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SAXTONS RIVER >> Music of the Civil War is the topic of a program Sunday at 7 p.m. at Main Street Arts.

Singer and researcher Linda Radtke will share songs from the Vermont Civil War Songbook based on a sheet music collection in the Vermont Historical Society archives of songs that were popular in Vermont during the 1860s. From sentimental songs about the girl back home to satirical ballads, Radtke will trace how the popular song changed from patriotic to more somber tones as the war progressed and Vermont lost more of its bright young men to gunfire and disease.

Dressed in period costume, Radtke will be accompanied by pianist Arthur Zorn and will intersperse the songs with letters written from the battlefield. She will dedicate some songs to those who served from the Saxtons River area.

The Saxtons River Historical Society museum will be open beginning at 3 p.m. before the program. In addition, the historical society will give special recognition to the 65 Civil War veterans buried in the Saxtons River cemetery by flagging their gravesites. Visitors are invited to visit the cemetery before the program.

The program is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by MSA and the historical society and is made possible by a grant from the Vermont Humanities Council. Main Street Arts is fully handicapped accessible and the museum has one low step at the entrance.


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adtke was a Vermont high school teacher for 31 years and now produces the VPR Choral Hour on Vermont Public Radio. She has a special interest in local history and enjoys doing research on each town she visits with her programs. A classically trained singer, she is a member of Vermont's professional vocal ensemble Counterpoint, the Oriana Singers, and the Arioso Chamber Ensemble. She also sings with a vocal quartet, Ah!Capella, sponsored by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, which brings music to Vermont schools.