Songs From the Soul


Virginia Rep on Tour (formerly Theatre IV) will be back in Aurora with a public performance on Thursday, February 18th at 1 PM. The show will be in the Aurora City Park Pavilion and is free to everyone in the community. “Songs From the Soul”, a musical narrative of African-American History will be a perfect way to celebrate and learn during Black History Month. The Aurora Public Library District has never hosted this show before, but we’re very excited to hear music ranging from spirituals to jazz to the blues, and even hip hop!

When you leave the performance with your toe tapping and your fingers snapping, head down to the library to check out our resources on types of music and on African-American musicians. Carnegie Hall also has a terrific web page called “A History of African-American Music”. You can listen to samples of music from all the different styles of the past 300 years. Here are some of the resources we have at the library:

The History of the Blues : the roots, the music, the people : from Charley Patton to Robert Clay, written by Francis Davis. This is a companion volume to the PBS series.

Jazz Makers by Alyn Shipton

jazz makers

Moving to Higher Ground: how jazz can change your life by Wynton Marsalis

higher ground

Blues Journey by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers.

blues journey

Some of our local school classes will get a chance to attend one of the Theatre IV performances, so here are some resources that may be better for younger children:

Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald, by Roxane Orgill


Jazz by Walter Dean Myers


Mahalia Jackson: gospel singer and civil rights champion by Montrew Dunham


And last, but not least: When the Beat was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the creation of hip hop by Laban Carrick Hill

the beat