Mastheadheroes

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Jonathan at mic with A12 guitarIn this educational, interactive and fun concert, Mr. Sprout performs songs from his American Heroes album. Spellbinding stories and captivating songs about Martin Luther King, Jr., Sacajawea, George Washington,Jonathan in audience with microphone Amelia Earhart and Abraham Lincoln make up this concert. Huge 30” by 40” photographs of the heroes flank Mr. Sprout and his state-of-the-art BOSE sound system. The concert concludes with the inspiring "Heroes" song.

All of Jonathan's programs inspire children with music, visuals and stories about some of America's greatest citizens whose lives embraced heroic character traits including honesty, compassion, perseverance, self-discipline, responsibility, and charity.


Martin Luther King, Jr.MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (1929-1968) believed that love and peaceful protest could bring an end to social injustice. A clergyman and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, he was one of the outstanding black leaders of the United States at a time when many African Americans were clearly treated as inferior people. His house was bombed and his life and family were often threatened, but until the day he died, Dr. King continued to teach people the world over to protest peacefully in order to achieve equality and peace.

Song: "Martin" (from the American Heroes CD)


SacajaweaSACAJAWEA (1787?-1812 or 1884) met Lewis & Clark near the present-day Bismarck, North Dakota. She has become a legend in part for the strength with which she faced hardships on the difficult expedition.
     After several months of travel, the group was near starvation and in need of horses to help carry their heavy gear over the Rocky Mountains. It was Sacajawea who helped arrange the trade for horses with the chief of the Shoshone Indian tribe - her brother - whom she had not seen since she had been kidnapped by another Indian tribe six years earlier.

Song: "Sacajawea" (from the American Heroes CD)


George WashingtonGEORGE WASHINGTON (1732-99) was commander in chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, and later the first president of the United States. Known as the "father of his country," he symbolizes qualities of discipline, honor, loyalty and love of country.
     Washington courageously led his troops across the icy waters of the Delaware River during a Christmas night snowstorm to win a stunning victory over enemy German soldiers known as Hessians. The battle of Trenton re-ignited the cause of freedom and gave new life to the American Revolution.

Song: "Washington's Hat"  (from the American Heroes CD)


Amelia EarhartAMELIA EARHART (1897-1937), American Aviator, is famous for her flights across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and her attempt to fly around the world. She often used her fame to speak out against war and for women's rights.
     One of the most intriguing mysteries of the twentieth century is: What happened to Amelia Earhart? In June 1937, she left Miami, Florida, on an around-the-world flight attempt. On July 2, her plane vanished in the South Pacific. The world waited with fascination as search teams from the United States and Japan converged on the scene. But not she, her navigator, or the plane were ever found.

Song: "Amelia" (from the American Heroes CD)


Abraham LincolnABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809-65), considered to be one our country's greatest presidents, is remembered for his great human qualities. He was a patient, compassionate and just man. Though he was often criticized and in danger of assassination, he bravely led the nation by the principles he believed to be right, "with malice toward none, with charity for all."
     As president, he accomplished two major feats: he freed the slaves and kept the union of states together, despite the Civil War which threatened to tear the United States apart.

Song: "All Across The Land" (from the American Heroes CD)



“In my thirty-one years of teaching, I have never seen a program this good!”
Susan Sweet, Teacher
Atglen, PA

"A teacher who has been in our district for some twenty plus years told me your performance was the best and most well received show she has ever seen in our schools!"

Susan Green, PTO Assembly Coordinator
Cedar Knolls, NJ

“... A truly superb and inspirational concert ... You directly reflected the characteristics you write and sing about.”
Nancy Lasner, Concert Coordinator
Newtown Elementary School, Newtown, PA

"My students were in awe before you even started and they now talk about you each day.  Over the weekend, parents and students alike came up to me at a soccer tournament and asked about the concert and your CDs, all commenting how much their child has talked at home about you and the event.  Teachers are still buzzing from the songs as well."

