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Houstonians Celebrated a Decade of Impact at Heights Kids’ Day of Music 2024


An especially fun event for music-loving families took take place on Saturday, March 23, 2024 in Love Park. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on that day, the annual festival, Heights Kids’ Day of Music (HKDM), celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a Decade of Impact. When the festival began ten years ago, “. . . we wanted a way to get kids and families excited about music and to introduce them to different arts organizations in Houston,” says Christi Gell, president and founder of HKDM. “Each year, we hear stories about how kids and families get more engaged with music and the arts after the festival. Kids sign up for music classes, families attend performances of the groups they meet at the festival, and educators bring programs from our Creative Zone organizations into their schools.” 

Looking at this year’s program and the lineup of performers, it’s no wonder kids and parents participate even more in music-related activities after attending the popular festival. The instrument Petting Zoo introduced attendees to different types of instruments and encouraged them to try them out. The Joy of Djembe Drumming group led hands-on drumming experiences and presented drumming performances in the Joy of Drumming tent. In the Singing Station, Opera in the Heights and Ars Lyrica Houston led singing workshops and presented a special performance of the children’s play Maria’s Magical Music Adventure, which was underwritten by Connie Kwan-Wong and CKW LUXE Magazine. The whimsical play was written by Tim Fried-Fiori and Emma Kent Wine, directed by Tim Fried-Fiori, and produced by Express Children’s Theater and Ars Lyrica Houston. It is based on the Ars Lyrica Houston children’s book of the same name written by Emma Kent Wine and is a must-see.

The Creative Zone, where 36 arts organizations, each with its own music- or arts-focused booth, came together, is what makes HKDM the most unique. Here, attendees were invited to participate in activities offered by each organization. Many of these organizations, including, but not limited to, Houston Grand Opera, The Alley Theatre, Institute of Contemporary Dance in Houston, pARTnerschools, Segundo Barrio Children’s Chorus, Young Audiences of Houston, Houston Tidelanders, and Houston Youth Symphony also performed onstage, showcasing their family and children’s/youth programming. 

Starting at 1p.m., attendees participated in a Creative Zone scavenger hunt and picked up birthday cupcakes from Creative Zone booths. Everyone who completed the scavenger hunt was entered to win one of three gift baskets that included free tickets to performances of the Creative Zone organizations, sweet treats, art supplies, and more.

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Musical guests headlining on the performance stages were the Sparky Parker Band, Jonn Del Toro Richardson, and three of Houston’s favorite children’s musicians: Tom’s Fun Band, Andyroo & The Andyrooniverse, and Uncle Jumbo. The performance stages have expanded to include the Carter, Cooley, and Love Stages, named after three key founders of The Heights.

With all this creativity, it is clear that  the festival is successful in its mission, which is to inspire kids to have a lifelong love of, and engagement with, music and the arts by introducing them to the talents of local musicians and arts organizations. It is the only kids’ festival in Houston focused 100 percent on music and the arts.

Annually, HKDM holds a lyrics contest to showcase the voices of third-to-fifth graders in Houston. Because HKDM is celebrating its tenth anniversary, this year’s theme was Best Birthday Ever. The three lucky winners had their lyrics woven together in a song that was revealed onstage at 12 p.m. the day of the festival. Kawanza Egwuagu, an HKDM board member, said this about the contest: “Entrants are encouraged to delve into their personal experiences, memories, and aspirations that embody the perfect day!” To learn more about the Lyrics Contest on the HKDM website, please visit

It was a day filled with fun, music, creativity, and laughter and everyone is already looking forward to next year.

The Heights Kids’ Day of Music is free and attracts 4000 attendees annually. 

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