Ask any griot: Stories and drums have a history together. Before people wrote stuff down, they not only talked and sang about it, but they often beat it out in rhythm. So the combo seemed like a perfect fit for Sondra Singer, a Lakewood storyteller and drum enthusiast who put one and one together to make a joyful -- and meaningful -- noise. Singer, a theater major in search of a more workable performance niche, settled on her calling nearly a decade ago after taking storytelling and drumming classes taught by Boulder tale-teller Susan Marie Frontczak and Fort Collins percussionist Gregory Long, respectively. Now she's released a CD called Stories of Rhythm and Fantasy, the product of seven years of writing, developing and recording. Needless to say, Singer has developed a way with words...and noise. It's the perfect attention-getter, and it holds her young listeners rapt. Case in point: "Joy Madison Carter Makes Noise," the story of a little girl who enjoys doing just that, which delivers what it promises. "Joy" is an exercise in self-made sound effects and rhythms that gets kids into the act of making their own personal brands of noise. Other offerings on the seven-track CD -- which features over an hour of yarns, many accompanied by music and drumbeats -- are more thoughtful than purely experiential, expressing gentle messages of peace and intercultural understanding.
Singer will be joined by violinist Josh Dember and fellow percussionist Helen Trencher today at 2 p.m. for a CD-release concert at Full Moon Books and Coffees, 9108 West Sixth Avenue, Lakewood; admission is $7, or $20 with CD purchase (one child admitted free with a paying adult). Call 303-233-6666 or log on to www.sondrasinger.com. -- Susan Froyd
Bands raise money for a place to raise kids' spirits
Everyone needs a getaway place, and when the patients at Children's Hospital want an escape, they can head straight to the hospital's Teen Lounge. The room, financed by the hospital's youth advisory council, has features like a computer for homework and a DVD player for downtime. But space in a hospital is precious, and the lounge just isn't in the budget. So RockOnColorado.com and FackAttack Productions are throwing the first annual Rockers for Kids event tonight at the Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway, to raise some dough for the haven. The doors open at 7 p.m., and a string of performers including the Indulgers, Nina Storey, Wendy Woo, the Zen Barons, Rosco and Plastic Parachute will take the stage. Proceeds from the $15 tickets will underwrite the teens' space. "All you have to do is meet one of these kids, and it sinks in hard," says Rosco's Pam Martinez. "This event brings the music community together for Children's Hospital. These kids are our future."