REVOLUTIONARY CHARACTER – Action, Bullying, & Character – our new workshop

13 September 2010
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Dear Teachers,
A revelation on the river came to the Hudson River Ramblers at our summer workshop for NYSDEC’s annual “Teaching the Hudson Valley” conference. Discussing ways to better show the Hudson River’s role in the American Revolution, teacher’s suggested we show character. We agree.

What can the American Revolution teach students? Is there something for them beyond the names and dates? How about character, leadership and how to deal with bullies?

Introducing, Revolutionary Character – finding inspiration in the stories and songs of those who fought for American Independence along the Hudson River. A new workshop for students by The Hudson River Ramblers.
It’s our noted performance program (based on our award winning CD Revolution on the River) followed up by our “A.B.C.” Workshop.
Revolution on the River – is an interactive performance in story and song of the American Revolution along the Hudson River. The Ramblers introduce students to New York’s tea parties. They dramatize what mocking meaning behind “Yankee Doodle” showing how it was written on the banks of the Hudson. Students will sing along on the choruses of battle songs from Stony Point to Saratoga. They’ll meet the teen girl who out rode Paul Revere. They’ll learn how George Washington “made a spectacle of himself” along the Hudson to hold together the new nation.
For a quick preview of some possible performance selections click here.
The “A.B.C.” Workshop
A = Action. What actions do you take to rise to a demanding occasion, to even become a leader? Following Sybil Ludington’s Ride.
B = Bullies. How do you deal with them? Look at how “Yankee Doodle” addressed British bullying.
C = Character. What kind of character did it take to create an independent country? Look at the character of George Washington, Benedict Arnold, Margret “Molly Pitcher” Corbin, and even your local heroic character.

Workshop Details
This workshop meets and exceeds NYS social studies and and arts in education standards, especially for fourth and seventh grade students.
45 minutes for one or two classes
$125. per workshop, up to three a day. The workshop must follow up on our assembly performance, Revolution on the River.

A preparatory activity guide, tailored to your interests, is provided.

Workshop Activities
Ask the experts, the Hudson River Ramblers –
Q & A with Jonathan and Rich

Creative Drama Skit
“British Bullies or Patriot Pleasers? Students in two groups role play British Tories taunting American Patriots with “Yankee Doodle.” Key vocabulary is explained. Students brainstorm responses to the bullying, and compare and contrast with actual song verses.

British – (sing in a teasing voice)
Yankee Doodle went to town, for to buy a fire lock.
We will tar and feather him likewise we will John Hancock!

American – (hopeful or sassy)
Father and I went down to camp, along with Captain Gooding.
There we saw the men and boys as thick as hasty pudding.
We will tar and him likewise we will John Hancock.

Partner Problem Solving
Sybil get up and ride! Two students partner and do a skit on what it would really be like at home if your parents wanted you to go out on a special errand. How would you persuade Sybil to ride?

Role Model Washington
– What Would George Do? The Ramblers share a few very short true tales about Washington. Students are guided to write on how they act like George.

Ramblers Recieve Enthusiastic Reception

4 September 2010
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The Rivertowns Enterprise, a thriving newspaper serving lower Westchester on the Hudson took in one of our shows last week. Here’s what staff writer Colleen Michele Jones said about us…

“Kruk & Bala performed at the Irvington Library last Saturday, receiving an enthusiastic reception for their rollicking renditions of traditional and original folksongs and interactive skits of the legends surrounding the early exploration of the Hudson River.”


We’d like to know what you’ll say! Please come listen…
Sat – Sept 11 (double header!) 12-1pm “ONCE UPON the HUDSON” Goshen Library, Goshen CT Free.

And later that day Sept 11 – 4 & 6pm PIRATES! Norwalk Oyster Fest, Norwalk, CT entrance fee.


Thu – Sept 16 4-5pm “PIRATE LORE & the SHANTIES THEY SANG
Irvington Library, NY. Free. plus kids sign on for their library cards! Ideal for Fourth Graders!

Tue – Sept 28 10:30-12N Hudson River in Story & Song Bergenfield Library, NJ Free

Park Ave School, Port Chester – Winners of the Best Letters in the Class!

18 June 2010
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Amore drew Rich as the Imp, with his horn and thunder can, with Jonathan telling.

“Once Upon the Hudson” Listen to the River Parents’ Choice Award!

24 March 2010
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Parents Choice Award Winner! 400 years on the river in 60 minutes!

“Once Upon the Hudson” CD Baby

The stories and songs of “America’s First River!”

Ideal for Students, 4th grade and up. Teachers, meet your New York Social Studies curriculum goals.

Click here to listen to samples and download.

Click Here for the Parents Choice Recommendation



River Ramblers on youtube

18 February 2010
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See the Hudson River Ramblers in a Dragonfly Films clip.

 Listen to the Ramblers sing Hudson River Steamboat

Both Hudson River Ramblers recordings are award winners.

About the Hudson River Ramblers

4 January 2010
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“Rich and Jonathan’s lively juxtaposition of songs of the Hudson and stories of its history is most enjoyable and engages the audience’s attention throughout.” 
– Mary Grimaldi, Fort Crailo State Historic Site, Rensselaer, NY

Storyteller Jonathan Kruk and folk balladeer Rich Bala have been rambling the villages and valleys of the Hudson River and beyond since 1990, performing the region’s tunes, tales, and traditions at schools, museums, libraries, camps and historic sites.  Their programs and workshops illustrate the Hudson’s many-faceted role in forging our nation, from its importance during the Revolutionary War, to its use as a major transportation route for sloops, steamboats, and canals during the 1800’s, and even today, as the focal point for the environmental movement.

From Lake Tear of the Clouds on Mt. Marcy, in the high peaks region of the Adirondacks, to Battery Park at the lower tip of Manhatten, the Hudson River offers a rich and textured landscape of history, folklore, song and story. Jonathan and Rich illuminate this landscape with legends and ballads about Captain Kidd’s treasure, the Imp of Donderberg Mountain, Benedict Arnold’s treason at West Point,  the origins of Yankee Doodle, and why there is a “World’s End” on the Hudson.

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