Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bongo Barry’ brings his talents to library program

Music to my ears’ takes on new meaning

June 20, 2007

When does a cake pan become a bell, an empty mayonnaise jar become a "Jum" and a shower hose become a "Zwoon?"

When Bongo Barry shows children that any object can be an instrument and any sound can be musical.

Bongo Barry, an Overland Park native and musical entertainer, introduced Basehor children to his musical world the afternoon of June 13 through "It's Music to My Ears," a music exploration show involving sound identification, musical compositions and homemade instruments.

Decked out in his tie-dyed lab coat, Bongo Barry encouraged children to listen to the different recorded sounds to see if they could identify them.

"I want you to listen," Bongo Barry said to the children that filled Basehor-Linwood High School auditorium. "I call it ear cleaning."

Sponsored by the Basehor Community Library, Bongo Barry was brought to Basehor in conjunction with "Get a Clue at Your Library," the national summer reading program for children in preschool through sixth grade. Participants are asked to read books each week during the summer and bring in a reading log to collect prizes. Every Wednesday, children can take part in special activities including crafts, science programs, games and watching performers such as Bongo Barry.

Children identified sounds of frogs, crickets, helicopters and whistling teapots by shouting them from the audience as they heard them. After the sound collage, Bongo Barry entertained the crowd by singing and playing the opening song, "It's Music to My Ears" on his guitar.

"Each person has a rhythm," he sang as children clapped their hands. "Each person has a song. Playing them together is how we get along."

Bongo Barry also gave children clues about what his homemade instruments were made of and how to play them. One member of the audience guessed a rattle he held up was made out of shells, but Bongo Barry revealed that anything -- even donkey toenails -- could be musical.

"If you can make an instrument out of donkey toenails, you can make them out of just about anything," he said.

"Get a Clue at Your Library" summer reading program for children runs until July 28. The public is invited to a free show at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at the BLHS auditorium featuring Jay and Leslie's Laughing Matters with "The Case of the Mysterious Case."

For more information contact the library at 724-2828.

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