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America's Music

Eastern Illinois University will end its program, “America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway,” with a free concert on April 6 featuring 10 music and dance performances.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 6, in the Dvorak Concert Hall in the Doudna Fine Arts Center, EIU. The event is free, and no tickets are required.

A series of programs on “America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway” has been held on the EIU campus and in six East Central Illinois communities since Jan. 11. The series focused on six genres of music that are considered uniquely American: blues and gospel, Broadway, jazz and swing, bluegrass and country, rock ‘n’ roll, and Latino and hip hop. All six genres of music will be represented in the April 6 concert.

Musical performers will include Reverend Robert, a local blues musician; Flat Mountain, a bluegrass group made up of Mark Esarey of Charleston, Dennis Hart of Effingham, Roger Hart of Olney and Phillip Cramer of Casey; Motherlode, featuring folk music by Gaye Harrison, Wendy Meyer and Althea Pendergast; and the rock band Mark Rubel and Friends. Rubel is a music instructor at Eastern and a longtime bassist for Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets.

The concert also will feature vocalist Marilyn Coles, the Unity Gospel Choir and the EIU Latin Jazz Combo. Dance performances will be presented by the EIU Dancers and the Zeta Phi Beta step dance team. In addition, a Broadway Showcase featuring area high school and college vocalists is planned.

Related exhibits about “America’s Music” are on display at Booth Library on the campus of EIU. For specific information on the exhibits, click here.

The “America’s Music” program is being led by Allen Lanham, dean of library services, and Paul Johnston, associate professor of jazz studies. It is being sponsored in part by Eastern Illinois University, College of Arts and Humanities, Booth Library, Doudna Fine Arts Center and the Coles County Arts Council. The program is made possible in part by a grant from the Ruth and Vaughn Jaenike Access to the Arts Outreach Program of the College of Arts and Humanities, EIU.

“America’s Music” is a project by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint and the Society for American Music. It has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.