Type of Organization
Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum and part of the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which includes Jamestown and Yorktown. The Historic Area features hundreds of restored, reconstructed and historically furnished buildings. Costumed interpreters lead guided tours through the larger sites, such as the Capitol, the Courthouse, and the Governor’s Palace. Domestic sites show family life. Trades shops have trades people plying their trades while talking to guests. The Fifes and Drums and Military Programs bring the feel of what life was like in a war-torn town. The Rockefeller Library provides a wealth of resources used by all staff for research. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic sites and most trades shops are closed to the public; however, the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum is currently playing host to the trades, who are doing their work in some of the museum galleries.
As Colonial Williamsburg’s own resident Baroque performing ensemble, the Governor’s Musick is part of a tradition of music making in the Governor’s Palace Ballroom that goes back to May of 1938. This chamber ensemble includes a soprano, Baroque violin and viola, viola da gamba and Baroque cello, Baroque flute and recorder, historic keyboards (including harpsichord, organ, and piano), and part singing. Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music from England, France, Germany, Italy, and the New World is played on period replica and antique instruments using performance practices of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Governor’s Musick helps bring the past to life for guests by providing music in domestic sites, selected trades shops, the Governor’s Palace Ballroom, the Capitol Hall of Burgesses, the Raleigh Tavern Apollo Room, and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our performances take place predominantly at the Museum with open-air music in the galleries and presentations at the remodeled Hennage Auditorium. We are experimenting with outdoor entertainment in the form of a new collaborative endeavor with the Actor Interpreter department to take place on the Palace outdoor stage entitled the Musick that Binds, discovering Thomas Jefferson, the musician, and how music touched his life and the life of his slave, Zupiter. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/events/the-musick-that-binds/.