The Second Annual Bread & Roses Holiday Chorus at The Redwoods (Photo by Lisa Starbird)
It was truly a heart-warming and collaborative experience to see audiences singing along with the Bread & Roses Holiday Chorus at four different facilities: The Blind & Vision Impaired of Marin, The Redwoods in Mill Valley, Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco and New Bridge Foundation in Berkeley. A diverse group of singers came together including children from Young Performers International (who sang the Hannukah Song in several languages), professional vocalists like Debbie Cucalon and Linda Kosut, Bread & Roses donors, hosts and other volunteers as well as members of the Unity of Marin Choir. The chorus, conducted by Carolyn Gauthier (pictured above) and Marian Hubler, was accompanied with great spirit by Alan Thomas on piano. Marian Hubler, Bread & Roses Producer
Garvin Thomas of NBC Bay Area Proud interviewed Bread & Roses performer Judy Lagomarsino (AKA Miss Kitty) for their Bay Area Proud series. After filming a Bread & Roses show at BAHIA in Berkeley, he talked to Judy about her life as a performer and how she became interested in giving back through her music. We couldn't be more proud of Judy, and grateful to Garvin for spreading the word!
Miss Kitty at Papermill Creek Children's Center, 10/17/2011. Video courtesy of Sharon Glenn.
Highly revered children's performer Miss Kitty shows the way to connect with Bread & Roses' younger audiences. At a recent concert for children at Papermill Creek pre-school at Pt. Reyes Station, she was a big hit with over twenty children many of whom were from the Head Start program in West Marin.
A professional entertainer for three decades, Miss Kitty (aka Judy Nee) has been a volunteer performer for Bread & Roses for 13 years. Judy is a real master of her craft knowing exactly how to vary the tempo of her songs for children and to keep her programs interactive. She spoke recently about the secret to her success in connecting with children everywhere:
"I look them in the eyes, find out their names, and respond to them as individuals."
About 1/3 of Bread & Roses current program service is dedicated to concerts for children and youth throughout the Bay Area. Many of our volunteer entertainers for children are like Miss Kitty: performers who sang in rock and roll bands before doing music for children.
Judy has a number of recordings for children including My Miss Kitty: Sweet & Simple - Most Requested Toddler Sing Along Songs and Just Because You're You which was produced by the late Jim Rothermel, another beloved Bread & Roses performer.
Many of our performers for both institutional and benefit concerts for Bread & Roses have recordings for children including Maria Muldaur's Barnyard Dance: Jug Band Music for Kids and Animal Crackers in My Soup. Keb Mo's Big Wide Grin features songs from his own childhood along with some originals.
We are always on the lookout for more quality performers to do concerts for our youngest audiences. Please let us know if you might be able to help in this way - you can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can fill out an application on our volunteer page.
If you are already a Bread & Roses volunteer performer, please leave a comment below and share your experiences.