August 25, 2004

University Museum's 'Words, Wood and Wire'

by Paula M. Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The sweet sounds of dulcimers will welcome visitors to the opening of a new museum exhibit -- at Southern Illinois University Carbondale -- that will retell the region's history through folk songs and musical instruments.

Folk musicians Prairie Moon Consort will set the exhibit's aural tone during a 4-7 p.m. opening reception on Friday, Aug. 27, to welcome "Words, Wood and Wire," to the SIUC University Museum. The museum is in the north wing of Faner Hall. Admission is free.

SIUC doctoral student Linda M. Smith, an ethnomusicologist in the anthropology program, helped obtain a state grant to partially fund the program.

A half-dozen additional, upcoming musical performances and presentations will bring the display to life during the exhibit's four-month run, ending Dec. 18.

Museumgoers may also marvel at a variety of musical instruments, some on loan from community members and others from the museum's permanent collection, which will be on view.

Special related events, all at the museum, will include:

  • 2-4 p.m., Sept. 19: Musician Dennis Stroughmatt will perform and discuss folk music.
  • 5-6 p.m., Sept. 24: Singer/songwriter Candy Davis will perform.
  • 4-5 p.m. and 6-7 p.m., Oct. 1: Two bands, Banjovi and Loose Gravel, will give separate performances.
  • 2-4 p.m., Oct. 8: Jo Burgess and Garry Harrison, both professors at Indiana University, will present their research on a collection of folk songs compiled by David McIntosh.
  • Nov. 3: Acoustic jam performance.
  • 4-7 p.m., Dec. 3: Prairie Moon Consort will play.

A grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois General Assembly is helping fund the exhibit, programs and concerts.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays through Mondays.

Please note the museum will be closed Sept. 6, Nov. 11 and Nov. 20-28. Enhancing cultural outreach efforts is among the goals ofSouthern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

For more information, visit the museum online at or call weekdays, 618/453-5388.