Friends, I’m thrilled to announce a brand new release from Recess Music that includes my song “Every Little Bit of You” from my newest recording Come and Make a Circle 3. This is the second Recess Music project I have been involved with and I couldn’t be happier. This latest recording is part of the BEST FOOT FORWARD series from Recess Music, promoting and imparting all sorts of important values and ideals for children and those who love them. Other selections include music from Bill Harley, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Debbie and Friends, Earth Mama and many other talented voices in the children’s music world.
Check out the release at: http://recessmusic.com
Jay and I just returned from three weeks in Prague, Czech Republic. It was like being enrolled in an intensive college course in Czech history, politics and culture. Everywhere we went we found centuries of beautiful architecture. Even the Soviet architecture begins to grow on you after a while, in spite of the high price paid by the Czechs as a result of the oppressive 40-year reign of communism. Fascinating stuff.
On the professional front, I’ve got a handful of Chicagoland gigs in July, and I’m thrilled to be performing in South Carolina mid-August at the following libraries: Surfside, Conway, and Carolina Forest. Check out my calendar page for more information.
I greatly enjoyed my concerts in Washington, D.C. for Little People of America (LPA) in the beginning of July. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a conference where joy was so pervasive. Many thanks to Joanna Campbell, Executive Director of LPA, for thinking of me for the event.
The CD “Gratitude Attitude” produced by Recess Music was released last week. I’m happy to be included on this compilation recording with the likes of Bill Harley and Earth Mama. A song I wrote for Jay, Every Little Bit of You from my latest CD “Come and Make a Circle 3,” was chosen for the compilation, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Looking forward to making new friends in South Carolina. I wish you all a fabulous summer, 2013.
This Spring, children in Reina Bago’s morning and afternoon Pre-K classes were very busy
planting seeds. Susan Salidor’s poem, “First You Take a Seed,” helped the children remember the most important things the seed need to grow: soil, water, rain and time to let the magic happen! After the children planted the seeds, during music class, they planted each other while chanting the poem. One child was the “planter,” the other was the “flower.” At the end of the poem, the planter asked the their flower, “What color are you?” and “May I smell you?” – then changed places and got planted themselves!!
Ms. Bago and her assistant teacher, Ms. Monsanto, were so delighted with the poem, that they created a charming bulletin board featuring the poem, and documenting the process of the children as they planted the seeds. Flowers dance across the diorama on either side of the poem, and each flower’s center holds the face of one of the children. Whimsical ladybugs and butterflies join the celebration announcing that Spring has finally come to Chicago! Thank you, Susan, for such a wonderful poem, and thanks to the creative teachers at Tarkington School, for bringing it to life!
So grateful to Dan Rest for my new head shots. This is one of my favorites. I’m playing a paper ukelele made by some of my students from First Academy in Chicago. The ukelele unfolds to reveal the colorful handprints and names of all the children. Way, way cool. Thought I’d bring it along with my other instruments to the photo shoot and VOILA!
Looking forward to my concerts in Washington, DC at the end of the month for LPA. In the meantime, I’m finishing up at my schools and saying goodbye to my friends who are moving on to Kindergarten next year. Good luck to you all — you’ll love it! I did. Back in the day, I attended Plaza School in Baldwin, Long Island and Mrs. McKasty was my beloved Kindergarten teacher. She was a master teacher, and as I got older I would assist her in class when all of the other kids left school for catechism on Wednesday afternoons. She was kind, firm and creative. Those were the days when every Kindergarten class had a piano and every teacher played it. Ours was a blonde wood upright, and we would sit on the blue circle and sing with Mrs. McKasty. I guess things haven’t changed that much, but it’s been a long time since I’ve visited a Kindergarten classroom with a piano in it!
May 31, 2013
Hope you find this newly designed website as pretty as I do — thanks to Carl Foote for making it happen. This is my first update, but you can expect updates to every section of this site over the next few weeks, including NEW HEADSHOTS.
I’ve got lots of news to share! My first animated video is now available for viewing on YouTube. Artist Rayah Long has lovingly animated my song “Wiggle ‘Til the Cows Come Home” from my new CD Come and Make a Circle 3, and you can find it by following this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RREz4CTSxh0. I am hoping your children (and you) will be entertained by Rayah’s engaging interpretation of the song.
Last month I received a call from Recess Music, the same producer who used my song “I’m Sorry” on the compilation Big Bully a few years back. This time around they have licensed a song off Come and Make a Circle 3 for a compilation about attitude. I’ll let you know the official title and release date as soon as I know. The song is “Every Little Bit of You,” a song I wrote for my husband Jay. It’s one of my favorites from the new CD, so I was particularly happy that Recess Music chose it for their next project.
