I was pleased to return to the JCC for a Hanukkah family event. I’ve done visits with the preschool here years ago, and feel an affinity for the families here. As I was loading in, one woman in the lobby pointed out a young man who knew me from my visits to the nearby Muhlenberg ES. He stood up as a gargantuan 6’6” man now. That was cool.

I set up in the large assembly room with an area of mats and chairs for my opening set for the kids and parents. I was glad I had my small sound system on hand as it turned out to be a fairly noisy event with adults chatting in the back.

It started off nicely with kids sitting on parents laps, listening and singing. I Like Peanut Butter and Tutti Tah. I broke out the scarves early for The Dreidel Song, opened up the bag for dancing to Splish Splash and the chaos began. Good though.

I tried to regroup with Bear Hunt and as things progressed (regressed) I went to the dance/puppets/shakers for general movement engagement. Mercifully, the event supervisor asked to pull it to a close as the latke’s were about to be served. By then, the end was in sight.

I did work on a Woody Guthrie tune Happy Joyous Hanukkah along with The Dreidel song so I had prepared some appropriate material for the gig. The Happy Joyous Song is a keeper (12 Days of Christmas form) but when I got a chance to play it at the end of my set, things were pretty splintered. So it goes.

As I packed up and headed to the car with my equipment, parents complimented me for my set and that was most gracious. The families appreciated the music, though I, of course, thought I could have done better. Nonetheless, it was a good gig and was paid well for my efforts.

I listened to Live From Godfrey’s on the drive home.