Black History Month Celebration

Old Salem Museums & Gardens cordially invites you to join us as we celebrate

Black Music through the Decades, Salem to Happy Hill

featuring Dr. Myron Brown, Chair of Music, Winston-Salem State University

and Mr. Jonathan Williams, Organist, Home Moravian Church, on the historic Tannenberg Organ

Guests will also be invited to see 

Selections from Across the Creek:  Happy Hill

from the 1998 landmark exhibit Across the Creek from Salem: The Story of Happy Hill, 1816-1952

3 – 5 PM on Saturday, February 25, 2023

 Old Salem Visitor Center, 900 Old Salem Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

This event is FREE, donations will be accepted.

Seating is limited so kindly RSVP by February 22, 2023, to:  [email protected]

In celebration of Black History Month, Old Salem will present a program of music that  African Americans and other residents of early Salem enjoyed or used in worship. The event will be held Feb. 25 at 3 pm in the Gray Auditorium of the Old Salem Visitor Center.

The program will feature Jonathan Williams, organist for Home Moravian Church, playing the historic Tannenberg Organ, and Dr. Myron Brown, associate professor and chair of the music department at Winston-Salem State University.

Following the performance, there will be a reception and viewing of the exhibit Selections from Across the Creek: Happy Hill. Exhibit guides will include Martha Hartley, director of Moravian Research for Old Salem, and representatives from the Happy Hill Neighborhood Association and Triad Cultural Arts.  The exhibit features photographs from the landmark  1998 exhibit “Across the Creek from Salem: The Story of Happy Hill, 1816-1952,” new oral history interviews, Leo Rucker portraits, and The Shotgun House Project plans. 

Using photos, stories, history, and memories of the people of Happy Hill, the exhibit showcases the historic Freedman’s neighborhood established in 1872, the first African American neighborhood in Winston-Salem.  The exhibit is presented in honor of Mel White, Old Salem’s first director of African American Programs, who gathered much of the material shared in the exhibit.

The music program and exhibit presentation are both free to the public, but RSVPs are strongly recommended. Please contact [email protected]. In addition, the Selections From Across the Creek exhibit is on permanent display in the Visitor Center, for free, during Old Salem’s normal operating hours of Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Williams, who is a member of the board of trustees of the Moravian Music Foundation, served as director of music and organist at Kernersville Moravian Church and organist/accompanist at Ardmore Baptist Church, where he chaired Arts at Ardmore, a visual and performing arts series. He studied organ performance with Faythe Freese at the University of Alabama where he won the AFMC – Sarah Caldwell Lee Organ Competition at Samford University and the Clarence Dickinson Organ Festival Competition at William Carey University.

Brown, who joined the WSSU faculty in 2010, serves as the advisor of the WSSU Inspirational Voices Gospel Choir and the chair of WSSU’s Lyceum Cultural Events Committee. He serves in the music ministry of United Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church and has been President of the Winston-Salem Piano Teachers’ Association since 2017. He holds a doctorate in musical arts from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he studied with both Elisabeth and Eugene Pridonoff.