As the many schoolchildren continue to squirm in their seats, the lights gradually dim and strange noises can be heard emanating from the back of Spanos Theatre. Settling down, the audience turns to discover the source of the sounds. To their delight, the creator of the strange noises happens to be none other than the iconic Joe Craven, creeping down the aisle.
Several hours before he is set to appear in the Performing Arts Center in front of an audience of all ages, Joe Craven holds a special performance for his youngest fans as the first of six School Matinee Performances this year, most of which are already full!
The 2013-2014 School Matinee Performance Series, an outreach program designed to brings the arts into the lives of local schoolchildren, provides free admission to all attendees thanks to the generous support of community sponsors and the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center’s donors.
Through his own expert talent and developed musical ability, Craven introduces the children to the magical power of music, encouraging them to be creative in making their own melodies. Demonstrating the ease of making a musical instrument, the children’s eyes light up as he uses an ordinary trash can as a drum and even makes music with his own body.
Pulling a few children from the audience, Craven utilizes audience interaction throughout the entire performance. As he plays his own homemade instruments, the children can’t help but clap their hands to the beat. Even the teachers and chaperones in the audience joined in the fun and participated alongside their students.
In his efforts to expose schoolchildren to the wonders of making music, Craven must have left at least a few kids with the spark of creativity, giving them the opportunity to harness their own passions and abilities. Sometimes all it takes is one person to say, “Hey, you can do this too;” and Joe Craven is that person.
You can watch videos from the performance on the Foundation for the PAC YouTube Channel!
(Photo Credit: Rosie Toumanian)