Saturday Morning Music Party Continues this Saturday in Easthampton!

Saturday Morning Music Party & Pancake Breakfast
Continues at Flywheel in Easthampton
Saturday, April 7th, 10am-12noon

The Flywheel Arts Collective, an Easthampton-based, volunteer-run music and arts venue, along with the Hilltown Families and No-Nap Happy Hour, invites families with kids of all ages to a fun, creative, and educational series of events!

Flywheel R.O.C.K.This Saturday, April 7th at 10am, the third of four installments of the Saturday Morning Music Party continues! Families are welcomed to join us for a free pancake breakfast followed a family dance party by local kids performers R. O. C. K. (Royal Order of Chords and Keys).  R.O.C.K. is a family music “kindie” band featuring Aric Bieganek, winner of the 2011 WFCR Arts and Humanities Emerging Talent award, on vocals and guitar, Hans Dalhaus on drums and David Picchi on bass. Together they form the hardest rocking band for families in the world. Period. Suggested a donation of $5 for individuals and $10 for families to cover band expenses.

ABOUT FLYWHEEL: Flywheel Arts Collective, a collectively run, not-for-profit space, aims to build community and give artists of all types the opportunity to craft, practice, and perform their work in an environment where creativity is valued over profit. Volunteer-run and governed by consensus, Flywheel believes that art and information should be equally accessible and affordable to all people. For more information, visit www.flywheelarts.org.


“Saturday Morning Music Party!” is supported by a grant from the Easthampton, MA local Cultural Council  — a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Ticket Giveaway: Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem Family Concert in Northampton

Win a Family 4-Pack of Free Tickets…

Family Concert with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem
Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 @ 10:30am
at The First Churches of Northampton

Rani Arbo says the band is ready to party with the Valley: "Nonotuck knows how to cure the midwinter blues! Stir together a handful of musicians and a heap of kids and parents, pour into a beautiful old church, season with fund-raising goodwill, and presto: a party!"

For the third year in a row, Hilltown Families is a proud sponsor of the Nonotuck Community School Winter Family Concert Series.  This year the school ends their concert series with a family concert with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, “one of America’s most inventive string bands” (Boston Herald)…and we have a family 4-pack of free tickets to giveaway to one lucky family! Proceeds from the performance go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, a local non-profit preschool! Deadline to enter to win is 02/29/12 by 7pm (EST). Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT RANI ARBO & DAISY MAYHEM

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem is a rootsy, Americana-style string band of four musicians — all parents — who have played and toured together for 10 years. Their grooves are deep, their four-part harmonies are rich, and their adventurous, eclectic song selection serves their debut family CD Ranky Tanky well. Family music is a new endeavor for the band, but they have longstanding reputation for performances that are, as the Boston Globe put it, “playful and profound. Ranky Tanky sticks with that equation: it’s uplifting, danceable, playful, sometimes silly, sometimes wistful, and never sarcastic. Rani Arbo fires up the fiddle; Anand Nayak plays electric and acoustic guitars; Andrew Kinsy is on upright acoustic bass (and ukulele and banjo), and Scott Kessel pilots the Drumship Enterprise, a percussion rig made from cardboard boxes, tin cans, water jugs, and a vinyl suitcase. Together, they create a joyful, musical fusion of sounds both old and new — and a great soundtrack for family tim

ABOUT THE NCS 2012 WINTER FAMILY CONCERT SERIES

The NCS Winter Family Concert Series is an annual three-part Winter Family Concert Series hosted by Nonotuck Community School. The 2012 season started off with a family concert with The Nields in January, followed by A Family Dance Party with DJ Joan Holliday in February and Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem in March.  The family concerts take place at The First Churches of Northampton (129 Main Street). Proceeds from this concert series will go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, a nonprofit parent cooperative that provides early education and care for children aged 15 months to 5 years old, and is located in Florence, Massachusetts (221 Riverside Drive, 586-5996). For more information visit: www.nonotuck.org or call 413-586-5996.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem in concert at The First Churches of Northampton on Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 @ 10:30am , is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below,
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES CONNECTS YOUR FAMILY WITH EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES DURING SCHOOL VACATION WEEKS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR  below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 02/29/12 @ 7pm (EST).

Monthly Saturday Morning Music Party Series for Families at Flywheel!

Saturday Morning Music Party Series in Easthampton
Free Pancakes, Live Music, Dancing & Crafts

Known to its neighbors and fans for boisterous concerts and a DIY aesthetic, the Flywheel Arts Collective of Easthampton may not immediately spring to mind when considering a venue for a family-friendly activity for the kids. But with the announcement of the ‘Saturday Morning Music Party,’ a free monthly breakfast bash featuring a variety of activities, performances and diversions for kids (to run from February through May, initially), Flywheel becomes just that.

  • WHAT: Monthly Saturday Morning Music Party Series for Families
  • WHERE: Flywheel Arts Collective, 43 Main Street (Old Town Hall), Easthampton, MA 
  • WHEN: Saturdays, Feb 11, Mar 10, Apr 7 & May 12, 10am
  • COST: Free. Suggested Donation $5 ($10 per family) for Mar 10 & Apr 7 concerts.
  • CONTACT: 413-527-9800

Partnering with Hilltown Families and The No-Nap Happy Hour, the first of four installments of the Saturday Morning Music Party series kicks off on February 11 at 10am at Flywheel’s Easthampton location in the town hall building at 43 Main St. in Easthampton. Subsequent events take place on March 10, April 7 and May 12. Each month’s bash features a pancake breakfast followed by musical performances, various activities and guided arts and crafts.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH:

On Saturday, February 11th, following a free pancake breakfast which begins at 10am, the first installment of the series features a screening of an episode of Pancake Mountain, a Washington D.C.-based, public-access, Saturday morning TV show hosted by a goat puppet who often features indie rock bands as guests. After the show, kids join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.”

