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Let Lovelight Be Always Shining Sousa Archives’ World War I Sheet Music Resource

Myers Sheet Music Online Collection

Throughout 2014 the staff of the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music worked with William Brooks, Professor of Music at the University of York, and the University of Illinois Library’s Digital Content Creation, Content Access Management and Metadata units to digitize the WWI sheet music contained in our James Edward Myers Sheet Music Collection.  World War I is considered by many music scholars to be the most musical war in America’s history.  The music from this time was created by all sorts of Americans: professional songwriters, acclaimed composers, church musicians, well- and little-known performers, and uncounted singing teachers, small-town bandmasters, and amateurs.  Their melodies and lyrics reflected various public perceptions of and responses to America’s evolving relationship with this War, and much of this music resonated local themes that were specific to communities, ethnic groups, or organizations.

The WWI music contained in the Myers Collection documents not only what was produced by Midwestern publishers but also offers a compelling cross-section of popular musical practices and tastes across the Midwest between 1914 and 1918.  The music, lyrics, and graphic art illustrations contained in this new online resource are intended to provide insights into American life during and after the War for students, teachers, and scholars interested in learning more about Midwestern perceptions of this military conflict.   For further information on the James Edward Myers Sheet Music Collection please call 217-244-9309 or send an email to


Small Sal-Mar ImageReaching Beyond the Walls of the Concert Hall: A Live Improvisation Concert Featuring the Sal-Mar Construction
2012 On-Line Concert

This special telematic music performance on October 26, 2012 brought together University faculty, musicians, archivists, and special collections curators as well as performing musicians from   around the country to collaboratively create an innovative concert experience that takes the live performance beyond the walls of the traditional concert hall.  This special online concert removed both time and physical barriers to connect musicians through the use of high-speed broadband connections to produce a real-time streamed audio-visual performance.  This concert was created to celebrate the Morrill Act’s continuing impact on liberal and mechanical arts education in colleges and universities around the world.  Performers included Ken Beck (Sal-Mar), Greg Danner (Sal-Mar), Erik Lund (trombone), Dorothy Martirano (violin), Barry Morse (theremin), Jason Finkelman (African drums and electronic music), Yu-Chen Wang (gu-zheng), Eduardo Herrera (guitar), Nathaniel Ruiz (clarinet), Chris Vaisvil (electric guitar), and Drew Whiting (alto saxophone).


2010-1205042-001.jpegA Live Improvisation Concert Featuring the Sal-Mar Construction
2011 On-Line Concert

This special concert of improvised music featured a mélange of local musicians performing on a variety of traditional and new music instruments with the Sal-Mar Construction, built from the TTL boards of the ILLIAC II by Salvatore Martirano, Sergio Franco, and ILLIAC III designers Rich Borovec and James Divilbiss. The instrument, preserved at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, is believed to be the earliest interactive music synthesizer to combine the essential elements of human conversation and music improvisation into a continuous performance event, and this concert highlighted the unique nature of this early electro-acoustic instrument. Performers included Ken Beck on the Sal-Mar Construction, Dorothy Martirano on violin, Barry Morse on theremin, Jacob Barton on the utterbot, John Toenjes on computer synthesizer, Jason Finkelman on computer synthesizer and African instruments, and Jeff Zahos on percussion. This concert was sponsored by the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music in partnership with the University of Illinois’ OCE-ATLAS.