Hammerstein Music Festival to Celebrate the Preservation of Highland Farm

A weekend of music, art, and community to support the preservation of a historic landmark.

By: Sep. 21, 2023

Hammerstein Music Festival to Celebrate the Preservation of Highland Farm The Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center will present the first Hammerstein Music Festival on Sunday, October 22 from 1:00 to  4:00 PM at Lenape Middle School in Doylestown, PA. This inaugural festival is set to celebrate the  nonprofit’s recent purchase of Highland Farm, Hammerstein’s home and workplace in Bucks  County. The event will kick off with lunch options from local restaurants from 1:00 until 2:00 PM in  the middle school’s parking lot, followed by an interactive community sing-along of both Oscar  Hammerstein II’s and his mentee Stephen Sondheim’s most popular songs. Leading the sing along  will be local musicians, theatre groups, and school ensembles, as well as finalists and winners of the 2023 Hammerstein International Youth Solo Contest. 

Groups and individuals slated to perform include the No Name Pops (former Philly Pops Chorus),  the Patriot Players of Central Bucks High School East, Lenape Players, students from the voice  studios of Anne Odland and Joan Myerov, Richard Gaylord, and others. Attendees will also have the  opportunity to purchase tickets for a tour of Highland Farm and OHMTEC memorabilia. 

The festival marks OHMTEC’s purchase of Highland Farm, the home where Oscar Hammerstein II lived  with his family for the last 20 years of his life. This is the place where he forged his legendary partnership  with Richard Rodgers and that inspired many of their greatest musical works, including The Sound of  Music, Carousel, The King and I, Oklahoma! and South Pacific, and where he mentored a young Stephen  Sondheim. Over 75 Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Pulitzer Prizes can be directly  traced back to Highland Farm. 

OHMTEC’s mission is to honor the Broadway legend’s groundbreaking work as a lyricist, librettist,  mentor, and humanitarian and to educate and inspire the next generation of theatre afficionados, with special opportunities for diverse and underserved communities. The nonprofit’s vision is to restore the historic property and create a multifaceted and dynamic museum experience with a strong theatre  education component.  

Now that the nonprofit has secured the Highland Farm property, fundraising will begin in earnest in  order to commence the next phase of the project: preparing physical infrastructure for public use,  restoring the historic home, and curating the museum. The fundraising target for this third phase is  estimated to be at least $1,500,000. The fourth and final phase of the project will be to create a  theatre education center on the property currently occupied by the historic barn. 

Hammerstein’s role as a mentor and humanitarian will play a large role in the forthcoming theatre education  center. Plans include a youth theater company; classes in theater, dance, and music production; mentorship  programs for young adults and emerging professionals; school programming; writer’s retreats; and outreach  programs for all ages, both in-person and virtual. Consistent with the nonprofit’s goal to provide learning  opportunities for all, programming fees will be on a sliding scale, and no one will be turned away. 

Tickets to the Hammerstein Music Festival are on sale at  

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Individuals and entities interested in being a part of this legacy project can visit OHMTEC’s donation page  at HammersteinMuseum.org. Contributions of any amount can be made by check, credit card or appreciated  securities. Naming opportunities are available for rooms and spaces in the house and barn. For more  information email hammersteinmuseum@gmail.com

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