2009: Lincoln’s Bi-Centennial Year

Abraham Lincoln was born 200 years ago. And The 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band joined whole-heartedly in the celebration of this significant birthday of our 16th President.  Here is a list of our performance events to celebrate the Bi-Centennial Year. Check out the photos below:

  • The 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band kicked off its “Lincoln’s Bicentennial Year” season with a concert at the G.A.R. Memorial Hall in Rockford, Illinois on February 1st.  Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (Department of Illinois), the Battery “G” Second Illinois Light Artillery, and the Memorial Hall Board of Trustees were the sponsors of this celebration of the Bi-Centennial and Black History Month.  In addition to Battery “G”, the program also included the 29th Infantry Regiment United States Colored Troops re-enactors and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, General John Logan Camp #26.  Steve A. Cole portrayed abolitionist Fredrick Douglas and Max and Donna Daniels portrayed Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln.
  • Bloomington, Illinois presented “Lincoln’s in Town” at the newly-renovated Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts on February 13. The band performed at a special reception in the ballroom prior to the dramatic presentation. The play featured some very interesting facts about Lincoln’s presence in Bloomington as well as his relationship to Supreme Court Judge David Davis. Adding a very special flavor to the presentation by the band was the Peoria-Metamora Dance Society, which performed to the period music of the band.
  • On February 16, the band performed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield. The band performed in the atrium of the museum for many guests from all over the world. Tapes and CD’s by the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band are available at the ALPM Gift Shop.
  • The Glen Ellyn Historical Society hosted its Founders’ Ball at the Crown Plaza in Glen Ellyn, Illinois on February 28 with the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band providing dance music. About 140 guests attended this gala; many dressed in outfits appropriate for Lincoln’s inaugural ball in 1865. Max and Donna Daniels appeared with the band as Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln, and members of the Peoria-Metamora Dance Society guided novice dancers through the steps.
  • Sterling High School in Sterling, Illinois presented the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band in concert as part of its educational emphasis on the 200th birthday of President Lincoln. Many youngsters and parents attended the concert and enjoyed talking with band members afterward.
  • On April 18, the band performed again in Springfield, Illinois. This event was sponsored by the Sons of Union Veterans, which presented the annual Wreath-laying Ceremony at Lincoln’s Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Representatives from various parts of the country participated in the ceremony. Regrets were received and read to the group from President Obama.
  • Keokuk, Iowa on the weekend of April 25-26 was the scene of the 12th Annual Battle of Pea Ridge and the Battle of Wilson’s Creek. This year, members of the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band provided a “learning station” for the school children that came to visit the grounds on Friday prior to the re-enactment weekend. The band presented circle concerts at Rand Park and provided music for the Saturday night period ball at the former Catholic High School. The band also played for the military salute and church services at the Keokuk National Cemetery in honor of all Civil War soldiers who died in that great conflict.
  • The Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, Illinois provided the setting of a concert for the Pennsylvania State University Civil War Museum supporters on May 2.
  • The G.A.R. Hall in Peoria celebrated its 100th birthday along with the 200th birthday of President Lincoln on May 30. Members of the Peoria-Metamora Dance Society and other period re-enactors honored this grand old building by dancing to the strains of the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band. Band members are grateful to Connie and Larry Wachtveitl for organizing this very special event and for their continuing support of the band and the Peoria GAR Hall.
  • On June 6, the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band played a concert for alumni on the grounds of the Monmouth College President’s Home, “Quimby House,” at Monmouth, Illinois. This event was part of Monmouth’s “Golden Scots Celebration” in honor of Lincoln’s 200th birthday and was attended by many Monmouth College alumni.
  • The band performed in Normal, Illinois at the amphitheatre on September 12 along with the Peoria-Metamora Dance Society. This is the second year the band has performed at this lovely new venue in “Uptown Normal”. And the visually-pleasing dancers were a very special attraction.
  • The 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band came “full circle” on September 26 with a performance at the David Davis Museum in Bloomington, Illinois. Staff members of the museum were credited with having “given birth” to the band with a request in 1995 for special music to create the sounds of the era of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, which were being re-enacted at the home of Supreme Court Judge David Davis. This 1995 performance was the beginning of the re-created 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band under the leadership of Gary Borling.
  • A new re-enactment was staged in Savannah, Illinois on the weekend of October 10-11. The 33rd Band played for a period ball at the Old Military Depot area on the Mississippi River on Saturday evening. The band also provided music for the church service on Sunday. 


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