Rose of Sharon: Joel Frederiksen’s Billboard Top 10 Project Comes to the Coolidge

Joel Frederiksen by Eric Larrayadieu for harmonia mundi

The following is a guest post by Nicholas A. Brown, Music Specialist, Concert Office. 

Concerts from the Library of Congress is thrilled to welcome Joel Frederiksen’s Rose of Sharon project to the Coolidge Auditorium this Saturday, October 20 at 2:00 pm. Along with renowned early music artists Brandi Berry (violin), Jesse Lepkoff (flute & guitar) and Olav Chris Henriksen (guitar), Joel will explore a part of American musical history that is largely neglected—music from 1770-1870. The impeccable artistry these musicians bring to early American music earned their Rose of Sharon CD a well-deserved spot on the Billboard Top 10 for 2011.

At a time when the founding fathers were developing the notion of an American Republic, Francis Hopkinson (1731-1791) and William Billings(1746-1800), our nation’s first native “classical” composers, were defining America’s unique musical identity. Traditional American music was fledgling during the first hundred years of our nationhood. Ballads, folk songs, Shaker hymns, spirituals and music from revival meetings and battlefields combined with early American classical music to establish the United States as a major musical voice in the world.

Rose of  Sharon is a featured event in our Songs of America project, which celebrates the rich tapestry of American history through song. The Library of Congress Music Division holds a vast trove of early American treasures, such as the first editions of William Billings’ The New England Psalm-Singer (1770) and The Singing Master’s Assistant (1778), which contains the anthem “The Rose of Sharon”—the inspiration for Joel’s performance.

Join us for this rare opportunity to hear early American music and be a part of living history. You can learn more about the concert by reading the digital concert program, available here as a pdf.

Event Listing

Rose of Sharon: 100 Years of American Music (1770-1870)

Saturday, October 20, 2012, 2:00 p.m. –JeffersonBuilding, Coolidge Auditorium

Joel Frederiksen, bass, lute & guitar; Brandi Berry, violin

Jesse Lepkoff, flute & guitar; Olav Chris Henriksen, guitar


Visit our concerts page for more information. Free and open to the public. Tickets may be obtained via or (202) 397-7328.


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