String-a-Palooza offers entertainment

From violins and cellos to street rhymes and sing-a-longs, the String-a-Palooza musical fair and extravaganza will provide various forms of entertainment for children in the Memorial Union on the Fort Hays State University campus.

Presented by the Western Kansas String Academy and FHSU's Alpha Pi chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, String-a-Palooza will take place on Saturday, Nov. 14. Events will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Among the performers, Maria Anthony, Lawrence, will host two children's concerts. Anthony uses guitar, flute and bodhran, an Irish frame drum, for accompaniment in her performances, which include stories, sing-a-longs, humor and poetry. She uses costume, rhythm and rhyme. Programs include translation of the Gaelic language, songs about children by children, otherwise known at "street rhymes," and movement activities.

Anthony will have two half-hour concerts in the union. Her first concert will begin at 9:30 a.m. This concert will concentrate on pre-school-aged children while her second, at 11:30 a.m., will be for children of all ages.

Anthony has been performing since 1982 and has produced four recordings of traditional and original music with violinist and singer Megan Hurt as well as the folk-rock band "Uncle Dirty Toes." Anthony is a songwriter as well as a creative interpreter of traditional music. She performs at Celtic and Scottish festivals throughout the region.

There will be hands-on booths and exploration activities for children from 10 to 11 a.m. Exploration centers available will include "Instrument Petting Zoo," a "Drumming Circle," "Make your own RainStick," a pre-school song circle, "Exotic String Instruments" and an electric instrument experiment station.

For children in kindergarten or older, violin and cello lessons will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Children in the second grade or above can participate in guitar lessons as well. For these half-hour sessions, instruments will be provided to introduce children to the art of playing a musical instrument. For those interested in participating in the lessons, contact the String Academy by Thursday, Nov. 12 to reserve a seat.

At 11 a.m., a musically-illustrated reading of Pete Seeger's story "Abiyoyo!" will be performed by the String Academy intermediate and advanced orchestra. The orchestra will play music written by FHSU music student Krista Connelly, Hays junior, while Dr. Doug Drabkin, associate professor of philosophy, narrates.

Registration will be in the Sunset Lounge in the Memorial Union at 9:15 a.m. on the day of the event. However, visitors are welcome to come and go to the morning's events as their schedules allow.

For more information, contact Cathy Drabkin, executive director of the Western Kansas String Academy, at (785) 628-5363 or at

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Kent Steward, Director   |  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |