GODFREY – The Lewis and Clark Community College history and music departments will join forces for a multimedia presentation, “Mystic Chords of Memory: A Commemoration of the End of the Civil War and the Assassination of President Lincoln,” at noon on Wednesday, April 15, in the Ringhausen Music Building Atrium.

L&C History Professor Kelly Obernuefemann will lead the Brown Bag Series event. Musical selections will be sung by members of the L&C Concert Choir and Limited Edition, which are directed by Susan Parton Stanard.

“The Civil War is the defining moment in American history,” Obernuefemann said. “Not only were four million people freed from slavery, but the question of whether or not the United States could be broken up was settled. The South would never again be able to use the threat of secession in the political arena.”

The program begins with music from the Civil War and the selection, “A Mystic Chord,” a song using Lincoln’s words.

Obernuefemann’s presentation begins with the last days before the surrender and just how bad things had become for the South. The second segment will be about the plot to assassinate Lincoln and information about the assassins. Her final segment will be about the soldiers’ adjustment to their return to civilian life.

“The Civil War claimed 620,000 American lives. Those who lived through the war years and survived had to deal with rebuilding their lives and their homes, sometimes literally, and all combatants, whether victorious or not, had to face the psychological trauma of four years of combat,” Obernuefemann said. “Add to that the assassination of a president many believed to be committed to healing the country, and the end of the Civil War became a time of chaos for many.”

The choir’s musical contributions continue with “The Cruel War Suite” and “A Lasting Peace,” a song composed using words from Lincoln’s second inaugural address.

“It’s such an honor partnering with other departments,” Parton Stanard said. “Music helps history’s stories come to life. The music adds to the emotion and experience begun by the stories and photographs.”

Brown Bag events give the audience an opportunity to enjoy lunch while being entertained. Admission is free, and the event is open to the public.

For additional information, call Karen Swan in the music office at (618) 468-4731.

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