Middnight on Main: Two Headliners Return for Second Year

2012 was the inaugural New Year's Eve celebration for Middletown's family friendly end-of-the-year celebration and featured Wesleyan alum SteveSongs and the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Drummers.


It's time to be a kid again if only for one night.

No longer is children's music relegated to the Sprout and Nick Jr. crowd exclusively.  If you, like me, raised children knee-deep in the questionable musical excellence of late-90s to late-2000s Sesame Street, (gulp) the Wiggles, Wonder Pets, Blues Clues and Barney, your first exposure to high-quality musicanship was a revelation.

Now a PBS children's show personality, Mr. Steve, (we know him as Steve Roslonek) of SteveSongs, a Wesleyan University alumnus whose repertoir spans an unbelievable range of genres, is never too big a star to do a sound check here in Middletown at First Church of Christ's 1,000-seat sanctuary.

He'll perform for Middnight on Main this Dec. 31, here in Middletown, twice, at 3 and 4 p.m., and there's little chance you won't get a good seat as the acoustics here are phenomenal. And although I am partial to his On a Flying Guitar album (meaning I know and sing every dang word even though for the life of me I cannot find the CD), his newest is Orangutan Van, which you can preview here.

Roslonek has been writing and performing his award-winning music for kids and families for the past 11 years, blending participatory songs, clever stories and great melodies enjoyed by children and their parents alike.

From 11:30 p.m. to after midnight, Kaoru Watanabe, a New York-based Western flute and fue player and taiko drummer, joined by other master drummers, will perform the Hachijodaiko method of percussion on the lawn of Holy Trinity Church.

Remember as a child, the first time you heard percussion? It could have been at a Memorial Day parade, a school concert or CD or live show of African drumming. The way the drum seemed to supercede the beating of your own heart — gently reminding you that this music may be heard by you, may eventually be played by you, but never will be owned by you?

Such is taiko drumming.

This style of percussion involves placing the drum vertically atop a wooden platform, allowing two percussionists to play this physically demanding art form.

Don't miss the culminating performance of Middnight on Main this Dec. 31 at 11:30 p.m. Check out our videos here for a sampling of what's in store.

If you sign up to volunteer at the event for the 9 p.m. to midnight shift, you'll receive a free adult admission button and volunteer T-shirt. Contact (860) 301-6634 or info@middnight.org today to sign up.

And if you are on Twitter, start using the #Middnight hashtag now. On Dec. 31, Middletown Patch will be running a Cover it Live blog and all your Tweets and photos will be pulled into the stream!

Related stories

  • SteveSongs Recess Rocks Video Filmed at Macdonough
  • VIDEO: PBS Kids Star SteveSongs Delights Middletown Kids at Preview Performance
  • Community Health Center Unveils City's New Year's Eve Fest
  • Middletown to Splash Onto State's New Year's Eve Fest Stage
  • VIDEO: Middnight on Main Preview Features Japanese Drumming
  • Middnight on Main Returns for City-Wide New Year's Eve Fete

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