One day everything changed for an ordinary rock when what started out as “A Speck In The Distance” turned out to be the Mayflower. How much do you know about Plymouth Rock? “1620-2020 is a long period of time. A lot can happen to a rock – especially a world famous one. I could tell you what happened but they aren’t my “Secrets To Tell” they’re the rock’s. Okay since you twisted my arm I’ll tell you one secret. In retrospect after becoming famous Plymouth Rock realized it had a wonderful life before 1620 as an ordinary rock and it missed the “Sights and Sounds of the Sea.
In 1920 there was the “Voice Of Plymouth Rock” at the 300th celebration in Plymouth. 100 years later and the rock’s voice is heard once again. Only this time it sounds like 28 Plymouth elementary school students singing their hearts out. The album is coming this Summer! We may have a CD release party at the Mayflower Society House. Stay tuned!
On Saturday May 4 and Saturday May 11, 2019 some Plymouth elementary school students got an opportunity to see what it was like to sing in a professional recording studio. 28 students from Cold Spring, Nathaniel Morton, West, South, Federal Furnace and Hedge elementary schools took part in a recording project of Candido Bretto’s called “The Secrets of Plymouth Rock.” Candido composed 12 songs based on a storybook of the same name written by Diane Finn and illustrated by Erin Finn Zell. The students were recorded singing at Johnny Drama Alves’ Funk Lab recording studio located here in Plymouth. EdTV was there also capturing video for future airing.
“From the time I began writing the songs I knew they needed children to be complete. It’s like a dream come true to hear all of their sweet, precious voices.” -Candido Bretto
A big “thank you” goes out to all of the music teachers. You saw the importance of this project and took time out of your personal lives to make this recording project happen. A special “thank you” goes to Taylor Nardone of Federal Furnace elementary school for enthusiastically presenting the project to the schools. Taylor was there for each school’s performance and assisted in many ways so “Thank you Taylor!”
A great big “thank you” goes out to the parents who willingly gave up a couple of hours on a Saturday to bring their child to the studio. Last but not least, thank you to all of the students who sang their hearts out. You are the new voice of Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims. From what I’ve heard thus far folks will be enjoying these recordings for a long time to come.
The recordings are in the process of being reviewed. Meanwhile you can hear snippets of the students as they are added to our Songs page.
The CD will be accompanying the book in local stores and gift shops. It will also be available for download here and other online stores.
On Saturday, April 27, 2019 “Rockin’ The Secrets of Plymouth Rock” premiered at the historic Mayflower Society House in America’s Hometown Plymouth, MA, just up the hill from Plymouth Rock. April showers usually bring May flowers and the morning it started out that way but the afternoon rain held off to the delight of author Diane Finn, illustrator Erin Finn Zell and composer Candido Bretto. Mrs. Finn narrated the rock’s story and Mr. Bretto’s music seamlessly weaved its way in and out with uptempo numbers like “Fine Day” and “Madame Crab“.
A talking rock? Surely you jest.
No joke its true! In fact it sings too. And this summer when the rock sings it will sound like 28 Plymouth children’s voices as we’re creating a music cd featuring their voices this and next Saturday.
It was a small gathering at the Mayflower Society House but they had fun! They tapped their feet and clapped their hands to the Caribbean beat of Mr. Seagull, the lilt of “Sights and Sounds of the Sea“, the rhythm of “Ouch Stop That“, and the beat of “Protect This Rock” and 9 more as Finn spoke and Bretto sang. The children in the audience were mesmerized as Candido was his usual animated self. Together he and Diane are on a mission to delight the hearts of children worldwide with a special rock’s story of innovation, exploration, survival and thanksgiving. “The Secrets of Plymouth Rock” is set to become a classic on the list of Early American based children’s music.
The author told (from “the rock’s” perspective) of the “Landing of the Pilgrims” in 1620 as well as the some of the activities of the colonists up until 1920. The rock recalled how special it felt the day in 1920 it was given a “New and Wonderful Home“. You can see Plymouth Rock from the porch in the photo.”
“It felt very special to sing those songs in that historic place knowing what it represents. They were a joy to write and I am happy to be able to share Plymouth Rock’s story with the world in this way.”
Plymouth Rock News you can use. Jefferson Elementary School Rockland music teacher Michelle Booth said, “Candido, I think you need to see Hamilton because of what you’re doing with “The Secrets of Plymouth Rock.” The night of October 3, 2018 was magical. Michelle introduced me to the music, lyrics and all that is the phenomenon called “Hamilton”. The orchestra was tight, the dancing and lighting was spectacular and the cast especially Austin Scott, Hannah Cruz and Nicholas Christopher was riveting. The Secrets of Plymouth Rock just found some new inspiration. Thanks Michelle!
I’m a late comer to the Hamilton craze. As I sat and listened I was amazed with how much work it takes to put on Hamilton. I can’t even imagine all of the logistics. The choreography alone was fascinating. When you add in the mountain of lyrics and the orchestral arrangement it’s mind-boggling. I can’t believe this all came from one person’s head, Lin Manuel Miranda. I hope to meet him someday. Hamilton taught me that early American history can be fun and interesting at the same time. It just takes the right person with the vision, talent and energy and the right team all working together to see it through from start to finish.
If I closed my eyes it was like I was listening to a studio album. The musicians performed with accuracy and lots of soul. Here’s a quick shot of the orchestra pit after the show.
“There’s a million things I haven’t done but just you wait, just you wait.
