University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Celebrates American Music Month
November 1-30, 2013

New Exhibitions  


The James Bond Theme: Music to Live, Die, and Love Another Day, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, April 11, 2013 – March 14, 2014.

Many film scholars have suggested that John Barry’s early Bond orchestrations established an entirely new music genre to portray the excitement and intrigue associated with the spy thrillers of the 1960s. However, the syncopated guitar riff that begins the “James Bond” music theme that was first introduced in 1962 for Dr. No, and the rich orchestral cadence of the infamous “007” tune that was launched in From Russia with Love in 1963 have remained the two quintessential melodies associated with all of the Bond movie sequels that followed between 1964 and 2012. Such prominent composers and performers as Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, Marvin Hamlisch, Monty Norman, Duran Duran, Carly Simon, Nancy Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass have followed in Barry’s artistic footsteps, but few have surpassed his influence on the musical portrayal of Britain’s most recognized super spy. This exhibit explores the historical and musical roots of these two distinct movie themes, and illustrates through music, photographs, graphic art, and oral history interviews their lasting impact on the Bond movie legacy.

How the Sousa Band Music Library Came to the University of Illinois, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, June 1, 2013 – June 2, 2014.

Victor August Herbert (1859-1924) was an American composer, cellist, and conductor who is most frequently remembered for his popular Broadway operettas Babes in Toyland (1903) and Naughty Marietta (1910) and the founder of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) in 1914. ASCAP protected the copyrights of compositions of its members which initially included Irving Berlin, Otto Harbach, James Weldon Johnson, Jerome Kern, and John Philip Sousa. When Herbert died in 1924 his extensive library of original and published music, which included works by Herbert and many other famous composers, was auctioned off for a fraction of its value. Sousa remarked in the article, “Sousa Will Leave His Immense Music Collection to Public Libraries” that appeared in Nashville’s Tennessean on July 26, 1924, “It was announced that… a bundle of scores of comic operas by Herbert went for $32. I can’t believe those were autographs of Herbert’s own compositions. The autograph original of the score of one of Victor Herbert’s operas ought to command a figure of at least $1,000.” This exhibit investigates how Sousa’s extensive library of original and published music came to the University of Illinois in 1932 and its continuing impact on today’s research and performance of early American wind band music.

A Musical Life: The Travels of Otto Mesloh, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014.

Like most musicians and music ensembles that toured throughout the United States at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Sousa Band traveled over 1,272,000 miles by railroad. Before the age of the inexpensive automobiles and the development of America’s interstate road system, reliable and efficient long-distance transportation between cities and states was only possible by rail. Train travel also had its downside which often included delays brought about by mechanical failures and accidents associated with collisions, derailments, locomotive boiler explosions, and bridge collapses. When Otto Mesloh performed with the Sousa Band between 1898 and 1899 he travelled extensively throughout the Northeast and Midwest, and his rail experiences were always positive. After leaving the band in 1899 Mesloh took a position as the lead cornetist with the Elite Musical Four and travelled extensively by train to perform numerous concerts in New York City, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City. This exhibit briefly highlights Otto Mesloh’s career with the John Philip Sousa Band and the Elite Musical Four, and graphically describes the 1906 train wreck that nearly took his life.

Traveling America’s Early Highways: A Strothkamp Family Road Trip 1920-1930, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 30, 2013 – July 7, 2014.

Charles Strothkamp played clarinet with the John Philip Sousa Band between 1926 and 1932, and when he wasn’t performing with the band he took countless candid photographs of the band as they traveled from town to town on America’s bustling railroad network. During America’s roaring 1920s the allure of traveling to new exotic destinations by automobile on the country’s developing byways had captured the imagination of many urban adventurers, like the Strothkamp family, who sought escape from the forests of brick and concrete that surrounded their city-dwelling lives. Charles’ black and white travel photographs colorfully portray the exploits of his family’s many road trips through America.

Celebrating the Harding-Hindsley-Begian-Keene Band Legacy at the University of Illinois, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, September 9, 2013 – August 18, 2014.

