DeKALB – George and Zoe Tikkun of DeKalb couldn’t wait.
“I love singing and I make up my own songs,” Zoe, 7, said.
George, 5, said he also likes to sing, even with his sister “sometimes.”
The youngsters and their mother, Jill, were the first of the standing-room-only crowd to arrive for the Community Sing presented by Nick Page at Northern Illinois University last Saturday.
“It’s a different way to bring the community together,” said Deborah Booth, director of NIU’s Community School of the Arts.
Mary Lynn Doherty, coordinator of the NIU School of Music, said the sing-along was intended to highlight that music is a part of everyone’s life, not just the lives of musicians.
“There’s no audience,” she said. “Everyone who comes is part of it.”
During the 90-minute program, Page had the audience singing folk songs from around the world. A former lumberjack from Boston, Page travels around the country, transforming audiences of all types and ages into community choirs. He also engaged the crowd with jokes and tales of some of his adventures with a message of peace and hope.
As an artist-in-residence, Page taught musical courses throughout the week at NIU.
“Nick Page and his music have been an inspiration to me for many years,” Doherty said. “The community sing is an opportunity for all those who love music to connect through song. His infectious energy and style are sure to leave a lasting impression on our community.”
In true community spirit, Jill Tikkun met a group of friends for the community sing. Expecting a big crowd, she and her children rode their bikes to avoid the hassle of parking. In addition to singing along, she said she wanted to check out the Community School of the Arts’ Children’s Choir, which was also on the program.
“We want to get Zoe into a kids’ choir of some kind,” she said. “This is going to get her super thrilled.”