Meet the "Harvest of Songs" team & partners
Andes Central School
I Am an Earthworm was written by Mrs. Little’s PreK-kindergarten class, 2012-2013.
Rain, Rain, Rain was written by Mrs. Finkle’s grade 1 & 2 class, 2012-2013.
Delhi Elementary School
Driving Around Delaware County was written by Mrs. McAteer’s 3rd grade class, 2012-2013
Who Grew My Soup was written with K-5 students in an after-school workshop, 2013-2014.
Roxbury Central School
We Are Flowers was written by Mrs. Bolger’s kindergarten class.
South Kortright Central School
Picking Pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch was written by Ms. Bailey’s first grade class.
Milking Time at the Farm was written by Mr. Leaver’s and Mrs. Feltman’s 3rd grade classes.
Project Director & Teaching Artist
Laurie conceived of the idea for Harvest of Songs, and worked closely with all partners to help bring this project to fruition, including developing and editing curricular content; arranging and co-producing many of the songs; and providing lead vocal on several of the songs as well.
As a child growing up on Long Island’s Great South Bay, Laurie (aka Story Laurie) could more likely be found hiding peas in her socks than eating them. These days, she can’t quite get enough of peas or, for that matter, any of the other 30+ vegetables and herbs she grows in her organic garden in the Catskill Mountains.
Laurie is an award-winning children’s performer and master teaching artist who has been offering interactive workshops and presentations on a wide range of themes at schools, libraries, and other venues for nearly two decades. In early 2014, Laurie was invited to lead the Collaborative Music Project at the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Austin, TX, and has been a sought-after conference presenter ever since. Learn more at www.storylaurie.com.
Project Manager, Web & Promotional Partner
Sonia oversaw the development of Harvest of Songs; created the website; developed the promotion plan; and tended to many administrative aspects of this project.
Sonia is the founder of Make Hay Sales & Marketing LLC. Having been raised on a dairy farm in the Catskill Mountains, a passion for farming and food lured her back to the region with over a decade of corporate marketing communications experience. Committed to employing her skills to enable small business development with a focus on agriculture, she now works collaboratively with individuals and organizations to raise awareness and support for the people and products of the Catskills. Building on a long-term consulting relationship, Sonia recently assumed the management of programs for the Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship.
As Board President of Farm Catskills, Sonia works to build connections between our communities and farms by facilitating access to nutritious local foods, encouraging students and residents to grow their own foods and offering programs that educate, engage and inspire.
Dean Jones - Audio Producer
Dean produced and mixed all of the songs, and recorded and provided instrumentation for most of the audio on Harvest of Songs.
Dean has been operating his quaint and quirky No Parking Studio in the Hudson River watershed since 1994, producing and engineering recordings for a wide variety of musical artists. Dean started out recording his own projects, including the award-winning kid-friendly band Dog on Fleas, as well as solo CDs. He’s been known to write songs about some of his favorite fruits, like blueberries and huckleberries, and ugly fruits, too. Over the years Dean has become known for his adventurous and inventive productions in various genres, but gravitating toward family and children’s music. In 2013, he earned a GRAMMY for his work producing the album “Can You Canoe” by the Okee Dokee Brothers.
In addition to his busy career as a producer and multi-instrumentalist, Dean also conducts Arts-in-Education programs, whether performing with Arm of the Sea Theater (of which he is the Musical Director), or through his solo songwriting workshops. You can find him online at www.dogonfleas.com.
Aimee Arandia Østensen - Curriculum Writer
Aimee wrote and formatted the curricular content for Harvest of Songs, and developed many of the activities for this project.
Aimee currently serves as the NYC Program Manager for the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation, and is also the Farm/City Coordinator for Special Projects at the Manhattan Country School Farm where she has taught both elementary and middle grades. Aimee firmly believes that learning is a life-long process and that our experiences along the natural path of life can be our best teachers. Her own path to teaching and her specialty in Educating for Sustainability has been a spiral of explorations into art, nature, movement and community. Aimee grew up with apple trees in her Upstate NY backyard and after 20 years in the city is happy to be back in a place where apple picking, eating, pressing and preserving dominates the early fall season. However, her favorite fruit remains the slim yellow mango of her tropical family roots!
Joseph Williams - Graphic Design
Joe provided overall graphic design and illustrations for all of the Harvest of Songs lessons, and created the project logo as well.
