A New York state historical marker at the Bennington Battlefield site in Hoosick Falls. 

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HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. — In its latest initiative to enhance visitor experience, the Friends of the Bennington Battlefield has added an audio dimension to the 10 signage panels placed by the group on the Battlefield two years ago. The Battlefield is a New York State Historic Site located in Hoosick Falls.

Each signage panel now bears one or more audio-connected QR codes. Visitors point their smartphone camera at the code, tap the link that appears on the screen, and an audio file will play. The audio starts with a short musical prelude under a spoken introduction, then an actor’s voice speaking words from history, including accounts from inside the Battle keyed to panels located at the scene of the action described. The narrations are between 30 seconds and two minutes long.

Broadway luminary Kevin McGuire (who grew up in Hoosick Falls) supplied the voices of George Washington and General John Burgoyne, the former all but predicting the Battle of Bennington in a letter to General Philip Schuyler, the latter giving ill-fated orders to Lt. Colonel Baum, who led the raid on Bennington. Twelve other voice actors from the area, many known to local audiences from stage appearances and historical re-enactments, bring to life other first-person accounts. McGuire donated his services to the project.

One unique feature of the audio experience is Darrell Holovach’s original music. Mixing drum, trumpet, and flute, Holovach combines contemporary and 18th Century elements in miniature compositions that match the tone of each introduction. Holovach grew up next to the Battlefield and began composing music in his teens. He’s currently on leave from his post as music teacher at Salem Central School and is completing a Master’s in music education at the Crane School of Music.

The project was directed by writer and Friends board member Phil Holland of Pownal, Vt., who also voiced the introductions.

“There’s nothing like primary sources to lead you into the action,” says Holland. “You’ll hear accounts from a wide range of participants and other figures. We hope that when you listen to those voices as you stand at various locations on the Battlefield, you’ll connect with history in a fresh and immediate way.”

The public is invited to a brief commemoration at the Battlefield on Aug. 16 at 7 p.m., at which the project will be inaugurated in the presence of members of the cast.


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