Smithsonian Exhibition in Forsyth Explores Roots Music Traditions

The White River Valley Historical Society (WRVHS), in cooperation with the Missouri Humanities Council, will explore aspects of America’s roots music as it hosts the local showing of New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition. New Harmonies will be on view Aug. 15 – Sept. 26 at the Historical Society’s new museum location, 297 Main Street, Forsyth. New Harmonies Exhibit hours are Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, Noon – 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, 1-4 p.m. Evenings & Sundays for groups by appointment.

The WRVHS and the surrounding community were expressly chosen by the Missouri Humanities Council (MHC) to host New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music as part of the Museum on Main Street project – a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour six communities in Missouri from March through December.

As Americans from a variety of heritages shared cultural influences, musicians found new ways to play unique sounds learned from new neighbors on traditional instruments. The inevitable intermingling of musical influences created exciting new sounds – new American music. Through a selection of photographs, recordings, instruments, lyrics and artist profiles, New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music will explore the distinct cultural identities of American roots music forms. The exhibition will examine the progression of American roots music. Musical genres profiled in the exhibition include zydeco, tejano, bluegrass and klezmer.

“We are very pleased to be able to bring New Harmonies to our area,” said WRVHS President Ingrid Albers. “It allows us the opportunity to explore this fascinating aspect of our own region’s musical history and we hope that it will inspire many to become even more involved in the cultural life of our community.”

“Allowing all of our state’s residents to have access to the cultural resources of our nation’s premiere museum is a priority of the Missouri Humanities Council,” said Patricia Zahn, MHC associate director. “With this special tour, we are pleased to be working with the White River Valley Historical Society and the Forsyth community to help develop local exhibitions and public programs to compliment the Smithsonian exhibition.”

Free events, times, dates and locations includeNew Harmonies Exhibit Opening: Aug. 15-Sept. 26 (See schedule above.);Opening Night Concert with BIG SMITH and Blues by Pokey LaFarge. Sunday, Aug. 16, 4 p.m. Shadowrock Park:Gospel Gathering featuring some of the best Ozark’s gospel groups. Sunday, Aug. 23, 2 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, Branson; Music at the Cabin: Celtic, British and American Ballads from Nancy Walker and Mike Micham. Judy Domeny and The Stringfield Band. Saturday, Aug. 29, 7 p.m., The Log Cabin at Shadowrock Park, Forsyth; Pickin’ Party: Old Time Jam Session & Potluck. Friday, Sept. 4, 6:30 p.m., The Taney Center, Forsyth and the WRVHS Quarterly Meeting & Annual Ice Cream Social. Native American Music: Sunday, Sept. 13, 1 p.m., The Taney Center, Forsyth.

Weekly free “brown bag” lunchtime events at the Museum include:

“Get Downtown” free lunchtime concerts, Each Thursday, noon, WRVHS Museum.
Kids Konnection each Tuesday, noon, Museum.
Lunch & Learn music programming for adults, each Wednesday, noon, Museum.
Karaoke 4 Kids, each Saturday, 1-4 p.m., Museum.

New Harmonies events culminate in the only ticketed event of the series, the Second Annual Shadowrock Jubilee featuring a variety of bands – The Best of Roots Music. Tickets will cost $8 in advance at the museum and $10 at the gate. The Jubilee will be held Saturday, Sept. 26, at 4 p.m., in Shadowrock Park, Forsyth.

Information about the “new Harmonies exhibit, activities and events can be obtained by calling the White River Valley Historical Society and Museum at 417-546-7272 or logging onto

New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. More information about New Harmonies and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions can be found at

Publication of this press release, on this site, sponsored by Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of Branson show and attraction tickets and lodging. BTC can be reached by calling 800-785-1550 or by visiting their website

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