Toucan Jam

Toucan Jam

Multi-Disciplinary
Northwest Region
Fayetteville, Arkansas
479- 582-2291
[email protected]


While Toucan Jam is primarily designed as a 50 minute performance for grades K-6, we have made workshop components available for the AIE program. Our "Things With Wings" bird-watching workshop perfectly compliments the assembly program.

This variation on our "round the world tour" focuses on ethnic legends of winged creatures. It is an introduction to bird watching with an emphasis on bird songs and the field guide book, which is an important tool used to unlock this sometimes overwhelming discipline. Students get an opportunity to make their own mini-field guide that describes twelve common backyard birds. Music, visuals, puppets, and humor are interwoven to keep the presentation upbeat and engaging.

Students embrace this multidisciplinary approach with great enthusiasm as they gain a deeper respect for the diversity of birds and the natural world that surrounds us.

Toucan Jam has just completed their first children's CD called "A World of Music," and there is a brand new show that goes with it. Still on the Hill has created a program called "An Ozark Journey," for students in middle-high school. It is perfect for Arkansas History classes. The duo shows students how music and instruments came from Europe and how music of the Ozarks is an echo of the British Isles. They also show how a banjo-like instrument came over with the slaves and became the instrument commonly used in Bluegrass music. Kelly and Donna share songs they have written about several interesting characters still living in the Ozark hills. Any Arkansas history class would benefit from "An Ozark Journey."

Available to conduct teacher workshops.

Background

Toucan Jam is a collaboration of two individuals, Kelly Mulhollan and Donna Stjerna, each coming from a very different background.

Kelly Mulhollan combines his lifelong love of folk music with years of academic study in composition at University of Oklahoma and Arizona State University. Over the last 25 years, Mulhollan has worked as a professional musician in many capacities. He is currently a member of Still on the Hill (who was voted Best Folk Band in the Ozarks.) Kelly is also locally renowned for his work as a studio musician and he has produced many CDs and video sound tracks. In 2001, Kelly was voted ‘Best Guitarist in NW Arkansas' at the N.A.M.A. awards. Kelly was a favorite teacher for two years running with the E.P.I.C. Program that went into all the elementary schools in the Fayetteville area.

Donna Stjerna's expertise comes from a more ‘hands on' approach. She has been a professional musician for over twenty-five years. She now performs exclusively with Still on the Hill and Toucan Jam. Donna was voted ‘Best String Instrumentalist' at the N.A.M.A. Awards for two years in a row. In 1990, Donna co-created and opened Whimsicals Gallery in Fayetteville, AR. There was special emphasis and an entire room dedicated to children's art. She claims her greatest passions are mothering and songwriting.

AIE Program

Preferred Age Level: Elementary, Middle/Junior High
Geographic Availability: Statewide
Time Availability: Open
Special Needs: None listed