The University of Illinois, founded in 1867 as one of the country’s first Land Grant Colleges, was the first of its kind to establish a regimental band in 1868. The University’s band program during the early twentieth century became the model for all other collegiate bands across America. Serving as Illinois’ first band director (1908-1948), A. Austin Harding played a major role in the development of special educational and performance band clinics, and for his tireless work earned the reputation of being the dean of America’s school band movement. Mark Hindsley, as Illinois’ second band director (1948-1970), became the commander of orchestral transcription practice for bands with his arrangements of Rimsky Korsakov’s Sheherazade, Liszt’s Preludes, and Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, and his works remained the standards of America’s band repertoire for decades. Harry Begian was the captain of one of the country’s first collegiate band conducting internship programs at the University of Illinois (1970-1984) which helped better prepare future band conductors, and his efforts became a model for other band conducting programs. James F. Keene as Illinois' fourth band director between 1985 and 2008 founded Illinois' unique commissioning initiative which sought out new music compositions for wind ensembles that continue to influence American band performance. This exhibit explores the special historical legacies of Illinois’ first four band directors and their influence on America’s band directors that followed in their footsteps.

Live from the Crossroads: A Snapshot of Champaign-Urbana’s Local Music Scene 1980-1986, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, October 7, 2013 – September 29, 2014.

Each generation is defined by the popular music that it listens to, and during the 1960s and 1970s the hard-edged sound and message of America’s psychedelic rock and roll -- Purple Haze, Somebody to Love, and Black is Black -- was shaped by the unrest of the country’s involvement in the Vietnam War and its unrelenting demand for equal civil rights for all citizens. Michael Herr wrote in his 1977 publication, Dispatches, that this music was as “precious as water” for the children of the baby-boomer generation as they grappled with a nation’s changing societal values. As America’s next generation continued to respond to the country’s evolving cultural and political landscape, new performance genres began to aggressively fuse rock and electronic music into such creative expressions as Industrial, Goth, and Punk music. This exhibit will document the vibrant local music scene of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois between 1980 and 1986, and provide stories and photographs by Della Perrone of such musicians and groups as Adrian Belew and The Bears, the Elvis Brothers, and others who performed in Champaign and Urbana at this time. In addition this exhibit will also highlight the influence of local venues such as Mabel’s Bar and Chicos on this vital music scene.

Archie Green and the Campus Folksong Club, University Library Marshall Gallery, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, November 1 – December 31, 2013.

Archie Green was one of America’s leading twentieth-century folklorists who specialized in labor lore history and folk music traditions. He was a strong supporter of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal policies and often described himself as a “left-libertarian.” He earned his Master of Library Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1960 and a Ph.D. in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. He joined the Illinois faculty in 1960 with a joint appointment in the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations and the English Department. In the spring of 1961 the Campus Folksong Club (CFC) was organized by Dick Kanar and Vic Lukas with Green serving as the organization’s faculty advisor. Green wrote in the CFC’s first newsletter, Autoharp, which was issued on April 7, 1961, “If traditional folksong is to be heard on campus, other than via record and tape, it must be heard by importing true folksingers or by imparting to collegiate singers of folksong some respect for traditional material and styles.” This exhibit explores through photographs, music and oral history the remarkable story of the CFC and folklore studies on the Illinois campus between 1961 and 1970.


October 29   American Landscapes
Featuring the UI Wind Symphony
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Foellinger Great Hall
Tickets: $10 / $7 / $4

Prior to World War I owning an automobile was considered an indulgence for only the wealthy. However, during the 1920s and 1930s many Americans were able to purchase inexpensive cars and began taking auto-vacations to explore the nation’s beautiful countryside while traveling across the country on the Lincoln, Dixie, and Lee Highways. Join the Illinois Wind Symphony, under the direction of Linda Moorhouse, as they celebrate America’s diverse musical landscapes through Morton Gould’s Fanfare for Freedom, Percy Grainger’s Hill Song No. 2, Michael Daugherty’s Motown Metal depicting the sounds of the city that gave birth to the automobile, and Carter Pann’s Slalom, an audio portrayal of the composer’s exhilarating race down Steamboat Springs, Colorado’s snow-covered Mount Werner. A very special performance of Donald Grantham’s Concerto for Tuba and Wind Ensemble by University of Illinois’ Mark Moore, Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium and Chair of the Brass Division, will highlight the fiery virtuosity, sensual allure and jazzy syncopations of one of today’s leading composers of wind band music in America. For ticket information, contact Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 217-333-6280 or visit

October 31   Traveling America’s Musical Highways
Featuring the UI Wind Orchestra and a guest performance with the Normal West High School Band
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Foellinger Great Hall
Tickets: $10 / $7 / $4

