“I don’t have a question,” said the boy, a First Grader who was standing up in front of an entire school assembly filled with teachers and students, grades kindergarten to 5th. It was the “Question and Answer” portion of the music assembly at Tom McCall Elementary School and so far, I’d gotten questions that ranged from the classic “What is your favorite song to sing, Dean?” to the much quirkier “Do you like cheese?”
The room was electric with eagerness and curiosity and a positive, nervous energy.
“I don’t have a question,” this boy said, “But I want to sing when I grow up.”
I paused for a moment and smiled. “That’s great!” I told him. And it was.
If there’s one thing that I, as an entertainer, want to provide, it’s inspiration to the younger generation. So when Redmond Community Concert Association asked me to do a school assembly with the kids at their local elementary school, I jumped at the opportunity. The children were hungry for the Arts (aren’t we all?) and I was thrilled to help fill the void.
The assembly started and the students didn’t know what to expect. But two verses of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” later and they were hooked, up on their feet, dancing and smiling. After a few rounds of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” we moved onto some other classics, like “Trouble” from The Music Man and more contemporary songs, like “Electricity” from Billy Elliot. I could see the excitement in their eyes as we talked about what got me into performing in the first place and how the choices I made when I was their age shaped my life. (I had been introduced to Broadway by a beloved teacher of mine in High School and if not for her, who knows what I’d be doing with my life!)
I was honored to have the opportunity to help shape the futures of these bright, passionate children. And I’m grateful to Redmond Community Concert Association and Tom McCall Elementary School for making it happen.