ball on Lincoln's Birthday open to public
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[January 05, 2009]
SPRINGFIELD -- Antique
instruments, 140-year-old music, Civil War-era fashions and the
cutting of Abraham Lincoln's birthday cake will combine for what
might be the best birthday celebration of the year. The Lincoln's
Birthday 1860s Period Ball at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Museum in Springfield is scheduled for Feb. 12, starting at 6 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public, but advance reservations
must be made by calling 217-558-8934.
The 25 musicians from the 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiment
Band from Springfield, under the direction of Capt. Todd Cranson,
will provide the mid-1800s dance tunes for the occasion. They will
use authentic musical instruments from the Civil War era to produce
music as soldiers and civilians might have heard it long ago. The
band's antique instruments are smaller and lighter than their modern
brass counterparts, and they produce a distinctively different
sound. Cranson will conduct with a baton used by the leader of the
2nd Iowa Cavalry Band that performed for President Lincoln.
"It's worthwhile to note that the music associated with the Civil
War era, from ‘Dixie' to ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic,' was
originally performed on these antique
instruments, so guests at the period ball will be able to hear
these tunes as they were intended for public performances in the
mid-1800s," said Marilyn Kushak, chairwoman of the Illinois Abraham
Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
Dance mistress Deborah Hyland of St. Louis will teach the dance
steps to those unfamiliar with the waltzes, reels, minuets and other
dances of the era.
The band and a good number of participants will appear in full
1860s attire, including Civil War dress uniforms and hoop skirts.
Authentic 19th-century attire, while encouraged, is not required for
President and Mrs. Lincoln are expected to be among the
dignitaries in attendance and will preside over the ceremonial
cutting of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday cake. The special cake
will be created for the occasion by The Eli's Cheesecake Co.,
Chicago. Punch, coffee and birthday cake will be served.
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Performances of the presidential museum's acclaimed show "Ghosts of
the Library" will also be offered in AT&T Holavision Theater during
the ball. The two exhibit journeys highlighting Lincoln's life will
be open for tours as well.
The original 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiment Band was
formed in September 1861 at Camp Butler near Springfield and was
mustered out of service in November 1865. It was common for
regiments to have their own bands during the Civil War to keep pace
for marching, boost morale and play for special events.
The period ball is sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Library and Museum and the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial
The commission is working closely with numerous organizations,
tourism agencies and institutions to organize events and programming
for the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. The commission
is also partnering with local communities on their bicentennial
plans. Visit www.lincoln200.net.
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]