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A True Troubadour

Local children's performer returns, via Nashville, with poems and songs.

May 14, 2000|ANN SHIELDS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Ginger Sands, a children's performer who was born and raised in Ventura, will be in town by way of Nashville next week to perform two programs of music and poetry.

Local folks might remember her as Ginger Bean--her mother still lives in the same house in Ventura where Sands grew up, she said in a recent interview.

Sands graduated from Ventura High School in 1982 and went on to earn a degree in English literature from UC Santa Barbara. She credits Meredith Moyer, her former Ventura High School performing arts teacher, for helping her succeed.

"I learned a lot of song-and-dance skills from her--she taught me a lot of the basics about show biz," Sands said.

Sands taught school after moving to San Francisco, and it was then that she began to integrate music into her classes. Her final move was to Nashville, a fertile ground for songwriters and musicians. She found a strong niche in the children's performers community, she said. She also met Luke Sands, an independent producer who is now her husband.

You can see her at Adventures for Kids in Ventura on May 23 and at Pacific View Mall the following day. Both free events will be at 10:30 a.m.

She will perform pieces from "The Gift of Make-Believe--Collected and Composed by Ginger Sands for the Young and the Young at Heart." (Laughing Sun Inc., CD with book $15.95, cassette with book $12.95.)

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"We've created this originally for children ages 2 to 10 but find adults enjoy it too," Sands said. "It's kind of like a Peter, Paul and Mary-Pete Seeger thing. I've taken classical lyrical poetry by authors like Eugene Field and Robert Louis Stevenson and set their poems to music."

She has also included other classical pieces, such as "Over the Rainbow" and Shel Silverstein's "The Unicorn," all revolving around the idea of make-believe.

Sands will use props in her performance and invite children in the audience to come up and participate with her during her appearances in Ventura.

She has appeared before young audiences at theaters, hospitals, malls and day-care centers as well as at schools and libraries across the country.

Her concerts combine music, poetry, movement and storytelling with audience participation.

Sands will be taking a break from her life in Nashville to make the local appearances.

"It's been a busy year," she said. "Not only did we have our second daughter in October, but we are currently in production of a 'Make Believe' video, which we are filming at a state-of-the-art facility outside of Nashville called the Renaissance Center. In conjunction with the audio and book, it will give people a more theatrical experience with the poetry and songs."

The Gift of Make Believe Web site is at www.songs.com/make-believe, or e-mail laughinsun@aol.com for more information.

Meanwhile, you can catch her appearance in Ventura at Adventures for Kids, 3457 Telegraph Road, at 10:30 a.m. May 23 or at the second floor of the Pacific View Mall at 3301 E. Main St. May 24.

HAPPENINGS

* Monday: 11 a.m. Storytime and art featuring David McPhail's "Drawing Lessons From a Bear." Borders, 125 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., 497-8159.

* Tuesday: 7 p.m. Short Stories Group will focus on "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" by Ernest Hemingway. Borders, 497-8159.

* Tuesday: 7 p.m. Partners in Crime Mystery Group will discuss "The Orchid Thief" by Susan Orlean and Mary Higgins Clark thrillers. Borders, 497-8159.

* Tuesday: 7 p.m. Pepperdine professor Michael Collings conducts an ongoing poetry workshop. Borders, 497-8159.

* Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. Storytime about favorite colors. Ventura Barnes & Noble, 339-9170.

* Wednesday: 4-7 p.m. Refreshments, reception and other classroom giveaways for teacher appreciation day. Borders, 497-8159.

* Wednesday: 7 p.m. Stuart Woods will discuss and sign his latest book, "The Run." Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, 374-0084.

* Thursday: 7 p.m. M. Evangeline will discuss and sign "The Whiskey Eaters." Thousand Oaks Barnes & Noble, 446-2820.

* Thursday: 7 p.m. The American Girls Club will focus on "Josephina." Thousand Oaks Barnes & Noble, 446-2820.

* Friday: 7 p.m. Storytime about Clifford. Ventura Barnes & Noble, 339-9170.

* Friday: 7 p.m. Robert Crais will discuss and sign "Demolition Angel." Mysteries to Die For, 374-0084.

* Saturday: 10:20 a.m. Storytime with Dr. Seuss's "The Cat in the Hat" and other stories. Thousand Oaks Barnes & Noble, 446-2820.

* Saturday: 2 p.m. Lynne Murray will discuss "Large Target," Janet Dawson will discuss "Killing at the Track" and Jacqueline Girdner will discuss "Murder, My Deer." Signings will follow. Mysteries to Die For, 374-0084.

* Saturday: 7 p.m. Storytime and photo opportunity with "Miss Spider!" Borders, 497-8159.

* May 21: Joyce Kennedy will discuss "Distant Thunder" at the Ventura County Chapter of AAUW at 2:30 p.m. May 21 at Nona's Courtyard Cafe, 67 S. California St., Ventura. For reservations, call Edith McClintock at 659-3031.

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The Gold Coast Fiction Writers will meet from 1 to 4 p.m. May 21. Miriam Pace and Jackie Hamilton, authors of the Cupid series from Imajinn Books, will speak on writing as a team. The new meeting place is Milano's at the Marina, 1559 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura. For more information, call Carol Givner at (310) 454-6264 or e-mail her at GOLDDUETS@aol.com.

Information about book signings, writers groups and publishing events can be e-mailed to anns40@aol.com or faxed to 647-5649.

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