Nearly 60 children and adults gathered Nov. 19 in Founders Auditorium in anticipation of “Two for All,” an interactive show presented by Ray De la Paz and Clabe Hangan.
The show brought focus to storytelling, cheerful guitar and energizing percussion allowing the audience to join along.
The theme of the show, Music of America, was definitely shown both in the performance and in the audience.
People from all backgrounds filled the audience making for a nice way to spend Saturday morning.
As the show started, all eyes and ears focused on De La Paz and Hangan as they started the interactive concert.
“Music is very important because it teaches melody, the beauty of rhythm and how all those things mix together,” De La Paz said.
“The wheels on the bus” was the show starter getting everyone in the mood to make some noise.
Young or old, the show brought together many different ways music can unite different cultures for an hour of enjoyment. Several times during the show children were asked to volunteer to sing, dance and play instruments.
“We look for shows that are geared for kids and try to get the kids involved with music, either on the stage or through a sing-along,” Music Department Coordinator Steven Biondo said.
A few of the songs had the children jumping out of their seats and dancing in the aisles. Some had their parents in tow dancing in front of the stage with smiles on their faces.
“You get an instant reaction from them,” De La Paz said. “If it works they let you know, if it doesn’t work they let you know. There is no falseness everything is true. So, they shape the show until we end up with a show that works.”
Children shows like these have been around for ages, maybe not as prevalent as today, but these shows really allow children to use their imagination and interact with others.
“Because of that [interaction], every show is different,” De La Paz said.
Adults were as entertained as the children were. The storytellers brought the stories to life by using animated face expressions, funny voices and a lot of body movement to captivate the audience.
Both entertainers had soft soothing voices that proved to be highly entertaining.
In addition to all of the fun, De La Paz and Hangan included a brief historical background through out the show on some of the different cultures that make up America.
They were able to show the audience how music is a common thread through all cultures.
These two individuals have a variety of musical skill and accomplishments. Ray De La Paz is a storyteller and prolific songwriter.
Over the past 25 years, De La Paz has performed in a variety of venues around the world including the White House and Carnegie Hall.
The stage was set with all types of props for the concert.
Coming in, the audience didn’t know what to expect from the set. They had many different instruments and hats that were all kid friendly.
“We have never been to one of these, so we don’t know what to expect,” La Verne resident Tammy Chrestnsen said. “I heard about it on the Web site theorangecat.com, a Web site with local calendar events for children.”
It was hard to decide what the best part was. It could have been the 18 member band made up by the children in the audience or it could have been the storytelling. Bryce and Chessa Chrestnsen had different opinions.
“My favorite was when I got to play the instruments,” said Chessa Chrestnsen, 8-years-old. “I got to play the goat toe nails.”
Lindsey Gooding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.