Jim Gill Live – Music Play for Young Children

Award-winning musician and author, Jim Gill, will perform at the Main Library, 1786 Burlington Pike, in Burlington, on Friday, March 31 at 7 p.m. Every Jim Gill concert is an opportunity for family play!

In concert, Jim strums energetic rhythms on his banjo while everyone claps, sings, dances and even sneezes along to the silly and inspiring musical games that he creates. The concert will feature songs from his newest CD release, Vote For Jim Gill! Jim will also lead families in active favorites such as “Spin Again” and his “Silly Dance Contest!”

Jim Gill is a musician and author with unique credentials among children’s artists. He is a child development specialist, completing his graduate studies in child development at the Erikson Institute of Chicago with a special emphasis on the study of play. For this reason, each of Jim’s recordings and books is created as an opportunity for playful interactions between a child and a caring adult. Anyone who has experienced one of Jim’s family concerts knows that rather than performing for the children and parents, Jim leads them to sing and play together.

Jim has released seven award-winning CDs of music play for young children that are favorites in family rooms, classrooms and playrooms. He is also the author of two children’s books. His latest, A Soup Opera, is a sing-along opera inspired by concerts that Jim performs with symphony orchestras. The book received an American Library Association award in 2010.

Jim’s distinctive music play creates a family room experience wherever the concert is held. Come and join in the fun!

U.S. Slave Song Project: BCHS Choir Performs Historical Spirituals


Jim Thomas, U.S. Slave Song Project

Hear history come to life through music on Wednesday, March 15, at 7 p.m. at Boone County Public Library’s Main Library, 1786 Burlington Pike in Burlington, when the Boone County High School Choir performs historical African American spirituals.

The first African slaves brought to the New World carried a tradition of song with them.  This practice continued and developed new purpose and meaning as the hard lives of the enslaved people went forward.  For generations, singing was a way to cope, to inspire, to keep rhythm during long days of hard labor and to communicate with one another. These songs became a unique form of American folk music.

Slave songs or “negro spirituals” are both celebratory and solemn, and were passed down through many generations of enslaved people. The songs often carried hidden meanings and code within the lyrics. In some cases, Biblical references were used as devices to pass along plans for slaves to escape on the Underground Railroad.

Jim Thomas, U.S. Slave Song Project

This month, you will have the opportunity to hear these songs and learn the history behind their creation.  Jim Thomas, the founder and driving force behind the U.S. Slave Song Project, Inc., is coming to Northern Kentucky for a special collaboration.  He brings with him a wealth of experience as the founding director of the American Red Cross Chorus, and has conducted military and civilian choral groups around the world.

Mr. Thomas, who calls both Virginia and Martha’s Vineyard home, is traveling here as a guest instructor of the Boone County High School Choir, who will give a public performance of these spirituals.  Hear history come to life through music on Wednesday, March 15, at 7 p.m. at the Main Library in Burlington.

–Written by Hillary Delaney

Hillary Delaney is a Local History Associate at Boone County Public Library. She is a Boone County native, but has also lived in Richmond, VA, where she attended Virginia Commonweath University to study journalism. Hillary moved back to her hometown of Florence in 2007, with her husband and two children. Her lifelong love of all things historic brought her to her current position at BCPL.