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Sharon Graf
217/206-6570
graf.sharon@uis.edu

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  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UIS to present "Fiddle and Dance Music of Lewis & Clark Era"

November 5, 2003

SPRINGFIELD - "Fiddle and Dance Music of the Lewis and Clark Era," a discussion and demonstration, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 13, in the Visual Arts Gallery on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield. Special guest for this program commemorating the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition will be Dr. Howard Marshall, retired professor and chair of the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Missouri - Columbia. The program is free and open to the public.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark began their famous expedition on the Missouri River on May 14, 1804. Along with Lewis, Clark, and the Corps of Discovery, the team included two men whose fiddle-playing skills contributed to morale and helped establish good relations with Indian groups they encountered along the way. For Lewis and Clark, fiddle tunes and dancing ("fiddle diplomacy") became a helpful ingredient in negotiations with tribes throughout the expedition.

Many of these tunes - such as "Soldier's Joy," "Leather Britches," "Pop Goes the Weasel," and "Yankee Doodle" - have been handed down through the generations and an array of them will be included in the evening's discussion and demonstration.

Marshall comes from a long line of musicians and learned his fiddle style from Missouri masters like Taylor McBaine, Johnny Bruce, Jake Hockemeyer, Pete McMahan, and Nile Wilson. He plays at festivals and dances, teaches, writes about fiddling, and conducts workshops and programs.

Sponsors of this event are the UIS Sociology/Anthropology program, UIS Music, and the UIS Speakers' Awards Committee.

For more information, contact Sharon Graf, assistant professor of ethnomusicology, at (217) 206-6570.

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