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Naperville Public Library offers lessons in music

Kathryn and John Atwood perform in History Singers, which are music education programs at the Naperville Public Library that tell the history of certain genres of music. |  Submitted
Kathryn and John Atwood perform in History Singers, which are music education programs at the Naperville Public Library that tell the history of certain genres of music. | Submitted

There isn’t a moment I am not listening to or thinking about music. From the moment I wake up, I am pumping up the volume on my shower radio, turning on tunes when making breakfast and then driving to work. I need to constantly have a direct feed to some good jams.

From Billie Holiday and Sam Cooke to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to my girl Kesha, I love music from all genres. Toe-tapping beats get me through the day.

People ask me how come I’m always smiling. First and foremost, smiling’s my favorite. And secondly, life’s too short not to try and bolster a smile. Thirdly, I truly think the secret to happiness and curing a bad mood is music and dance. I mean who can fire up a frown when they are listening to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” by Bobby McFerrin. Just thinking about that song makes me want to clap and dance.

That’s why I am so happy to know Naperville Public Library loves music, too. The library will highlight all things musical through several upcoming programs. One of them will focus on “Frank Sinatra — The Man and His Music,” from 7 to 8 p.m. March 10 at 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive.

“Frank Sinatra was a true legend as a singer,” said Kim Johnson, who will present the program. “Can we ever forget that magnificent voice or the Rat Pack? The songs that he sang were the ones that were loved and will never be forgotten.”

Johnson’s interactive performance, which includes singing and piano, will tell the history and story of Ol’ Blue Eyes. Fans can sing along with hits like “My Way,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and “All the Way.”

Another musical appreciation program coming up is “The Generation Gap: Songs of the Sixties vs. Songs of the WWII Era” that will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. March 26 at 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive. Kathryn Atwood, who will perform during the program, will sing as well as play piano and flute with her husband, John Atwood, who also plays guitar and narrates.

“In this particular program, the aim is to demonstrate the compatibility of two kinds of music that once were pitted against each other, sometimes with great rancor,” she said. “And we encourage people to sing along if they feel so inclined. Part of our focus is to emphasize that group singing was once a common and popular pastime. Our modern focus has shifted away from that. People are often embarrassed to sing if they don’t have beautiful singing voices — and that’s a shame.”

Well, no one has to worry about this girl not singing. Even though I don’t have good pitch, or any pitch for that matter, I still love to sing. I am no song bird, but when Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” comes on, I can really belt it out.

Mary Rakoczy is a multimedia associate for the Naperville Public Library.

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