Dj Youthelectronix, a.k.a. Jeremy Smith, a veteran Flywheel volunteer, led the effort to organize the Saturday Morning Music Party series. Driven to recreate the success of similar Saturday morning activities at Flywheel’s previous location, Smith says, “Offering unique and creative activities for families and kids while providing an outlet for artists to connect with the community falls exactly in step with Flywheel’s mission.” He’s particularly proud of the “diverse programming” to be offered, which is anything but the rote kids’ fare.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Subsequent month’s events will include live family concerts with award-winning musicians, Uncle Rock on March 10th, and R.O.C.K. on April 7th, along with a pancake breakfast and artist-­led arts and crafts, and other fun activities. Then on May 12th the series will close out just as the Easthampton Bear Fest kicks off with the Little Bear Craft & Dance Party!


“Saturday Morning Music Party!” is supported by a grant from the Easthampton, MA local Cultural Council  — a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Ticket Giveaway: Family Dance Party with Joan Holliday

Win a Family 4-Pack of Free Tickets…

Family Dance Party with Joan Holliday
Saturday, February 11th, 2012 @ 10am-12Noon
at Northampton Center for the Arts

On Saturday, February 11th, Northampton Center for the Arts (17 New South Street, 3rd Floor) will host a FAMILY DANCE PARTY from 10am-12Noon with DJ Joan Holliday from 93.9 FM The River, co-sponsored by Hilltown Families… and we have a family 4-pack of tickets to giveaway to one lucky family! Deadline to enter to win is 02/08/12. Find out how to enter to win below.

Families from throughout the Pioneer Valley will don their dancing shoes at this benefit for Nonotuck Community School. Come join kids of all ages under the disco ball and groove to a mix of classics, new tunes, and kids favorites at this all-for-the-family dance party! 

“I’ve loved music since I was an infant (a peace and love British invasion child of the 60s!),” says Joan Holliday. “As a radio DJ at 93.9 WRSI The River, and an events DJ for almost ten years, I am especially excited to get the kids dancing to benefit Nonotuck!  It’s fun for a great cause, and we’re gonna fill that dance floor!

ABOUT THE NCS 2012 WINTER FAMILY CONCERT SERIES

Hilltown Families is a proud sponsor of the NCS Winter Family Concert Series, an annual three-part Winter Family Concert Series hosted by Nonotuck Community School. The 2012 season started off with The Nields in January, followed by A Family Dance Party with DJ Joan Holliday this month, and Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem will conclude the series in March.  Proceeds from this concert series will go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, a nonprofit parent cooperative that provides early education and care for children aged 15 months to 5 years old, and is located in Florence, Massachusetts (221 Riverside Drive, 586-5996). For more information visit: www.nonotuck.org or call 413-586-5996.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to Joan Holliday’s Family Dance Party at Northampton Center for the Arts on Saturday, February 11th, 2012 from 10am-12Noon, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting “Like” below
  • TELL US YOUR FAMILY’S FAVORITE SONG (NAME OF SONG/ARTIST) FOR SHAKING AWAY THE WINTER BLUES FOR OUR COMMUNITY PLAYLIST  below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 02/08/12 @ 7pm (EST).

Ticket Giveaway: The Nields Family Concert in Northampton

Win a Family 4-Pack of Free Tickets…

Family Concert with The Nields
Saturday, January 21st, 2012 @ 10:30am
at The First Churches of Northampton

Enter to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see The Nields in Northampton on Saturday, Jan. 21st at 10:30am. Deadline to enter to win: 01/18/12 by 7pm (EST). Details below.

For the third year in a row, Hilltown Families is a proud sponsor of the Nonotuck Community School Winter Family Concert Series.  This year the school is kicking off their concert series with The Nields, and we have a family 4-pack of free tickets to giveaway to one lucky family! Proceeds from the performance go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, a local non-profit preschool! Deadline to enter to win is 01/18/12. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT THE NIELDS

Nerissa and Katryna Nields grew up singing folk songs in the kitchen and in the back seat of the family car. Katryna learned to sing melody with their father, eventually making her an ideal front person for the band. Nerissa, on the other hand, tackled the harmonies; with that skill, she provided a natural counterpoint to her sister’s vibrant lead. As a duo, the sisters have toured nationally for years and been the darlings of the coffeehouse/festival scene, with tunes ranging from off-the-hook idiosyncratic to kicking to heartbreaking. They were a part of Lillith Fair, and have shared the stage with Natalie Merchant, Suzanne Vega, Sarah McLaughlin, Dar Williams, The Indigo Girls, James Taylor, Joan Baez, the Band, 10,000 Maniacs, Billy Bragg, Dan Zanes and countless others, all of whom informed and enhanced their musical repertoire.

A most recent influence on their music is children. “Having children has brought us back to our roots in a powerful way,” says Nerissa. “I’m much more drawn to the honesty of folk music, the simplicity of it. My kids love singing songs from Sister Holler. And I love how, when we sing these ‘Nerissa’ songs in concerts, everybody sings along, even though it’s the first time they’ve heard them. They’re songs that really invite the listener into the music making process.” Find more information about the band at www.nields.com.

