I want to begin "Once upon a time two storytellers came to Barnet School." It is hard to think of Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder without being immediately pulled back into the magic of the world they create.
Tim and Leanne cast their spell on our entire K-8 school community, enchanting students and staff alike. The power of the performance was evident on the faces of all our students, even the hardest to reach. From the beginning, students were gripped; by the end even the most resistant expressions had melted into smiles of appreciation, I think both for the performance and the craft. The youngest children were drawn into the imaginary worlds; older students were additionally wowed by the skills, knowledge, and talent involved.
Following the show, students came to me for CDs and tapes, and our guidance counselor got on the phone, to call all his colleagues at other schools and encourage them to bring in Tim and Leanne. That speaks for itself. No wonder Tim and Leanne are a Vermont tradition, and yet another phenomenon from this small state that has achieved a reputation both nation and world wide.
Thank you for entertaining our pre-K through eight graders. By performing two entirely different programs you were able to capture both audiences with wonderfully engaging material at an appropriate level for their enjoyment. The combination of storytelling, music, and magic drew in all ages, from preschoolsers sitting in moms' laps to adolescents who couldn't keep themselves from laughing and joining in. Photo copies of your autographed picture have been a very hot item at the library circulation desk. Thank you again. The arts are alive, and you are them.
INDEPENDENCE CHARTER SCHOOL, Phila PA
Claudia M. Lee, Curriculum Specialist
Your beautiful Celtic music and traditional folktales left a big mark on our first graders' memories today. There is no better way to teach culture and traditions than the way you do it; with songs, discussions, tales, and engaging explanations. I am sure that these little ones can name a harp and concertina now. No doubt they will try to tell one of your tales to their families tonight.
Thank you so much for keeping in mind that teaching procedures in urban schools are especially important. I was very impressed with the way you engaged the little ones, allowing them to participate, sing along, and listen at the same time. I loved the way you played music while they paraded back to their classrooms.
Thank you for coming to our school and please do let us know your plans to come back to Philadelphia.
Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder performed two shows for my school. Their presentation was nothing short of incredible. They established an excellent rapport with each of two age groups, K-2 and 3-5, engaging the students in the performance immediately. They wove their storytelling duets with mellifluous precision, each one following the other's words with perfect orchestration. Their stories were spellbinders, and the children were captivated for a full forty minutes. To add to this, they combined the harp and concertina, telling about the origins of the the instruments and playing Celtic music.
Truly, they were transporting. They are a pair like no other, a must-see, must-hear performance.
The presentation was fascinating, almost hypnotic, and full of diversity, equity, and tolerance. You are truly talented and versatile; it was a great artistic experience. 225 students, and you could have heard a pin drop. We felt like we were in the story, and were waiting eagerly for each line. The teachers who attended remarked how much they and the students enjoyed it. My students are still talking about it.
The beautiful lilting tunes from harp and concertina set the stage, after which they launched into unforgettable tales that kept us hanging on every word.
With perfect timing, and rich characterization, Tim and Leanne told tales individually and in tandem, transporting the audience, and creating a world that reached deep into everyone's imagination.
Telling stories to high school students may seem like a daunting challenge, but Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder know how to touch audiences of all ages. They even taught us a short tale which we then retold, en masse, with great gusto.
My one regret was that our assembly was only forty-five minutes long. Our students would have stayed for hours.