Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Christmas Musical Spotlight: The Christmas Puzzle

August 4, 2010

It used to be that all Christmas kids musicals were about 40 minutes long and required a fairly large number of kids to perform.  That’s not the case anymore.  More and more publishers have begun producing programs that can work well for ministries that have a smaller group of kids to work with.  These programs also work well for smaller puppet ministries.  “The Christmas Puzzle” is one of those programs.  It’s shorter in format (about 22 minutes) and has just five speaking parts.

In “The Christmas Puzzle,” four cousins are snowed in at Grandma’s house and all they can find to entertain themselves is an old puzzle.  But the pieces of this puzzle each represent a different piece of the Christmas story.

The program features six songs: “Picture Perfect Plan,” “Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “The Manger Throne,” “Here We Are, Been Following a Star,” and “The Whole Story Medley.”

The creators of this program designed it to be a “simple musical.”  The number of characters is limited, the set is a simple living room, the costumes are seasonal clothing.  However, the music also allows opportunities to be creative and expand the production value in whatever way God takes you.

You can listen to samples from “The Christmas Puzzle” by following the link below.

The Christmas Puzzle

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Christmas Musical Spotlight: Star of Wonder

August 3, 2010

Now here’s a new program for 2010 that was produced with a children’s choir in mind, but it’s got “puppets” written all over it!  All the characters in this program are stars!  I can imagine it’s pretty cute to see a bunch of kids in the choir dressed as stars, but what better way to depict these characters than puppets!

In “Star of Wonder,” a group of stars point the audience to Jesus’ birth, just like how a star lead the wise men.  The stars all have different unique personalities.  Superstar is kind of a diva, Falling Star is a bit accident prone, Lucky Star has a 4-leaf clover, Rock Star carries a guitar, Shooting Star is an Annie Oakley type cowgirl, and North Star is a bit grumpy.

The program is 27 minutes long, so it’s a bit shorter than many programs.  The eight songs are: “Look Up with This Little Light of Mine,” “Hangin’ Around the Heavens,” “God Chooses who He Uses,” “Big Band of Shepherds,” “Wee Three Kings,” “Shine On Us,” “Constellation Celebration,” and “Look Up with This Little Light of Mine.”  The song “Big Band of Shepherds” has a fun big band swing feel to it and would also be great with puppets.

Click on the link below to listen to samples from this program:

Star of Wonder

Now you may be wondering where you will find some star puppets.  This isn’t a character that One Way Street usually sells, however, the Sun Puppet pattern that is included in the book “Let There Be Blacklight” can very easily be adapted to make a star puppet instead.

Christmas Musical Spotlight: The Present is the Future

August 2, 2010

The new musical “The Present is the Future” gets it’s inspiration from the mystery board game Clue.  In this program, a group of kids are visiting the Mystery Mansion where a strange butler has given them each a clue that points them to part of the Christmas story.  The clues explain how Christ can give us identity, joy, serenity, forgiveness, knowledge, and hope for our future. The message that the “present” of Christ is the gift of a hopeful future is one that goes beyond the Christmas season.  It’s also a very appropriate message in these times when so many people feel so uncertain.

The “Mystery Mansion” setting and the visual nature of the clues the characters are given create some opportunities for creative scenery and props, especially in a puppet production.

This program has a unique premise and some good variety in musical styles.  The seven songs in this 43-minute musical are: “Big Night in a Small Town,” “Mysterious Mystery,” “Let’s Talk about Joy with Joy to the World,” “What a Friend is Supposed to be,” “The Light of Christmas,” “Hope of the Future,” “The Present is the Future with What Child is This?”  There are eight main speaking parts, including the adult butler, and several small supporting parts.

Click on the link below to listen to samples from this program…

The Present is the Future

Christmas Musical Spotlight: How Far is it to Bethlehem?

July 31, 2010

A few posts ago we looked at the musical “Follow the Star,” which focuses on the story of the wise men.  Here is another new musical that deals with that story, but from a somewhat different angle.  “How Far is it to Bethlehem?” imagines that Herod sent a few of his servants to join the caravan of the magi to serve as spies.  The spies try to cover up the real reason for joining the caravan, but in the end, they learn about Jesus, the Messiah.

The number of speaking parts is small in this 42-minute musical (two boys, two girls and some narrators).  There are also many opportunities for non-speaking roles, such as the characters of the biblical Christmas story.

The music has a more traditional sound and is easy to learn.  There are nine  songs: “Come Ye Lofty with O Come, All Ye Faithful,” ” Open the Gates, O Jerusalem,” “How far is it to Bethlehem? with O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “While Shepherds watched their Flocks,” “What will we Find,” “Star Song,” “One King with We Three Kings,” “Not that far from Bethlehem,” and “I Give it All with Offering.”

Click on the link below to listen to samples of this musical.

How Far is it to Bethlehem?

Christmas Musical Spotlight: Back to the Manger

July 28, 2010

The next new Christmas musical in the spotlight is “Back to the Manger.”  As you can imagine from the title of this 45-minute musical, time travel plays a part in the story.  In the program, a group of kids are attending a caroling outreach at church when they happen upon something the church janitor has been working on…a time machine.  Our heroes end up bouncing around in time, landing at Christmas Eve in various different eras.  The characters visit the 40’s, 50’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and the songs reflect the styles of music popular during those time periods.  They also visit the very first Christmas.

This musical, like most, was written with a children’s choir in mind, but it has a lot of great possibilities for puppets.  The variety of musical styles used creates a lot of chances for unique puppets, props and choreography.

There are nine songs: “Back to the Manger,” “Can You Hear the Bells with Angels we Have Heard on High,” “Let Us Love,” “Come Let Us Adore Him with O Come, All Ye Faithful and Away in a Manger,” Ring, Ring-a-ling,” “Song of the Sheep and the Goats,” “Peace on Earth with I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” “Ring the Bells,” and “Back to the Manger (Reprise)”

Click the link below to listen to clips from “Back to the Manger” at One Way Street’s website.

Free Song!

June 9, 2010

I-Fest is coming up (July 5-10 in Bourbonnais, IL), but there’s still time to register!  Tuesday June 15 is the next deadline to save money on your registration. 

Here’s a little treat while you wait for the big week!  We’re thrilled to have Alan Root as our praise and worship leader this year.  Alan has also written the theme song for this year, “Knit Together.”  You…yes you, can download that song for FREE by following this link.

Enjoy the song and we look forward to seeing you at I-Fest !

I-Fest Praise & Worship Leader Alan Root!

May 10, 2010

We’re really thrilled to have the one and only (that’s all we could handle) Alan Root as our praise and worship leader for I-Fest 2010! Alan is a talented musician, songwriter, and author who describes himself as “basically harmless” and “taller than he looks on his recordings.”

Seriously though, Alan has an amazing heart for ministering to kids…especially “tweens.” Plus, he’s a great encourager. When he tells you he’s praying for you, you’d best believe some big prayers are heading up, and I love that he often greets me by saying “blessings on your head.” It just makes you feel good!

You can get to know Alan a bit more through his music. One Way Street carries several of his CD’s (click here).  You can also get a few of his songs FREE from Alan’s website (click here).  His “Ten Commands” song is a favorite for teaching kids the 10 Commandments.

We know that directors and puppeteers alike will be blessed by Alan throughout this year’s I-Fest!  We hope to see you there!