Welcome to Kid Pan Alley

Imagine if you were a child writing a song in your classroom with a professional songwriter. Then suppose that your song was recorded by a world-class recording artist like Delbert McClinton, Cracker, Sissy Spacek, Amy Grant, Kix Brooks, Suzy Bogguss, Corey Harris, or Raul Malo. You’d be changed forever. You’d have learned about teamwork, the value of everyone’s ideas, embracing diversity and collaboration through the group songwriting process. You might start writing songs to express your feelings rather than striking out in anger. You’d feel really listened to and proud of what you had done. And just imagine that this was the most fun you ever had in school. Well, this is what Kid Pan Alley is doing in schools throughout the country—inspiring kids use their imaginations—to be creators of their own music, not just consumers of popular culture. We’ve written over 2,500 songs with more than 35,000 children and we’ve got to say kids make the greatest co-writers. Come on inside and hear some of their creations. And, if you are so inclined, help us bring Kid Pan Alley to your community.

October 24, 2014:

A story from ABC News 10 in Stockton, CA about our project with the Stockton Symphony. We have 7 concerts with the full orchestra from Jan 17-22.

April 28, 2014: Here's a feature from WETA-PBS on the Kid Pan Alley National Symphony collaboration

February 27, 2014: Kid Pan Alley was the lead story on the front page in the largest daily newspaper on the Big Island. Kohala Students Make Music With Pros:

There was also a lovely article in the North Hawaii News:

January,13, 2014:

Kid Pan Alley performs with National Symphony--Ch. 4 News

January 2, 2014:

A thousand 'thank yous' to all of our wonderful, dedicated supporters. We met our challenge and we will receive our matching grant of $17,500! Thank you for helping us to keep kids creating!

Kid Pan Alley at Kilmer Center, Vienna, VA
This great story about the writing of Kilmer Center's Alma Mater song was run in the December 5th issue of the Sun Gazette:

June 27, 2013, 2013:

Thank you to the Claudia Mitchell fund of Rappahannock Association for Arts in the Community (RAAC). They've just awarded a grant to Kid Pan Alley to provide our Character Development Assembly program to the students of Rappahannock County Elementary School!

June 17, 2013, 2013:

Voice of America reporter, Mark Snowiss, has just finished his story on Kid Pan Alley's recent songwriter in residence program at Orr Elementary School in Washington, DC. You can see the story here.

June 11, 2013, 2013:

WMRA, the NPR station in Harrisonburg (90.7 fm), interviewed Kid Pan Alley's Artistic Director, Paul Reisler and songwriting assistant Heather Mae last week. Listen in as Tom Graham, host of Virginia Insights, shares the Kid Pan Alley story with listeners.

April 11, 2013:

We would like to thank the Jacquemin Family Foundation for their generosity. They've just announced a $10,000 challenge grant to Kid Pan Alley! We are thrilled to have the opportunity to meet this challenge - so help us meet our match by spreading the word - or better yet - donate!

April 11, 2013:

We are singin' in the rain this April! We're overjoyed to announce that we've finally met our match! Our challenge grant match, that is. A big shout out to all of our supporters who helped us reach this milestone, and of course, to the wonderful folks at the William & Mary Greve Foundation.

Upcoming Residencies:

Jan 5 * Noyes Elementary * Washington, DC * Arranging sessions with the kids and members of National Symphony

Jan 6 * Noyes Elementary * Washington, DC * performances with the kids and members of National Symphony * 1pm & 7pm

Jan 17 * Stockton Symphony Orchestra * Atherton Auditorium * Stockton, CA * Kid Pan Alley songs written with the children of Stockton arranged for orchestra performed along with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6.

Jan 20-22 * 6 Education concerts with Stockton Symphony * Atherton Auditorium * Stockton, CA

Jan 20 * University of the Pacific * Stockton, CA * Songwriting workshop with Paul Reisler

Feb 2-6 * Kohala Elementary * Hawi, HI * residency

Feb 9-13 * Hawai'i Preparatory Academy * Waimea, HI * residency

Feb 15 * Kahilu Theatre * Waimea, HI * concert 4pm

For downloads of Kid Pan Alley residency songs.

