Dedicated to preserving Newport’s rich musical heritage.

About Us

Historic Music of Newport was founded in 2022 to preserve the rich musical heritage of Newport, RI. In our first year as a recognized nonprofit we have:

  • Catalogued over 900 pieces of music with Newport ties from the early 19th century to the early 20th century

  • Researched over 700 musicians connected to Newport and began telling their stories

  • Purchased physical copies of music as well as postcards and personal letters with Newport musical significance, to keep this history in the city

  • Visited the Pennfield School, in Portsmouth, RI, to give a talk about our musical history

  • Provided tours of the Island Cemetery, highlighting the diversity of the musicians buried here

  • Co-sponsored the Gilded Age Orchestra of Newport’s performance at the Preservation Society of Newport County’s The Breakers

In our second year we are focusing on telling the story of Newport through the eyes of the musicians and their music. The city was home to a diverse group of musicians from all over the world, including the island’s native inhabitants, enslaved and freed African Americans, immigrants from around the world, and those born locally. They served in the Army at Fort Adams and the Navy at the Naval Training Station in Newport. They were orchestra members at the local theaters and organists at the many churches of Newport. Both professional and amateur musicians were important to the early musical life of the city.

Historic Music of Newport is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Help support our mission to preserve Newport’s rich musical heritage.

P.O. Box 539
Newport, RI 02840