Houston Music

Heights Kids' Day Of Music In Love Park

The 8th annual Heights Kids' Day of Music will take place on Saturday, March 26 at Love Park.
The 8th annual Heights Kids' Day of Music will take place on Saturday, March 26 at Love Park. Photo By Christi Gell
When children get bitten by the music bug, the course of their entire lives can change. Exposing kids to the arts and music isn't always happening, but one Houston organization has been working hard to change that with its yearly festival.

The 8th annual Heights Kids' Day Of Music will take place on Saturday, March 26 at Love Park in the Heights. “Our mission is to inspire kids to have a lifelong love of and engagement with music and the arts,” says Christi Gell, president of the organization.

This year the festival will have two stages with live music and performances by Houston area theater groups. Participating bands include Uncle Jumbo, Blaggards, Steel Vibrations and Bayou City Blues All Age Drum & Bugle Corps.

The festival will have a Creative Zone with more than 30 Houston area organizations ranging from the Houston Grand Opera to the Back To Rock Music School who will be on hand to engage with visitors and encourage interactive experiences throughout the day as well as having their own performances on the stages.

“We want the festival attendees to have a really rich experience and anything that’s interactive helps with that. It gives the organizations that are in our Creative Zone the opportunity to keep people at their booths a little bit longer and talk to them about the programs that they have so it’s beneficial for everyone,” Gell says.

There will be two interactive tents, new additions to the festival made possible by grants by the Houston Arts Alliance, with Just Adds Beats and The Joy of Djembe Drumming, two additions that Gell hopes will capture the attention of some of the older kids who visit the festival.

click to enlarge Local kids musician Andyroo also founded Just Add Beats, an after school program that teaches kids how to record and mix music. - PHOTO BY CHRISTI GELL
Local kids musician Andyroo also founded Just Add Beats, an after school program that teaches kids how to record and mix music.
Photo By Christi Gell

“Just Add Beats is so great because it's such an integral part of music in today's world where you are recording different sounds and mixing different tracks together,” says Gell of the organization that provides after school programs and camps where kids can learn to record and mix their own songs.

The festival is free and attendees are encouraged to register online to get speedy access to their wristband the day of the event. There will be food onsite provided by Tacos A Go Go, Chick-Fil-A Sawyer Heights, Awesome Bites and Hugs & Donuts.

Heights Kids' Day of Music began in 2014 when Gell, who had just a few years prior started a side project from her day job in the oil and gas industry to teach parent and child music classes, noticed a lack of children's festivals focusing specifically on arts and music.

“I got this idea and I rounded up some other people who thought it was a great idea too and so out of this the Heights Kids' Day of Music was born.”

“When you go to a Houston Symphony concert or Houston Grand Opera, you can tell that the audience is older."  She began asking herself important questions to fulfill her vision, "How do we start engaging this younger audience and families in particular? How do we get them knowing that outside of the purple dinosaur Barney, there's this wealth and that any music can be children's music.”

"Any music can be children's music."

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As a long time resident of the Heights, she admired Love Park and recognized it as an underutilized park in Houston. “It’s got a great space and it’s right off the hike and bike trail. It just grew out of the fact that I wanted to support that park,” says Gell.

“You're going to come here and really immerse yourself,” says Gell of the festival. The Heights Kids' Day of Music coincides with the Bayou City Arts Festival taking place in Memorial Park throughout the weekend bridging a weekend full of art for Houston families and possibly serving to encourage out of towners to come spend the weekend in Houston.

In previous years, Gell has been pleasantly surprised by feedback from families who reported that after attending the festival their children requested to take music lessons or classes from some of the participating organizations.

At a time when music and the arts are constantly getting cut from public school programs, the Heights Kids' Day of Music serves as a place to connect families and schools to organizations who can provide enrichment in the arts and music.

“It’s unfortunate,” says Gell of the lack of support for arts education at a federal and state level. “So much research is out there that says what an impact music and arts have on the full education of a child and their brain development so it’s too bad that it seems to be the first thing that gets cut but we are hoping that by connecting people to these different groups they have an opportunity to either bring them in personally or through their schools.”

The Heights Kids' Day of Music will take place on Saturday, March 26 at Love Park, 1000 W 12 St, 10 a.m.. to 2 p.m., Free to attend for all ages
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Gladys Fuentes is a first generation Houstonian whose obsession with music began with being glued to KLDE oldies on the radio as a young girl. She is a freelance music writer for the Houston Press, contributing articles since early 2017.
Contact: Gladys Fuentes