Past Event

Swing Low: Dwight Moody, An Original Crossover Music Artist

A Road Scholar Program by Pete Ellertsen

Together, wildly popular Chicago evangelist Dwight Moody (1837-1899) and his music director Ira Sankey (1840-1908) became international music sensations in the late 19th century. Learn how their incorporation of Anglo-Celtic and African-American spiritual music became the basis of much of the music we listen to today, including country, jazz, blues and rock. Their gospel hymns drew upon the music of many cultures – from Appalachian folk hymns and camp meeting songs, to "sorrow songs," shouts and folk spirituals of West African heritage. Combining lecture, performance and audience participation, Ellertsen will explain how this music transcended its cultural boundaries to become a new, wholly American musical expression. For more information, visit Ellertsen’s weblog "Hogfiddle" at

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Linda Kurth or Sheila Johnsen, 815-699-2342.