‘Beads on One String’ to hit the stage for diversity awareness

Published 8:16 am Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mower County residents can come together Thursday for some family fun, a free meal, a concert and a lesson on tolerance and diversity.

“Beads on One String,” a concert put on by author and musician Dennis Warner and his band, the Ds, will take place at Knowlton Auditorium in Austin High School at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night. A free meal will be provided at AHS at 6 p.m.

Dennis Warner and the Ds are no strangers to Austin Public Schools, according to Cori McRae, a gifted and talented specialist at Woodson Kindergarten Center. They’ve been performing at Woodson for two years prior. A public performance wasn’t even considered until McRae thought about getting Warner’s message to a larger audience.

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“It turned into this huge concert that we’re having now,” according to McRae.

“Beads on One String” originated as a children’s’ book about how people are connected to each other, like beads on a string, even if sometimes the beads aren’t always the same. From there, the book spawned into a concert tour featuring Warner and his band, as well as a school program promoting anti-bullying and respect for others.

“We’re teaching them that we’re all unique in our own way,” McRae said. “We all have similarities, we all have feelings. We all can love and can be hurt.”

Thanks to grants from the Austin Human Rights Commission and the Alliance for Educational Equity, Dennis Warner and the Ds will perform three times Thursday, twice for Woodson students and again that night.

“We thought it would be a really good opportunity to show the community what the kindergartners have been learning,” Kristi Beckman, the district’s integration coordinator said. “It’s important that we spread that message with our adults and our kids and our staff and all of our community.”