a song for voice and piano
Composer Facsimile Edition, 5 minutes
The composer writes: "Golden Wedding was written in 1999 on a commission from Nancy Ann McGary of Harrison, Ohio, who is the great-granddaughter of the couple whose 50th wedding anniversary was being celebrated. I had made Nancy's acquaintance several years previously through a mutual friend. Nancy sent me a variety of materials relating to her family history and my eye was caught by a newspaper article from the Harrison News, year 1900, that describes the Golden Wedding Anniversary Celebration of George Hoppin and Rebecca Ireland Hopping, held in what is still the family homestead, a beautiful farm house (complete with one-room schoolhouse out front), that I was privileged to visit. It has proven impossible to trace the author of the article, but I'd like to give her a hug... along with Mrs. Edna Shatch who brought the "pair of pickle dishes"! The photo that survives must have been the work of Professor Moeller with his "picture making machine."
"According to the custom of the day, it seems that a woman was mentioned by name only if she was single or widowed, for if she was married, her name was obliterated, reduced to "and wife." Even the woman for whom the great occasion was given remains nameless! And clearly this is not for lack of space, inasmuch as every last "berry spoon" and "sugar shell" was highlighted. Briefly mentioned is H.H. Roudebush, Nancy's grandfather, a farmer and singing teacher whose wonderful old desk still graces one of the bedrooms, its contents undisturbed. Lying on top is his register of grains, raised and sold (written in a beautiful longhand), which is generously padded out with song lyrics."
Golden Wedding was premiered on December 13, 2001, by Pamela Jordan Schiffer, accompanied by Jeffrey Watson, in a concert by the Contemporary Music Forum in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. The piece is dedicated to Nancy Ann McGary and her great-grandmother, Rebecca Ireland Hopping. The recording heard here is with Shannon Parks, soprano, and Edith Di Bartolo, piano.
There are versions for both medium and high voice.
Music by Anna Larson
(Lyrics taken verbatim from the text of a 1900 newspaper account of the golden anniversary celebration of the wedding of George Hopping and his wife, Rebecca Ireland Hopping in Harrison, Ohio.)
For their great granddaughter, Nancy Ann McGary The fiftieth anniversary of the wedding of George Hopping and wife was celebrated at the homestead farm near Hunt's Grove last Saturday. One hundred and forty persons were present, six children and eleven grandchildren being among the number.
Below we give a list of presents.
The little folks romped and played on the green grass, and the old people sat around and conversed of by gone days.
Berry spoon, Charles Hopping.
Berry spoon, Catherine Beard.
Large arm chair and gold headed cane by the children.
Berry spoon, Nick Fox and wife.
The dinner was a very elaborate affair, conceived principally by Mrs. Frank Campbell, who knows just how to tickle the palates of a hungry multitude.
Gold cream ladle, Joseph Haddock.
Gold fish fork, E. R. Lake.
Gold desert spoon, Joseph Cilly and daughter.
Water set, Andrew Hili and wife.
One of the pleasant features of the occasion (pin tray Mrs. Eva Fulton) was the presence of Professor Moeller with his picture making machine, (pair of pickle dishes Mrs. Edna Shatch) who caught several views of the crowd (half dozen gold banded goblets Mr. and Mrs. George Liming).
Pair of vases, Mrs. Sally Coleman.
Lace handkerchief, Miss Lizzie Turner.
Berry set, Mr. and Mrs. Will Doobterman.
China fish dish, A. B. Kendrick and wife.
Thirty five dollar gold piece, George Minges.
Flower vase, Harry Bowles and wife.
Pocket book, lamp mat, pocket knife, parlor lamp:
John Liming, Miss. Susie Schroyer, Henry Hopping, John M.
Schroyer and wife.
Gold butter knife and sugar shell, D. H. Pottenger.
One dozen berry dishes, Neil Betcher and wife.
Gold sugar shell, H. H. Roudebush...
And it was remarked that several old widowers and widows were found in close proximity.