Hutchinson Family Ensemble to perform at King celebration in Jaffrey 

  • Hutchinson Family Ensemble members Jaimini Viles, Daniel Sleeper, Reo Sleeper, Eve Pierce, Katie Whitaker and Cheyenne Heinselman. Not pictured: Meghan Pierce. COURTESY PHOTO

Published: 1/6/2022 1:58:09 PM

The new Hutchinson Family Ensemble, a six-member company of singers from Music on Norway Pond of Hancock, will perform abolitionist songs for the Jaffrey-Rindge “Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.” commemoration at The Park Theatre, 19 Main St. in Jaffrey, Jan. 17.

The event starts at 5 p.m. Due to increasing COVID cases and projected continuing surge, the event is being held entirely online. The full program will be broadcast at MLK Celebration Jaffrey - Rindge - Home | Facebook or The Park Theatre - Home | Facebook.

The ensemble takes its name in honor of the Hutchinson Family Singers, a group of 11 brothers and two sisters from Milford from the 1840s who toured extensively in New England and old England. Singing in four-part harmony, they were famous for promoting controversial issues in song, including abolition and women’s rights among others.   

According to the website hutchinsonsingers.org, dedicated to keeping their memory alive, the Hutchinson Family Singers, often represented by a smaller ensemble of three brothers and one sister, “gave us a style of music that was truly unique and entirely American. Prior to their rise to fame, touring singers of that day were European without a heartfelt message or a language connection to their audiences.  The Hutchinson Singers' immense popularity allowed them to spread the message of abolitionism to hundreds of thousands of Americans during Anti-Slavery Society meetings through their concerts.”

The Hutchinson Family Ensemble of Hancock was formed by Music on Norway Pond Artistic Director Jody Simpson to bring the abolitionist music of the 19th-century Hutchinsons to the celebratory program for unveiling the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire marker recognizing the Due family of Hancock.

 

 


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