ABOUT THE NCS 2012 WINTER FAMILY CONCERT SERIES

The NCS Winter Family Concert Series is an annual three-part Winter Family Concert Series hosted by Nonotuck Community School. The 2012 season starts off with The Nields in January, followed by A Family Dance Party with DJ Joan Holliday in February and Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem in March.  The family concerts take place at The First Churches of Northampton (129 Main Street) and the Dance party will be hosted at the Northampton Center for the Arts. Proceeds from this concert series will go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, a nonprofit parent cooperative that provides early education and care for children aged 15 months to 5 years old, and is located in Florence, Massachusetts (221 Riverside Drive, 586-5996). For more information visit: www.nonotuck.org or call 413-586-5996.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see The Nields in concert at The First Churches of Northampton on Saturday, January 21st, 2012 @ 10:30am , is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting “Like” below
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES CONNECTS YOUR FAMILY WITH LOCAL EVENTS  below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 01/18/12 @ 7pm (EST).

Ticket, Music & DVD Giveaway: The Nields 20th Anniversary

JAM FOR THE FANS:
20th Anniversary Family Concert with The Nields
Saturday, June 11th @ 10:30am
At Northampton Center for the Arts

Jam For The Fans, the 20th Anniversary celebration of Nerissa & Katryna Nields making, recording, and performing music includes a very special Family Concert at the Northampton Center for the Arts (17 New South Street, Northampton) on Saturday, June 11 at 10:30am… and we have a pair of tickets to giveaway!  The lucky winner will a pair of tickets AND a sampler of their music and videos, including All Together Singing in the Kitchen, Rock all Ray Rock all Night, and Organic Farm (DVD)!

ABOUT THE NIELDS

National recording musicians and front-women of the Northampton-based band, The Nields, which toured North America throughout the nineties, Nerissa & Katryna were a part of Lilith Fair, and have shared the stage with Natalie Merchant, Suzanne Vega, Dar Williams, The Indigo Girls, James Taylor, Joan Baez, the Band, 10,000 Maniacs, Dan Zanes and countless others. They have released 15 CDs – two of which were family music recordings – as well as one family music DVD, two books, and they teach weekly “HooteNanny” family music classes. This fall, they will release their sixteenth CD entitled, Ten Year Tin: The Full Catastrophe, and their third book, All Together Singing in the Kitchen: Creative Ways to Make and Listen to Music as a Family.

HOW TO WIN

Win a pair of tix along with 2 CD's and a DVD!

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to Jam For Fans 20th Anniversary family concert with The Nields, along with two CD’s and a DVD, at Northampton Center for the Arts on Saturday, June 11th at 10:30am, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting “Like” below
  • TELL US HOW HILLTOWN FAMILIES KEEPS YOU CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter to win: Saturday, June 4th, 2011 at 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, you simply still must come to celebrate 20 years of great music by these fabulous Western Mass mamas! Tickets are $5/$10 child/adult in advance and can be purchased online at www.nields.com or by calling 413-527-9393. Tickets at the door are $7/$12 at the door

3rd Annual Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash!

Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child Banner

Ready to Melt Down?

River's Family Music Meltdown & Book Bash happens on Saturday, March 26th at JFK Middle School in Northampton, MA. (FREE) (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

That’s right, it’s the end of March so it must be time for the River’s Family Music Meltdown & Book Bash! It’s this coming Saturday, March 26, from 10 to 4 at JFK Middle School in Northampton — and it’s free.

Now in its third year, the Meltdown has become a tradition for families in the Valley and beyond, featuring music on three stages, readings from nationally-known children’s book authors, crafts, bouncing, local food, and much more!

On the music side, we’ve got familiar favorites and new-to-the-Meltdown acts. Joining the lineup for the first time this year is Grammy nominee Brady Rymer (supporting his forthcoming CD, Love Me For Who I Am, inspired by his work at the Celebrate the Children School, a New Jersey school for students with alternative learning styles. Other newcomers to the festival include Lunch Money, The Okee Dokee Brothers, The Bramble Jam, Joe’s Backyard Band, Brendan Taaffe, and the Spiral Up Kids.

Returning favorites include Brooklyn’s Deedle Deedle Dees, who will be doing a special Women’s History Month set (and handing out free posters to fans). Returning — but this time with full bands — are the Flannery Brothers and singer/storyteller/cartoonist Keith Munslow. Other returning performers include Mister G, Under the Tree Music, Aric Bieganek, Jay Mankita, and Ratboy Jr., in addition to puppet shows from Otter & Moo Puppet Theatre and Anna Sobel.

Local heroes Jarrett (Lunch Lady) and Gina Krosoczka serve as curators of the children’s book authors appearing on the main stage. This year, we’re thrilled to have Jarrett himself, plus Kevin Markey, Jef Czekaj, Jeanne Birdsall, and Jon Scieszka.

We’ll also have crafts, bounce houses, Lego Duplos, gymnastics, fencing demonstrations, circus arts, hula hooping, Mad Science, dozens of local businesses, and terrific local food.

We’ve got the full schedule, and links to videos for all of our performers, up at www.rivermeltdown.com, and you can follow the event on Facebook at facebook.com/rivermeltdown. See you Saturday!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Childs & Ella

Bill Childs

Bill teaches law school by day in Springfield. With his kids, he produces a radio show for kids, Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, which airs on Saturday mornings on 93.9 The River (8-10 AM, 101.5 in Brattleboro) and 103.3 Valley Free Radio (7-9 AM). He’s also a columnist for regional parenting magazines, covers music for Parenting magazine, and was a bi-monthly contributing writer to Hilltown Families. Contact him at show@sparetherock.com

Ticket Giveaway: The Nields Family Concert in Northampton

Win a Family 4-Pack of Free Tickets
Family Concert with The Nields
Saturday, March 5th, 2011 @ 10am
at The First Churches of Northampton

Hilltown Families and Nonotuck Community School (NCS) have partnered up to offer one lucky family a chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see The Nields as they continue their 2011 Winter Family Concert Series in Northampton, MA on Saturday, March 5th at 10am! What better way for families to beat the mid-winter blues! Proceeds from the performance go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, local non-profit preschool! Deadline to enter to win is 03/02/11. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT THE NIELDS

