Department of Special Collections
William Penn Keffer Collection of Sheet Music,
ca. 1790-1895

Content and design by John Bewley

Philadelphia Composers: Aaron J. R. Connor (d. 1850)

Aaron J. R. Connor was one of the African-American musicians who found success performing and composing in the 1830s to 1840s in Philadelphia. He played trombone, cornet, and flute with Frank Johnson's band and made the trip to England in 1837 with that e nsemble. Connor also found work in Philadelphia as a concert manager, music teacher, and conductor. He formed his own band in March 1846. The band was very popular with upper-class Philadelphians and maintained a full schedule of performances at society b alls, dancing-school classes, and in the summers, at resorts such as Saratoga Springs.

Compositions by Connor in the Collection
Item No.TitleImprintPlate No.Illustration
Box 35
no. 2
The American Polka Quadrilles : adapted to the new Parisian steps : composed in the Bohemian style / arranged & most respectfully dedicated to Samuel C. Cook Esqr. by A. J. R. Connor
Bound with: The Polka Dances, no. 1-2
Includes instructions for the dance steps
Philadelphia : A. Fiot, 1846 None None
Box 35
no. 6
The New Six Figures : Cellarius Polka Quadrilles / composed and dedicated to his friend Cellarius by Jules Martin ; the music by A. J. R. Connor
Includes instructions for the dance steps
Philadelphia : A. Fiot, 1846 None Six small scenes of couples dancing the six figures of the quadrille. These figures surround a portrait of Henri Cellarius / M. Schmitz, lithographer

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