Local teen-agers are now using music to give a glimpse of military life during
the Civil War.
The Camp Lyon Fife and Drum Corps has been re-enacting what army life was
like in central Illinois.
Geoff Ritter and Steve Porter decided to form a group of children to portray
"My parents and my uncle go out and do re-enactment shows about the civil war,"
Ritter said. "I thought that it would be interesting for teenagers to find out what it was like during the Civil War times."
Ritter and Porter originated the group through friends and others who were
interested in the civil war.
The organization's name came from Camp Lyon, a Civil War-era training camp
set up where Peoria's Glen Oak Park is now.
Ten area teens make up this group, which performs for special occasions
throughout the year.
"We have done many shows at different places," Ritter said. "We have
recently done a show for the opening of the [Tazewell County] genealogical society."
The group not only performs area openings, but they alsoperform at such
places as Jubilee State Park during the Autumn Harvest Fest, the Lincoln Home in Springfield and other various activities hosted by the National Park Service.
Include in the performances by this group are the war signals that were given
during the Civil War to help troops determine where to go and what type of combat they should use.
"The troops back then did not have the technology of radios or other things used
now to give messages so they could correspond by music," Ritter said.
The group performs in Keokuk, Iowa, for the yearly Civil War re-enactment
ceremonies held there.
"We travel to Iowa where a lot of groups get together and perform music from
the war time," Ritter said.
The group gets a good response, he said.
"We get a lot of positive messages from the people that hear us play,"
Ritter said. "At the genealogical opening some people were mentioning how good the music sounded and how well we performed; it is always nice to hear people say something positive about our work."
The group, which practices every Friday night, selects its own music.
Ritter encourages people who want to get involved with this group to contact
him or Steve Porter for more information.
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