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Taking the Show on the Road - Holiday Caroling 2013

December 15th, 2013

This holiday season, we had an idea. What if we took some of our Performing Arts Program participants caroling to some of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids’ supporters and friends? Director of Development Nicole Rodammer worked hard to put together a two-day schedule of stops while I was busy rehearsing with my students. We took 2 guitars, one for me to play and one for a guitar student, 4 singers and we were off!

To get the kids excited, I explained that this was our Caroling Tour 2013. The idea of “going on tour” was quite motivating for them. Performance locations included Rockford Construction, the Grand Rapids Police Department, Seyferth PR, Mercantile Bank, The Bank of Holland and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. Each audience gave us such a warm welcome. It made the kids feel great! We finished the evenings with some hot chocolate before heading back to the Clubs.

A very special stop was the home of Jeremy and Diane Barber. The Barber Foundation provided a grant last year to get this program up and running, and we are very grateful to them as supporters of performing arts education for youth. The performers got a chance to say thank you in person and even got to see some vintage guitars. Their dogs were also a big hit with the kids. One of the dogs knew a good opportunity when she saw it and came running with a tennis ball in her mouth. It was a warm memory that we all made together, which is part of what the holidays are all about.

Heading toward 2014, I am so excited to think about where we are going as an organization and where the Performing Arts Program is headed. Each and every day I work with young people who are committed, hard-working and excited to be learning the craft of musicianship, dance, acting and performance of these pursuits. The look on a student’s face when he or she really grasps the task at hand is one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced. Getting to know one another and forging trusting and caring bonds makes such an impact on all of us. As the holiday season unfolds this year, I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to bring the joy of the arts to our members.

Happy holidays to you and yours. Thanks for your support.

Casey Stratton
Performing Arts Director

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