Paddle to the Sea: A Musical Ode to Water

By Maureen Schlangen

In a Feb. 7 performance named for the acclaimed 1941 children’s picture book Paddle-to-the-Sea, the Grammy-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion will give musical and rhythmic homage to water, the environment, and the geographic, economic and cultural connections of the region’s waterways.

Inspired by the Caldecott Honor-winning story and illustrations by Holling Clancy Holling, the concert, part of the University of Dayton’s ArtsLIVE series, will feature a wide range of works — from Philip Glass and the music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe to original compositions by Third Coast Percussion to accompany the book’s 1966 film adaptation, said University of Dayton ArtsLIVE coordinator Eileen Carr. Video from the film will play during part of the performance.

Third Coast Percussion, a Chicago quartet of classically trained percussionists, won a Grammy for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for their 2016 recording of Steve Reich’s works for percussion. With Paddle to the Sea, the group challenges listeners to “consider the human impact on the waters that help us transport our goods, provide our electrical power, bathe ourselves, cook our food, and quench our thirst.”

The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, in the Kennedy Union Boll Theatre on the University of Dayton campus. Tickets go on sale Jan. 16; they’re free for UD students; $8 for other students and youths 18 or younger; $15 for senior adults and UD faculty, staff and alumni; and $18 for all other adults. See go.udayton.edu/artslive or call 937-229-2545.

Free parking is available in Lot B or Lot C; for a permit, go to a visitor center at University Circle and L Street or at the entrance to Lot C on Evanston Avenue just north of Kiefaber Street.

  • City of Dayton Water Department (community sponsor)
  • ArtsLIVE
  • Hanley Sustainability Institute at UD

ArtsLIVE co-commissioned the Paddle to the Sea program with the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington, and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame.

Check out 'Paddle-to-the-Sea'

Members of the UD community and others who have a UD library card may check out one of UD's copies of Paddle-to-the-Sea. One is in the Curriculum Materials Center in the School of Education and Health Sciences in Fitz Hall; the other is in Roesch Library.

About the Caldecott Awards

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of 19th-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, awards it annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The 2018 awards will be announced Feb. 12.

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