Essig Collection of Musical Instruments Subject of Honors Project
Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 15, 2008) – A portion of the Essig Collection of musical instruments, housed in the University of Central Missouri Department of Music, will come to life April 28 as part of a recital presented Jennifer Newberry, a UCM senior from Moberly.
Featuring Brass Instruments Playing Civil War Era Music
Newberry, a music education major and student in The Honors College at UCM, prepared a program of Civil War era music that will be performed on several of the brass horns in the Essig Collection as her senior honors project. With assistance from Carla Maltas, associate professor of music, and Vivian Richardson, assistant director of UCM’s Arthur F. McClure Archives and University Museum, Newberry has revived one of the original arrangements performed by the Essig Troupe from the 1930s through 1968.
Collection of More Than 300 Instruments
The Essig Collection contains more than 300 musical instruments collected by the late Don Essig, a career musician and band instructor at UCM until his death in 1943. A native of Plattsburg, Mo., Essig traveled the country as a circus musician before settling with his family in Warrensburg in the 1920s. He started the band program in the Warrensburg School District before coming to the university as the band director.
The Essig Troupe Shared Instruments with the Public
Essig wanted his collection of instruments to be shared with the public. He formed the Essig Troupe, a group of student and faculty musicians who toured the state, presenting musical scores prepared by Essig that showcased the variety of instruments in the collections. After Essig’s death, the troupe continued touring until 1968.
Passing on Historic Folk Music
During her research in the archives, Newberry discovered Essig’s original score for “Port Royal Gallop,” an example of Civil War era music that features over the shoulder brass horns, cornet and trumpet.
“Civil War era music was much like folk music – it was passed from generation to generation until someone decided to score it on paper to be preserved,” Newberry said. “Essig’s score for ‘Port Royal Gallop’ is an example of that type of music.”
Recital Features Modern and Historic Instruments
Newberry recruited 10 fellow music students to assist her in the presentation. The score will be performed by an ensemble of modern instruments, including two trombones, two saxophones, two euphoniums, an alto horn, clarinet and flute. After the score is performed by the ensemble, the same score will be performed on the historic instruments from the Essig Collection.
For More Information
Newberry’s recital is planned for 5 p.m. Monday, April 28, in Hart Recital Hall. The public is invited to attend, free of charge. For more information, contact the UCM Department of Music at 660-543-4530.