Joe is an award-winning art director and designer with more than 20 years of identity, marketing, advertising, publishing and video experience. He's flexed his creative skills with such brands as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Bravo, Sundance Channel, Disney Publishing, Scholastic and more. Joseph was born and raised in southeast Michigan’s ‘burbs, and currently resides on a farmette in the foothills of the Catskills with his family, which also includes two cats, one duck and numerous chickens. As a child he did not like vegetables. Now he is a long-time vegetarian. To see some of his work visit www.joewilldesign.com.
Fiona Fraser-Gross has been singing since before she could talk. She is 10 years old and is already an accomplished performer, singer/songwriter and activist. She lives in High Falls, NY right along the Rondout Creek. Fiona has performed at many venues including The Clearwater Festival, Lincoln Center Outdoors and The Bardavon, and has sung with many wonderful performers including Pete Seeger and Natalie Merchant. Fiona also volunteers for the Rosendale Farmers Market where she helps run activities in the children's tent. She loves the Farmer's Market because she gets to eat her favorite locally grown organic fruits and veggies. Strawberries, peaches, kale and summer squash top her list of favorites. She also enjoys hiking and swimming with her parents, her dogs and her friends.
Fiona sings on Milking Time at the Farm, playing the part of the curious kid. Fiona’s Dad, D. Fraser, plays the Grandpa on this song and her Mom, Lori Gross, sings on the chorus.
Debbie Lan was born in Cape Town, South Africa, where Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head stand majestically looking down on the cold Atlantic Ocean. Avocados and kale are her favorite fruit and vegetable, and she also enjoys grenadillas, lichis, loquats, guavas and naartjies. Drawn to group vocals, kwela rhythms and the vibrant sound of the pennywhistle, Debbie fronts and writes music for Grenadilla, a band that plays music for families and friends. She is the director/arranger for Bloom, a 24-voice adult ensemble, and is also a teaching artist, making music with students of all ages. Debbie’s music can be heard at www.grenadillasings.com.
Debbie sings the lead vocal on We Are Flowers.
Ira McIntosh grew up on a dairy farm in the town of Bovina (Latin for “cow town”) in the Catskill Mountains where, thanks to his Mom’s fieldwork as a folklorist, he developed a passion for good ol’ time music making early in life. He is also passionate about waterways and harvesting wild fruits of all kinds, especially berries and apples. Ira likes to play things with strings, primarily banjo, guitar, bass and mandolin. He performs solo, doing arts in education programs on a wide variety of themes; and has also been a long-time member of the jumpin’ and swingin’ Blues Maneuver band. Check him out at www.catskillmountainmusic.com.
Ira sings on Milking Time at the Farm, playing the part of the farmer; and also provides the twangy guitar and banjo on this song.
Andrés Salguero was born in Bogotá Colombia, which sits on the border of la Cuenca del Magdalena and la Cuenca del Orinoco, the Magdalena and Orinoco watersheds. Some of his favorite fruits grow in tropical climates, such as lulo, maracuyá and papaya. Andrés has deep roots in the Latin music world, with over a decade of experience playing Latin Jazz, Salsa, Norteño and Latin folkloric music. Hear more of Andrés’ music on his website (www.123andres.com) or on his YouTube channel (youtube.com/unodostresconAndres).
Andrés sings the lead on Soy una lombriz de tierra, which he composed and recorded as a plena, a genre that comes from Puerto Rico. On this tune, he was joined by renowned Latin percussionist Hector “Coco” Barez (Calle 13), and Christina Sanabria on vocals.
Toni Wang was born in Shanghai, China and lives in New York City; two urban metropolises which also happen to be watersheds to the Huangpu and Hudson rivers, respectively. Berries of all varieties, which she first tasted when she came to the U.S. at the age of 10, rank among her most beloved fruits, along with perennial Chinese favorites such as mandarins, white peaches, lychees and persimmons. She's also a big fan of all Chinese vegetables, especially the luffa, the vegetable and exfoliator in one! A mom of three busy lil' bees, Toni is a creator at heart. Her most recent work is A Little Mandarin, a fun and fresh update on classic Mandarin Chinese songs for kids of all ages. Music and more info at www.alittlemandarin.com!
Toni sings the lead vocal on Wo Men Shi Hua Duo, and is joined by her daughters Zoe and Leah on this song as well.
Robert Burke Warren, aka Uncle Rock, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in the section of the U.S. known as the Deep South. As a child, he ate lots of peanuts and peaches and, once in a while, fresh cut sugarcane. These days he keeps a garden of zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs. His music is a mix of folk, rock, funk and blues, and you can find it at CDBaby or by searching either of his names on the interwebs. (Photo credit Franco Vogt.)
Robert sings Drivin’ Around Delaware County.