As soon as the trick-or-treaters go home on October 31st (and maybe even before), you’ll begin to hear Christmas songs on the radio and in the malls. Each song as its own unique story. If you’ve been to Westerville and especially if you live here, you most likely know who wrote the song “Up On the Housetop.” His name was Benjamin Hanby. But did you know that Ben penned more than just this Christmas favorite?
Here’s an excerpt from www.hanbyhouse.org:
Bishop and Ann’s oldest child, Benjamin Russel Hanby, was in the second graduating class of Otterbein University in 1858. He was a United Brethren preacher, a teacher, an abolitionist and a composer. During his short life, he composed over 80 songs including Darling Nelly Gray, Up on the Housetop, and Who is He in Yonder Stall? The latter is included in the current United Methodist Hymnal.
You may not be familiar with Ben’s catalog, but people of his day would have certainly recognized many of his melodies.
On Saturday, October 22nd, you can enjoy an afternoon full of Civil War music to benefit Ben’s Westerville residence, The Hanby House Historic Site. The songs, written about or by women during the Civil War period, will be presented by Columbus musicians Steve and Lisa Ball. Not only will the lyrics and the harmonies take you back 150 years, the guitar Steve plays is a Civil-War era Martin!
All proceeds from this concert will help support the programming and educational efforts of Hanby House. For more information about Hanby House and how to order advance tickets for the concert, visit the Hanby House website.