Folk musician Spook Handy will be returning to the Library District for a performance at the Aurora Public Library on September 13, 2018. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. and is free for everyone in the community. The performance will focus on the use of music to build and nurture community and will highlight the songs of Pete Seeger.
Spook Handy performed alongside Pete Seeger at festivals and concerts more than 50 times from 2003 – 2013 learning firsthand many of Pete’s songs and the stories behind them. Even more, he learned who Pete Seeger was and what he stood for. Spook is now traveling throughout the U.S., Canada and soon Europe with his “Remembering Pete Seeger” World Tour, keeping alive Pete’s tradition by sharing a few songs by Woody Guthrie (Pete’s most notable mentor), plenty of songs by Pete Seeger and a healthy handful of new songs Spook wrote under Pete’s tutelage.
Spook’s 2016 album, “Pete Woody & Me – Keep the Flame Alive,” held the No. 3 position on the International Folk Radio Charts for two months with his original songs reaching as high as No. 2. Recorded with his backup band “The Seed Planters,” the CD is more than just a tribute to Pete. It is a work that, as John Weingart of WPRB Radio says, “certainly rests on the shoulders of the past but is unmistakably steeped in the present.”
Spook hopes the concert will demonstrate that the tradition of singing songs with social value is alive and well TODAY!! “While the concert will have a nostalgic quality to it, it will also present a look at the world we live in today and the world we can create for tomorrow.”
Bring your friends and family to enjoy this celebration of how music can change the world!
Calling all teens! Join us at the Aurora Public Library on Thursday, July 6 at 6 p.m. for a one-of-a-kind teen program with Bi-Okoto!
Bi-Okoto is a professional African drum and dance ensemble, and the only one of its kind in the tri-state area. They will be here to teach a music workshop to teens, those who are ages 13-18.
No registration is required for this program! You don’t want to miss it!
As our summer of “On Your Mark, Get Set . . . Read” winds down, we have a great program planned for families at the Aurora City Park Pavilion. Joanie Calem will be leading us in music and movement for our Final Party on July 20th at 11 AM.
Her program “If You Can Walk, You Can Dance, If You Can Talk, You Can Sing”, is right on theme for a program that has worked to encourage all members of our families to stay active. We will enjoy participating in interactive games, dances, stories and songs from around the world.
Movement and music have both been shown to be critical for both brain development and success in school. Both are highly recommended as part of “Every Child Ready to Read”, a research-based approach for increasing the preliteracy skills that children need to be successful as they begin their formal education. Singing helps children identify word sounds and syllables, and fosters a love of word play. It has also been shown to be an effective way for kids to learn to calm themselves when frustrations arise. The links below will provide more information on the importance of movement and music.
See you all at the park!
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
Moving to Higher Ground: how jazz can change your life by Wynton Marsalis
Blues Journey by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers.
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
Would you like to see your child grow up to excel at Science or Technology? Perhaps there is a future inventor living at your house! A recent study at Michigan State University (more info) shows that musical training throughout childhood leads to success in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. That’s why more educators today use the acronym STEAM, to include Arts.
The Aurora Public Library District offers lots of books to introduce your children to music and famous musicians. Check out a few and then pull up some of the artists’ music on-line to get the whole family tuned in.