- FAMILY REUNION & 65th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION – Jon was a delightful musician, storyteller and balloon animal artist for our 11 children ages 1-10! He was the pied piper to a young group of cousins who had had a long day, but instantly fell under the spell of Jon and his wife, Vivian. Clearly a consummate children’s educator, Jon taught lessons of inclusivity and cultural celebration while helping the children play high quality rhythm instruments. Jon is an excellent musician and all around gentle but compelling soul. Who doesn’t like balloon animals? He and Vivian make them to order! Perfect for our family gathering!! – Susan Greene, event coordinator
- We felt honored having a musician of your professional caliber perform at our festival. Both the children and adults enjoyed your wide repertoire of songs and musical instruments. Your rapport with the children was especially meaningful at our children’s festival. – Sue Helms, De Kalb North Arts Alliance.
- Thank you so much for sharing your talents at our Vacation Church School picnic. Even now children are “making peanut butter.” Your awareness of the wide age range and varied attention spans was remarkable. Watching the children ease forward so they could be a part of the group was wonderful. I look forward to other opportunities when you can share your storytelling and singing magic with us. – Ida K McCaskill, Director of Christian Education, Highland Presbyterian Church, Winston-Salem, NC.
- SQUARE DANCE: I just wanted to thank you once again for the wonderful time we all had at the Square dance. You did a super job with the children’s stories, songs and dances. They all really felt a part of the whole evening. – Angie Hobbs, Chairman, Family Ministries Committee, First Presbyterian Church, Winston-Salem, NC.
SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES
- In October of ’79, Jon gave several concerts in the elementary schools of Windham County. The response was almost unbelievable—the enthusiasm so strong that principals and parents from the school arts committees called one another, and the director of the Windham County Arts Council, to pass on word of his presence and abilities. The word everyone used to describe him was professional – quality in his music and presentation, and in the handling of an audience of school-aged children. Jon Sundell “plays” an audience of children as well as he plays any of the instruments he brings to a concert. The pace is lively as he moves from song to instrumental to tall tale to sing-along, and the atmosphere is one of warmth and good humor where every child feels a part of the happening.. – Lynne Crocker, journalist, Arts Council of Wyndham County, VT.
- MULTIMEDIA, MULTICULTURAL PROGRAMS: Jon tailored the program to our needs. We were doing a multicultural theme, and he focused on the countries we were studying. I especially loved how he talked about the sources of the stories and then linked books found in our own library to the stories he told. Jon’s slides were spot on for reinforcing his presentation and engaging the students. – Colleen Yarnell, Union Cross Elementary School, NC
- MULTIMEDIA PRESENTATIONS ON FOLKLORE, FOLKTALE GENRES, NC SONGS & TALES, & STORIES & SONGS AROUND THE WORLD: I thought the performances were awesome! I give your programs a 10 in every category. We had some very large groups and you captured the attention of those even seated in the back. Teachers liked that you moved through the crowd and interacted with students. The slides gave students a visual understanding of the concepts of the past. I liked that you spoke of the books that are available in the library. I liked the stories behind where the stories and songs come from and where you first heard of them. This was especially helpful for North Carolina folklore. – Carol McFadden, North Topsail Elementary School, NC
- YOUNG AUTHOR’S DAY: Last Friday, May 2, Jon Sundell came to our school and gave two programs of storytelling and singing in conjunction with our Young Author’s celebration. He did an excellent job. He related his stories and songs to actual books and also tied into the fact that our students had authored their own book. He also involved the children in this stories and songs. We had David Holt last year for the same celebration. Mr Sundell did a better program than Mr Holt. We greatly appreciate his participation in our Young Author’s Celebration. It was a huge success! –Vicki Stanfield, Media Coordinator, Jefferson Elementary School, Winston-Salem, NC.
- Jon Sundell is a sensational musician whose folk music is enhanced by wonderful stories from many cultures, so his performance is entertaining as well as educational. Jon’s first visit to Keene was for one performance at an elementary school; his next visit will be for a three-day residency, since word of that one performance has spread. Jon is very professional and accommodating, a joy to work with. –Judith Perry, Project Coordinator, Grand Monadnock Arts Council, Keene, NH.
- I felt your performances here were first rate. I received unanimously positive feedback from the kids and teachers. We were all impressed with your rapport with the kids of different grade levels, with your flexibility, your story-telling ability and your efforts to make the music and the culture come alive. – Clay Stites, headmaster, Friends Academy, North Dartmouth, MA.
- The children were absolutely enthralled from the kindergarteners through the seventh grade. Both black and white children respond so well to Mr. Sundell because he operates on their level. They participate, and he never puts them down. Most children have never had an opportunity to see that kind of performance. – Jeanne Pearson, Coordinator of Arts and Education, Dekalb County for the Arts, GA.
- The kids were so interested in Jon Sundell’s music – he had everyone’s full attention, and worked so well with all age groups. Our teachers haven’t stopped praising his performance. Our music teacher recorded his programs, and the children continue to love his work. Tremendous – Excellent – Wonderful – are just some of the comments we’ve heard. – Carolyn Herbig, BB Harris Elementary School, Duluth, GA.
- CUSTOM PROGRAM, HISTORY RELATED: Thank you again and again for the super program you gave us Saturday, January 28. I know that the weaving together of history, philosophy, music and story that you were able to do takes enormous work and talent and caring. Frankly, I don’t know anyone else who could have done what I asked of you. Your look at heroism and the place of peace-makers in it was a special experience for us all. – Lois Mc Gukin, Chamblee Branch Library, Chamblee, GA.
- I received very positive feedback from the teachers and students. I was very impressed with your rapport with the students and your obvious talents. My two daughters have been making their own music with spoons and singing “Peanut Butter and Jelly.” I’m sure we are not the only Peachtree household with this new found musical ability. – Jan Bowyer, Cultural Arts Chairman, Peachtree Elementary School, Norcross, GA.
- Many thanks for the delightful morning at Livsey Elementary School. The students and teachers thoroughly enjoyed your performances, and I had a great time myself! My children came home from school Thursday, immediately got some spoons our of the drawer, and proceeded to make their own old timey music! – Thea Jarvis, Arts Chariman, Livsey School, DeKalb County, GA.
- Thank you for the excellent programs you presented for our 3rd and 4th grades – and their teachers. I can speak for the teachers and the children when I say we were all spellbound. You were fabulous! Old Town Elementary hopes to have you again in the future. We love you! – Belinda Carter, 4th grade, Old Town Elementary School, Winston-Salem, NC.
- You are very special to me. Do you have some mountain where you live?… I feel so good when I hear your music!... I like you. Do you like me?… I’m going to be a zookeeper when I grow up.. – Second graders, at Henderson Mill School, Atlanta, GA.
- Jon is such a talented musician! He put on a well-paced, entertaining concert. Especially good at audience participation, and at “audience control.” – Laingsburg Elementary, Michigan.
- A very talented person. An interesting, inspiring program for children and adults alike.. – Sharon Elementary, Wisconsin.
- Super person with a super program – well accepted by the kids! – Nashua Elementary, Iowa.
- Excellent program with a well done combination of storytelling and music. Mr Sundell is knowledgeable of students’ abilities to understand. – Colesburg Elementary, Iowa.
- Mr Sundell proved to be a perfect entertainer for middle school children. Our students were very attentive and enthusiastic about his performance.. – Hubert Humphrey Middle School, Bolingbrook, Illinois.
- Very entertaining. Top notch. – Shepherd Junior High, Ottawa, Illinois.
- A very fine program. Mr Sundell has an excellent perception of his art. – Indian Creek Middle School, Trafalgar, Indiana.