"The best storytelling I have seen for a college audience"

jennings and ponder storytelling


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University of Vermont
Bennington College
Green Mountain College

Bates Freewill Folk Society
University of Maine

National Storytelling
Connecticut Storytelling
Shelburne Harvest
Vermont Midsummer
Flynn Theater
New World
First Nights

NE Lib Association
Stowe Free Library
Bennington F Library
Bedford NH Library

Barnet School VT (K-8)
Vermont Academy (JSHS)
Bridport CS, VT (K-8)
IC School, Phila (1st gr)
Becket ES, MA (K-5)

Basin Harbor Club
Quimby Country
Hawk Mountain
Butternut Inn
The Tyler Place

Muddy Waters Coffeehouse
St. Albans Community
Vermont Arts Council
Branbury State Park
Construction Workers
Maple Corner Community

World Tales, Live
Water Kelpie

UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT (22+ performances 1992-present)

Living and Learning Center

My first encounter with Tim and Leanne was in the fall of 1993, about a year before I went to college. My brother had mentioned that a harpist and storyteller were coming to the Living and Learning Center at UVM. As a harpist myself, I thought it sounded interesting, and decided to go.

When I arrived, Tim and Leanne were about to begin. On the floor in front of them were dozens of students with pillows and blankets, determined to have a "front-row seat." I had been to harp conventions, and I had seen other storytellers perform; but what I saw that night was a performance like none other. Their stories had the entire crowd on the edge of their seats: you could picture the characters and situations, however bizarre, and for a few minutes you really believed in them. The music created an enthralling atmosphere in which the stories could come to life. When the night was over, I left feeling half-relieved that I could take a deep breath again, and half wishing it would never have ended.

A year later, I was a student at UVM, studying mathematics and directing a music program for the students at the Living and Learning Center. That fall, our program and Residential Life cosponsored a Halloween event , to bring Tim and Leanne back. It was a huge success. People poured in from all over campus, bringing blankets and pillows, mugs for hot chocolate, and sticks for toasting marshmallows in the fireplace.

As I watched everyone arrive and get settled, the diversity of the audience struck me as highly unusual. There were, of course, students present who were studying music, history, education, folklore, and oßther related topics, but there were just as many studying mechanical engineering, computor science, biochemistry, or physics. These outstanding performers were able to attract and captivate an audience representitive of the entire school.

Every semester after that, our program sponsored a visit from Tim and Leanne. Each time the room was filled, with many of the same students returning time after time. I remember them telling a favorite story at a student's request, and the entire audience joining in the story's chorus. The sense of community that Tim and Leanne bring with them spreads very quickly.

These talented performers have been a huge success at the UVM, and are beloved by both students and faculty. They have singlehandedly made many events great successes, and would be an asset to any college program. I recommend them to you without reservation.

Jill Slayton, Graduate Assistant/Leadership Coordinator


THE CYNIC University of Vermont Student Newspaper

The stories that Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder tell capture your imagination, catch your breath, and make you wish they would never end. Muddy Waters Cafe, here in Burlington, was the site of this wonderful event this past Hallows Eve. This year their new story was "The Juniper Tree," a twenty minute tale that really screwed with the listeners' emotions. It changed from funny to sick to terrifying to funny again in the space of a minute, and it continued to do so throughout the entire thing. It is definately a classic.

John Bounincontro, reviewer


MAT Residence Hall

Thank you! The show was great. It brought a lot of people together and it gave us all a chance to imagine something other than numbers or multi-cellular organisms; it gave us a chance to imagine, period! What a relief to listen to something other than spoonfed information. Everybody is excited to see you again.

Adam Banks, Reecca Rice, Pat Agestino RAs


It is with ease and pleasure that I recommend two very talented performers, Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder. From my first phone call soliciting information on their performances, to the morning after their visit, every interaction has been joyful, helpful, and professional.

Tim and Leanne create such a warm and welcoming environment wherever they perform. Their storytelling makes everybody in the audience feel a part of the activities, creating a unique sense of community. I had the privilege of seeing a part of one of their performances when I lived in Burlington, VT, and was thrilled when one of my students, after seeing them perform, came to me requesting that we bring them to Bennington. Tim and Leanne's integration of muisic and storytelling weaves a spell throughout the audience; our students were captivated and are already asking for a return engagement in the fall!

It is without hesitation that I recommend Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder. Their unique style, generous spirits, and incredible talents ensure their success with any audience.

Rachel Class, Student Life



7 performances, 1995-2010

Jennings and Ponder's recent performance at GMC was wonderful. Something ignited when you were here performing for a college audience. The atmosphere in the room was full of anticipation, and I commented to you later that evening that it was the best storytelling performance I had ever seen for a college audience.

The workshop you led the next day was great! Thank you so much, your visit enhanced my Stories of the Spirit course immeasurably.

Shirley Oskamp, College Chaplain



annual performances 1993-2004

Cindy Larock, Faculty Advisor

Dear Tim and Leanne:

As you know, your appearance here was an experiment, as you were the first storytellers to be presented on our campus in recent history. Yet, thanks to some great promotional materials (the photos and posters were very eye-catching) you drew an overflow crowd of mostly students during a very busy time of the semester.

Your "October Tales" program was the perfect mix of music and legends, serving to introduce students to two distinct traditional arts genres. You held the audience's attention masterfully, blending humor and suspense with your considerable skill as instrumentalists.

I would recommend you to any other college or university which is looking for a form of alternative entertainment which manages to keep the students on the edges of their seats while painlessly broadening their cultural horizens.


Rachel Henault, Student Coordinator

I write to express the general delight your performance of "October tales" drew from the many students eagerly crowding the lounge. We were charmed and thrilled. From the turnout, you can see the appeal this type of entertainment had for campus. The stories were amazing! The music was divine! You both have not only unusual and inspiring storytelling and musical talents, but also a comfortable and attention-grabbing stage presence. I was spellbound. I enjoyed meeting you and I hope to see you again... here.


University of Maine, Orono (97, 98, 99, 00, 01)
Zack Reinstein, President
Union Board: Diversions, Campus Entertainments

Thank you for the excellent performance that you gave at the University of Maine in October. Your show, World Tales and Celtic Music, brought in the biggest crowd this year for our coffeehouse series. I have heard people talking about the show for several weeks. Many of our regular coffeehouse attendance wanted to know when we would bring you back. The mix of music and story worked very well, and I especially liked the way you played off eachother; even though you were both telling, it sounded like one person. It's a unique blend, I've never seen it before, and I look forward to seeing it again.













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