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New Concert Series to Begin at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield

Karen Everingham
New Concert Series to Begin at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield
Music at the Museum series opens on May 11
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Museum (ISM), in partnership with singer-songwriter/folk musician Chris Vallillo, will be presenting a new concert series titled Music at the Museum.  The series will present a wide range of roots and acoustic music that is representative of the rich heritage and culture of the Midwest from folk to blues, original to traditional, and everything in between. The Music at the Museum series will take place monthly in the Illinois State Museum Auditorium in Springfield.

For the past 24 years, Chris Vallillo has worked in partnership with the Illinois State Museum system in producing the Hickory Ridge Concert Series at the Dickson Mounds Museum near Lewistown in Fulton Co. 

“Our vision here is to create a similar style concert program featuring a higher level of artist than I can present at Dickson Mounds,” said Vallillo.  “Springfield is a great arts community and the Illinois State Museum is the perfect place to take things up a level.”

The Music at the Museum concerts will take place the second Thursday of each month throughout the year at the 200-seat Illinois State Museum Auditorium. 

ISM Director Mike Wiant is delighted for the chance to bring live performances back to the museum. 

“This museum isn’t just a storage facility for artifacts…it’s a living, breathing center of learning and culture that represents everything this region has to offer, and we want to make that available to everyone,” Wiant said.

The official kickoff event for the Music at the Museum concert series will be Thursday, May, 11 at 7:00 p.m. with a double-billing featuring Chris Vallillo, along with the Burr Oak String Band.  Vallillo has long been considered Illinois’ “prairie poet singer/songwriter” and is a highly accomplished guitarist on finger style and bottleneck slide guitars.  The Burr Oak String Band members are masters of a variety of instruments and styles, including old-time, raggy blues, bluegrass, and folk. 

“The idea is to start off with a great show to introduce folks to the series” said Vallillo.  “And we’ve got an excellent lineup of acts to kick things off with.”  

Other upcoming acts for 2017 include the Chicago blues duo Felisko and Nolden, world musicians Patchouli, songwriter Katie Dahl, and the old-time duo The Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers.

Concert admission is $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for Illinois State Museum Society members and kids under 12.   There will be a variety of desserts and drinks available during the break at each concert.

Check the full 2017 concert schedule at

The Illinois State Museum is located at 502 South Spring St., Springfield, IL 62706.  For additional information, call the museum at 217-782-7386.
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