From Rag to Rap

Touring Performance • Music

Join musician Ralph Wilder and his band, The Ralph Wilder Orchestra, on a bright and upbeat tour of American popular music. “From Rag to Rap” opens with popular music from the 20th century and continues, chronologically, to the present. Beginning with rag-time using examples of music by Scott Joplin, and moving through World War I with George M. Cohan, and then into the swing era–Benny Goodman, Glen Miller, WWII, and more. The show proceeds to the 1950s with early rock n’ roll, including Elvis Presley, and continues with Jerry Lee Lewis, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson The performance concludes with examples of the newest hip hop music of today including Black Eyed Peas, Outkast, Pharrell Williams, and many others. This musical exploration encourages students to discover the history of American culture through popular music. Audience participation is a highlight and brings the performance to a rousing conclusion as several students and a selected teacher get to perform (rap) with the band.

Availability: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, limited Tuesday afternoons

For all ages

Technical Requirements:

  • Access to electricity




The Rag to Rap performance on Friday was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! The kids and the staff are still talking about it! Those guys absolutely rocked the house!
Eisenhower Cooperative, Crestwood, IL
This is the 12th consecutive year that we have ended the year with "From Rag to Rap." As usual, they were stupendous. In fact this year they also played my favorite song ("As Time Goes By") with new words written by one of our teachers, and all the students sang it to me as a retirement gift!
Former Principal, Field-Stevenson Elementary
Fun, educational, and engaging, you can't ask for more in an assembly! You know it was a great program when the students complain it is over.
Teacher, Mark Twain Elementary
Base Price:
Audience Size:
350 maximum
Program Length:
40 minutes