My working title, reflected in a couple of posts to this blog, has been "Roads, Rivers and Creole Girls." For several reasons, I've focused it back on "roads and rivers" ... partly so I can bring out more clearly my belief that Virginia and the Great Wagon Road were kind of a cultural hearth for music in an already thoroughly creolized Anglo-American oral tradition, including the ballads and fiddle tunes brought by early settlers to central and southern Illinois. The news release for Sunday's talk, sent out by the Macon County Conservation District, is copied and pasted below.
Early Music of Central Illinois presented June 16
Anyone interested in the early music and history of our state is invited to attend a free musical performance and history program on Sunday, June 16 at 2:00 p.m. The program titled “The Early Music of Central Illinois” will examine the founding of the region’s musical heritage in the 1800s. It will be held inside the Rock Springs Nature Center which is located on the grounds of the Rock Springs Conservation Area in Decatur. Admission is free.
Before the Civil War the music of Central Illinois was influenced by various people and cultures which filtered in along the region’s roads and rivers. The musical performance and history program by Peter Ellertson of Springfield, Illinois, will explore these early musicians and songs which gave birth to an era of Central Illinois music that featured minstrel show songs, ditties from other countries and popular show tunes of the 1800s. Ellertson is a musician, freelance writer, former journalist and is a retired instructor at Benedictine University. He has studied music history and performed at various workshops, classes and folk festivals in Illinois and other states including the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina and Western Carolina University.
Rock Springs Conservation Area is located on the southwestern edge of Decatur. To get to Rock Springs from Decatur, go south on Route 48 and turn west onto Rock Springs Road or go south on Wyckles Road and turn east onto Rock Springs Road. Watch for signs. Plenty of parking is available.
10 second PSA ----- The Macon County Conservation District presents “The Early Music of Central Illinois” on Sunday, June 16th at 2:00 p.m. This free musical performance and history program about the founding of the region’s musical heritage in the 1800s will be held at Rock Springs Nature Center in Decatur. Admission is free. Call 423-7708 or go to www.maconcountyconservation.org for more information.