DUNKIRK - After thousands of performances for children across Western New York, Glenn Colton is deciding to call it quits. A songwriter, author and entertainer, Colton performed for the final time at the Dunkirk Free Library as a part of the library's "Dig into reading" summer program.
"You caught the magical show," Colton said. "The moments in the show when the children and parents are all together, and the magic is happening. It was priceless."
Colton, throughout his performing career, has done thousands of shows in schools and libraries.
Glenn Colton received engagement from the crowd throughout his final performance as an entertainer.
Photo by Jimmy McCarthy
All of his shows include audience interaction like dancing, singing and clapping. In his shows, he expresses a belief in making healthy choices, and he wants the audience to open their eyes, ears and heart to his message. He also adds jokes into the mix to get a laugh out of children and parents.
Many of the kids at the show were engaged to the very end, and the heat never got to them as they danced and sang. The kids not only found amusement and excitement in the event, but they also received a message that Colton constantly expressed through his songs - read. Some of the songs that expressed this theme he wrote himself, including 'Read' and 'Another Brand New Day.' This message told the kids to check out books and read, for Colton said, "knowledge is power." He also handed out prizes that would grab the kids' interest to read.
"He has great energy, and he encourages the kids to read at every opportunity, and that is great," Jan Dekoff, Dunkirk Library director, said. "He has been here quite a number of times. His messages are very positive: Eating healthy, being smart and receiving good life lessons."
Commenting on Colton's retirement, Dekoff said the library will still try to ask him back because of the fact that he is a fun and energetic individual.
Throughout the performance, Colton continuously engaged the crowd of children and even parents to take part in the show. The limbo was a highlight that all kids enjoyed. A conga line and several other dances were other activities that children enjoyed.
Doing performances, for Colton, has been a thrilling experience. In 1969, Colton discovered his love of music. From there, he took guitar lessons and was a member of his high school jazz ensemble. When he attended Buffalo State College, he played in several bands. Since then, he has done numerous performances and concerts for different venues. But now he has decided to hang up performing full time. Since he has done thousands of performances, the memories are hard to trace back. However, he does have one memory of his time in Dunkirk that has stuck with him.
"I'll always remember the time when Ms. Pam (Czarniak) stormed from the stage and helped me do the limbo," Colton said.
For Colton, his interaction with the children will be something that he will never forget. It was his goal to send positive messages, which included making the right choices in life.
"It's the idea of sharing a magical moment in time, taking that moment and making a lasting memory that the kids will take with them," Colton said about the purpose of his shows. "I always wanted to offer something more than just craziness, so I wanted to have an educational component to the show."
Even though he is retiring, you can still listen and read his works. Colton has released three products in the past year, which include a 20-track CD and two e-books that can be found on the Amazon Kindle store at www.amazon.com.