IU Soul Revue honors founding director Portia Maultsby

Guest post courtesy of IU Communications colleague Brittany Aders:

The IU Soul Revue will have its annual spring concert 8 p.m. Saturday, May 3 in the Ruth N. Halls Theatre, incorporating repertoire that students have learned throughout the semester. Songs by Earth, Wind & Fire, Al Green, Jill Scott, the O’Jays, The Jackson 5, Pharrell Williams and more will be performed.

IU Soul Revue

IU Soul Revue

“These songs reflect the party atmosphere, sociopolitical consciousness and diverse relationships in the Black community,” said Tyron Cooper, director of the IU Soul Revue and visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies within the College of Arts and Sciences. “Even more, everybody will be able to relate because at the core we all want very similar things such as joy, peace, equality and meaningful relationships.”

Cooper, who began working with the Soul Revue in 1999, will begin a tenure-track position as the Assistant Professor in AAADS for a course providing two-credit hours for Soul Revue students. The IU Soul Revue is an ensemble within IU’s African American Arts Institute.

“My experiences with the ensemble have been very broad in scope. I’m not only the director, but I’m also a friend and counselor to my students,” Cooper said. “The IU Soul Revue, while a musical ensemble, transcends music, and serves as a space to develop humanity and coping skills that students will need for success beyond college.”

Cooper said all students are welcome to participate in the ensemble and the goal is for allowing a diverse educational experience for the entire ensemble that began with the founding director of IU Soul Revue, Portia Maultsby, who also teaches in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology within the College.

IU Soul Revue director, Tyron Cooper.

Tyron Cooper, IU Soul Revue director

“Dr. Maultsby and her students established a foundation of artistry, scholarship and community for subsequent Soul Revue directors and students to build upon,” Cooper said. “This was unique in 1971, and continues to be very special as the ensemble serves as a platform for black students to define and affirm themselves within a broader university context.”

This weekend’s concert is dedicated to Maultsby, who initiated the artistic and cultural movement of Soul Revue and inspires the students daily, he said.

“I am very excited about numerous Soul Revue alumni returning to the campus to attend the concert,” Cooper continued. “It’s a prime opportunity to connect past and current members, thus establishing a tangible network of artists, scholars and community. It will be so meaningful to all involved.”

Ticket information for the IU Soul Revue concert is available online.

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