Under the direction of Barry Houser, the University of Illinois’ Wind Orchestra will perform an exciting program of music that celebrates the colorful soundscapes of America’s wind band traditions. The concert will include Joseph Jenkin’s American Overture for Band and Frank Ticheli's Earth Song, a work that was originally composed for accapella choir and later arranged for wind band which provides audiences with a rich introspective reflection of the peace that music can bring to those who must journey through times of war. In addition the ensemble will perform David R. Gillingham’s Heroes, Lost and Fallen (A Vietnam Memorial) that highlights some of America's and Vietnam's most recognized songs and will conclude with Edwin E. Bagley’s National Emblem March, which John Philip Sousa considered to be one of the country’s most effective marches ever written. The Normal West High School Band, under the direction of Lisa Preston, will join the Illinois Wind Orchestra in this special joint concert to highlight the University Bands’ strong commitment to music education throughout the state of Illinois. For ticket information, contact Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 217-333-6280 or visit

November 2   CU Folk & Roots Festival Children's Programming
Champaign-Urbana Folk & Roots Festival
Time 10:00am-4:45pm
Urbana Landmark Hotel
Admission: Free

Mr. Stephens' Fabulous Family Show
Featuring Tim Stephens
Time 10:00-10:30am

The festival welcomes back “Mr. Stephens,” who has been entertaining Champaign-Urbana's children for years with his unique kid-friendly blend of serious and silly, fun and folksy guitar and vocals. Mr. Stephens doesn’t so much play for his young audiences but rather performs with them to encourage everyone's participation in the group sing along! Tim Stephens is also well known as the front man for Lonely Trailer, one of our great homegrown bands. For more information, contact Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival at

Oba William King: Storytelling and Drumming for All Ages
Featuring Oba William King
Time 10:45-11:30am

Twentieth-century folklorist and novelist Zora Neale Hurston described folklore as the “boiled-down juice of living and all the local places are like eating plates…but each plate has a flavor of its own because people… season it to suit themselves on that plate.” Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award recipient, Oba William King, effortlessly captures the audience’s attention and gently releases them into the playful realm of rhythm and rhyme of the spoken word. His lively theatrical presentations always actively engage audiences in the celebration of our individual cultural traditions and diversity. Join Oba in this special music and storytelling program dedicated to children of all ages. For more information, contact Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival at

Oba William King Workshop: Creative Art of the Drum Circle
Featuring Oba William King
Champaign-Urbana Folk & Roots Festival
Time 1:00-2:00pm

According to Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart people gather in drum "circles" to drum with others from their surrounding community, and as a result they share rhythms which enables the participants to get in touch with each other and themselves. The drum circle offers equality among all of its players because there is no head or tail, and through the group's combined rhythmic patterns new shared collective voices emerge as performers drum together. Bring your drum and join Oba William King in this special interactive workshop that highlights the creative art of the drum circle. This program is dedicated to children and adults of all ages. For more information, contact Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival at

Make and Take Instruments with the Viper
Featuring Ryan Jerving
Time 2:30-3:30pm

Join Viper as he explores the creative use of everyday objects as new music instruments that give his Famous Orchestra that special quality that audiences have grown to appreciate as the Viper Way. This hands-on workshop is for anyone with a creative itch that needs some musical scratching. For more information, contact Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival at

The Viper and his Famous Orchestra Family Show
Featuring Ryan Jerving as the Viper and his Famous Orchestra
Time 4:00-4:45pm

The Viper brings his ukulele and his Famous Orchestra for an interactive show of kid-tested, grown-up-approved music and mayhem. Learn how to play The Viper way on washtubs, suitcases, and other repurposed household materials, and sing along with the Orchestra’s unique blend of street-corner jazz, meeting-hall folk, and front-porch country. For more information, contact Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival at

November 15   San Francisco Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director and Conductor
Jeremy Denk, Piano
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Foellinger Great Hall
Tickets: $53 / $48 / $15 / $10

Fresh from the centennial season, the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas surge into the orchestra’s second century in a musical collaboration hailed as one of the most inspiring and successful in the country. This fall’s performance will include Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, Mackey’s Eating Greens, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major, and Copland’s Symphonic Ode.

