Sunday, October 6, 2019

Cultural Treasures from the Vault at Morristown National Historical Park to be Performed

Cultural Treasures from the Vault

WHEN: Saturday, October 19, 2019, at 11am
: Washington’s Headquarters Museum auditorium at Morristown National Historical Park, 30 Washington Place, Morristown
TICKETS: $15 per person. 
Tickets for the program are available on
Contact the Morris County Tourism Bureau at or call 973-631-5151 for more information.

Morristown National Historical Park (MNHP), the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey (BONJ), and the Morris County Tourism Bureau (MCTB)have planned a program that brings to life cultural treasures found in the museum’s archives, including a rare 17th century music manuscript by Alessandro Scarlatti and an historic book of 18th century poetry by a female American slave, Phillis Wheatley.

Morristown National Historical Park’s Chief of Cultural Resources, Dr. Jude Pfister, discovered a 1693 manuscript of Alessandro Scarlatti’s dramatic oratorio, La Giuditta, at the museum. Dr. Pfister shared his exciting discovery with Dr. Robert Butts, composer and maestro of the BONJ. Dr. Butts researched the history of the work, edited the piece and conducted its first modern performance. Dr. Butts will perform the piece with BONJ musicians and vocalists at the October 19th program.

Dr. Butts has also set to music two poems by Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American female to be published in America. Brought to America from Africa on a slave ship, the Wheatley family of Boston who owned her, recognized her abilities and encouraged her education—remarkable for a female at the time, let alone an enslaved one. In 1773 her first book of poetry was published, “Poems of Various Subjects: Religious and Moral.”

Wheatley’s poems composed by Dr. Butts, "Attend My Lays, Ye Ever Honour'd Nine" and "Soon as the Sun Forsook the Eastern Main,” will be sung by Timothy Maureen Cole, accompanied by John Pivarnik on piano. Students from Drew University will also recite Wheatley’s poetry.

The fall walking tours and programs are graciously sponsored by Glassworks Studio, NJ Natural Gas, Normandy Partners, the Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center, the Washington Association of New Jersey, and media sponsor The MCTB will provide, with two weeks advanced notice, assisted listening systems.

The Morris County Tourism Bureau is a Destination Marketing Organization that positively affects the economy of Morris County by promoting the area’s exceptional historic, cultural and recreational opportunities by providing services to residents, business travelers and tourists.