By Ann Leach
It’s a new year of entertainment presented by Connect2Culture and is kicked off with some favorite Broadway hits performed by Joplin’s own Glenda Austin and followed by a fun family show performed in Spanish and English that encourages singing, dancing and learning.
Glenda Austin, recognized composer, life-long pianist and Broadway music fan, will entertain the audience as she plays through some of Broadway’s most popular songs.
Austin is returning to the Cornell Complex for her second performance, and she couldn’t be more pleased. “I had no idea what to expect last year,” she said. “The evening was a lot of fun and the audience was fantastic. The Cornell Complex is a wonderful venue, and I am very happy to be playing there again.”
Austin became a fan of Broadway music after seeing her first live Broadway show, Hello Dolly, starring Carol Channing. “I was hooked and started playing all that music at home,” she said. “I started playing for the musicals in college and continued for many years with local theater companies. And as a music teacher, I enjoyed introducing my classes to great musicals as well as singing the songs.” She also found pleasure in improvising and arranging the songs in her own way.
The program selection process can be a tough one for Austin. “First I list my personal favorites and then I search online for more songs,” she said. “There were tons and that’s when it gets difficult. Which songs do I pick? The program includes a variety of love songs, ballads, opening numbers and I am more than a little excited about some surprises that are planned.”
Austin lives by her favorite quote from John Logan that states, “Music is the medicine of the minds” and said she hopes the audience will “enjoy an afternoon of feel-good music that will lift your spirit and soothe your soul.”
WANT TO GO?
Glenda Austin, pianist
Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024 at 4 p.m.
Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex
Beshore Performance Hall
Tickets: $10-$15 plus fees, available by calling the box office at 417.501.5550.
123 Andrés, a Latin GRAMMY-winning husband and wife duo who create music for the whole family.
Andrés Salguero and Christina Sanabria have been deeply immersed in performing arts since childhood and are eager to share their work with their Joplin audience.
“We hope they leave singing one of our songs and with a lot to talk about at home,” Sanabria said. “We always say that our concerts aren’t kids’ shows but family shows, so audiences can expect a family dance party. Plus, there will be lots of details for kids to notice and talk about with their adults afterwards. The show is entertaining but will also provide lots of conversation starters so that everyone can keep processing and learning after it’s over. And for audience members who have a Latino heritage, we hope they leave even a little prouder of their story.”
The duo creates their production with consideration for a number of factors: a specific learning goal, sharing traditional classics from Latin America and having fun. “Not everything is strictly educational,” Salguero said. “It’s also about jamming and just having fun as a family. We perform over a hundred concerts each year for audiences that can be very different, so we are always trying new songs and approaches.”
The duo debriefs after each performance so their work is always evolving and no two shows are the same. Sanabria added, “We think about how each song can lend itself to a video and performing live. Is there a call and response section we can incorporate, for example? And what movements should we do?”
Salguero began creating music as a child in Bogotá, Columbia, when he was in a children’s group at age 6. “I continued studying music, specifically classical clarinet, until I got a Doctorate in Clarinet Performance,” he said. “I got my doctorate not too far from Joplin actually, it’s from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.”
While he studied, he also played in other bands and did a lot of different styles of music. He was hired to substitute for a sax player in a children’s performer’s band, Dino O’Dell, in Kansas City.
“I had so much fun that after getting my doctorate, I decided that instead of working for a university or orchestra, I wanted to spend my career performing for kids and families. Plus, I met Christina, who was a classroom teacher in public schools at the time. With her experience in education and with her also speaking Spanish as the child of immigrants from Latin America, it was the perfect synergy for us.”
WANT TO GO?
Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024 at 2 p.m.
Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex • Beshore Performance Hall
Tickets: Adults $15 plus fees, children ages 3-17 are free and available by calling the box office at 417.501.5550.