Among the most artistically adventurous and innovative arts institutions in the world, the ensemble includes outstanding musicians, launches innovative programming, highlights the works of American composers, and brings new audiences to classical music. The orchestra has been recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in music education and the use of multimedia, television, the Web, and other technology—including the immersive online resources available on its site Keeping Score—to make classical music available worldwide and accessible to people of all ages and musical backgrounds. The symphony’s use of new technology to reach audiences dates back to 1926, when it became the first orchestra in the United States to play on regular radio broadcasts.

The San Francisco Symphony’s Krannert Center program is emblematic of this philosophy, blending core classical repertoire with works by historic and contemporary American composers. The New York Times says that featured soloist Jeremy Denk “is a pianist you want to hear no matter what he performs, in whatever combination—both for his penetrating intellectual engagement with the music and for the generosity of his playing.” For ticket information, contact Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 217-333-6280 or visit

November 20 and 21   Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way
By Monique Mojica
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Studio Theatre
Tickets: $24 / $19 / $15 / $10

Greening the Arts | In Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way, Toronto-based First Nations playwright and actor Monique Mojica (Guna and Rappahannock) creates a powerful journey that layers the stories of a girl-soldier, a Daughter from the Stars, and Sky Woman Falling (First Woman) with retellings of cultural stories of the Grandmothers of Creation. Mojica, accompanied by her mother—Spider Woman Theater co-founder Gloria Miguel—weaves realities to create a daring, thought-provoking narrative of creation, conflict, and healing. This is a co-presentation of Krannert Center, Native American House, and the American Indian Studies Program that is supported by the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. For ticket information, contact Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 217-333-6280 or visit

November 21   Joshua Redman Quartet with Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers, and Gregory Hutchinson
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Tryon Festival Theatre
Tickets: $48 / $43 / $15 / $10

A slight detour from graduate school in the early 1990s allowed Joshua Redman to sharpen his chops in the vibrant New York jazz scene. Within the year, the Berkeley-born son of legendary sax man Dewey Redman won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. Audiences were quickly drawn to the African, Indian, and Middle Eastern inflections of his style as he melded them with the influences of contemporary artists, most notably his musical godfather Sonny Rollins.

Now, after more than 20 years of top-notch performances (with five Krannert Center appearances, including a never-to-be-forgotten concert on September 12, 2001) and prolific collaborations with a multitude of artists, including pianist Aaron Goldberg, bass player Reuben Rogers, and percussionist Gregory Hutchinson, this charismatic trailblazer can still draw a musical mob scene with his ability to “take a familiar series of notes and wring it into exotic new shapes” (Washington Post). For ticket information, contact Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 217-333-6280 or visit

December 14  

Under American Skies: Celebrating Our Musical Community on Granny’s Porch
Featuring the Central, Centennial and Urbana High School Concert Bands
Virginia Theatre
Tickets: $20 for families / $5 for individual tickets

The year 1919 marked the beginning of the “Golden Age of Bands” in America’s public schools and John Philip Sousa served as a staunch advocate for the inclusion of music instruction and performance ensembles in every student’s course of study. He wrote in November 1923, “high schools will have to furnish the recruits for the musicians of tomorrow… I hope to see the day when all high schools will have music as an elective course.” This special fund raising concert brings together the community’s three exceptional high school concert bands in a special wind ensemble performance that highlights the diverse musical talent of Urbana-Champaign. The concert will conclude with the premiere of Benjamin Montalbano’s Under American Skies: A Hymn for the Common Man which is loosely derived from John Philip Sousa’s The Thunderer. The work was commission by the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music in 2012, and will be performed by members of the three bands under the baton of Barry L. Houser, Director of the Marching Illini & Athletic Bands and Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Proceeds from this concert will be used to help fund each high school’s band program. For further information and reservations contact the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music at 217-333-4577 or (

Performance Lectures

October 31
  The Wanderings of “Rock Island Line” and “Coal Creek March”
Guest lecture featuring Stephen Wade
Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
Admission: Free

Join musician, recording artist, and writer Stephen Wade as he reveals through words, photographs, sound recordings, and live performance on banjo, the origination and perpetuation of Rock Island Line and Coal Creek March by generations of musicians. Wade will explore the living lore associated with each song and their many creators as well as explain his own personal experiences collecting these stories. His presentation promises to not only capture the words and tunes of these traditional folk melodies, but also highlight the songs’ deeper musical and cultural spirit as they crisscrossed America’s musical highways. For further information and reservations contact the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music 217-333-4577 or (