Feature of Note

From the Curator's Perspective: Grainger's Free Music and Life in White Plains

November Tour Collage

Touring the Percy Grainger Home and Studio with curators Stewart Lee and Anne Ocone. Clockwise from top left: Stewart Lee (left) and visitor in the music room. Anne Ocone (left) and visitor in the dining room viewing a video from the Grainger Museum in Melbourne. Anne leading the tour through Percy Grainger's bedroom. Anne answering questions in Rose Grainger's bedroom.

In December of 2021, the Percy Grainger Society was awarded a grant to conserve our Free Music Machine, “Gliding Tones on Whistle, Notes on Recorders”, seeding the idea to create an exhibit on Percy Grainger and Free Music. Starting in the late 1940s, the house at 7 Cromwell Place was a hive of activity with much of the downstairs dedicated to Free Music experiments. Grainger worked alongside his wife, Ella, and a young scientist, Burnett Cross. Evidence of their work lies with the photographs taken, the pieces and elements of Free Music experiments found throughout the house, and in the notes from Percy’s day books. The exhibition, Tone Rhythm Pitch: Exploring Percy Grainger's Free Music, explores the collaboration between Grainger, Ella and Burnett Cross and highlights how the house was used as a creative workspace.

A special tour of the exhibit on Sunday. March 3 at 3 pm will be given by Teresa Balough, author of Distant Dreams: The Correspondence of Percy Grainger and Burnett Cross, 1946-60, and the new biography, The Life and Work of Percy Aldridge Grainger:Till Life Become Fire.

Tone Rhythm Pitch: Exploring Percy Grainger's Free Music will be on view until March 6, 2024. 

Learn more about the Gliding Tones on Whistle, Notes on Recorders Free Music machine conservation project by following this link to our blog.

The conservation of Gliding Tones on Whistle, Notes on Recorders was supported through the NYSCA/GHHN Conservation Treatment Grant Program administered by Greater Hudson Heritage Network. This program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. 

Free Music Image Collage

From the exhibit: A reproduction of a photo collage by Burnett Cross showcasing Free Music Machine activity at the Grainger home in White Plains c.1950-1960. 

At the Home & Studio

Historical Snapshots:
West Point Program

West Point Program April 28, 1940

Above: A concert program at the Percy Grainger Home and Studio from April 28, 1940 featuring Percy Grainger performing with and conducting the United States Military Academy Band (West Point Band). 

What would it be like to travel back in time and hold a program from one of Percy Grainger's performances in your hand? A visit to the Percy Grainger Home and Studio (PGH&S) would offer that opportunity -- without the time travel! Grainger's White Plains home is filled with items like this from his life and work.

Guided by our curators during the November Third Sundays tour, one visitor spotted this program from Grainger's performance with the United States Military Academy Band (West Point Band) from April 28, 1940. This concert program illustrates Grainger's work from the many angles we are currently exploring in the Grainger Reimagined series: arrangement, performance, composition, and in this case, conducting as well. Learn more about Grainger's military band service in this post on our blog, and follow this link to plan a visit to the PGH&S! 

Membership Happenings

New Year Begins with Membership & Programs Committee Meeting: January 6, 2024

Membership & Programs Committee

Have ideas for Grainger Society programming for 2024-25? We'd love to hear from you!

Join the discussion with the Membership and Programs Committee (MPC) on Saturday, January 6, 2024 at 11am Eastern Daily Time via Zoom. 

Register for the Sat., January 6 MPC Meeting

Save the Date

Last Day for Gift Matching:
December 31, 2023

Giving Tuesday

There are just a few weeks left in the calendar year to have your gift of support matched and multiply the mission of the Percy Grainger Society! Now through December 31, every contribution, no matter the size will help the society continue to:

  • Support membership programming and activities, and the publication and distribution of The Grainger Journal.
  • Bring history to life for visitors (virtual and in-person) and allow for public programs in the arts and humanities (such as our Spring Open House each year in April, complete with a concert and house tours).
  • Support ongoing repair and restoration of the Percy Grainger Home and Studio, and contribute to our efforts to care for and document the collection.

In addition to supporting the mission, every contribution (up to $7500) made by December 31 will be matched! Your help allows us to provide services, take risks, and complete programs not otherwise possible. Once doubled, donations provide much needed support that the Society can apply to needs, projects, and programs. Learn more about how you can help here.

Celebrate with a gift of support

Event Key

The Percy Grainger Society is pleased to offer both live and virtual events. You can easily determine if the events listed in this newsletter are live or virtual by the color of the registration button:

  green for live events  

  blue for virtual events. 

The Percy Grainger Society

7 Cromwell Place | White Plains, New York 10601




Our mission is to promote the work and legacy of Percy Grainger with a membership community that preserves his historic house, encourages appreciation performance of his music, and promotes a deeper understanding of the cultural, social, and economic context of his life and work.

(914) 281-1610

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