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Civil War Music of Philadelphia

April 20, 2011

CD Cover of Civil  War CD

Students and faculty in our music and music industry programs collaborated with the College of Arts & Sciences’ Department of History and Politics to produce a 2-disc CD to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The project was a perfect opportunity to harness the particular talents and assets of the University to contribute to the larger Civil War anniversary celebration ongoing across the city, state and nation—and to do so in Drexel’s distinctive experiential fashion. The entire Drexel community is invited to a CD release party that will include live performances and a reception on Monday, April 25th at 6 PM at the new site of the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, 3401 Filbert Street.

The CD comprises 14 songs, including well-known tunes like the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and the “Star Spangled Banner,” as well as more obscure songs with ties to Philadelphia, whether through the subject matter, composer, or publisher. Disc one of the two disc set features our music students performing all 14 songs as they might have sounded in the 1860s. On disc two, our music industry students interpreted and performed the songs in their own unique style. Jim Klein, director of the music industry program, helped to recruit and coach the student performers with help from the Westphal faculty.

The history program produced a 16-page CD insert, which discusses the history of the Civil War in Philadelphia within the context of the 14 songs.  Hannah Bennett, senior history and political science major, began work on the project in the summer of 2010 when she was a CoAS Humanities Fellow under the mentorship of Kathryn Steen, associate professor of history.

The CD can be purchased at the Drexel University bookstore or on For more information about the CD, or to discuss a Civil War project or event you’d like to host, please contact Kathryn Steen at