Featured Entertainers and Speakers


A Masquerade Inspired by MASTERPIECE's Victoria, Season 2
March 10, 2018
7-10pm, WGBH Studios, Boston

During the course of the night, in addition to the music, cuisine and merriment, the Masquerade will feature 20-minute pop-up talks in our event spaces. Check back periodically in the weeks ahead as we add more speakers to the schedule.

7-7:45pm; 8:15-9pm; 9:15-10pm – The New England Brass Band

The New England Brass Band (NEBB) is the region's premiere British brass band. Under the distinguished baton of Director Stephen Bulla, this exciting 30-piece brass and percussion ensemble brings concerts and educational clinics to communities throughout New England, drawing the finest players from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maine. NEBB's mission is twofold: The group strives to present high-quality musical performances that demonstrate the beauty and uncommon sounds of British brass band music as well as provide a challenging setting for musicians to continually improve their brass band abilities. 

The New England Brass Band was founded in 1988 and incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1998. Since the 2008-09 season, NEBB has been directed by Bulla, who recently retired after 30 years as chief arranger to the president's US Marine Band and White House Orchestra.

NEBB has participated in the North American Brass Band Association National Championship contest since 2001 (Washington DC). Performance highlights include winning the Challenge Division in 2004 (Charleston, WV) and the Honors Division in 2006 (Louisville, KY). NEBB soloists and small ensembles have brought home four victories and 15 top-three finishes since 2003.

NEBB has produced an acclaimed series of compact disc recordings. All feature a variety of music and include performances by the band’s soloists. Its latest recording, "Christmas around the World" (2012), has been its most popular since its publication in late 2012, selling nearly 1,000 copies in the last three years.

More information and news can be found at NewEnglandBrassBand.org.

Stephen Bulla
Stephen Bulla received his degree in arranging and composition from Boston's Berklee College of Music, graduating magna cum laude. He has entered his third decade as chief arranger to the president's US Marine Band and White House Orchestra. He is responsible for the production of music that encompasses countless styles and instrumental combinations, most of which are performed for presidential functions and visiting dignitaries in Washington DC.

His compositions are performed both in concert halls and on broadcast media. In 1990, he was awarded the prestigious ADDY Award for best original music/TV spot. In 1998, he was honored by The Salvation Army in New York for his extensive contribution to its catalog of published music for bands. His commissioned concert works include instrumental compositions that are performed and recorded internationally. The Dutch, British, Swiss and New Zealand Brass Band Championship organizations have all commissioned test pieces from him.
Recent activities include a commission from the Library of Congress to complete and orchestrate the last known manuscript march of John Philip Sousa.

8pm – Lauren Whitley, Senior Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston presents her talk: High Fashion to Hoop Skirts: Fashion and Technology in Victorian England

Lauren Whitley is senior curator in the Department of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she helps oversee a global collection of 55,000 textiles, costumes, and fashion accessories. She has curated more than fourteen exhibitions including #techstyle, Hippie Chic, Icons of Style: Makers Models, and Image, and High Style and Hoop Skirts: 1850s Fashion. Ms. Whitley holds a M.A. degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, NY, and received her B.A. in Art History from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.  She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Humanities at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island where she is focusing her research on the intersection of American fashion and technology in the 1930s.

Lauren’s March 10 Presentation at 8pm
High Fashion to Hoop Skirts: Fashion and Technology in Victorian England
When the Great Exhibition opened in the Crystal Palace in London in 1851, it was intended to showcase the finest products from around the globe in the world’s first international exposition. In actuality, it largely championed England as the nexus of new technology and good taste, which extended to fashion as well. While we are apt to view Victorian fashion as conservative and constricting, in its day it was forward thinking, incorporating the latest in contemporary innovations and industrial advances. This talk will look at mid-19th century fashion as a reflection of both complex social structures and technological progress.

8:30pm – Lynne Zacek Bassett presents her talk: The Upholstered Woman: Fashion of the Gilded Age

Lynne Zacek Bassett is an award-winning independent scholar specializing in New England's historic costume and textiles. From 1995 to 2000, she was the curator of textiles and fine arts at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Since going independent, Lynne has undertaken a number of large projects, including exhibitions and publications on a wide range of costume and textile topics. From 2007 to 2017, Lynne was the guest curator, then adjunct curator, of costumes and textiles for the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut. Her 2016 exhibition and catalog for the Wadsworth, Gothic to Goth: Romantic Era Fashion and Its Legacy, was chosen by Google for its Arts and Culture Initiative. Lynne's contribution to the field of historic costume and textiles has been recognized by the American Antiquarian Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, Historic New England and the International Quilt Study Center, which have all elected her to membership in their honorary or advisory societies.

Lynne’s March 10 Event Presentation at 8:30pm
The Upholstered Woman: Fashion of the Gilded Age
Post-Civil War industrialization and rising middle class prosperity fueled a fashion for women's garments designed with a glove-like fit, embellished with remarkably complex drapery and trims, and worn over figure-altering corsets, bustles and hoops. This lecture will examine these fashions, the women (mostly) who made them, and the rising opposition to such encumbering clothing. The "New Woman" of the end of the 19th century paved the way for women's greater participation in traditionally male arenas — and the less restrictive clothing that such activities required.

9pm – Robert Dimmick, Etiquetteer, presents his talk: Evolution of the Dinner Party, 1837-1901

Robert DimmickRobert B. Dimmick has written on matters of manners as Etiquetteer at www.etiquetteer.com since 2001. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, he has a B.A. in English literature from Boston University and an M.A. in professional writing and publishing from Emerson College. A childhood inclination for both reading and courtesy led Dimmick to a wide-ranging autodidactic study of good and bad manners throughout history. He has served on the faculty of MIT Charm School and presented at Brass Ring Academy. He has served on the boards of directors of the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation, New England Philharmonic, Back Bay Chorale, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts Alumni Organization. He has been affiliated with the Gibson House Museum in Back Bay for several years and is the creator and host of their popular Repeal Day Celebration every December. 
Your etiquette queries will be eagerly received at queries@etiquetteer.com.
Evolution of the Dinner Party, 1837-1901 at 9pm
Home entertaining evolved during the 19th century, propelled by social mobility, admiration for European culture, and improvements in technology, such as gas lighting and indoor plumbing. The Victorian formal dinner became ever more elaborate in terms of courses, table decorations and rigid social distinctions and forms of behavior. This talk will look at different elements of a dinner party, from the menu, accessories and staffing to the behavior of the guests.

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