Jan. 9: Storytelling at Scandinavia House. Bill will share an hour-long program of folktales from Scandinavia entitled: A STORYgasbord of Tales. This spread of delectable tales will include stories from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. As always Bill will accompany himself on banjo except for on a special tale from Finland Two Pinecones. For this story Bill will play a 5-string Kantele brought back from Finland by his colleague and friend Jon Deak. The program takes place at Scandinavia House located at 58 Park Avenue between 37th and 38th Streets. The program begins at 11:00 AM and is FREE to the public.
Dec. 12: Very Young Composers at David Geffen Hall. For the first YPC Overtures of the season, 3 Very Young Composers (VYC) Lilly Kravath (11), Isai Rabiu (10) and Nolan Shaffer (11) have composed new works based on a fable from India. Each season the New York Philharmonic's Young Peoples Concert works with a unifying theme. The 4 concerts this season titled "Once Upon a Time" focus on the narrative and music. The Dec 12 concert "Folktales and Fables" will feature Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" and Richard Strauss' "Til Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks". Preceding the 2:00 PM YPC concert, Co-hosts Jon Deak (Founder of VYC) and Bill Gordh will introduce a fable from India about some birds caught in a net trap. This fable has been interpreted by each of the 3 composers and will be played by NY Philharmonic musicians and other special guests and include Trumpet, Trombone, Flute, Cello and Percussion. The Overtures begin at 1:10 PM and admission is included with the YPC ticket.
Nov. 19 - 22: NAEYC Conference and Bim Bam Institute. Bill will travel down to Orlando, FL on Thursday, Nov. 19th to attend the annual NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Conference and offer a storytelling workshop. This is the major conference for educators of young children and attended by thousands of teachers. Upon return, Bill will participate in the first Bim Bam Institute: Storytelling through a Jewish Lens organized and hosted by B'nai Jeshurun at 257 West 88th. Bill will share a story during the opening of the Institute and then lead 2 workshops.
Nov 8 & 9: New York Philharmonic Very Young Peoples Concert Bill has written the libretto to accompany Bach's "Orchestral Suite #2" that will be played at the first program of The Very Young Peoples Concerts' 2015- 2016 season. This is a series created by the New York Philharmonic for families with children from 3 - 6 years old and will be performed in Merkin Concert Hall (129 West 67th Street) at 12:30 and 3:00 PM on Sunday, Nov. 8 and at 10:30 AM on Nov. 9. Treble and Bass is the focus of this concert and in Bill's story Philippe the Penguin meets his friends, Treble and Bass at Bach's Big House and has seven days of adventures, one for each of the 7 movements. Rebecca Young is the host of the program and features Mindy Kaufman on flute along with other members of the orchestra. Marion Schoevaert has created artwork to accompany the story. A very special event.
Sept. 24 - Nov. 7: Thornwillow Press at the Grolier Club. There is a special exhibition of printed matter from the Thornwillow Press in the 2nd floor gallery at the Grolier Club celebrating the 30th anniversary of Thornwillow. Included are a wide range of the beautiful printing work that Thornwillow is famous for including cards, libretti and books. A number of volumes from Thornwillow's largest book project to date The Seven Towers of Wonder can be seen on display as well. The seven volume series uses folktales from around the world to describe the seven virtues. Each volume is dedicated to one of the virtues and contains seven folktales. The tales were chosen and retold by Bill Gordh and lavishly illustrated by John Hutton. In each volume the folktales are collected by Possum and Raccoon, 2 very good friends who live in the Thornwillow Woods. Between stories the two travelers discuss the tales providing a model for parent-child discourse. Volume 5 was just completed in August and is now available along with Vols 1 - 4. The exhibition runs from September 24 - November 7 in the second floor gallery at the Grolier Club which can be found at 47 East 60th Street in Manhattan. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 - 5:00.
January 20: Storytelling on The Apple Seed. The Apple Seed on BYUradio will feature Bill's telling of the Swedish folktale "Little Ayla and Old Greybeard" on this week's Jambalaya Show. Bill recorded the story in Nashville with his Tennessee collaborators The Musictellers (musicians Tony Gerber and Seth Ritter). The story tells about the encounter of a young girl and an old king who is afraid that everyone has claws. The show airs at 2 PM EST on Sirius XM Channel 143 or can be streamed online.
Jan. 23: Very Young Composers at David Geffen Hall. The second set of YPC Overtures of the season will precede the upcoming New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert with works by three members of the Very Young Composers program (VYC). Graeme Bueher (11), Gabriela Gomez (11) and Joshua Poole (11) have composed new works inspired by stories from the Finnish epic, The Kalevala. The main concert entitled "Myths and Legends" will feature the work of the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius who also was inspired by the Kalevala. Additionally the YPC will present works by Very Young Composers from New York and Finland. Preceding the 2:00 PM YPC concert, co-hosts Jon Deak (Founder of VYC) and Bill Gordh will introduce the young composers and the stories that inspired them. The pieces will be played by NY Philharmonic musicians and other special guests and include French Horn, Bass, Clarinet, Flute and Percussion. The Overtures begin at 1:10 PM and admission is included with the YPC ticket.