Piano at The Willard Hotel

» Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in Music Performances, Piano Gigs | 0 comments

Piano at The Willard Hotel

I had the distinct and honorable pleasure of being asked to play piano at an event hosted by the Museum of the Bible celebrating the 155th anniversary of Julia Ward Howe’s writing of the lyrics to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, which contain many Bible references and was written in the wee hours of November 19th, 1861.

To mark the occasion, the Museum of the Bible had an exhibit in the lobby of the Willard Hotel, and had me playing piano off to the side. I played through several Civil War-era tunes, circling back to different versions and motifs of the Battle Hymn.

The Willard is an elegant luxury hotel that has been in business since at least the 1860s. In fact, it was in a room there where Julia Ward Howe woke up in the wee hours on the morning and jotted down the inspired words that came to her.

Having played in several hotels and restaurants before, I must comment on how friendly the guests were at the Willard – many who were coming in the rear door and hadn’t yet seen the exhibit expressed their appreciation for the live music as they walked past.

It was a beautiful setting in which to host an historic event, and I am thrilled to have been part of it!