October 07, 2013

‘America’s Music’ coming to Morris Library

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- “America’s Music,” a six-week series incorporating films, music and interactive discussions, is coming to Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The programs begin Oct. 19, at 2 p.m., and continue every Saturday at the same time through Nov. 23 in the John D. Guyon Auditorium at Morris Library.  The presentations are free and open to the public. SIU Carbondale is one of just 81 universities and non-profit organizations chosen nationwide to host the series.

Each session of “America’s Music:  A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway” will have a different musical theme.  The sessions focus on “uniquely American musical genres” and include blues and gospel, Broadway and “tin pan alley,” swing/jazz, bluegrass and country, rock ‘n’ roll, and Latin rhythms from mambo to hip hop.             

The two-hour programs will feature film clips from musical documentaries that include performances and interviews with performers.  There will also be discussions led by Maria Johnson, associate professor in the School of Music. Light refreshments will be served following the programs.

“These programs will be very entertaining and engaging.  They are designed to help people learn about America through its music and to engage people in discussion about music and its role in American culture,” said Beth Cox, Library Affairs associate professor and special formats cataloger.

“America’s Music” is a Tribeca Film Institute project, in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint and the Society for American Music.  The project is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities:  “Exploring the Human Endeavor.”

In addition to the DVDs and other materials, SIU received a $1,500 grant to purchase other books and materials and fund correlated programs, Cox said.  Planning for those programs is underway.

For additional information about “America’s Music,” visit libguides.lib.siu.edu/americasmusic, email bcox@lib.siu.edu, or call 618/453-5594.