My last post, if I remember, was in December of last year, I am embarrassed to say. I’ve been too busy to be looking backward. I have a moment now, with only one project in the works: a ceremony of remembrance on Veterans Day at the Bennington Battlefield. We’ll be presenting remembrances of the Battle by three women and two male veterans of the fighting.
“QR-code Audio Enhancements for the Bennington Battlefield” is the name of the N.Y. Parks-funded project that I began work on a year ago. The inauguration of the codes came during a Battle Day (August 16) ceremony on the hilltop. A number of the voice actors who had played various parts were present. This was the press release, if you’re curious.
I got a kick out of coaching actors in my own home studio, as well as directing Broadway luminary Kevin McGuire remotely at a studio in midtown Manhattan. He voiced both George Washington and General Burgoyne. His mug adorns the rack card we just released to promote the project. You can scan the QR code right from your screen, I’ll bet.
A talented local composer, Darrell Holovach, wrote neo-Revolutionary background music for the introductions and directed three musicians in performing it. We posted 21 files in all. Now we’ll see if visitors to the Battlefield are using it (we can track activity; the files are also available at benningtonbattlefield.org under “Links”). I voiced the introductions and the action-packed account of veteran David Holbrook.
In July I delivered my first project as a “historian for hire.” The Mount Anthony County Club commissioned a club history for their 125th anniversary celebration and website. I made a 12-minute (and 90-slide) presentation to 100 or so guests at the dinner that followed an afternoon tournament. I wanted to make it entertaining – this wasn’t a Historical Society audience. There were some emotional moments as well as some levity. For me, the project was a window on the history of Bennington I hadn’t looked through before. The Bennington Banner gave the celebration a good review:
Meanwhile, I’ve continued to write and photograph a monthly promotional post for the Town of Bennington’s Vermont Begins Here site. Latest post: “Breakfast in Bennington.”
It gave me a chance not only to eat at the Blue Benn (and other establishments) but to take notice of the excellent new book on the Benn by my friend Peter Crabtree and his collaborator Caitlin Randall.
A well-designed set of three signage panels about the town of Bennington has gone up as part of the Putnam block renovations. It’s located behind the Bennington Bookshop adjacent to the municipal parking lot. I wrote the copy and contributed some photography. Here’s what the panels look like:
My work as co-chair of the Vermont 250th Education Committee continues, too. I was pleased to see that my little book on the Battle of Bennington was chosen to be included among those to be distributed to public and school libraries in Vermont.
I gave my talk “The Black Presence at the Battle of Bennington” at the Hoosick Historical Society in August and at the Orwell (Vt.) Free Library in October, the latter under the aegis of the Vermont Council on the Humanities Speakers Bureau program.
I still voice the occasional corporate script for the Greek studios I have worked with for many years, and I recently wrote a profile of the town of Wilmington (Vt.) for the Berkshire Edge magazine. That’s the Voice and Word report for today, not to say “for this year.”