– Alexander Hamilton
Plymouth Rock News you can use. Friday, April 22, 2019 I blocked 6 hours at Cybersound Recording Studios in Boston to record children’s music, 12 songs. I came prepared with Finale sheet music and a clear vision of what I was looking for. At the suggestion of Perry Geyer Cybersound’s owner I hired Yuki Kodama to play acoustic bass. An electric bass player myself I couldn’t hand such an important role to just anybody. No surprise though. Perry’s recommendation was right on! Yuki read my sheet music accurately and played with lots of emotion. What more could I ask for? Mr. Kodama is a senior at my alma mater, Berklee College of Music Boston. I wish him all the best in his music career!
Also at the suggestion of Perry I entrusted Yuki Kanesaka to play drums. The Secrets of Plymouth Rock encompasses numerous styles of music from waltzes to rock to marches to rhythm and blues. This can be challenging to some drummers but not to Yuki Kanesaka. Yuki was solid as a Rock. Bass and drums need to lock and Mr. Kanesaka laid down a groove with a nice big pocket! Yuki understood my requirements and offered me choices that were very useful. Mr. Kanesaka possesses the winning combination of knowledge, skill and a love of playing his instrument. He followed my piano intuitively. Yuki Kanesaka is a professor and also an alumnus of Berklee College of Music Boston.
Yohei Kambe demonstrates his drumming talents on my nod to “The Sound of Music”. It’s a classic waltz called “Sights and Sounds of the Sea”. Yohei played exactly what I was looking for. “That tune was fun to play for me.” Yohei said. I can tell. It came through on the recording. The imagery I’m trying to create with this song is children playing on the beach. Perfect.
This is children’s music and I can’t wait to add the angelic voices of 6 Plymouth elementary schools to these well deserving tracks! To listen to some rough mixes with my sister Concetta singing the children’s guide tracks click here.
Introducing, “Rocking The Secrets of Plymouth Rock”
Plymouth Rock News you can use. It gives me great pleasure to announce that I’ve been selected as a 2019 ArtWeek grant recipient for a $250.00 Music Drives Us performance grant. On April 9 I will be presented with a check at the Boch Wang Center in Boston. I am so excited. It’s always nice to be recognized for your hardwork even if it is a labor of love. The grant is in support of a performance coming up on Saturday April 27, 2019.
As part of ArtWeek author Diane Finn & I will be presenting the story and music on April 27 at the Mayflower Society House located at 4 Winslow St., Plymouth MA from 1 PM to 3:30 PM. The event is called, “Rockin’ The Secrets of Plymouth Rock” Meet author Diane Finn and myself as we share the story and music for The Secrets of Plymouth Rock.
At this program you will be able to:
1. Hear the story of the rock read by the author.
2. Purchase an autographed book from the author.
3. Listen and sing along with the songs composed by Candido Bretto.
4. Take a quick stroll to Plymouth rock with the author and composer as Diane gives you more historic details about the rock’s journey. (Sponsored by Plymouth Night Tours)
5. Return to the Mayflower Society House for a brief activity.
Plymouth Rock News you can use. If you plan to visit the Mayflower II take a second to enjoy this little gem at Plymouth Rock. Since April 2017 I have found myself visiting Plymouth Rock for songwriting inspiration. During a recent visit I saw these medallions. They look like they’re made of bronze to me. I could be wrong though. I was amazed with all the detail. In the center of course is the Mayflower, at the top you see puffy clouds, to the left are 3 seagulls and along the bottom is the ocean. I was delighted with this find. I’m sure you will be too. I don’t know who the artist was but I can tell you it was designed about 100 years ago which brings me to a related subject.
The Mayflower Medallion
The Plymouth 400 celebration is right around the corner. I began wondering how many tourists visiting the Rock missed these works of art. I certainly didn’t notice them before. That’s why I wrote this article.
Plymouth Rock News you can use. Today is Forefather’s Day in Plymouth MA and below is a link to a video created by Hawk Visuals that was shot at 5:30AM this morning. The event is an annual tradition of Plymouth Old Colony Club celebrating the arrival of the Pilgrims on December 22, 1620. The POC was formed in 1769. Happy Forefather’s Day America! Enjoy!
Plymouth Rock News you can use. Johnny Drama and his Funky Entourage are getting ready for the 400th Anniversary of the Arrival of the Pilgrims Celebration. Check out this Behind The Scenes recording of a rehearsal of Drama singing with his sister Elizabeth (Lee Lee) Alves, the Theme Song of the book “Have You Ever Visited Me?”
Protect This Rock
Here’s another Behind The Scenes rehearsal. This time it’s of Song #10 “Protect This Rock” sung by everybody in Drama’s Funk Lab including a guest star. Can you guess who she is?
Note: At this point in the book the Town Fathers of Plymouth MA make the decision to protect Plymouth Rock from souvenir hunters.
Plymouth Rock News you can use. Presenting our first Plymouth Rock karaoke video! We intend to create more karaoke videos as we go along. “Have You Ever Visited Me” (sung by the Rock itself) is the theme song of “The Secrets of Plymouth Rock”.
I’ve never made a karaoke video before. How did I do?
Plymouth Rock tells the story of the Arrival of the Pilgrims in The Secrets of Plymouth Rock.
The karoake video can help children to more quickly learn the words to the songs. If you would like us to make a karaoke video of a particular song from the show please let us know. We hope you’ll share this page on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. When you do you’ll help 3rd grade children from sea to shining sea rock their knowledge of Plymouth Rock while rockin’ a karaoke video.