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Access Chicago

Come Hear “Souvenir Music from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893”

On Sunday, October 22, Don Meyer, professor of music, presents a CD album pre-release party to celebrate the launch of his new album, “Souvenir Music from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.” Three Lake Forest College music faculty perform on the album, share these melodic memories for us live at the concert.

Commemorating the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, this concert features charming parlor music written as musical souvenirs of the famous Fair.  

On October 22nd, Professor of Music Don Meyer brings this music to life once more in a live concert featuring this long-forgotten sheet music. Pianist Chris White, violinist Kate Carter, and baritone Brad Jungwirth bring the tunes to life with their artful rendering of these melodic memories. All three performers are on the music faculty at Lake Forest College.  

The concert and corresponding album include several pieces dedicated to the Ferris wheel, the first of its kind and invented specially for the Columbian Exposition. Another piece, “The Streets of Cairo; or, The Poor Little Country Maid,” takes the theme of the delicate young girl exposed to the moral dangers of the Midway, where she would, of course, need the company of a gentleman to keep her safe from more unscrupulous characters. All of the pieces were intended to be performed at home, after the fair, as a reminder of one’s time at the Midway and White City. 

The concert is free and open to the public, and takes place on October 22nd at 3 p.m. in the college’s Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel. Find out more information here.

Meyer researched the music featured in the album as a Chicago Fellow in 2016 with the college’s four-year, $800,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Digital Chicago: Unearthing History and Culture. The music heard on the CD, as well as an interactive feature focusing on musical depictions of scenes at the Fair’s Midway Plaisance, will be part of Digital Chicago’s forthcoming website repository of projects by faculty Fellows. To find out more about the website, let Emily Mace, Chicago Digital Humanities Coordinator, know of your interest in being added to Digital Chicago’s email list, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter

Meyer previously served as a Chicago Fellow in 2015, developing a compiled musical score to accompany a film produced in 1916 in Chicago by Essanay Studies, Max Wants a Divorce. The Lake Forest Moving Picture Orchestra performed the score live in a screening of the film in Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel in February, 2016.