Nerissa and Katryna Nields grew up singing folk songs in the kitchen and in the back seat of the family car. Katryna learned to sing melody with their father, eventually making her an ideal front person for the band. Nerissa, on the other hand, tackled the harmonies; with that skill, she provided a natural counterpoint to her sister’s vibrant lead. As a duo, the sisters have toured nationally for years and been the darlings of the coffeehouse/festival scene, with tunes ranging from off-the-hook idiosyncratic to kicking to heartbreaking. They were a part of Lillith Fair, and have shared the stage with Natalie Merchant, Suzanne Vega, Sarah McLaughlin, Dar Williams, The Indigo Girls, James Taylor, Joan Baez, the Band, 10,000 Maniacs, Billy Bragg, Dan Zanes and countless others, all of whom informed and enhanced their musical repertoire.

A most recent influence on their music is children. “Having children has brought us back to our roots in a powerful way,” says Nerissa. “I’m much more drawn to the honesty of folk music, the simplicity of it. My kids love singing songs from Sister Holler. And I love how, when we sing these ‘Nerissa’ songs in concerts, everybody sings along, even though it’s the first time they’ve heard them. They’re songs that really invite the listener into the music making process.” Find more information about the band at www.nields.com.

ABOUT THE NCS 2011 WINTER FAMILY CONCERT SERIES

The NCS Winter Concert Series is a three-part Winter Family Concert Series hosted by Nonotuck Community School. The season started off with Mister G in January, followed by The Alchemystics (Saturday, February 12th @ 10am) and The Nields (Saturday, March 5th @ 10am). All three concerts take place at The First Churches of Northampton (129 Main Street). Tickets are sold only on the day of the shows (doors open 30 minutes before each concert): adults $7, children $5, and one and under, free. Proceeds from this concert series will go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, a nonprofit parent cooperative that provides early education and care for children aged 15 months to 5 years old, and is located in Florence, Massachusetts (221 Riverside Drive, 586-5996). For more information visit: www.nonotuck.org or call 413-586-5996.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see The Nields in concert at The First Churches of Northampton on Saturday, March 5th, 2011 @ 10am , is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

     

  1. SHARE THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW
  2. RECOMMEND A SONG FOR OUR COMMUNITY PLAYLIST (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) PLEASE include your town and state to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  6. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.
  7.  

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 03/02/11 @ 7pm (EST).  If you don’t win and still really want to go, tickets will be sold at the door the day of the show.  See above for details.


ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WIN TIXS TO THE NIELDS: On Saturday, March 12th from 7:30-10:30pm, there will be a “Mom’s Night Out with The Nields!” A benefit for MotherWoman in  Easthampton, MA… and we have a pair of tickets to giveaway to that show too! — Hootenanny has been a smashing success and is now a Valley institution for mothers and young children. Many mothers have said “I want a Hootenanny for grownups!” That’s exactly what we’re doing. Join Katryna and Nerissa for an evening of singing, great food, pampering and fun. MotherWoman will honor parent educator, Maria Curtin-McKenna that evening. To win a pair of tickets, please submit a story, with photo, about how Maria has made a difference in your life over on the Hilltown Families Facebook page by 3/9/11. You must “Like” Hilltown Families Facebook page to be able to participate.  Good luck!

Ticket Giveaway: The Deedle Deedle Dees Family Concert

THE DEEDLE DEEDLE DEES
Saturday, February 26th @ 1:30pm
At Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton, MA

Hilltown Families & Spare the Rock present Valley favorites The Deedle Deedle Dees in their triumphant return to Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton, MA at the Old Town Hall on Saturday, February 26th, at 1:30pm (doors open at 1pm). 

Part of the fantastic No Nap Happy Hour Series, The Dees will be doing a Black History Month Show — and we’re giving away a family 4-pack of free tickets. Deadline to enter to win: 02/23/11 by 7pm (details below).

ABOUT THE DEEDLE DEEDLE DEES

The Deedle Deedle Dees are an educational rock band based in Brooklyn, NY.  Since October 2003, the band has been entertaining family audiences with songs inspired by history and science — “Underground Railroad,” “Nellie Bly,” “Rancher Ants” — as well as simple movement-based tunes.

The Dees will be doing a special Black History Month show featuring tunes about Sojourner Truth, Fannie Lou Hamer, Cool Papa Bell, Satchel Paige, Henry Box Brown, and other folks worthy of song — including some songs never before performed in the Valley. www.thedeedledeedledees.com

ABOUT THE NO NAP HAPPY HOUR SERIES

Started by Bill Childs of Spare the Rock in 2009, the No Nap Happy Hour concert series continues at it’s new location, Flywheel (43 Main St., Easthampton, MA).  The series has been featuring the kinds of bands that seem to have taken their cue from They Might Be Giants in believing that kids’ music doesn’t have to condescend or, well, suck. The series has brought many fantastic acts to the Pioneer Valley, including Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Gustafer Yellowgold, AudraRox, Bill Harley, Justin Roberts, Lunch Money, Uncle Rock and the Deedle Deedle Dees. www.sparetherock.com

ABOUT FLYWHEEL

The Flywheel Arts Collective’s new home (Easthampton’s Old Town Hall) is a delightful space for families to come enjoy fabulous family entertainers! Home of the Easthampton Family Center, Flywheel is a collectively run, not-for-profit space, aimed at building community and giving artists opportunities to craft, practice, and perform their work in an environment where creativity is valued over profit. Volunteer-run and governed by consensus, Flywheel believes that art and information should be equally accessible and affordable to all people. www.flywheelarts.org

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see The Deedle Deedle Dees at Flywheel Arts Collective in the Easthampton Old Town Hall on Saturday, February 26th at 1:30pm, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. SHARE THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW
  2. RECOMMEND A SONG FOR OUR COMMUNITY PLAYLIST and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address)
  6. We’ll randomly draw our winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 at 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, you simply still must come!  The Dees will be doing a special Black History Month Show, a entertaining way for families to learn a little history. Advance discount tickets can be purchased online HERE and are $5 in advance, or $15 for a family four-pack.  Tickets can also be purchased at the door the day of the show. Flywheel is located in the Easthampton Old Town Hall at 43 Main St.

