used in performances to minimize the amount of wear to any single instrument.
Ball has also accumulated a large collection of Civil War era sheet music.
Music at St. Mary’s concerts are held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Hillsboro and begin at 3 p.m. There is no charge for MASM concerts, but donations are accepted.
There will be a reception following the concert and Ball will have CDs for purchase at that time.
John Glaze organizes the music at St. Mary’s series.