The Jacksonville community will get a chance to go back in time and hear Abraham Lincoln and the music of his time period next month in a special performance. Lincoln, the Great Communicator will be an 8-stop tour through the Lincoln National Heritage Area beginning on February 20th at Illinois College. Illinois folklorist and musician Chris Vallillo says the series will provide a personal touch to the president. Vallillo will be playing selections that President Lincoln knew. He says it will be like having a conversation with the president, and he will play the songs he requests.
Lincoln impersonator George Buss says that the music coupled with the president’s speeches will help bring a higher level of engagement to the well-known figure’s history through the medium of music.
Vallillo will be bringing a variety of time-period appropriate instruments and songs to the performances around the state. Buss says the casual setting coupled with the formality of some of speeches will bring the ambiance. Buss says that the Lincoln Heritage Coalition has been responsible for helping these free performances come to the area. Vallillo says the coalition has done some remarkable things in the past few years in bringing awareness and programs to the 43 county wide area that the heritage area covers.
Buss says that the Jacksonville connection for the first stop of the tour may have a hint of a local connection to Lincoln’s history. Buss says it will be great that the first stop will have the backdrop of Illinois College.
The performances at Jacksonville as well as in Ottawa, Mahomet, Pontiac, Carthage, Decatur, Freeport, and Lincoln from February to May are all free and open to the public. The performance in Jacksonville is Thursday, February 20th at 7PM at the Sibert Theatre on the Illinois College campus. The full schedule of the remaining events can be found at lookingforLincoln.com.