Below are some of the themes available for concerts and assembly programs.
The shows are highly interactive experiences, with lots of audience participation: singing on the chorus, hand motions, clapping along, “filling in the blanks”, learning how to play the mouth trumpet and occasionally some audience members (children, staff or parents) assisting with percussion on stage. There’s a wide range of musical styles, from Traditional/folk to Swing, with quite a few original songs and even a Rap. If the moment is right—or it is requested—there could be a little storytelling, too.
Purly has worked for over four decades as an Artist-in-Residence in educational and recreational settings, offering concerts & workshops for young folks. This multi-talented gal plays guitar, banjo, ukulele, accordion, harmonica and some unusual, home-made instrumental “surprises”.
She usually brings along “Jack” – a small wooden puppet called a Limberjack – who dances along on at least one song. He’s a part of American history and is a sure-fire HIT with all ages!
Programs generally run 40-45 minutes for grades 3-5 and Family audiences; pk-2nd grade programs run 30 minutes. All are age-appropriate and suitable for large (up to 150-200/show) or small groups, family and multi-generational audiences.
THEMES & COMMENTS from PAST PRESENTERS
I CAN READ
A lively, fun, up-beat collection of tunes geared to primary and elementary grades with lots of singing along (of course). There are songs about reading and about the library, songs based on folk tales and current children’s literature, some songs to enhance literacy skills and even a song based on the 6-trait writing method! Purly’s song “I Can Read” was commissioned as the Theme Song for the Texas State Library Summer ’04 Reading program. She sings it in English and in Spanish.
Listen to an excerpt of I Can Read here:
This program is terrific for assemblies, or a wonderful addition to SUMMER READING PROGRAMS, YOUNG AUTHOR DAY, FAMILY NIGHTS, BOOK WEEK and LITERACY CELEBRATIONS.
“Purly….. you are definitely the best entertainer who’s come to our school in a very long time!”
– Melanie Bowen, Schurz Elementary, New Braunfels, TX
“Your presentation was truly a fun and interactive way of making books ‘come alive’ through songs. Your energy and excitement for reading was contagious!”
– Dr. Elizabeth A.Wilson, Principal, Fern Bluff Elementary, Round Rock, TX
SONGS OF THE WEST
Mostly traditional tunes about cowboys and cowgirls, critters and life in the old west – with sing-alongs, some cowboy poetry for kids and maybe even a lesson in how to “wahoo”, yodel or spin the flat loop. Indeed, it’s a “wild kaleidoscopic ride through the old west – glimpsed through the eyes and ears of a seasoned raconteur and tune-collector”. Click here for more details.
And of course all songs encourage audience participation.
Click here for song samples.
BACK TO THE GOOD OLE DAYS
A collection of mostly traditional songs about the farm, farm animals, logging, hunting, quilting and the way they used to do things in the late 1800’s. Lots of audience participation, with a story or two thrown in if the time is right. Note: Purly also offers hands-on workshops making instruments or playing instruments appropriate to the late 1800’s.
“You were wonderful! …. The different instruments you play and the little bits of history
you throw in to your act make it unique. We all loved the dancing stick man and the word
game that went with him this year. I like acts that entertain and educate, and you
fit the bill beautifully. Thanks once again for a fantastic show!”
-Jane Sheaffer, Children’s Chapter Tent, Central Texas Book Festival
SONGS FOR A HEALTHY WORLD
This show is a collection of great sing-alongs about recycling, trees, clean water, garbage, taking care of the planet and of each other, too! It’s empowering, educational and fun—with lots of suggestions for how we can all help to make a better world.
“Purly Gates is a musician, storyteller, community builder, educator, peace maker and environmental advocate all in one. Purly captured the attention of all campers through her fun & educational approach to instrument making. Her engaging style electrified campers and parents alike during Family Night.” -Susan Fortier, Camp Director, YMCA, Bellows Falls, VT
IT’S GOOD TO KNOW HOW TO SAY “NO”!
Every one of us is special, and there are many things we can do to feel good about ourselves. This program is chock-full of empowering songs to boost self- esteem, independent thinking and making wiser choices……a great adjunct for substance abuse prevention programs, geared to elementary grades. The program features lots of audience participation on catchy songs with messages that ‘stick’. Can also be integrated with a visiting speaker for large-group assemblies (to add interest, balance and variety) or presented class-by-class with discussion.
YOU AND ME
People are alike, but not the same! It’s fun to realize that we have much in common with many others around the world. There are songs in Spanish and English, celebrating both cultural diversity and the unique individual. Lots of audience participation, of course! Listen here.
WATER, BOATS AND ME on the SEA
Look alive, mateys……. here’s a sea-worthy collection of songs about the ocean, rivers, boats and sailing. You’ll be hauling on the lines, hoisting sails and taking dips from the side of a ship! A very participatory experience for sailors and land-lubbers alike. Listen to a 2:18, 3-song sampler from the program here. [Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean/Take a Dip/The Ocean Song]
MIXED SONGS and STORIES
A sampling of the best of decades of hits…….plus a story or two. All sing-alongs or do-alongs. Lively, upbeat, entertaining, educational, involving AND fun!
FOR NEW ENGLAND SHOWS
Purly is listed on the Artist roster of the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, where partial funding may be available to qualified presenters. If you are a non-profit New England presenter, click here for more information.
YOUR THEME CREATED
With advance notice, Purly can write a special song to fit your curriculum, theme or unit.
“One of my favorite things about the program was that you tailored it right to what I asked
you to do! You even wrote the song to teach the Appalachian states. The program was
exactly what I wanted and more!!! Thanks again!”
– Viki Hicks, Music Teacher, Crockett Elementary, San Marcos, TX