2011: 150th First Manassas

The 2011 season began with a performance at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL on the occasion of the 16th president's birthday on February 12. Bloomington Country Club was the setting for a mock "Election of 1861" on April 9 with the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band providing music interludes and dance music. The event was a fund-raiser for the David Davis Foundation.

   April 16 was the date for the Sons of Union Veterans Annual Memorial Service at Lincoln's tomb in Springfield with musical selections by the "33rd Band".  The month of June included an appearance at the historic GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Hall in Peoria, Illinois. The band played two concerts in Springfield, Illinois on the same day, one at Union Square across from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and another for a "street dance" at Lincoln's Home. The band also provided music for the "Freedom Festival" in Saybrook, Illinois.

    In July, the band played for a "Living History Day" in Aurora, Illinois. Band members enjoyed performing on the lawn and taking tours of the historic Tanner House – "built in 1856 by William Tanner, a local Aurora businessman."  On July 20, the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band boarded a charter bus and traveled to Manassas, Virginia to provide music for the 150th Anniversary of the First Battle of Bull Run (also called the "First Manassas"). The band played nine concerts at various sites around town and appeared as the premier band for the ball at the Harris Pavilion. A very special feature of the week was a "dual concert" with another Civil War Band, "Old Town Brass" of Huntsville, Alabama. Band members, dancers, and re-enactors marched in a parade through downtown Manassas in extremely hot weather.  The Illinois group was treated to a tour of historic Fredericksburg, VA, a close-up view of the Air Force Monument, and a photo opportunity at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. We also enjoyed a concert by the United States Navy Band on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

In August, the "33rd" presented a concert on the grounds of the Baker-Koren Round Barn Farm Park in Manhattan, Illinois.  Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington, Illinois was the site of eight prelude concerts of "period music" as part of "Discovery Walk XVI". Tour guides organized groups for strolling the grounds to witness dramatic presentations of local Civil War era figures who actually lived in the area and are buried here. The two weekends in October were sponsored by the McLean County Museum of History, the Illinois Voices Theatre, and Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.


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