The Jenkintown project is a community-based portrait of a small town seen through the lens of
music, folklore, and oral history. The project seeks to bring disparate voices together through
the medium of sound recording, performance, visual narrative, and discussion. The final product
will be a CD of original music based on town folklore and a book consisting of town history from
the bottom up – voiced by people who are not traditionally the source of historical information.
The main artistic element in the project is music informed by oral
history and primary source research. Compositions speak to the character
of the town and create a loosely knit musical portrait. In order to
collect and create a living town history, the Project interviewed
townsfolk: the police chief, the vacuum salesman, Masons, the mysterious
bagman, and young people who have spent their entire lives within the
town. Ranging from banal, to hilarious, to odd, these stories serve as
content for creating original music.
We recently received grants from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council as
well as the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance to fund the creation of the
We will be holding a large public concert on January 13th, at 8PM to
celebrate the release of the CD and an accompanying book at Church of
Our Savior's Homestead Hall - 807 Homestead Road in Jenkintown.
For more information, please visit:www.benjaminhesse.com/jenkintown.htm.
The Jenkintown Project is fiscally sponsored by the Old York Road Historical Society and funded by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and
the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s 5 County Arts Grant.