Ticket Giveaway: The Alchemystics Family Concert in Northampton

Win a Family 4-pack of Free Tickets
The Alchemystics in Concert
Saturday, February 12th, 2011 @ 10am
at The First Churches of Northampton

Win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see The Alchemystics in Northampton on February 12th - part of the Nonotuck Community School Winter Family Concert Series. Deadline to enter to win: 02/08/11 @ 7pm (EST). Details below.

Hilltown Families and Nonotuck Community School (NCS) have partnered up to offer one lucky family a chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see The Alchemystics as they continue their 2011 Winter Family Concert Series in Northampton, MA on Saturday, February 12th at 10am! What better way for families to beat the mid-winter blues! Proceeds from the performance go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, local non-profit preschool! Deadline to enter to win is 02/08/11. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT THE ALCHEMYSTICS

Rooted in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, The Alchemystics fuse diverse individual styles, backgrounds, and experiences into a unique and uplifting sound embracing reggae, hip hop, soul, and dub. Thoughtfully crafted songs carry positive messages as compelling as the rhythms that drive them; crowds respond instinctively and enthusiastically. Formed as a trio in 2003, The Alchemystics achieved their current lineup in 2006. The band’s popularity grew in step with the release in 2006 of their first album, and their acclaimed EP and live record in 2008. Whether forging fresh tracks in the studio, or in the crucible of live performance, The Alchemystics continue to captivate growing audiences, gathering fans in their wake. In 2010 The Alchemystics will release their fourth recording, a full-length studio album. Find more information about the band at: www.alchemystics.com

ABOUT THE NCS 2011 WINTER FAMILY CONCERT SERIES

The NCS Winter Concert Series is a three-part Winter Family Concert Series hosted by Nonotuck Community School. The season started off with Mister G in January, followed by The Alchemystics (Saturday, February 12th @ 10am) and The Nields (Saturday, March 5th @ 10am). All three concerts take place at The First Churches of Northampton (129 Main Street). Tickets are sold only on the day of the shows (doors open 30 minutes before each concert): adults $7, children $5, and one and under, free. Proceeds from this concert series will go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, a nonprofit parent cooperative that provides early education and care for children aged 15 months to 5 years old, and is located in Florence, Massachusetts (221 Riverside Drive, 586-5996). For more information visit: www.nonotuck.org or call 413-586-5996.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see The Alchemystics in concert at The First Churches of Northampton on Saturday, February 12th, 2011 @ 10am , is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. SHARE THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW
  2. RECOMMEND A SONG FOR OUR COMMUNITY PLAYLIST (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) PLEASE include your town and state to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  6. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 02/08/11 @ 7pm (EST).  If you don’t win and still really want to go, tickets will be sold at the door the day of the show.  See above for details.

Ticket & Music Giveaway: Family Performance with Bill Harley

BILL HARLEY
Sunday, January 23rd @ 1:30pm
At Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton, MA

Hilltown Families and Spare the Rock present…

Hilltown Families & Spare the Rock present Bill Harley in his triumphant return to the Pioneer Valley as part of the fantastic No Nap Happy Hour Series at Flywheel in Easthampton, MA! Enter to win a family 4-pack of free tickets along with a copy of his newest Grammy nominated CD, "The Best Candy in the Whole World". Deadline to enter to win, 01/19/11 by 7pm (EST).

Grammy award winning storyteller Bill Harley will be singing songs and telling stories at  Flywheel Arts Collective in the Easthampton Old Town Hall on Sunday, January 23rd at 1:30pm as part of the on-going No Nap Happy Hour Series.  Families are invited to come sit and listen to Bill’s funny and engaging stories and songs.

“Harley delivers an uninhibited performance with wry sense of humor and has a love of life we can all share…” — Los Angeles Times

“He combines wry observation with well-crafted folk, pop and rock music to tell tales that tickle the funny bone and tease the brain.” – Boston Globe

Hilltown Families is giving away a family 4-pack of free tickets to see this show, along with 2 copies of Bill Harley’s newest CD release, The Best Candy in the Whole World. Deadline to enter to win is 01/19/11. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT BILL HARLEY

A two-time Grammy award winning artist, Bill Harley uses song and story to paint a vibrant picture of growing up, parenting and modern family life. Poignant and hilarious, his work spans the generation gap, reminds us of our common humanity and challenges us to be our very best selves.

A prolific author and recording artist, Bill is also a regular commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered and featured on PBS. Harley joined the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence in 2001 and tours nationwide as an author and performing artist.  Harley is the recipient of the 2010 lifetime achievement award from RI Council for the Humanities “for his use of music, song, and story in building community; promoting our common humanity; and encouraging lifelong learning, exploring and growing”.

Bill is the author of numerous children’s books and is working on a new project relating to school culture. His new collection of stories and songs, The Best Candy in the Whole World, was nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award in the Best Spoken Word Album for Children category. Harley also just published a new book for parents and educators called Between Home and School: Letters, Notes and Emails.

Find out more about Bill Harley at www.BillHarley.com.

