Happy New Year, listeners, readers and friends! 2011 was a pretty huge year for us at Ages 3 and Up!. We don’t often tell people what we’ve been up to or what’s currently going on with respect to the behind the scenes part of Ages 3 and Up! and our less public lives, so we (meaning Amberly) are gonna do that right now with a bit of end of the year review.
Amberly went back to school in January of this year. She is working on her BA in Arts Administration, with a minor in Theatre. She enjoyed her Spring course “Fairy Tales in European Context” immensely, and has decided to also pursue minors in Folklore and Appalachian Studies as a result of her experience in that class. She hopes to finish her undergrad before Kid-O goes to college.
January 22, 2011 marked the introduction of a new voice to our program! Sarah Smitha joined our team and has been doing our show the last week of most months and filling in on other weeks as needed. She does an amazing job, and Kid-O and I consider ourselves fortunate to be able to work with her. She possesses a genuine love for the genre, loves to hear and play new music, is more reliable than you can possibly believe, and she’s really nice too. Thanks, Sarah!
In late January/early February we participated in the Gustafer Yellowgold world premiere week. That was SO MUCH FUN for us! A group of blogs and radio programs that support children’s music took turns previewing animated videos from Gustafer Yellowgold‘s Infinity Sock release. We previewed “Wisconsin Poncho,” a song about a store that sells clothing made from cheese -our favorite song from the album. Here’s a short clip. Big thanks to everyone from the Gustafer Yellowgold family for inviting us to join in this!
The very same weekend “Wisconsin Poncho” premiered, we traveled to Chicago where we were happily hosted by Beth Engelman of Mommy On A Shoestring and her son. We accompanied them to a concert featuring one of Amberly’s (and many other people’s) kids’ music heroes- Ella Jenkins. It was moving, to say the least. We met Ella and spoke with her briefly. We also ran into Little Miss Ann while we were there!
In late March, we were honored to be invited to host two rounds of the KidVid Tournament, organized by Stefan Shepard of Zooglobble. KidVid is a tournament in which videos featuring music made for children compete for votes and the title of champion. It looks kind of like this. Hopefully, we’ll get to do this again- it was a lot of fun for us!
‘Round about the middle of May, Kid-O and I bought a house! Or, started buying one anyway. More later.
The week preceding June 11th, we were happy to host Charlie Hope at our house! Charlie came to Lexington to perform at The Morris Book Shop, in an event sponsored by WRFL FM. We were so glad to have her- the performance went extremely well, and all seemed happy with the show. Big thanks to Charlie for coming to visit, and super big thanks to WRFL and The Morris Bookshop for supporting music for kids and families in Central Kentucky!
And it was around about this time that Amberly found out that she was sick. Nothing really to be alarmed about, but her doctors informed her that she was doing too much (all of the above plus being a full-time, single, working mom). They said her high stress/low rest lifestyle had triggered symptoms of an autoimmune disorder that she’d hoped she would never have to deal with again. She was advised to shelve any projects she could, eliminate stress, and not commit herself to anything new. Sadly this meant putting her other radio project, Pied Piper Radio, on the back burner and cancelling plans for LOADS of other great events in 2011.
In the end of June, Kid-O and I traveled to Southern California to visit family and kids’ music friends. While we were there, we attended a barbecue at David Tobocman and KC Mancebo‘s house. The Jeff Bogle (of OWTK) family was, coincidentally, there at the same time. So, David and KC invited a whole bunch of people to get together at their house. We had the pleasure of visiting with Heidi Swedberg again, meeting Todd McHatton and his family face to face, and chatting with Jason and Jacob from The Pop Ups; we had been lucky enough to see their PASTA! performance earlier that day. There were a whole slew of other people there- I’m sure I’m leaving someone out. Anyway, huge thanks to David and KC for their hospitality. It was great getting to meet everyone in person.
In the very end of July/beginning of August, we FINALLY closed on the house our family began buying in May of this year. We moved and Kid-O started at a new school about a week later. We’re both very happy in the new neighborhood, which is located right near school and work. We both count ourselves lucky to be in a place of our own, where many of our neighbors are also our friends.
September 24, 2011 Ages 3 and Up!, WRFL FM, The Morris Book Shop, the Child Care Council of Kentucky and Rock N Romp Lexington co-sponsored performances by Aaron Raitiere and The Deedle Deedle Dees in conjunction with WRFL’s Boomslang Fest at Natasha’s Bistro. The show went off without a hitch, which hardly ever happens, and a good time seems to have been had by all. We had our largest crowd to date for any Ages 3 and Up! or Rock N Romp Lexington event, and my understanding is that all involved count the event as a success. Thanks to EVERYONE -the bands, the crowd, the sponsors, the venue- for helping us pull this off.
The rest of 2011 has, thankfully, been a bit more quiet. We’ve been settling into the new house and having fun with nearby friends and family. School has been going well for Kid-O and Amberly. Kid-O’s playing hockey. We contributed our two cents worth and voted in the Fids & Kamily Music Awards (more on that in another post), and are glad to see the year winding down. We do have some big things planned in 2012, including the possibility of more Ages 3 and Up!, a new incarnation of Pied Piper Radio, working with some of the events we had to postpone in 2011, and additional travel to visit radio, musician, and arts friends in Atlanta.
Anyway, again- HAPPY NEW YEAR!- I hope your 2011 was wonderful. And if some things didn’t exactly go your way, I hope you’re able to leave them in the old year and move on. Here’s to an amazing 2012!