“Music at the Museum” Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King on Jan. 11 at the Illinois State Museum

Release Date: 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

ISM Location: 

For Immediate Release:

SPRINGFIELD, IL – As part of the January celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, the Illinois State Museum “Music at the Museum” Concert Series will present "Oh Freedom! Songs of the Civil Rights Movement" on Thursday, January 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. Award-winning Illinois folksinger Chris Vallillo will perform 11 of the pivotal songs from the music that inspired and sustained this landmark movement, along with historical narratives giving the backstories of the songs and first-person accounts of how the music was used within this historic struggle.   

The Civil Rights Movement has been called one of the greatest singing movements that this country ever experienced.  From the Freedom Riders, to the jails of Montgomery, Alabama and Parchman Prison, all the way to Washington D.C., both old and new songs of the era spoke of the yearning for equal rights, the struggle, and the determination to win freedom.  Songs like "We Shall Overcome" and "This Little Light of Mine" played a vital role in that historic struggle both as inspirational rallying points and as a way to spread the message of equality and justice.  Chris Vallillo will be joined by percussionist/vocalist Rocky Maffit, whose world-class R & B vocals helped the "Oh Freedom!" CD chart at #6 on the National Folks Charts. This will be the first performance of "Oh Freedom!" to feature percussionist Maffit live on stage.  

The Music at the Museum concerts, hosted by Chris Vallillo, take place every second Thursday of the month all year long at the Illinois State Museum auditorium. Concerts start at 7:00 p.m.  Admission is $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for museum members and kids under 12.   There will be a variety of desserts and drinks available during the break.  

You can see the full 2018 schedule at www.museumconcerts.com.  The Illinois State Museum is located at 502 S. Spring St., Springfield, IL 62706.  For additional information, call the Illinois State Museum at 217-782-0979. 


Contact Person: 

Karen Everingham

Contact Email: 


Contact Phone: 

(217) 782-5949

Release File (pdf): 

Release File (doc):