ABOUT THE NO NAP HAPPY HOUR SERIES

Started by Bill Childs of Spare the Rock in 2009, the No Nap Happy Hour concert series continues at it’s new location, Flywheel (43 Main St., Easthampton, MA).  The series has been featuring the kinds of bands that seem to have taken their cue from They Might Be Giants in believing that kids’ music doesn’t have to condescend or, well, suck. The series has brought many fantastic acts to the Pioneer Valley, including Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Gustafer Yellowgold, AudraRox, Bill Harley, Justin Roberts, Lunch Money, Uncle Rock and the Deedle Deedle Dees. www.sparetherock.com

ABOUT FLYWHEEL

The Flywheel Arts Collective’s new home (Easthampton’s Old Town Hall) is a delightful space for families to come enjoy fabulous family entertainers! Home of the Easthampton Family Center, Flywheel is a collectively run, not-for-profit space, aimed at building community and giving artists opportunities to craft, practice, and perform their work in an environment where creativity is valued over profit. Volunteer-run and governed by consensus, Flywheel believes that art and information should be equally accessible and affordable to all people. www.flywheelarts.org

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see storyteller Bill Harley at Flywheel Arts Collective in the Easthampton Old Town Hall on Sunday, January 23rd at 1:30pm, or a copy of Bill Harley’s newest CD release, The Best Candy in the Whole World, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. SHARE THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW
  2. RECOMMEND A SONG FOR OUR COMMUNITY PLAYLIST and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address)
  6. We’ll randomly draw our winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 at 7pm (EST). We will randomly select three winners.  One winner will receive 4 tickets, and two additional winners will receive a CD.  If you can’t make the concert but would like to enter to win a CD, please note you are entering to win just a CD.

If you don’t win, you simply still must come!  Bill Harley is a fabulously funny entertainer and the show will be a great way to spend a Sunday in January. Tickets can be purchased in advance online HERE and are $8 in advance/ $10 door. Family 4-pack: $25 in advance, $35 door.  Flywheel is located in the Easthampton Old Town Hall at 43 Main St.

Ticket Giveaway: Mister G Family Concert in Northampton

Win a Family 4-pack of Free Tickets & CD
Mister G in Concert
Saturday, January 8th, 2011 @ 10am
at The First Churches of Northampton

Win a CD and family 4-pack of free tickets to see local musician Mister G in Northampton on Januray 8th - part of the Nonotuck Community School Winter Family Concert Series.

Hilltown Families and Nonotuck Community School (NCS) have partnered up to offer one lucky family a chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see Mister G as they kick off the schools 2011 Winter Family Concert Series in Northampton, MA on Saturday, January 8th at 10am—and Mister G is offering a signed CD to the winning family too! What better way to kick-off the New Year for families! Proceeds from the performance go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, local non-profit preschool! Deadline to enter to win is 01/04/11. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT MISTER G

Over the past year, Mister G (Ben Gundersheimer) has performed with Dan Zanes in Northampton, and for kids in Europe and Latin America. He closed out 2010 with two shows at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Closer to home, Mister G played headlining sets at the Green River Festival and the WRSI Meltdown.

Winner of the first songwriting scholarship in the history of Berklee College of Music, Ben spent 20 years touring internationally as a bandleader and solo artist before getting his Masters in Elementary Education at Smith College in 2008. As Mister G, he has led innovative songwriting workshops in settings as varied as Sunnyside Preschool, Dana Farber Cancer Clinic, the 92nd St. Y, Horizons for Homeless Children, and the Smith College Campus School. For more information about Mister G, visit: www.mistergsongs.com.

ABOUT THE NCS 2011 WINTER FAMILY CONCERT SERIES

On Saturday, January 8th at 10am, Mister G will kick-off the NCS Winter Concert Series. This performance is the first of a three-part Winter Family Concert Series hosted by Nonotuck Community School. Follow-up concerts in the 2011 series feature The Alchemystics (Saturday, February 12th @ 10am) and The Nields (Saturday, March 5th @ 10am). All three concerts take place at The First Churches of Northampton (129 Main Street). Tickets will be sold only on the day of the shows (doors open 30 minutes before each concert): adults $7, children $5, and one and under, free. Proceeds from this concert series will go to benefit Nonotuck Community School, a nonprofit parent cooperative that provides early education and care for children aged 15 months to 5 years old, and is located in Florence, Massachusetts (221 Riverside Drive, 586-5996). For more information visit: www.nonotuck.org or call 413-586-5996.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Mister G in concert at The First Churches of Northampton on Saturday, January 8th, 2011 @ 10am, along with a copy of his CD, Pizza for Breakfast, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

     

  1. SHARE THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW
  2. RECOMMEND A SONG FOR OUR COMMUNITY PLAYLIST (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) PLEASE include your town and state to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  6. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.
  7.  

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 01/04/11 @ 7pm (EST). Winner must be present at the concert to receive the signed CD.

If you don’t win and still really want to go, tickets will be sold at the door the day of the show.  See above for details.

Ticket Giveaway: Family Concert with Gustafer Yellowgold @ The Carle

WIN A FAMILY 4-PACK OF FREE TICKETS:
Gustafer Yellowgold
Saturday, October 23rd, 2010
At the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA

Gustafer Yellowgold will be at the Eric Carle Museum on Saturday, October 23rd at 1pm. Deadline to enter to win a family 4-pack of free tickets is 10/20/10 @ 7pm (EST).

Hilltown Families and the Northampton Community Music Center have partnered up to offer a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Gustafer Yellowgold at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA on Saturday, October 23rd at 1pm. The proceeds from the concert go to benefit the Northampton Community Music Center.  Deadline to enter to win is 10/20/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT GUSTAFER YELLOWGOLD

It’s been two years in the making and won’t be released until February, but families in Western Mass will have a sneak preview this month when the multimedia Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show comes to the Eric Carle Museum on Gustafer’s “Top of the Sock Tour.”

