Four Stars for Fillmore Stars
Fillmore Elementary students rock and rolled Monday afternoon to the music of Thaddeus Rex, an award-wining children's songwriter and acoustic rock singer.
The show was a reward for the school, which recently earned accreditation as a Four Star school in Indiana. Fillmore Principle Brad Hayes told students at the beginning of the convocation that of 1,800 eligible schools their school was only one of 177 chosen for the award.
The idea came from Fillmore teacher Cathy Deaton who saw Rex perform at a Crawfordsville restaurant. Deaton's three-year old was enthralled with Rex as were the seven and nine year-olds with her.
After talking to the performer, Deaton knew this was a great way to inspire kids to read through music. The teacher made arrangements to bring the award-winning performer to South Putnam's elementary schools.
Deaton, who is in charge of the High Ability Grant, used that money to help fund Monday's performance.
The singer songwriter combines a rock and folk music style with a healthy dose of comedy and mixes in lots of interaction with the audience.
Rex performs original songs and shares his secret source of songwriting ideas--books. His repertoire includes songs inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Captain Underpants, Green Eggs & Ham, Jack and the Beanstalk and War of the Worlds.
Rex claims his best ideas come from books. "I love writing and performing and its important kids know I couldn't do any of this if I didn't read constantly."
Born in Danville, lll., he grew up in Indiana and spent his formative years reading and playing in bands. He was an avid reader.
While studying at Indiana University, Rex had the opportunity to create, write and star in a regular segment for the Emmy Award winning PBS kid show, "The Friday Zone."
In 2003, Thaddeus left PBS to write, record and perform full-time going on to win prestigious honors from United Parenting Publications and the Children's Music Web Awards' Best song 2004 with his first CD "Martian Television Invasion."
He offers free writing creative writing lessons for teachers and parents and kids can participate in a writing contest on his web site. In the style of television show American Idol, this poetry contest offers kids an opportunity to become professional songwriters and even earn royalty checks.
Just like Idol, the contest has a yearly winner voted on by other kids who sign into the web site.
Rex's latest album, "We Wanna Rock," just won the Best Recording 2007 award from the Children's Music Web Awards, which is decided completely by kids.
Rex also performed at Central Elementary on Monday and Reelsville Elementary on Tuesday. Kids interested in participating in the writing contest can go to Rex's web site at www.thaddeusrex.com.