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Gore Place to host quartet playing historical tunes

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  March 7, 2012 02:49 PM

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For history buffs hoping to get lost in the past, look no further than Waltham this month.

The historical Gore Place in Waltham will host a musical group to perform an informal set of traditional European tunes in the 1806 mansion on Saturday, March 24 at 4 p.m.

The musical group Abrams, Phillipps, Bohlen, and Roach is a quartet of banjo, guitar, hurdy gurdy, and English concertina. They will offer an eclectic program of traditional and contemporary tunes drawn largely from the central region of France.

For this special afternoon performance, the Servant’s Hall of the mansion will be set up café-style with light refreshments offered.

Linda Abrams (banjo), Bob Phillipps (guitar), Nina Bohlen (hurdy gurdy), and Thom Roach (English concertina) are long-standing members of the local folk community, and have been playing in various combinations for years, according to mansion workers.

Abrams won first place in the old time banjo category at the 2005 Lowell Fiddle and Banjo contest, and second place in 2008. She and Phillipps make up two thirds of the instrumental trio, Blue Parrot.

Bohlen and Abrams played together in Trio Sans Singes performing regularly at the Museum of Fine Arts afternoon concert series. Roach performed for several years aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, and more recently along with Abrams and Phillipps as part of The Moody Street String Band.

Together, these four musicians make up the core of a regular session in Waltham specializing in traditional tunes from central France.

Admission for the musical set is $6, or free with admission to the 3 p.m. tour of the mansion ($12 adults, $8 ages 5 to 12). The tour includes a whole-house exhibit entitled "Folk Art in a Fine Place: Surprises from the Gore Place Collection," featuring late 18th and early 19th century folk art, including several rare items belonging to the Gore family. For reservations, call (781) 894-2798 ext. 12.

The historic Governor Gore estate in Waltham, will also offer another special evening tour of the mansion. The tour will view the Great Stairs, Great Hall, withdrawing room, office, library, parlor, breakfast room, second-floor chambers and billiard room, as well as the servant’s quarters. It will also feature the "Folk Art" exhibit.

Admission to the evening tour is $14 for adults, and $10 for members and children aged 5-12.

Built in 1806, the mansion at Gore Place is considered a prime example of Federal-period architecture in New England. Gore Place is located at 52 Gore Street, just off Rte. 20 (Main Street) near the Waltham/Watertown line.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jreiss.globe@gmail.com

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