At the end of June, I will travel to Washington, DC to perform two concerts for the LPA, Little People of America. The Executive Director is a mom who hired me to perform at her son’s preschool some years ago in California, and she was kind enough to think of me for a morning children’s concert and evening family concert on Sunday, June 30, 2013. Check out LPA at http://www.lpaonline.org.
This August my family will be vacationing in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, as we have the last 22 years. Back in the fall, I was contacted by the head librarian in Myrtle Beach, SC who asked if I am ever “out that way” and would I be interested in giving a few concerts. I told her that I am always “out that way” in August and was surprised to learn that August is a great time for family concerts in that part of the country — woohoo! I’ll be giving anywhere from 4 to 8 concerts in the Myrtle Beach area the second week in August, and as soon as I’ve got confirmed dates, I’ll post locations and times to my calendar page. I’ve long fantasized about performing while in the South, so I am thrilled to have been asked.
My family is good! Hannah goes back to St. Paul tomorrow to spend the summer, but we’ve enjoyed a wonderful last three weeks together. Hope is still home and working at Northwestern Law School, studying sketch comedy at Second City and accompanying me to wheel throwing classes at Lill Street. Our foster son Ali recently returned home for a bit, and Jay is busy finishing up classes at Whitney Young and fighting the pension battle in his position as President of the CTPF here in Chicago. Our family has participated in many protests this last year as part of the Chicago Teachers’ Union increased visibility and power as it takes on privatization, school closings, and the bankrupting of Chicago’s poorest and neediest neighborhoods. Go CTU!
Hoping to make music in your part of the world soon. In the meantime, you can find my music all over the internet, but CDBaby is a great home for indie artists, so visit there first if you are interested in purchasing my music. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com or on Facebook and become my friend. Safe, happy summers to all of you.
I hope you’ll join me on Saturday, March 2nd at 10:30am for a concert and CD release party for my latest recording, “Come and Make a Circle 3: Even More Terrific Tunes for Children and Those Who Love Them.” I’ll be joined by my buddy Matt Yanny-Tillar, and we promise to sing past favorites along with songs from the new CD.
CMC3 is available for purchase and download at CDBaby and Apple iTunes. You can also purchase it here at my website with a credit card or Paypal account, and I’ll have all of my recordings available at Schuba’s. You can call JCYS at 773-281-2533 for advance tickets.
BTW, my daughter Hope Rehak will be performing at Schuba’s the VERY SAME DAY at “Mortified” in the evening. Check it out at: http://schubas.com/Shows/12-10-2011+Mortified
January 27, 2013
Hoping the new year arrived in your home with laughter, good health and hope for a wonderful year to come.
Our holidays were filled with lots of entertaining, decorating the most beautiful tree we’ve ever had, and with plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. My family is back to work and/or school, and we in the Midwest are bracing for some icy cold weather as we count down the days to spring.
I’m only beginning to promote my newest release, “Come and Make a Circle 3: Even More Terrific Tunes for Children and Those Who Love Them,” but many of you have let me know that you are enjoying the new songs. I’ve got a CD release concert coming up at Schuba’s in Chicago on March 2nd, and I’ll be visiting a handful of libraries over the next few months to introduce my new songs and make some new friends. Check out my Concert page for details.
I’ll also be updating the website over the next few months. Check back for some new features, including links to short videos that will teach you how to use the material off of my Circle series recordings in the early childhood classroom to maximum effect. I’ll be regularly updating the gallery pages, as well, so you can see me in action throughout the Chicagoland area.
Another new feature will be links to YouTube videos made from songs of mine from around the world. It’s a thrill to see children in Korea sing and dance along to my songs, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Until that feature is up and running, take a minute to search YouTube using my name — I think you’ll be delighted and entertained by what you see.
I’m currently teaching at seven schools and thrilled to be doing so. As always, my students give back so much more than I can possibly give them AND inspire new songs and new ways to sing old songs. Over the last few years I’ve become ever more aware of the link between the mind and body and how important it is for young ones and old ones alike to use both sides of their brains as much as possible. To that end, I’ve created and incorporated more movement and dance into my work, and the new CD contains some of the results of that effort, notably the tracks “Circling ‘Round” and ”A Very Moving Medley.” (Get it?)
I’ll end now but will be updating these posts more frequently in the months to come. Meanwhile, I wish you warmth if you’re cold, happiness if you’re sad, and loving people to surround you always.