Concert For Kids

Youngsters and adults alike were recently treated to a two-part concert, courtesy of the North Central Arkansas Foundation for the Arts and Education (NCAFAE).

The entertaining duo, ''Toucan Jam,'' which literally means "two can jam," took the stage at the Shirley Schools Auditorium, 9:30am, Monday, May 8, beguiling the near-capacity audience with an educational and fun tour around the world. 

This morning performance was staged especially for the Kindergarten through 6th grade students who had gathered from several school districts to attend the event.

Using a handmade stage and puppets, authentic costumes and a variety of ethnic instruments, ''Toucan Jam'' illustrated the cultural legends, language and music of five continents with a variety of original skits, songs, and dance. 

For the afternoon performance, which catered to 7th through 12th graders, ''Toucan Jam'' performers Donna Henschell and Kelly Mulhollan were joined by Phil Lancaster and John Johnson to form the group known as ''Still On The Hill.'' 

Singing and playing the banjo, fiddle, upright bass, mandolin and guitar, this ''band without borders'' entertained the crowd with a fresh variety of original works, many of which were dedicated to unsung heroes.

 

Kelly Mulhollan created music from modern and indigenous poetry with the guitar, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica for both the ''Toucan Jam'' and the ''Still On The Hill'' performances.

 

Singer, songwriter, and fiddle player Donna Henschell performed many of her original works in both ''Toucan Jam'' and ''Still On The Hill.''

 

Phil Lancaster played banjo, guitar and many of his original songs with a bluegrass slant for ''Still On The Hill.''

 

John Johnston, of ''Still On The Hill,'' nearly ''brought down the house'' with his '' big ol' bass'' performance.

The concerts were held as part of the Awards Ceremony for the annual NCAFAE Creative Arts Day. To read more about this event, click here.

To learn more about ''Toucan Jam'' and ''Still On The Hill,'' phone 501-787-6629, visit the Zassafras Management Website, or email Crow Johnson crow@zassafras.org. 

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