The Mosby Heritage Area Association and the NOVAParks System will host a rare performance of Clark Hansbarger’s multi-media Civil War show Dream of a Good Death at 7:00 pm on Sunday, May 22, at the Mt. Zion Church Historical Park 40309 John S. Mosby Highway, Aldie, Virginia 20105. Admission to the event is $18 ($15 advanced sales). Doors open at 6:30.

Part Folk/roots concert and part TED-talk, Dream of a Good Death is a multi-media evening of storytelling and music tracing the arc of the war.  The songs and stories follow the trials, hopes, fears and sacrifices of Civil War soldiers as they struggle through the Union conquest of Port Royal, the fires in The Wilderness, the killing fields of Cold Harbor, and the long siege of Petersburg.

Rich Gillespie, Executive Director of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, and Tracy Gillespie, NOVA Parks Site Manager for Mt. Zion Historic Park, are both excited about having their organizations host this exciting program.  They’ve been working with Clark Hansbarger for several years to agree upon a good date for it.  Rich says, ‘This is a truly worthy addition to the Adventures in History program series the heritage area and NOVA Parks work on together.  It is a great program for both adults and students, in a superb and evocative historical venue.’

Each song is introduced with slides and a bit of lecture to enrich the audience’s experience of the music, and then performed by Clark Hansbarger and his band The Bitter Liberals, featuring Allen Kitselman, Mike Jewell, and Gary McGraw.  As a special addition, the evening will also feature paintings of Civil War themes by artist Winslow McCagg.

Three years ago, Clark wrote Dream of a Good Death for the Civil War sesquicentennial. The show has since been performed in theaters throughout Virginia to large audiences, receiving strong reviews from a variety of notable sources. 

Historian Marc Leepson calls it “an exceptional achievement on several levels: the lyrics, the music, and the musicianship, as well as the thought that went into the entire project. Highly recommended.”

Howard Means, author and former editor of The Washingtonian magazine, describes Dream of a Good Death as “one of the most imaginative approaches to the Civil War I’ve ever witnessed. In short, terrific entertainment — the rare evening that leaves you better informed and fully satisfied.”

Former Loudoun educator Clark Hansbarger is a recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts and A PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. His work has been featured on National Public Radio’s The Sound of Writing and in magazines such as Shenandoah, Witness, Web del Sol, and The Gettysburg Review.

The Bitter Liberals’ two records “13” and “Again” have together received six Wammie nominations from the Washington Area Music Association, including Best Group and Best Recording in the Folk-Contemporary category, Best New Artist and Best Debut Recording.  The band performs regularly to large audiences at venues including The American Theater in Hampton, VA, Winchester, VA’s Bright Box, Leesburg’s Tally Ho, and Shepherdstown’s famous Old Opera House.

Videos, pictures, and music from the show can be found on Clark’s website civilwarsong.com. For more information, contact Clark Hansbarger at 540-533-8530 or  clarkhansbarger@gmail.com