All of my instruments set up and ready to go! I really enjoyed my afternoon playing for everyone at the Colonial Club Senior Activity Center.  It's always nice to get to a gig and find a big, open performance space that is close to the front door. An smooth load in and load out really makes my day!

The audience started arriving early and it didn't take long before we had a nice crowd.  While I was setting up I heard a familiar voice behind me, and I was really surprised to find my friend, Dennis, whom I hadn't seen for ages.  The Colonial Club is an activity center, so he had just dropped off his wife for an art class.  Small world - I had no idea he was living in the area.  Dennis once salvaged a beautiful Native American flute from a fire and knew it would be right at home in my instrument collection . . . he was right!  

  Audience in a rainstick salute. 

I like to recruit people from the audience to play instruments, so before the show I handed out rainsticks.  People are often shy about volunteering at first, but by the end of the program and a bag of rhythm instruments later, their are plenty of willing participants.  You can see their 'rainstick salute' before the show started . . . even way back on the far left. 

Close up of audience member and rainstick.This lady volunteered for a close-up!  People really get a kick out of being a part of the sound effects for a story . . . in this case, an African Story.  By the time I handed out the rhythm instruments mid-program, everyone was having a great time.  It's interesting working with adults and children.  I find it takes the adults a little while longer to get over their shyness, but once they do, they start acting like kids again.  No matter the audience age, I like to include a couple of children's songs.  They are great for sing-alongs.  A lady came up to me after the show to tell me how much she liked my song, The Swing In The Apple Tree.  She said she used to have a swing in a walnut tree, and she could still feel what it was like to swing as high as she could.  I love it when people tell me their stories!

                                        after the show with the harp

Another thing that is fun to do after a show is give the audience the opportunity to see some of my instruments up close.  The harp is always a hit.  People are fascinated by the sharping levers, and different color strings that make it easier to orient yourself when you play.  People are also surprised at how easy it is to make a pleasant sound on a harp.   

Three ladies and a harp





Often, people have never seen a harp up close, and I find many have always wanted to try to play one.  The nice thing about the folk harp is is smaller size, and playability.  The lady on the far right is the one who told me her swing story.  It's very satisfying to know a song reached someone and brought back a memory of something they enjoyed. 

I play concerts for audiences of all ages, and senior audiences are a joy.  In many ways, once they get warmed up, they have the same spontaneity I see in my youngest audiences.  Thanks to all for a wonderful time!


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Diane's new single, an original, finger-style guitar tune, "Afternoon By A Stream," is out now on iTunes!

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An image of a young boy wading in a shallow stream surrounded by moss-covered, sandstone cliffs