This weekend, area residents will see their anticipation come to an end as the Smithsonian Institute’s “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music” traveling exhibit finally rolls into town. In the meantime, local organizers are preparing for the exhibit’s arrival.
Warren P. Sewell Memorial Library Branch Manager Lisa Walton-Cagle says the library has spent the week before the exhibit’s arrival clearing out space in the library, where the exhibit will be housed during its stay.
On Friday, Feb. 8, the library will be closed, Walton-Cagle said, to allow for an “installation workshop,” at which time the library will be hosting Smithsonian workers as well as representatives from other area libraries as they install the exhibit.
“We’re happy to host the other libraries,” Walton-Cagle said, “and happy that Smithsonian workers will be there to make sure we get it set up right.”
According to Haralson County Tourism Coordinator Gail Priest, their are currently 25 volunteers working with the exhibit.
Walton-Cagle says volunteers will also be preparing for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the library. The library will be closed that morning as volunteers prepare for the 2 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony; however, the library will open to visitors starting at 1:30 p.m. The exhibit will then remain open until 4:30 p.m.
Immediately following the ribbon cutting their will be opening remarks by Bremen Mayor Sharon Sewell, RKR Construction and Mill Town Music Hall Owner Randall Redding, and Record Producer and Music Executive Harold Shedd. There will also be a welcome by Georgia Humanities Council President Jamil Zainaldin and UWG College of Arts and Humanities Dean Dr. Randy Hendricks. Shedd will deliver the keynote address.
Afterwords, local bluegrass bands Bullsboro and American Express will be performing at 2:30 p.m. next door at First United Methodist’s Branham Hall (which will also be the location of the ribbon cutting ceremony in the case of inclement weather).
The library will be open for business during the exhibit’s stay, with the exception of Feb. 8 and 9. The Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, is sponsoring the exhibit, which shares America’s story by examining the roots of American music. The exhibit will highlight the unique story of Georgia’s musical traditions. New Harmonies will spend six weeks in Bremen, during which time a number of musical performances will be held throughout the region in conjunction with the physical exhibit.
Mill Town Music Hall will be the location of many of these performances.
“We are honored to have Mill Town Music Hall be a part of the New Harmonies festivities and look forward to hosting a series of concerts by some very talented artists,” said Randall Redding, co-Founder of Mill Town Music Hall. “We encourage the community to support all of these worthwhile events being held around town.”
Mill Town Music Hall will host several concerts to serve as companion programming to New Harmonies between Feb. 1 and March 9:
Friday, Feb. 8 – American Idol alumnus Bo Bice. After finishing second on American Idol, Bice charted a number two song on the Billboard Hot 100 with a rendition of “Inside Your Heaven.” He has recorded three albums since Idol.
Friday, Feb. 22 – Rhonda Vincent and Gene Watson. Vincent is an award-winning bluegrass singer, is considered the “Queen of Bluegrass.”
Saturday, March 9 – Little Texas and Homegrown. Little Texas has eight top 10 country hits, including the number one single “My Love.” Homegrown was founded in Carrollton and has a country/rock/pop delivery that you won’t find anywhere else.
To learn more or to purchase Mill Town Music Hall tickets in advance, call Mill Town Music Hall box office at 770-537-6455.
Other local events include:
Sunday, Feb. 10 – Babbie Mason Gospel Concert at 6 .m. at Bremen First Baptist Church, 331 Pacific Ave., Bremen.
Saturday, Feb. 16 – Thomas Dorsey and Birthplace Choir perform at 6 p.m. at Mt. Prospect Baptist Church, 133 Thomas Dorsey Dr., Villa Rica.
Sunday, Feb. 17 – Sacred Harp singing at 9:30 a.m. at UWG’s Z-G Dining Hall, West Georgia Drive, Carrollton.
Saturday, Feb. 23 – Southern Gospel Convention music at 6:30 p.m. at Steadman Baptist Church, 2885 Steadman Rd., Tallapoosa.
Saturday, March 2 – Gospel Music featuring Stan Whitmire with the West Georgia Region Sacred Music Singers at 6 p.m. at Bremen First Baptist Church.
Friday, March 8 – Shape Note Singing at 7 p.m. at Bethel Baptist Church, 2656 Bushmill Rd., Bremen.
Sunday, March 10 – Children’s Choir at 3 p.m. at Hamilton-McPherson Fine Arts Center, 504 Laurel St., Bremen.
Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24 – Sacred Harp singing at 9:30 a.m. at Emmaus Primitive Baptist Chruch, Oak Grove Church Rd., Carrollton.
There are brochures available at the library for pick up that include details of all exhibit-related activities.