Blennerhassett Family Tree
Genealogy one-name study      by Bill Jehan
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Blennerhassett Music & Dance 




"Morris" is English traditional folk dancing.
The Morris Federation record and hold copies of Morris Dance notation, among these being a Co.Cumberland
(now a part of Co.Cumbria) processional “Garland Dance” titled “Blennerhasset”, from the village of that name.
This dance was notated by Roy L. Dommett
["Roy Dommett's Morris Notes", CDSS of America, edited by Anthony G. Brand, 1986, vol.3, pp.20-21].
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Harman Blennerhassett (of Castle Conway, Killorglin and Blennerhassett Island, West Virginia)
wrote “…several musical compositions...”
bequeathing them to his son Joseph Lewis Blennerhassett for possible future publication.
These include a march, believed written by Harman while residing on the island (1797-1805).
The march was published as  "Blennerhasset's March & Quickstep",
initially by William Wallace of Kentucky in 1845, again by Peters, Field, and Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1847.
This sheet music cover contains the earliest published illustration of the mansion on Blennerhassett Island.
Illustration from "An Island Called Eden: The Story of Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett"
by Ray Swick, Historian for West Virginia State Parks
(edition of 2000, Ch.3 "Building Paradise", opposite p.15)
illustration copyright © 2000-2010 Library of Congress
NOTE: William Wallace also wrote a paper "Biographical Sketch of Harman Blennerhassett"
["American Whig Review" August 1845, vol.2, issue 2].
Confusingly there was another paper with similar title, "Biographical Sketch of Herman Blennerhassett, and Mrs Margaret Blennerhassett",
in a volume of “Biographical and Historical Memoirs of the Early Pioneer Settlers of Ohio, with narratives of incidents and occurrences in 1775”,
by Dr Samuel Prescott Hildreth MD of Marietta, Ohio (pub. Cincinnati Historical Society 1852).
This was reprinted in the "American Whig Review" April 1848, vol.7 Issue 4 pp.368-384.
Harman’s march is played in the soundtrack for the film “Opening the Door West”, the story of the Ohio company and the first legal American settlement of the northwest territory, produced by Shelburne Films in association with WOUB-TV. This piece is also on a CD "Music of an Emerging Nation, from the soundtrack of Opening the Door West: Authentic American Music 1751 to 1820".
Warning wanted - a clip that could be played here


MUSICAL “Eden on the River”

Fay Perry Greene Jr, M.D. (b.1918) married in 1944 at Chicago, Illinois
Genevieve Faith Daves (b.1924 d.1999 at Williamstown, Wood Co., West Virginia)

They became interested in the Blennerhassett story when, in 1957, they purchased a replica of the Blennerhassett home that had been built nearby in the 1930s. This was long before the site of the original Blennerhassett mansion on Blennerhassett Island was excavated (1973) and the house re-built (1984). Fay became chairman of the Governor’s commission that created Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park.

Genevieve, a music professor at Marietta College, composed the score of “Eden on the River”, an historical musical about the partnership between Aaron Burr and Harman Blennerhassett, who funded Burr’s expedition to the West from his home on Blennerhassett Island in the Ohio River.

In the 1970s the musical was favourably reviewed by the “New York Times”, and since c1987 has been performed annually on the front lawn of the rebuilt Blennerhassett mansion. 

OPERA by Vittoria Giannini
Vittoria Giannini (b.1903 d.1966), American composer and teacher of music, in 1939/40 was commissioned by CBS to write a one-act voice opera entitled "Blennerhasset" for broadcast on radio.
Based on the story of Aaron Burr, Harman Blennerhassett, Margaret Blennerhassett and events at Blennerhassett Island, it was performed on stage by “Opera Carolina” Repertory at Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1950. It was also performed by the Manhattan School of Music at the Marymount Theatre, New York City in 1991, reviewed by Bernard Holland in ["The New York Times" 28-Feb-1991, p.C13(L)].

Giannini's other compositions include opera; large and small choral works; music for piano; and numerous works for orchestra, including four symphonies. His “A Christmas Canticle” is a beautiful piece using variations on Adeste Fideles. He taught at Julliard, “The Manhattan School of Music” and “The Curtis Institute”.

Giannini's operas: 
Flora  (radio opera)   
The Scarlet Letter 
Beauty and the Beast  (radio opera)  
Blennerhassett (radio opera)  
The Taming of the Shrew   
The Harvest 
Rehearsal Call  
The Servant of Two Masters  
Casanova  (unperformed) 
Edipus (incomplete) 

written in the early 1890s by Professor J.C. Arnold of Parkersburg, West Virginia,
to mark the occasion of a visit to Parkersburg by the conductor John Philip Sousa
Warning wanted - an illustration of this sheet music 

Cover of sheet music
Words and music by Lee Ice

Cover of sheet music
"The Blennerhassett: March - Two Step" by Carlotta Williamson
Published by G.M. Blanford
The Colonial Music Publishing Co., Boston, Massachusetts, 1902 
© 1995 Boyd's Music Ministry    All Rights Reserved
Cover of sheet music "Blennerhassett Waltz"
by Boyd Jackson, arrangement: Lynne Barnes
image: courtesy of Mary Blennerhassett-Grehan

Cover of sheet music
"Under the Rose Waltz: for piano" by Roland Blenner   .60
Published by Oliver Ditson Co., Boston, Massachusetts
Warning if you know anything about Roland Blenner please tell me...

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