Ben Hur (1925) with Andrew Rogers
Jul 21 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Ben Hur Starring Ramon Novarro with Accompaniment by Andrew Rogers

We are so excited to bring this classic film to the Music House with accompaniment by Andrew Rogers on the Mighty Wurlitzer theater organ! This film is one of the most storied films ever made. Because of this fascinating tale, Rogers will beginning the evening at 6:30 pm by showing a portion of a documentary on the making of the film with a brief discussion. The movie will begin at 7:00 pm.
Years in the making, Ben Hur was the most expensive film of the silent film era, costing $3,900,000 and grossing $9,000,000. The chariot and sea battle scenes are considered among the most ambitious filming and editing scenes ever attempted. They used dozens of cameras to capture the action.

Its estimated 125,000 extras were a who’s who list of future Hollywood royalty. Among well-known and soon-to-be-well-known names “working” in the film were John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Marion Davies, Myrna Loy, John Gilbert, Douglas Fairbanks, Clark Gable, Harold Lloyd, Carole Lombard, Janet Gaynor, Fay Wray, Mary Pickford, Colleen Moore, Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Samuel Goldwyn and Rupert Julian.

Ben-Hur (Ramon Novarro) is a wealthy Jew and boyhood friend of the powerful Roman Tribune, Messala. When an accident leads to Ben-Hur’s arrest, Messala, who has become corrupt and arrogant, makes sure Ben-Hur and his family are jailed and separated.

Ben-Hur is sentenced to slave labor in a Roman war galley. Along the way, he unknowingly encounters Jesus, the carpenter’s son who offers him water. Once aboard ship, his attitude of defiance and strength impresses a Roman admiral, Quintus Arrius, who allows him to remain unchained. This actually works in the Admiral’s favor because when his ship is attacked and sunk by pirates, Ben-Hur saves him from drowning.

Arrius then treats Ben-Hur as a son, and over the years the young man grows strong and becomes a victorious chariot racer. This eventually leads to a climactic showdown with Messala in a chariot race.

You don’t want to miss this fascinating evening of film history, action and music!

Ben Hur Trailer

Filming of the Chariot Race

Gottschalk to Gershwin: Peter Bergin in Concert
Aug 6 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

peter_berginPeter Bergin: Gottschalk to Gershwin

The Music House brings Peter Bergin Ragtime Concert as part of our concert series back by popular demand. Bergin’s 2015 and 2016 concerts were such hits that we have invited him back! He will bring even more Ragtime fun while moving around and entertaining on many of our wonderful pianos. This year’s concert will be from ‘Gottschalk to Gershwin’

Bergin is a pianist and vocalist whose refined singing and energetic ragtime has entertained audiences for over 25 years. After a long career as a computer scientist, Peter is now in full-time pursuit of his life-long desire to share music with the world. Join us for an evening of ragtime music and history as Peter moves around the museum playing on many of our pianos.

Ragtime is a musical genre that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918. Its cardinal trait is its syncopated, or “ragged,” rhythm. It began as dance music in the red-light districts of African-American communities in St. Louis years before being published as popular sheet music for piano. Ernest Hogan (1865–1909) was an innovator and key pioneer who helped popularize the musical genre, and is credited for coining the term ragtime. Perhaps its most famous composer was Scott Joplin who became famous through the publication of the “Maple Leaf Rag” (1899) and a string of ragtime hits such as “The Entertainer” (1902), although he was later forgotten by all but a small, dedicated community of ragtime aficionados until the major ragtime revival in the early 1970s. Ragtime fell out of favor as jazz claimed the public’s imagination after 1917, but there have been numerous revivals since the music has been re-discovered.