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The Shape of Melodious Marketing

Thursday, April 28, 2022, 7 pm, Hybrid Event (In-person and virtual)

The nineteenth century saw many innovations and changes occur over a short period of time. One of those innovations was a new form of music notation called shape-notes. The Ruebush-Kieffer Company was one of many which were instrumental in the promotion of shape-note music. Using unique marketing strategies, Ruebush-Keiffer promoted their business and spread shape-note singing traditions from the Shenandoah Valley throughout North America during the nineteenth century and into the twentieth.

The presentation will reveal how the savvy of a small printing enterprise in Rockingham County grew into a nationally prominent and influential purveyor of musical resources for Victorian families, schools, and churches. Tyler Brinkerhoff has based his graduate studies in Public History on this subject. His curator’s talk is the result of significant research and interpretation which culminates in a new exhibition at Rocktown History and an new online resource for future research.

Tyler Brinkerhoff will present his talk to a live audience at Rocktown History, 382 High St., Dayton, VA, 22821. Taking a cue from the Ruebush-Keiffer Company, the use of innovative nation-wide media (Zoom webinar) seeks to promote the program and influence a broader attendance.

About Tyler Brinkerhoff

Utah native Tyler Brinkerhoff received a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Weber State University in 2019. Tyler has a passion for researching, especially family history, and has used that passion in his career as a historian. While completing his undergraduate degree, he worked as a museum assistant at Ogden Utah’s Union Station Museum. 

His love for travel, adventure, and history brought him, along with wife Katie, to Virginia to study at James Madison University. For the past two years, Tyler has been a teaching assistant at JMU and has worked as a museum assistant at Rocktown History. After he earns his Masters Degree in Public History in May, he plans to continue his pursuit of history by pursuing employment in the field.