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Library program to examine music and musings of World War I

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 5, 2018

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TROY — It’s been 100 years since World War I — the Great War — ended. 

In commemoration of that, the musical group the Dugouts — consisting of Paul Balogh, Tom Dooley and Marilyn Hotaling — will perform music on the fiddle, drum, keyboard and guitar that were played by and for the soldiers of the Great War at the Troy Public Library at 7 p.m. Sept. 13. 

“We try to find things that are unusual, that stretch the boundaries,” said Anna Barlow, adult services librarian. “There’s a lot of interest in World War I and World War II programs in general.” 

The group dresses in period clothing and intersperses the music with short explanations of the music and historical points of interest. 

Dugouts were used for protection from shelling on the Western Front, as well as for areas to rest and to eat. 

The program is part of the music series offered at the library. The series will continue Oct. 11 with the blues stylings of the Blue Cat Band and Nov. 8 with the Oakland County Brassworks Quintet. 

Hotaling described the Dugouts’ music as the “usual singalong type” and including “A Long Way from Tipperary,” “Mademoiselle from Armentieres,” “La Marseillaise,” “In Flanders Fields” and other tunes that many have not heard before.  

“We’ll intersperse information about the song and small tidbits about the war and get to the music, because people want to hear the music,” she said. 

The group has performed at military museums and libraries throughout metro Detroit. They plan to perform at the Royal Oak Public Library Nov. 3. 

The Troy Public Library is located at 510 W. Big Beaver Road. 

Registration is required. For more information or to register, visit or call (248) 524-3534.