Sousa returns to Peoria

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
A Tribute to John Philip Sousa.

It won't be the Sousa Band, but it will look and sound like the Sousa Band!  The Bradley University Symphonic Winds, conducted by Dr. David Vroman, will present a costumed, turn-of-the-century park concert in Dingeldine Music Center on the Bradley campus Sunday, Feb. 20, at 3 p.m.. The concert will be presented in the same style that John Philip Sousa used to entertain large audiences and which made him a household name throughout the United States. A pre-concert lecture featuring stories of the Sousa band will be presented at 2:15 p.m. by Scott W Schwartz, the Director and Archivist for Music and Fine Arts for the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The concert will be narrated by Mr. Bob Larson of WMBD television.

Admission is $15. Tickets are available at the Hartmann Center Box Office beginning on Monday, Jan.17 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on the Bradley campus or by calling 309-677-2650. Vocalist Linden Christ will perform as Sousa's "Lady in White." The concert will feature novelty numbers and music of great composers fulfilling Sousa's dual function of entertaining the audience and bringing the best music available to the public. There will, of course, be marches performed which will stir the patriotic blood, and, according to Sousa, "will make a man with a wooden leg want to get up and march." Tickets will also be available at the door, however, there are only 440 tickets for sale, so act now!  You will not want to miss this afternoon of special musical entertainment!

Linden Kathleen Christ is pursuing a career as a professional singer, director, conductor, and teacher. In the summer of 2005, Linden made her international debut in Rome, Italy as Gretel in the opera Hansel und Gretel. While in Rome, she also was a featured soloist with the Rome Festival Orchestra. Linden made her professional debut in January 2008 as First Lady in Die Zauberflote with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.

Linden has been the winner of numerous awards and scholarships including the National Association of Teachers of Singers, the DePauw Concerto Competition, and Handel's Messiah Sing-Along that featured Linden as the soprano soloist in Highland Park. She has won the Bel Canto Bravo Award two years in a row in Chicago. She received her Masters degree in Vocal Performance and Musicology at the Chicago College of Performing Arts in May 2008 while studying with the renowned soprano, Judith Haddon.  She was the featured “Lady in White” for the Sousa Concert two years ago in 2009.

Scott W Schwartz is the Director and Archivist for Music and Fine Arts for the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to his arrival to Illinois in September 2003 he worked as an archivist for the American music collections at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from SUNY at Fredonia in 1980, Masters of Music from Michigan State University in 1984, and completed three years of doctoral studies in ethnomusicology between 1984 and 1987 while at West Virginia University. His primary areas of research focus on preserving America's music heritage, American popular music, and the music and culture of the Appalachian serpent-handling communities of rural Kentucky. In addition he is Associate Professor of Library Administration and teaches courses in archival administration through the University's Graduate School for Library and Information Science.  Since his arrival at the University he has played the lead role in the development of a research center for America's music at the university and has been responsible for the re-energizing of a national celebration, American Music Month, that recognizes the contributions made by educators, archivists, librarians, and curators for the preservation of America's cultural legacy.

WMBD 31 News anchor Bob Larson considers himself a people person, even though he was once very shy. Larson says, "I enjoy meeting our audience, whether it be at the many parades each year or speaking to groups." Bob began his communications career at age 16 at WRMI radio in his hometown of Morris. In his 36 years at WMBD, Bob has served as a movie host, weatherman, reporter, and anchor. He is equally at home on radio or television. Bob has been honored by the Associated Press for Best Downstate Radio Newscast and Best Downstate TV Newscast, in addition to being named "Best News Anchor" by the Illinois Broadcasters Association. "I take the responsibility of giving Central Illinois the most comprehensive newscast we can very seriously," Larson says.  Bob has been the co-host of Peoria's Santa Claus Parade since 1974 and has also served as host for the Easter Seals Telethon and the MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon. He belongs to the Illinois Broadcasters Association, the National Weather Association, and the American Meteorological Society.

Dr. David Vroman is the Director of Band Activities and the Chairperson for the Department of Music at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. In this capacity he conducts the Symphonic Winds, Symphonic Band, and Basketball Band.  He also teaches advanced instrumental conducting, brass techniques, marching band techniques, horn and supervises student teachers. During the summer months Dr. Vroman is the conductor of the Peoria Municipal Band that is comprised of some of the most outstanding wind and percussion performers in Central Illinois.