Kinders Appear in Summer Reading Program Final Performance

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Brian Kinder with the kids at the Rector Library during last week's finale'.
courtesy photo

Brian and Terri Kinder concluded the 2017 Summer Reading Program at the local libraries last Wednesday, with their annual show. First performing at the Rector Library, they later appeared in front of the gazebo on the square in Piggott with a full measure of singing, dancing and fun.

The Kinders have been participating in the Summer Reading Program since 2003, and in the 14 years that they have performed, they have always played before a significant group of children and families who attend their fun and exciting show. The local performances are presented by Piggott State Bank, as the local bank has sponsored the visits since their start. The bank also provided water and Gatorade at both locations, while Aerial Bouquets co-sponsored the Piggott performance.

Brian Kinder first embarked on his musical journey when he was teaching music in Little Rock. Another teacher informed him the school was hosting a Martin Luther King program, and requested that Brian teach his students a song about Martin Luther King. However, when Brian started searching for a song, he was unable to find one. So, he wrote one.

Brian Kinder shows-off one of his many puppet characters at the concert on the Piggott square.
TD photo/Kelsey McKenney

Brian had been writing since he was a kid and, once the word got around that he could write songs, people began asking him to write for different occasions.

A puppeteer Brian knew on the Arkansas Arts Council recommended that he audition to join the Council. Brian decided he would, and was accepted onto the Council in 2001, around the same time he met his wife, Terri.

Another opportunity later arose for Brian as the library in downtown Little Rock asked him to fill-in because their storyteller was sick. At that time, Brian had only written six songs—which he shared. After this, the library asked him to come back the next month. He, along with Terri, has been back every third Saturday for 16 years.

After awhile, people began asking Brian for CDs of his songs, and after much deliberation, he decided not to pursue recording his songs. The cost seemed too high, and he did not see his music going anywhere else. However, his wife disagreed. When he told her he was not going to record a CD, she stated, “No, that's a mistake. You need to do it. People love your music.” Brian and Terri now have 11 CDs.

The world's largest independent music awards are hosted by the organization Just Plain Folks. The Kinders' CDs and one song have been nominated for awards; their Spooky CD for Best Children's CD, a song off of that album, “I Want My Bone Back,” for Best Children's Song, and their CD Kinder Safety for Best Children's Educational CD. Additionally, their CD Kinder Lullaby was a Parent's Choice Magazine Winner.

The Kinders have now recorded 185 different songs, all of which Brian has written. They also remain active on stage, as they present about 275 performances each year.

The Kinders will be performing a concert at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 19, at the Collins Theater in Paragould They will also perform their Spooky Program in a concert to be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29. at the Collins Theater.

When asked what their favorite part of doing the Summer Reading Program might be, they responded, “seeing the kids, and their parents, getting into the music.” They're quick to add that their goal is to not only make the children smile, dance, and participate in the dancing and singing throughout their performance, but to also make an impact on them.

The Kinders have fun with what they do and to them it is not a job. Brian mentions that people have asked him when they are going to retire from their music career. He simply laughs and responds, “retire from what? We love what we get to do!”

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