Lincoln in the Land of Bluegrass

Honest Abe with a banjoThe International Bluegrass Music Museum is getting ready to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday.

You didn’t know Lincoln was a bluegrasser? He was. Well maybe not in a bluegrass music sense. But he was a native Kentuckian.

The Museum’s celebration takes the form of a musical drama about the life of Lincoln. The music, of course, will be bluegrass music. Rick Miller, a local postman, wrote the script and much of the music, and approached the museum about producing. Museum Director Gabrielle Gray suggested it take the form of a musical set to bluegrass, and that the production be a community-wide effort. The Museum’s education program director, Randy Lanham, has also contributed compositions to the work. His band will provide most of the music, and will be joined by over 300 elementary school children.

[The drama is] set to music by Randy Lanham (the director of our education programs), acted by community actors (mostly from Theatre Workshop of Owensboro), with bluegrass music performed by Randy Lanham’s Bluegrass Band, danced by the African American Dance Troupe at Foust Elementary and Barry Lanham’s Foot Stompin’ Express clogging troupe (who represented the Museum in China last year), and composed by Miller, Lanham, AND over 300 elementary school children who took elements of Lincoln’s life and wrote songs about them under Randy’s direction. They will perform them, as well.

The performance will take place at 7 PM on Thursday, February 12, 2009, in the RiverPark Center’s Cannon Hall, Owensboro, KY. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for students.

The Museum is managing, overseeing, and producing the musical. They are also raising the money for it. If you’re in the area, it’s be a great way to enjoy some good entertainment and support the Museum at the same time.

Gabrielle tells me that this is a preliminary work meant to give them some practice before the big show.

This is actually a pilot program for the musical we will produce on the life of Bill Monroe during his centennial in 2011 – work out the kinks on Abe so we can get it right for Bill!!

We’ll be looking forward to that one!