David McCormick ’01, ’03, ’09 (Bachelor of Music in Music Education, Master of Music in Performance, Artist Diploma) of the Early Music Access Project, based in Charlottesville, Virginia, is featured in a film, currently in production, honoring the black fiddlers of Monticello.
According to Early Music Access Project,
“In early 2020, scholar-performers David McCormick and Loren Ludwig used their fellowship at the International Center for Jefferson Studies to center the role of Black musicians in the narrative of American history, specifically highlighting the lives of Black fiddlers from the Scott and Hemings families who first made their mark playing at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Now, Early Music Access Project is pleased to partner with filmmaker Eduardo Montes-Bradley of Heritage Film Project on an hour-long documentary, “Black Fiddlers of Monticello,” based on this research.
“Black Fiddlers of Monticello” will feature the legacies of these two families of fiddlers, related by marriage. Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings had two fiddle-playing sons: Beverly played for dances at Monticello and Eston became a well-known bandleader in Ohio. Native American fiddler Jesse Scott married into the Hemings family and raised three fiddle-playing sons. The Scott family band was a fixture of downtown Charlottesville, played for Lafayette’s 1824 visit to Monticello, and was hired to play for balls throughout Virginia. Fiddling grandson Robert Scott, Jr. taught at the Jefferson School in Charlottesville, now the site of the African American Heritage Center.”
The project received major support from the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, allowing for production to begin immediately. Visit www.earlymusiccville.org to learn more.