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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Liberty to honor composer Alexander Russell, buried there

Music concert set July 20 in village

By Matt Shortall - staff writer

Russell Alexander died in Liberty 100 years ago this year, and will be honored by a concert on July 20.
LIBERTY — Windjammers Unlimited, a circus music historical society, will perform selections by Russell Alexander, a famous composer and vaudeville performer, on Monday, July 20, at the Liberty Main Street Stage at 1:30 p.m.
The musical performance will follow a plaque dedication ceremony honoring the 100th anniversary of the death of Alexander, who composed many of the well known circus anthems that you still hear today. He died and was buried in Liberty.
Alexander toured Europe with the Barnum & Bailey Circus band in 1897 as a euphonium player.
By the end of his short life, Alexander had written some 31 marches, along with five galops (a lively country dance) and three overtures.
According to a press release, “Some of his work was published posthumously, some remains unpublished to this day, but his most famous works include ‘Colossus of Columbia,' ‘The Southerner' and ‘Olympia Hippodrome'.”
Alexander died from tuberculosis shortly after being admitted to the Loomis Sanitarium in Liberty in 1915. But though it is documented that he is buried in the village, his grave was unmarked and remains undiscovered to this day.
The Windjammers will be made up of nearly 30 different musicians, including several local artists.

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