SPRINGFIELD – The 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiment Band -- a recreation of the original brass band that accompanied the regiment during the Civil War -- will present the first concert in its seven-part summer series beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 19, in Union Park across from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in downtown Springfield. The concert is free and open to the public.
Playing music of the Civil War era on period instruments, the band is an affiliated ensemble of UIS Music and is directed by R. Todd Cranson, assistant director of co-curricular music at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
The original 10th Cavalry Band was often referred to as “Lincoln's Own" since the musicians came from Sangamon County and the Springfield area. It was mustered into service at Camp Butler in November 1861 and stayed with the regiment throughout the war, mustering out along with the regiment in November 1865.
"This was unusual," explained Cranson. "Most volunteer bands were dissolved in 1862 because the musicians' monthly pay was $1 more than regular soldiers'. But the 10th Calvary commanders paid the extra amount out of their own pockets because they thought the band's music was so important in maintaining morale."
Cranson said that the present band's mission is to re-create the sights and sounds of the 1860s, educating the public about this tumultuous time in American history. He said that organizers have been acquiring period instruments and music over the past 10 years. In addition to its affiliation with UIS Music, the band is also part of the Heartland Brass Foundation.
For additional information about the 10th Cavalry Band, including a list of coming events, go to www.10thillinoisvolcavalry.com/band/.
For more information about music at UIS, phone 206-6790 or go to www.uis.edu/music/.