By Karen Blackledge
The Daily Item
— Music will fill the streets July 19-21 during the Iron Heritage Festival.
Kicking off the free entertainment will be a “battle of the bands” by Excelsior Cornet Band and Dodworth Saxhorn Band at 3 p.m. July 19 in Danville’s ballroom, Mill Street.
Those bands and others will also march in the annual festival parade which starts at 7 p.m. Friday, July 19, and proceeds along East Market, Mill and Lower Mulberry streets.
Bands will include the Dodworth Saxhorn Band which has played at the White House and worked with Ken Burns on a PBS baseball documentary. The band, begun in 1985, is a re-creation of one of America’s first all-brass bands. The original band played in New York from 1836-91 at concerts, balls, political rallies and many Presidential inaugurations.
The modern-day band is based in Ann Arbor, Mich., using antique brass valued horns and drums made from 1840-80. Allen Dodworth invented the first valved horn with a bell pointing backward. That type of bells allowed soldiers to hear the music easier. Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax created a family of bell-up valved horns in the 1840s in Paris. Similar horns were called saxhorns in the United States.
Other parade bands will be the Union Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps and The Danville Community Band.
On July 20, entertainment will be featured on the Canal Park Stage from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Ed Petrovich will return for the 14th year to share his musical talents.
The Union Volunteers Fife & Drums Corps will perform at 11 a.m. The group is an historically authentic group specializing in fife and drum. A fife and drum corps usually included a fife player and a drummer. A second drummer has been added for the Danville festival.
Excelsior Cornet Band will play at noon. They are led by Jeff Stockham who played tenor horn in the President’s band in the movie “Lincoln.”
The band, formed in 2001, is New York’s only authentic Civil War brass band, playing original Civil War music on antique brass instruments from the 1860s. They have appeared at educational programs, concerts and living history events throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England states and frequently at Gettysburg.
The Jolly Tars, made up of Jake Laubach and Ken Purcell, will perform at 1 p.m. and at 5 p.m. They present music from the golden age of sailing, the Civil War and the immigrant experience.
The Dodworth Saxhorn Band takes the stage at 2 p.m.
Van Wagner, of Danville, will be featured at 3 p.m. Besides writing songs and singing, he has mined coal, logged trees, built the coal dredger that returns again this year for the festival and teaches high school students.
Suzanne Walzer, of Danville, will perform at 4 p.m. She sings, plays instruments and teaches music.
Echoing Heart will play fiddle, banjo, mandolin and harmonica starting at 6 p.m.
Several members of the Confederation of Union Generals and their ladies will join the Dodworth Saxhorn Band at 7 p.m. July 20 in Danville’s Ballroom on Mill Street. Food will be available for purchase at the free event.
The 2nd South Carolina String Band will be at the Civil War encampment July 20 at the Danville Middle School, Route 11. They will give a special presentation at 3 p.m. The band was formed in 1989 when five riflemen of Co. I of the 2nd Carolina Volunteer Infantry re-enactors were celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Civil War. They received the Stephen Collins Foster Award for their contributions to 19th Century American arts and culture.