Ripon College celebrates Civil War anniversary in music, exhibit and talks Nov. 22

A unique collaboration between Ripon College student vocalists, instrumentalists and researchers, as well as Ripon area community members and organizations, will culminate in a concert and event commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.

The concert will begin at 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, in Demmer Recital Hall, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts, on the Ripon College campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

Kurt Dietrich, professor of music and Barbara Baldwin De Frees Chair in the Performing Arts, will conduct the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and John C. Hughes, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, will conduct the Choral Union.

Sarah Mahler Kraaz, professor of music, and students in her Music and War course are curating an exhibit of Civil War-era artifacts, most of them on loan from the Ripon Historical Society, the Little White School House and private individuals. These items will be on display in the Rodman lobby before the concert. Students in the course are: Kaylee Arendt ’19 of Silver Lake, Wisconsin; Peter Crowell ’15 of Chicago, Illinois; Dillon Guelich ’18 of Waukegan, Illinois; Amber Haugen ’19 of St. Cloud, Minnesota; Eric LeFave ’18 of Janesville, Wisconsin; John Merwin ’16 of Barrington, Illinois; Zach Muench’16 of Franklin, Wisconsin; Ryan Slattery ’16 of Northbrook, Illinois; and Lyndsay Wilde ’16 of Racine, Wisconsin.

A pre-concert talk about a Union solder’s life in the Army will be given at 2:30 p.m. by Civil War re-enactor and Ripon College alumnus Bret Jaeger ’84, director of the Waupun (Wisconsin) Public Library.

Choral Union selections are:

  • Idumea from Kentucky Harmony (1816), by Ananais Davisson (1780–1857), with violin soloists Johannes Deegen ’18 of Berlin, Wisconsin, and Nicholas Badtke ’17 of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
  • Tell My Father from The Civil War: An American Musical, by Frank Wildhorn, with soloists Deegen on violin and Maria Kaiser Dietrich on piano.
  • A Procession Winding Around Me, poems of Walt Whitman set to music by Jeffrey Van, with internationally renowned guitarist Fareed Haque, professor of classical and jazz guitar at Northern Illinois University.
  • Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform Airs and Dances from the North, arranged by Richard Baller; Foster’s America: Suite of Stephen Foster Songs for Concert Band, by David R. Gillingham; Gettysburg: The Third Day, by Jay Dawson; and The Blue and the Gray (Civil War Suite), by Clare Grundman.

    A large number of Ripon College students and Ripon area community members participate in both musical ensembles.


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