Photos from Family Reunion at Nags Head, N.C., June, 2003.
Helen Beedle's latest CD
"19th Century Salon & Concert Music"
(Click to Enlarge)
To order, send $15.00 check or money
The Galop, 102 Cedar Road, Hellertown, PA 18055
classically trained pianist and recipient of a masters of music degree from the
prestigious New England conservatory of Music, Helen Beedle has conducted
research into the music of the mid-nineteen hundreds--specifically the influence
of women musicians and composers on the cultural and evereyday life of the civil
In her authentic re-creation of a civil war musicale, Ms Beedle performs music
of pre civil war composers of the classical era, American composers of the time,
and selections of popular tunes of the day. It is a performance that brings to
life this illustrious period of American history.
Music was an integral part of life in the 1860s. Musicales, concerts, and
plays-both formal and informal- were popular events. Performances on guitar,
harp, or piano were common. In fact, the piano, was a fixture of the middle and
upper class parlor--often becoming the center of activity during social
Ladies often provided much of the musical entertainment at these events, and the
civil war marked the beginning of an increasingly active role for women in
America's growing musical life.
your living history event or re-enactment with the elegance, beauty , and
authenticity of pianist Helen Beedle.
Helen Beedle received her master of music degree in piano from the New England
conservatory of music, Boston, Massachussetts, and her bachelor of Music degree
from St Andrew's college, Laurinburg, North Carolina. She has studied with
several celebrated pianists including walter Hautzig, Russell Sherman and
Theodore Letvin, and currently serves on the faculty of Lehig University,
Bethlehem , Pennsylvania.
Beedle 's civil war musicale has been a successful program on many concert
series, including performances in the eastern and central United States. These
include many beautiful « period » concert setting in historic homes
and mansions, especially in the southern states. She has performed as featured
artist on PBS radio station's special concerts, and as a lecturer-recitalist for
specialized music conferences. This period program has been recorded on a
compact disc entitled « When the galop was the rage » . It has been
favorably reviewed and is currently on sale in national park bookstores and
museums throughout the country.
Ms Beedle is a native of Hellertown, Pennsylvania, where she currently resides.
The following photos are from a Civil War Piano Concert at
Rueil Malmaison in Paris, France, on March 4th, 2001.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
Ms Helen Beedle on stage at Rueil Malmaison (west suburb of Paris) during her
exceptionnal « civil war » piano concert in France !
Helen Beedle on center, her niece on the left, Mr and Mrs Ailliot,
chairman and treasurer of the CCFF, Civil war round table of
France, organizer of the event.
following is a review of the CD "When The Galop Was The Rage" by Helen
and Jonathan Beedle:
When the Galop Was the Rage
Helen Beedle, piano; Jonathan Beedle, guitar and vocals. 1997. One compact disc.
The fifteen numbers presented on this CD, primarily piano works but a few
songs as well, explore mid-nineteenth century music-making. Using Louis
Moreau Gottschalk as its departure, this carefully constructed program
includes works typical of both concert hall and parlor. Helen Beedle, the
pianist, wisely avoides Gottschalk's flashiest works in favor of the more
sentimental "The Dying Poet" and "The Dying Swan." Her
performance of "The Banjo" could use more dash and abandon, although the concluding paraphrase
of "Camptown Races" does achieve the appropriate textural shimmer. A contemporary diary reference to Gottschalk's "The Tournament Galop"
the title of this disc. Two arrangements by Sigismond Thalberg complement
the Gottschalk selections, an excerpt from "The Last Rose of Summer"
"Home Sweet Home." What the virtuoso scale work in the latter lack in
sparkle is made up for in attention to the cantabile melodic line.
The strength of this CD is its evocation of music in the home. A variety of
songs are performed with combinations of piano, guitar, and voice. Jonathan
Beedle, the guitarist, also has a pleasant tenor voice that makes it easy to
image a family gathered in the parlor to enjoy J.P. Webster's "Lorena"
George F. Root's "The Vacant Chair." This CD also includes two dances
women composers: Ellen Morant's "The Wheatland Polka" and Jane
Ericsson Schottisch." The admirable and succinct liner notes by the pianist
establish a historical context amplified by explanations of each piece. The
cover photo and sound quality suggest that a period piano was used to make
this recording, but no other indication is given. For further information,
please contact The Galop, 102 Cedar Road, Hellertown, PA 18055, Tel: (610)
838-8350, Fax (610) 838-1022.
--Orly Leah Krasner