To see videos from past residencies:

Hawai'i Preparatory Academy. Concert Feb 15th at 4 pm, Kahilu Theatre, Waimea featuring the songs from HPA and Kohala Elementary. Download the songs at www.bit.ly/k-hpa15

Kid Pan Alley at N. Kohala Elementary. Concert Feb 15, Kahilu Theatre To download the songs: http://bit.ly/kohala15

Noyes Elementary-Kid Pan Alley with a trio from National Symphony

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Patrick Henry School of Arts and Sciences. A song inspired by a painting of Marion Anderson about her historic concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial when she wasn't allowed to perform at Constitution Hall because of her race.

Marshall & Vinewood Elementary Schools, Stockton and Lodi, CA. A project with the Stockton Symphony. There will be 7 concerts with the full orchestra on Jan. 17, 20, 21, 22. www.stocktonsymphony.org

Kid Pan Alley at Janney Elementary
I Forgot to Charge My Phone Today

Ellie's Adventure, A Tribute to Princess Strong • November 22nd, 2013

One very special song at Orange Elementary, though, was inspired by this little beauty, Ellie Blaine. Her big brother's is a student at the school and the whole school adopted Ellie. Ms. Faulconer’s 5th graders wrote a song to commemorate her indomitable spirit as she battled a rare form of cancer. Ellie passed away a couple of weeks later. We will never forget singing her song for her and the joy on her face as the whole school sang for her.

Kid Pan Alley Blog •

July 20, 2014 Maestro Lorin Maazel died last week. He was the preeminent American conductor having conducted every major orchestra in the world. He'd been music director for many orchestras including New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Munich Symphony and others.

He was one of our neighbors and I have heard some of the best music of my life from orchestras conducted by him at his Castleton Festival and at the NY Philharmonic. Kid Pan Alley exists thanks to the support of the Maestro and his wife, Dietlinde. They were one of the major supporters of our first album. Here's a poem I wrote to mark his passing.

In Memory – Maestro of All Maestros
the riderless podium
the empty pot
the open score
brilliantly lit in the darkness
but minus the maestro
the notes were but fly specks
upon the page
they were not the music

we stood
we clapped
a thunderous tribute
to genius
it would have gone on
for hours
had they not turned on the lights
had they not started to play
as best they could
without him
but not even hours
not even days
nor months, nor years of applause
would not have fully acknowledged
the gift he gave to music
to us

i watched him intently
so many, many times
from the first concert in the theatre
where Maazel and Bronfman and Frankel
played the Tchaikovsky Am
though virtually every concert in castleton
to london for 1984 and to New York for his final mahler 8th’s
i watched the subtle minuet the tip of his baton (was it the one mahler used?)
the dance of his bow upon his strad
i watched him conduct
with his eyebrows
and his glance
and the glare
of an unapproving eye
but it was not the gesture it was not movement, nor the motion but his will
for his will was enough
to lead a symphony of a thousand
or a quartet of eight
and it will be enough
to lead all the music
to come
in this festival
we have all come to love
thank you, thank you, thank you
maestro of all maestros
thank you

Paul Reisler July 19, 2014

December 21, 2013.


Dear Friends, Like most organizations, we usually spend a bit of time at year-end reflecting on our work over the past year. This generally means compiling and evaluating statistics from last year - how many songs we wrote with how many children, the attendance for our concerts, etc. KPA did a lot this last year, including a 2-week residency in Rappahannock, and projects with the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts where art was the inspiration for the songs. But this year, we found ourselves... Click Here

The confidence levels just soared as they realized that they really could create something meaningful themselves.

Teacher at Woolwine Elementary School, in Woolwine, VA
click to listen