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Abigail Adams' Words Inspire Modern Museum Music

Composer Melissa Dunphy talks to Philly Live’s Sheila Watko about the inspiration of Abigail Adams’ words in the new musical composition to be debuted by the Museum of the American Revolution.

Sheila Watko of NBC Philadelphia

Speaker 1 (00:00):

All month long, the Museum of the American Revolution has been celebrating Women's History Month with exciting events. And this week, they are premiering brand new music meant to inspire us all. Our girl, Sheila Watko has more. Hey Sheila!

Speaker 2 (00:14):

Hey Aunyea! This Thursday, the Museum of the American Revolution is hosting the virtual premiere of a new song composed by Dr. Melissa Dunphy and performed a capella by the Philharmonia Choir. Melissa was inspired by Abigail Adams' letter to John Adams in which she defended women's rights and asked him to remember the ladies as he fought for American independence. She compares the energy of her uplifting patriotic song to the feeling of marching in a protest.

Speaker 3 (00:41):

Where you are with a bunch of other people who feel the same way, where you are fighting for injustice, but it's the feeling of, it's almost joy. You know, of being in a group of people who feel the same way, and you're all fighting for the same thing.

Speaker 2 (00:58):

The museum has a whole exhibit in person and online, now through April 25th, called When Women Lost the Vote, a Revolutionary Story. Explore the stories of America's first female voters and why this right was taken away in 1807, and see Abigail Adams' letter on display. The museum is also featuring two new films as part of the exhibit. Before and after Thursday's performance, you can join Melissa and members of Philharmonia in a discussion about how music can inspire our communities in dark times.

Speaker 3 (01:28):

The song is my love letter to the women and the people of color back then who, you know, dreamed of a future like this, but maybe thought it was impossible. And it's also a love letter in a way to the future, because, I still think we have room to improve. I think we can get better still.

Speaker 2 (01:46):

For tickets to Remember the Ladies, a choral work by Dr. Melissa Dunphy, visit the Philly Live section of or the NBC 10 app. And as a side note, Melissa and her husband, Matt, found a ton of historic artifacts while they were remodeling their Philly home and the theater beneath it. And you can listen to their whole story of buying a magic theater from a criminal, and becoming amateur archeologists on their podcast called The Boghouse. I'm listening to it now, I'm about halfway done and it is so good, and Melissa is just so much fun and so cool. Aunyea, back to you.

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