Thursday, July 16, 2020


Summer Music at the Museum

Coming to Springfield for the 150th commemoration of the Lincoln Funeral? You ca...

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Coming to Springfield for the 150th commemoration of the Lincoln Funeral? You can find all about the weekend activities at:

The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition
The mission of the 2015 LIncoln Funeral Coalition is to educate, coordinate and promote the accurate and dignified reenactment of the historic anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's funeral procession in Springfield, Illinois.

Mark W. Sorensen, Macon County Historian and ISHS Life Member, receives the Illi...

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Mark W. Sorensen, Macon County Historian and ISHS Life Member, receives the Illinois State Historical Society's "Lifetime Achievement" award from ISHS immediate past president Russell Lewis at the 2015 Annual Awards Ceremony, held April 25 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield. Photo by William Furry. More than 40 awards were presented at this year's annual ceremony. For more information about the Awards Program, go to

Thursday, April 30, 2015 Historical Marker Dedication Home for the Friendless/Fa...

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Thursday, April 30, 2015
Historical Marker Dedication
Home for the Friendless/Family Service
11:30 a.m., 7th and South Grand Ave.
Springfield, IL

This historical marker commemorates the Springfield orphanage and shelter known as the Home for the Friendless, which was established on Lincoln's Birthday, 1863. Originally intended for homeless and indigent women and children, it became a refuge for refugees from Union occupied states in the Civil War, specifically Arkansas and Missouri. The first refugees, under the care of Rev. Francis Springer, a friend and former neighbor of Lincoln, arrived in January 1865, and were "placed out" to families. Others became lifelong residents of the Home for the Friendless, which evolved into the Children's Service League and later to the Family Service Center, which still provides social services, counseling, and referrals to needy families. The marker will be dedicated on a site near the original Home for the Friendless. The public is invited to the ceremony and to a short reception afterwards in FSC Conference Room. For more information, call 217-525-2781 and ask for Bill.

Illustration: Springfield Home for the Friendless, pen and ink drawing by William Crook Jr. Used by permission.

The Lonesome Train An Illinois Premiere by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra The...

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The Lonesome Train
An Illinois Premiere by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra led by dynamic Music Director Alastair Willis will perform the Illinois premiere of the re-constructed orchestra version of Earl Robinson’s The Lonesome Train by Maurice Peress with text by Millard Lampell. The Lonesome Train includes narration, dramatized readings and song while the listener takes an illustrated musical journey across the United States. The narration depicts the mixed emotions of a country that was mourning their beloved 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, even though some could not believe that he had actually been shot. The Lonesome Train celebrates Lincoln’s Legacy as Music Director Alastair Willis creatively and musically brings a community together for an amazing performance as part of the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition Re-enactment.

The Lonesome Train is known for its wonderfully entertaining and riveting story as it depicts Lincoln’s final train ride through narration, dramatized readings, and song with chorus, orchestra and banjo. For this special performance, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra is joined by the newly formed ISO Festival Chorus led by Dale Rogers. The one hundred plus chorus includes members of the Springfield, and Bloomington-Normal, Illinois’ communities and will be joined by The Heritage Ensemble, a gospel chorus under the direction of Artistic Director and Founder, Sharon Reed of Peoria, Illinois. The piece will include many more community members including: Ralph Shank as the Balladeer, Calvin Hightower as the Preacher, Robert Weldon as the Square Dance Caller, Tom Mindock as the Soldier, John O’Connor as Abraham Lincoln, and Square Dancers from the Springfield International Folk Dancers. In addition to all community involvement, The Lonesome Train will be narrated by Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, Frank Williams.

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra is honored to be a part of the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition re-enactment commemoration and we invite you to be a part of this historic moment as we celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln! Concert will also include Copland’s John Henry, Honegger’s Pacific 231, and Gerswhin’s Porgy & Bess Suite.

The Lincoln Train
Friday, May 1, 2015 | 7:30 PM | Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, Bloomington, IL
Saturday, May 2, 2015 | 7:30 PM | Sangamon Auditorium, UIS, Springfield, IL

Buy Your Ticket Today for this Historic Evening!
Tickets for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra’s concerts may be purchased in Springfield through the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at 217-206-6160 and in Bloomington through the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Office at 309-434-2777. Single ticket prices range from $5 for students (6 years +) to $60 for premium seating. Tickets for youth (5 and under) are free with a paying adult. Senior discounts are also available.
Grammy-nominated conductor Alastair Willis is the Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Previous positions include Principal Guest Conductor with the Florida Orchestra’s Coffee Concert series and Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony. In the past few seasons, Willis has guest conducted orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, China National Orchestra (Beijing), and Silk Road Ensemble (with Yo-Yo Ma) among others. Born in Acton, Massachusetts, Willis received his bachelor’s degree with honors from England’s Bristol University, an Education degree from Kingston University, and a Masters of Music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

Dale Rogers, Choral Director
Dale Thomas Rogers has served as the Director of Music and the Arts at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield since 1986. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from I
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