Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stomp & Holler

Oh I'm having fun with this one...

With the miraculous PS22 Chorus as my model, I'm running a new program at Redeemer this fall. It's called Stomp & Holler, and it's a blast.

It's a pretty simple idea... a community rhythm ("stomp") and vocal music ("holler") program for 1st-6th graders. Kids are divided into two groups based on their ages/grades. I work with all the kids, singing pop songs like Katy Perry's "Firework" and P!nk's "Perfect." These songs have no overt religious content, but they are positive and family-friendly.

My wife, Luanne, leads the 1st-2nd grade "stomp" program, doing simple rhythm exercises and games. The older stomp kids are led by Jeff Porter, whose bio is pretty impressive:

Tulsa-based percussionist Jeff Porter has been playing and studying African music for 14 years. He studied in Cuba in 2000 and has spent a total of 8 months studying in Brazil.

He has studied with many teachers including Michael Spiro and Alex Acuna of Weather Report.He has recorded on an album with the horn players from Paul Simon's band from Graceland and legendary vocalist Emmylou Harris, and he has performed with many different bands including The String Cheese Incident, The Motet, Tea Leaf Green and many more.

His goal is to bring the spirit of the music to as many people as possible because it is really fun!

He teaches mostly by using paint buckets, body percussion, and singing, but if people get super nerdy about learning all of the traditional instruments, he teaches Congas, Bata, Pandeiro, Djembe, Shekere, and Cajon!

Jeff's a great guy, and I'm really glad he's on board for this project. Check out some of his work with his percussion ensemble, The Claptet:

Jeff and I kind of did a "test run" of this program back in the summer up at Mark Twain Elementary School, where Redeemer was doing "Dreambuilders" - a rhythm and arts camp for that community. I guess this is the next step in the progression! Who knows where this will take us. I have a dream of taking these kids to see the touring production of STOMP when it comes to Tulsa in the Spring. In the meantime, we're getting the word out, running a good program and seeing what happens!

Here's the flyer that's been put up in stores and coffeeshops all around - and even distributed through all the local elementary schools:

And here's the amazing group that got me excited about this in the first place...

Friday, September 23, 2011


I turned 40 yesterday. Mom and dad are here from Indiana, and I enjoyed a relatively quiet day with my family. I'm grateful for my life and for the people who love me. I'm grateful for the last 13+ months of a new, healthy lifestyle.

I awoke to find that Luanne and the kids had recorded a song and uploaded it to Facebook. Enjoy!

My dad, my dad is having a big birthday
My dad, my dad is having a big birthday
My dad, my dad is having a big birthday
And this is what we say...

He's 40 years old
Not quite so young anymore
Feeling older than a dinosaur
He's walkin' through the old man door

My dad, my dad oh this is what you get
For all the times you said you're younger than my mom
My mom, my mom she's so happy today
And this is what she'll say...

Mom, Dad and I took Emily to the orthodontist, waited for her for an hour at Starbucks, and then took her out to lunch at Qdoba.

After we dropped her back off at school, we went to the Gardner's Books tent sale, and I spent $12 and got 10 books at 2 CDs.

I spent a long time reading all the birthday greetings on Facebook. I felt loved. And then I made myself a developer and gave myself the new Facebook "timeline" profile a few weeks early.

When Luanne and the kids all got home, we had dinner at Genghis Grill and then came home for cake and presents. No, I didn't have cake. I had "cake" made from popcorn, cottage cheese, peanuts and a banana (my normal healthy snack foods). Check out my wife's creativity:

And then, to cap off a great day, I went for a run. I finished 6.2 miles (10K) in a little under an hour, and I am grateful for the ability and drive to do this at the end of my 40th birthday! (Although I have now learned my lesson about eating Genghis Grill and then trying to run a 10K within an hour...)

Thanks be to God for all the blessings he has poured out on me! I am grateful.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


So grateful for my awesome TEN-YEAR-OLD Emily and Zachary! Thank you, God, for these gifts. May they enjoy the abundant life that Jesus came to bring them and follow him all the days of their lives.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tony Gapastione IS the Mad Man

Click here and help me let the rest of the world know...

You can vote once every day from now until September 9! I know, I know... You have to register, and it's a pain in the butt. But if you UNCHECK two boxes, you'll never get any junk email. And seriously... this is a great photo. He totally deserves to be on Mad Men. Check out some of the other photos... Are they serious? Some lame snapshot from a Christmas party? Roman Holiday? Give me a break.

Vote. Let the real Mad Man win. And if you're on Facebook, reply to the invite here.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin