Chicago-based singer and hammered dulcimer player Phil Passen will have a concert in Bishop Hill, using songs to tell the story of the growth and development of Illinois.

Chicago-based singer and hammered dulcimer player Phil Passen will have a concert in Bishop Hill, using songs to tell the story of the growth and development of Illinois. 

His musical performance will start at 1:30 p.m. in the Dairy Building on Saturday, April 14. The music in this concert reflects the story of Illinois, which has been shaped not only by its land and natural features — the prairies, lakes, and rivers — but also by the many cultures that have flourished here: Native Americans, French, Germans, African Americans, Latin Americans and numerous others. 

Passen’s program is free and open to the public due to the sponsorships of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and the Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar Speakers Bureau. The Dairy Building is located at 410 N. Erickson St. For more details about this concert, call (309) 927-3899 or email bhha@mymctc.net.

The current edition of the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, presented in cooperation with the Illinois Bicentennial Commission and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, consists of presentations exploring Illinois history and culture in recognition of the state’s 200th anniversary.  

Passen will begin with a melody from a Native American tribe indigenous to Illinois. His concert will feature songs and tunes representing various ethnic communities that have contributed to life in Illinois. Songs of the Underground Railroad, which ran through Illinois, will also be featured. So will music selections representing farmers, workers, labor struggles, disasters, and tragedies, as well as a few blues and rock-and-roll songs. 

Passen will provide commentary about the histories of the selections and the contexts in which they have been sung and played in Illinois.