BY LAURA CALDERON
The Student Community Center was filled with storytellers and musicians Sunday, March 12 as County College of Morris hosted the 11th Annual Storytelling and World Music Festival.
The festival was separated into two sections – storytelling for children and storytelling for adults. All storytellers worked effortlessly to keep crowds engaged in their tale through the use of numerous props such as homemade instruments, finger puppets, and noisemakers. The SCC found itself crowded from wall to wall as numerous families gathered together to take part in the yearly communal event in hopes of creating new memories.
Faculty adviser for the festival and Campus Life associate director, Don Phelps considers the event to be a great success. It was wonderful to see so many community members getting to experience the campus for the first time, according to Phelps.
“My favorite part was when the tellers bring the kids on stage to play characters in their stories,” Phelps said.
Patty Donnell, mother of four, has attended the festival for the past four years since her eldest daughter, Emma began attending CCM in 2013. The festival is a perfect excuse to get the family together and have a little harmless fun, according to Donnell.
“We never miss the festival,” said Donnell. “My children love the stories that are shared – they’re funny, educational and the props they use tie everything together. It’s a great local outing to do with my kids on a Sunday afternoon.”
Following storytelling sessions, attendees were escorted to a small concert in the SCC lounge, as children cheered and danced, adults clapped in rejoicement. Rob Esposito’s daughter, Elizabeth was a crowd favorite – her dance moves kept the crowd entertained and the energy high. This year was the first attendance for the Esposito family.
“My dear friend, Cathy Burke used to attend the festival when it was originally held at Waterloo Village,” Esposito said. “None of my older children ever wanted to go, but I thought Elizabeth would enjoy herself and sure enough I was right. It’s been a wonderful day.”
While the festival was surrounded with families enjoying themselves, several CCM students were in attendance. Early childhood education major, Katie Phillips first learned of the festival through the school website, and thought the event would give her some insight into storytelling for small children.
“I really love reading,” said Phillips. “I really hope someday to become a grammar school English teacher, so I thought coming to the festival would help me gain a few pointers on how to grab and keep a child’s attention in the art of storytelling.”