Rebecca Connelly, Concert Coordinator
Pfaff Elementary School, Quakertown, PA

“Thank you for your wonderful American Heroes performances at our two K-3 schools. I was especially impressed with your innovative methods of introducing role models to children. The students received not only an informative history lesson through anecdote and song, but also many subtle and not-so-subtle self-esteem boosters as well. You were thoughtful, thought-provoking, well-spoken, and professional. More important, you made each child feel good about his own potential and place in history. The sound was superb (a feat in our not-so-perfect auditoriums!) due to your wonderful sound system and clear, strong voice.
     I really like your style and am grateful my children and I were able to experience your concert and to spend some time talking with you. We look forward to "More American Heroes" and to all your future projects. Perhaps it is cliché, but you should know that in the Klosowski household you qualify as a true American Hero!”
Lynne Klosowski, Cultural Arts Coordinator
Cooper Elementary School, Ringwood, NJ

"It was an honor to have you perform at Schwenksville Elementary School on such an important day...Inauguration Day (1/20/09)! Your music touched many students and teachers at our school. We can't wait to have you back next year!

Nichole Davis, Parent/Assembly Coordinator
Schwenksville, Pa

“(For graduation,) one of our teachers developed a very touching slide presentation and utilized your “Heroes” as one of the songs played in the background. Amazingly, the whole school population of almost 950 kids spontaneously started singing along; it was truly a beautiful thing. “Heroes” has become almost a theme song for Shoemaker School.
     Your music has touched our lives. Kids today need desperately to hear your positive message. I thought you should know about your legacy at Shoemaker School.”
Richard Frederick, Teacher
Shoemaker Middle School, Macungie, PA

“Most worthwhile program EVER!”
Twenty-one year veteran 1st grade teacher
Roundtown Elementary School, York, PA

"We had an ASHA Board meeting today and a lot of women said their kids loved your performance and came home singing your songs!  Great job!" 

Dori Kelly-Olson, Presenter
Hillsborough, NJ

"Your songs inspire me to learn about the heroes you write songs about.  I love your performance!  It was out of this world.  Your songs help me memorize their life for tests.  I know all of your songs by heart.  They're SPECTACULAR, man!" 

Noah D., 5th grade class
Schwenksville, PA
 

"I have never seen an audience so full of smiling and happy faces as at your concert!  (The children) kept singing and humming to themselves as they went out the door to go home.  It was almost more fun watching their reactions!"

T. Mottley, 1st Grade Teacher
Northvale, NJ

 

Here's a review of Jonathan's American Heroes One Concert performed in October, 2013 at Alfred Vail Elementary School in Morris Plains, NJ:

It's all about R-E-S-P-E-C-T at Alfred Vail School in Morris Plains

October 15, 2013 by Morristown Green Contributor

By Berit Ollestad

Who says learning can't be fun?

Certainly not the kids at the Alfred Vail Elementary School. Grammy-nominated recording artist Jonathan Sprout had them singing and dancing to his songs about Martin Luther King Jr., Sacagawea and Abraham Lincoln last week.

It had been 13 years since Sprout's last visit, and if the auditorium was any indication, it was 13 years too long.

"A hero is someone that we look up to and respect. They aren't cartoon characters, they are real people," Sprout told the children, encouraging them to learn the story of aviatrix Amelia Earhart and discover what her dreams were.  The young audience responded with squeals of delight.

Each hero was introduced with a list of clues. By the time Sprout unveiled the last one, virtually every hand shot up.

"My favorite speech by this hero was a speech that he made 50 years ago this year called the 'I Have A Dream' speech," said Sprout. After reciting some additional facts about Martin Luther King Jr., he engaged the children with song-and-dance routines.

Growing up in Hightstown, Sprout set out to sing for grown-ups.

"But I always felt like a fish out of water," he said. His mom, an elementary school teacher, pointed him to his current career path. "She sort of induced me to sing for her 3rd grade class one day."

As he was packing up to leave that performance, another teacher came over.

"I couldn't help but hear you through the walls, and I wanted to ask you if you'd be willing to consider playing what you just did for the entire school? We have $150 left over in our school fund and we could give you that," the teacher told him.

"How could I say no to that! Starving artist, $150 in 1981! In time, I realized I'd finally had found my people," Sprout recounted. "I realized rather quickly that I somehow wanted to make an impact, and not just simply make people laugh. I always had enjoyed biographies. So I am sort of like a niche within in a niche."

Over three decades, Sprout has sung at more than 5,000 children's concerts and recorded 10 CDs. Some of the proceeds from his CD sales go back to the schools.

He described his craft is "heart-motivated, not market-motivated."  One of his rules is to avoid featuring celebrities whose story is not complete. Many sports heroes, for example, have fallen from grace in recent years.

At Alfred Vail, his best reviews came from the pint-sized critics shuffling out of the auditorium.

"I liked it because it told me about the heroes," said second-grader Sofia.

Ava: "I really liked the songs!"

"It was great!" said Jonathan

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