Gustafer Yellowgold’s Top of the Sock Tour heralds the release of the fourth in the series of award-winning Gustafer Yellowgold “musical moving storybooks,” Gustafer Yellowgold’s Infinity Sock, in which our hero from the sun journeys in search of the end of the universe’s longest sock. This fall’s shows will preview several story-songs from the new DVD/CD set, and Gustafer’s creator, illustrator/songwriter/musician Morgan Taylor, promises to include plenty of “Gustafer fan favorites” in the shows, too!

Hailed as one of today’s most original artists on the family music scene, Morgan Taylor was named “Best Kids’ Performer” by New York Magazine.  Taylor developed the Gustafer Yellowgold experience as equal parts pop rock concert and minimally animated movie, performing alongside a large screen displaying vividly colored animations with karaoke-style subtitles.  He’s dreamed up a whole world of catchy, original story-songs about Gustafer, a friendly creature who came to Earth from the sun and now lives out an explorer’s life in a slightly psychedelic version of the Minnesota woods.  Gustafer resides in a cottage with his menagerie of friends, including a pet eel, a tuxedo-wearing pterodactyl, and a dragon named Asparagus who inhabits the fireplace and loves corn on the cob. For recreation, Gustafer enjoys jumping on cake and, occasionally, punching cheese.

ABOUT THE NORTHAMPTON COMMUNITY MUSIC CENTER

The Northampton Community Music Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is “to foster the love and pursuit of music within the community through quality musical education, performances, and activities that are accessible to all.” NCMC’s talented 50+ faculty members offer a diverse range of musical programs to more than 750 participants a year—both adults and children—and bring concerts and other musical events to hundreds more in our surrounding communities, uniting people of all ages and backgrounds through the shared experience of music. NCMC is the only music school in Hampshire County that offers financial aid: no qualifying student has ever been denied scholarship.

This family concert a continuation in the Kids Concert Series sponsored in partnership by the Northampton Community Music Center, the Eric Carle Museum, and 93.9 The River.  The Eric Carle Museum is located at 125 West Bay Road in Amherst, MA. Admission is $6, with all proceeds benefiting the Scholarship Program at NCMC.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to see Gustafer Yellowgold at the Eric Carle Museum on Saturday, October 23rd at 1pm in Amherst, MA, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. HELP CO-CREATE A COMMUNITY PLAYLIST AND RECOMMEND A SONG BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 10/20/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are $6 and available at 12:30pm the day of the show.  No advance reservations. – For more information about the Northampton Community Music Center, call 585-0001.

Ticket Giveaway: The Buzz About Bees Family FunFest

Like This!

The Buzz About Bees Family FunFest
Family Concert with Uncle Rock
Bees, Cat in the Hat, Science and More!
Springfield Musuems
Friday, August 27th from 10am-4pm

Win tickets to see Uncle Rock, the Cat in the Hat, Bees and more at The Buzz About Bees Family FunFest in Springfield, MA on Friday, August 27th. - Deadline to enter to win a family 4-pack of free tickets is 8/25/10. Details below.

Hilltown Families and the Springfield Museums have partnered up to offer a family 4-pack of tickets to The Buzz About Bees Family FunFest at the museum on Friday, August 27th, from 10 am-4 pm in downtown Springfield, MA, featuring a family concert with Uncle RockDeadline to enter to win is Wednesday, August 25th at 7pm (EST).

ABOUT THE BUZZ ABOUT BEES FAMILY FUNFEST

The Springfield Museums and WGBY Public Television are pairing up to present The Buzz about Bees Family FunFest to celebrate the launch of the new science-based PBS series The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! with activities for kids and families, including:

  • Family concert with Uncle Rock (1pm)
  • Special sneak preview of the premiere episode of the new PBS Kids program The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!
  • Meet a bee keeper and learn about a real bee hive in the Science Museum
  • Visit a honey market hosted by local bee keepers
  • Join a scavenger hunt through the museum galleries
  • Make bee antenna headbands
  • Try on glasses that make you see like a bee
  • Greet the Cat in the Hat and costumed bee characters as they travel through the Museums

ABOUT THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT!

A team of science and early childhood experts developed the curriculum for The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That!™ Each episode begins with a question posed by Sally or Nick. Guided by the Cat, the kids figure things out for themselves by observing, collecting and managing clues, making connections, constructing and evaluating theories, and having discussions — all in a preschool-appropriate manner.

To support the show’s science curriculum, educator-designed parent and teacher resources will be available this fall on PBS Parents (pbsparents.org) and PBS Teachers (pbsteachers.org) sites. A specially prepared The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That!™ Explorer’s Guide will empower parents and teachers to engage children in scientific inquiry, nurture their innate curiosity, and inspire them to stay excited and interested in science. The sites will also feature activities, tips, and strategies that parents and teachers can use to help children connect the science concepts in the series with their everyday explorations.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to The Buzz About Bees Family FunFest at the museum on Friday, August 27th, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in downtown Springfield, MA is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. SHARE A SCIENCE QUESTION YOUR KIDS MIGHT ASK BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 08/25/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, you should still go! The Springfield Museums are located at the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards Street in downtown Springfield. Parking is free in the museum lots on Edwards Street. For more information call 413-263-6800, ext. 488.

