From Prairie to Farm to City: Music to Commemorate Illinois' Bicentennial (IL Bicentennial Speaker Series)


10/21/2018, 2 pm - 4 pm



Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St. Springfield, IL 62706

The music performed by singer and hammered dulcimer player Phil Passen reflects the story of Illinois, which has been shaped not only by its land and natural features – the prairies, lakes, and rivers – but also by the many cultures that have flourished here: those of Native Americans, French, Germans, African Americans, Latin Americans and numerous others. Songs of the Underground Railroad, which ran through Illinois, will also be featured. So will selections representing farmers, workers, labor struggles, disasters, and tragedies, as well as a few blues and rock-and-roll songs. Passen will provide commentary about the histories of the selections and the contexts in which they have been sung and played in Illinois. This will be an informative and entertaining look at Illinois, its history and its people. The word dulcimer means “beautiful song.” Audiences are fascinated by the uncommon, trapezoidal-shaped hammered dulcimer. After Phil’s performances, members of the audience, young and old, musicians and non-musicians, are welcome to take a closer look at the dulcimer and try their hand at it.