Cap’s Off to You!–Dave and Carol Sharp – and Celebrating Story

Glastonbury Duo (Dave & Carol Sharp)

Featuring:  Dave and Carol Sharp – Idlewild duo aka Glastonbury duo

Story Musicians, Visual Artists, Supportive Spouses

Some people get to enjoy the arts with their spouse…not just as an audience member but as a partner in every way on the stage.  When I first met Dave and Carol Sharp, it was at the Olympus Chapter Meeting with the Utah Storytelling Guild.  People kept saying that “you have to meet them!”  They had so many performances, their showings at the Chapter Meetings were rare.  Yet, they tended to make the annual Chapter Christmas parties.  Normally, people bring a dish to share.  Dave and Carol brought their instruments.  I was enraptured as Carol played a harp carved herself with a majestic bird looking upon her as she swept her hands across the strings.  Dave added to the atmosphere and told stories with energy, delight, and–at times–tenderness.  We were glad to have witnessed the intimate and wondrous performance that night.

Since that time, I have seen Dave and Carol as advocates for anyone in the arts–especially musicians–as well as supporting interfaith performances.  They give of their time and talents freely while being a standard in performance.

Dave and Carol Sharp performed during the inaugural Story Crossroads Festival and have since told stories and played instruments at several fundraising house concerts for us.  In fact, they will be performing “Tales of Haunted Japan” in Ogden at the Tobin Home on Friday, February 1, 2019 from 7:00pm-8:30pm.  Come if you can.  See their February 1st House Concert and other monthly House Concerts here.

While usually delving in the performing arts, they both have sculpting abilities.  Carol tends to keep those skills to her instruments, while Dave also creates instruments and commissioned pieces with some sculptures taller than doors!  Dave has had many gallery exhibits with his carvings, paintings, and other 2-D and 3-D pieces.  One day, Dave surprised me with a remarkable raccoon mask that my family delights in whether on the wall or used for my own storytelling.

Let us find out a little more about Dave and Carol from them.  As usual for their performances, they did their answers in tandem.

What got you started in storytelling?

We got started in storytelling when fellow animator Mark Gollaher asked us to play Celtic music for his Irish Tales. We played music with the tales much like a movie score and did the sound effects for the stories. We toured with Mark and Terra Allen for Arts Inc, and one day I told Carol that “I would love to tell stories like Mark.” In the Animation studio, the animators were always doing character voices for one another. We had played Celtic and Old Time American Traditional music for many years and had introduced the music and its history to the audiences, often like a narrative story.

Why delve into storytelling?

Storytelling had the additional advantage of adding new performance venues for our duo or larger band. We performed Renaissance Fairs around the west with our music and stories and felt that the music enhanced the stories and stories the music. We were part of the Utah performing arts tour for eight years and often did our stories in our music gigs whereever it seemed appropriate or where we had a mixed audience of families.

What are you best known for and what will do do with storytelling in the future?

Our Celtic stories went over well and since we had famous Pioneer ancestors that took part in the building of the West we began writing stories in that vein as well. We’ve branched off most recently into Japanese ghost stories and Norse Sagas which we plan to write more of. We were planning to write and illustrate some children’s story books and make recordings and YouTube videos of each of them.

So toss, tip, or take off your cap to Dave and Carol Sharp!

We also have year-round events such as the monthly house concerts and the 4th Annual Story Crossroads Festival that will be on May 15, 2019.

Cap’s Off to You!–Jerri and Katie Hurley – Mother/Daughter Duo – and Celebrating Story

Jerri and Katie Hurley collageJerri Hurley came into the world of storytelling due to the talent of her daughter, Katie.  For the past three Story Crossroads Festivals, Katie has earned one of the cherished spots through one of our feed-in events, the Murray Storytelling Festival.  Not even half of these wonderful Murray youth tellers continue on to the county-level of our Festival. This in and of itself is amazing.  Then, add to that the volunteerism from Jerri who serves as the Hospitality Chair with the Story Crossroads Board.

DSC_0033Jerri said she was impressed by the Festival and all the ways that the community became involved.  She wished to support Story Crossroads. Jerri sent along a picture of Katie with Mara Menzies, one of our featured tellers of that year from Scotland.

We gladly welcomed Jerri. In return, she welcomed our out-of-state professional story artists to the Salt Lake Valley and personalized the items that the story artists could take home with them to remember Utah. For  example, she knew that Brian “Fox” Ellis loved bird watching. He received a book on Utah birds and then Jerri worked out a trip for Brian to go to the planned a trip to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge between performances and outreaches for Story Crossroads.  She also honored the amazing Utah professional story artists with special goodie bags.

During August, the Granite School District invited Rachel Hedman to teach two different storytelling workshops while introducing people to Story Crossroads.  Rachel knew this only could be done if each of the workshops were kicked off with a youth teller performing for these teachers.  Katie Hurley was one of these selected youth.  She did a wonderful rendition of “Tops and Bottoms” on two neighbors figuring out how to share what they have grown.

Then last September, Story Crossroads had the opportunity to have a booth at the Boy Scouts of America Jamboral celebrating 100 years in Utah.  Jerri and Katie volunteered to help out.  As Janine Nishiguchi and Rachel Hedman performed tandem ghost stories the night before with the Scouts and Leaders, this spooky theme continued on with the booth.  The people spun the Scary Story Starter and found out which one of the four beginnings would be theirs to build and shake our bones.  One lady told the Hurleys that this was the best booth in the entire Jamboral.  There was always a line of Scouts, anxious to tell stories…and to earn one to four pieces of candy depending on how developed their stories turned out.

To handle the lines, Katie decided to perform for a small group of Scouts.  Katie has grown her repertoire after a few years telling for the Murray Storytelling Festival and the Story Crossroads Festival.  One of the groups of Scouts were those with special needs.  All were enthralled.

Jerri captured some of the moments as seen in the pictures above.  She wrote to us, “Katie is loving helping out with the booth.”  We know that we will count on Katie–and her mother–many more times.

So toss, tip, or take off your cap to Jerri and Katie Hurley!

We also have year-round events such as the monthly house concerts and the 4th Annual Story Crossroads Festival that will be on May 15, 2019.