STREET TEAM: HELP US SPREAD THE WORD AND EARN AN EXTRA ENTRY Read the rest of this entry »

Local Library to Host Bilingual Cinco de Mayo Children’s Concert

Cinco de Mayo Children’s Concert with Mister G at Whately Library

A free bilingual Cinco de Mayo celebration with local musician and educator Mister G will be hosted by the Whately Library on Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 at 6pm. A concert guaranteed to delight children (and adults) of all ages!

Mister G, a.k.a. Ben Gundersheimer, has a Masters in Education from Smith College, a BA in English from Amherst College, and over twenty years experience as a performing musician and recording artist. Ben began blending his love of music and education in the late 1990s. He has toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada and his songs have been featured in television programs around the world. Well traveled and fluent in Spanish – he will perform songs to help celebrate Cinco de Mayo “Mister G…has a great combination of silliness, musicality, gentleness and warmth, and the other key ingredient; an authentic belief in making sure kids have fun!”

The Whately Library is located at 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Pack your sombrero and come enjoy for this free family show. To learn more about Whately resident Mister G visit www.mistergsongs.com.

Ticket Giveaway: Mother’s Day Concert with Dan Zanes in Northampton

Win a Pair of Tickets to See:
DAN ZANES &
THE WHOLE CHILDREN COMMUNITY CHORUS
Sunday, May 9th, 2010
At First Churches in Northampton, MA

Whole Children presents,"Everyone Has a Voice" - the Whole Children Community Chorus in concert with Dan Zanes. Choral direction by Joan Cornachio and special guest, local musician Mister G.

On Mother’s Day, Dan Zanes will be performing in the Pioneer Valley with the Whole Children Community Chorus and special guest, local musician Mister G … and Hilltown Families and Whole Children have partnered up to offer TWO lucky families a chance to win tickets!

We have two pairs of free tickets to see this heart-warming concert at First Churches in Northampton on Sunday, May 9th at 3pm.  All of the ticket sales from this concert will benefit Whole Children and its slate of programs for children of all abilities, including classes in theater, martial arts, gymnastics, and team sports. Deadline to enter to win is 05/05/10. Find out how to enter to win below.

ABOUT THE WHOLE CHILDREN COMMUNITY CHORUS

On a recent afternoon, the voices of more than 50 children sang out, “All things are possible if you only believe” at Whole Children, an after-school center for children with special needs in Hadley, MA.

The song could well be the anthem for the Whole Children Community Chorus, a group of children with and without disabilities. They have been rehearsing together since February in preparation for a Mother’s Day concert with Grammy-winning musician Dan Zanes.

The concert, “Everyone has a Voice,” is the brainchild of a group of mothers at Whole Children who recognized that music would be a great way to bridge the social gap that often develops between children with and without disabilities. They also thought that singing in concert with a nationally known musician would give the kids a sense of pride and a chance to show off what they can do, rather than focus on what they can’t do.

Whole Children got a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the idea, and the Whole Children Community Chorus was born. The group is made up of kids ages 6-14, some with disabilities, others without. After months of rehearsing together they have mastered a full program of songs, which they will sing with Zanes on stage at The First Churches in Northampton.

ABOUT DAN ZANES

Here are two things you should know right off about Dan Zanes.  Two things that set him apart from the huge and festive field of people who have in the past few years begun making music for families and people of all ages in a way that is changing the face of America, or the sound of it at least. First, he is making homemade family music and encouraging his friends and neighbors to do the same. Second, he is the guy who is always interested in singing along with people everywhere, which brings us to his mission, if you can call it a mission: Zanes is introducing his musical friends to his neighborhood friends and then showing everybody not just that they can play together but that they can also feel pretty good while doing so. In this sense, Zanes is a twenty-first century version of the guy, who in the old days, used to conduct the town band from the gazebo though in lieu of a gazebo he’s playing places like Carnegie Hall and the Melbourne International Arts Festival where no matter how you say it, good music is good. He is a ringmaster, introducing new songs and reconnecting people to songs that have always been there, and still are—it’s just that people forgot about them.

Take, for example, Dan Zanes and Friends’ Catch That Train!, the 2007 Grammy Award winner for Best Musical Album for Children (co-released with Starbucks/Hear Music). It is the one CD in America today that brings together the Kronos Quartet, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Father Goose, Zanes’ mother-in-law and the children of South Africa’s Agape Orphanage to sing Zulu folk songs, an old labor organizing tune, a song about the joys of farming the English countryside, and of course a few train songs—all in an instrumental mix that highlights cuatros and lap steels and does not in any way discourage the use of trombone.

Dan Zanes continues his traditionof bringing people together right here in Western MA with the Whole Children Community Chorus!

ABOUT WHOLE CHILDREN

Whole Children, Inc. was started in 2004 by a group of mothers of kids with disabilities who saw a need for a place for their children to take typical after school enrichment classes. In four short years it went from serving 40 children to more than 400. The center holds classes for kids of all abilities — art, music, sports, theater, martial arts, and more. Kids who have never had the opportunity to play on a team or sing on stage are now taking theater classes, going rock climbing, and shooting hoops on a team. The center has raised the bar for a whole lot of children, showing them (and the rest of the world) all they can do if they’re given the opportunity.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Dan Zanes with the Whole Children Community Chorus at First Churches in Northampton, MA on Sunday, May 9th at 3pm is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. SHARE YOUR FAVORITE DAN ZANES SONG/ALBUM BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 05/05/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go!  Tickets are $15 each or four for $50, and sales benefit Whole Children. Tickets are available from the website (www.wholechildren.org), or by calling Whole Children at 413-585-8010.

Gotta Be Me!

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo in Noho

Check ‘em out this Sunday, Nov. 9, 4:00 pmSecret Agent 23 Skidoo brings positive hip hop for kids to Northampton! Lyman Hall, First Churches (enter across from the Iron Horse). $7 at the door.

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