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Phone: 309-833-4838
For grades: K-12
Fees for live visit: $1,500 plus travel; discount available for additional performances and block booking
Funding: Illinois Arts Council``Arts Midwest


Musician and storyteller »

With Abraham Lincoln in Song, Chris Vallillo takes the audience on a musical journey, making history come alive with his excellent blending of music and storytelling. He grabbed hold of the museum visitors here, establishing excellent rapport with the audience with this thoughtful, humorous and moving show.
--- Phil Funkenbusch, Director of Theaters, Shows Division, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, IL

Chris Vallillo's program, Abraham Lincoln in Song has been endorsed by the National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission as well as the Illinois and Pennsylvania Bicentennial Commissions.

Lincoln's life spanned a period of great change, growth and struggle in our young nation, and the music of his era movingly characterizes these remarkable times. The collection of music presented in Abraham Lincoln in Song helps shed light on one of history's most beloved figures, not only as a remarkable leader, but as a man, who knew and loved many of these very songs himself. From "The Battle Cry of Freedom," to "Lincoln's Funeral Train," the audience garners an understanding of what drove the interests and passions of one of America's greatest presidents.

Chris Vallillo performs the music of the program on a variety of wonderful old vintage instruments. The project was designed to be educational as well as entertaining, and includes interesting anecdotes about the featured songs and composers.
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Chris Vallillo is an accomplished six-string and bottleneck slide guitarist well known for incorporating original and traditional material to make the people and places of "unmetropolitan" America come to life.

As the Illinois State Scholar for New Harmonies, the Smithsonian Institution's traveling exhibit on roots music, Vallillo worked with a world class exhibition that tells the story of roots music in its many forms, from blues to folk to gospel, to country, to ethnic to bluegrass and more—a virtual sound track to the melting pot that is America.

Vallillo himself is a performer with an affinity for American roots music and a gift for translating historic topics into modern day understanding without losing the bedrock and foundation from which they surface. With the approach of the two year bicentennial celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday, Vallillo developed a unique program under the auspices of the Illinois Humanities Council: Abraham Lincoln in Song.

This newest venture weaves historic narratives with period music and contemporary folksongs in a celebration of the life and times of one of our nation's favorite sons. The extensively researched, historically accurate project showcases music Lincoln may well have known and sung.

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