The New York State Library presented "Music for the Season," an exhibit of seasonal music from the Library's Special Collections, in December of 2012. The collection, displayed in the 7th floor exhibit cases, included an array of 19th and 20th century music, with two cases devoted to particular musical stories.
The first case contained two of these stories: the extraordinary musical life of Albany-born composer George William Warren (1828-1902), and the early history of a single song, O Come All Ye Faithful.
The middle case of the library exhibit highlighted Christmas music and song in the work of Jean Ritchie (b. 1922), a Kentucky-born American folk singer and songwriter. In 1946, after graduating from Cumberland College, Jean Ritchie moved to New York City to work as a teacher and social worker. Her unusual repertoire of traditional Appalachian songs, her clear soprano voice, and her choice of accompaniment--the three-stringed mountain "dulcimer"--soon brought her to prominence in the booming folk music "revival" of the 1950s and 60s. Throughout her 50-year international performing and recording career, she lived in the town of Port Washington on Long Island. Her life and music are documented in the Jean Ritchie Collection, acquired by the State Library in 2011.
The final display case contained a more eclectic selection of seasonal and holiday songs--yes we even have The Chipmunk Song--drawn from the Library's extensive sheet music collections.
Exhibit curated by Paul Mercer