Cynthia Haring grew up in a home filled with harmony. Her father, Earl Haring, was a musician from the age of 5 and encouraged his daughter to pursue her dreams of following in his imposing footsteps. And she did, trudging forward with an impressive resume of her own that began in 1982 with her first recording, "Public Rehearsals," under her musical pseudonym Destiny Quibble.
Today Haring, producer/director of World Nation, works with Hernando and Pasco children at rehearsals, the recording studio and live shows under the name Tampa Bay World Nation. Their new 18-song CD, entitled "Cruisin' in My Wagon: A Journey through Doo Wop, Pop and Swing" features collaborations with several creative and widely acclaimed names - Steve Horne (Doo Wop Mob), Bobby Hendricks (Drifters) and Richie Merritt (Marcels) - to compile a work of musical genius.
World Nation was created in 1991 to "uplift humanity by providing a positive outlet for the creative expression of talented, but often overlooked, young people." At that time the organization worked with children ages 5 and older from multilingual, multicultural backgrounds in the Iowa-Illinois Quad Cities and Muscatine, Iowa. They merged with another organization, Reaching Across Divisions (RAD) in Muscatine, Iowa, which shared a common goal of bringing together talented adults and children for a musical performing and recording endeavor.
World Nation's debut recording, "Welcome to Our World," included singers from the Quad Cities, where Haring grew up. Recorded in Chicago in 1992, the collection featured songs in nine languages - Swahili, Japanese, Spanish, Hindi, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian and English - and three original songs. Next came "Songs of the Colorado River," recorded in Hollywood with kids from the tribes of Parker, Ariz., in 1995. After Haring moved to Florida in 1997, she organized the Powell (Middle School) World Nation Singers, with the encouragement and support of then-principal Cy Wingrove. They performed for thousands of elementary school students at Hernando County schools as well as at regional events and state conferences. Then in 2008, the group released "A Tribute in Five Languages" as part of a fundraiser to support the local Hispanic Scholarship Civic and Cultural Foundation, which awards four scholarships a year to graduating seniors in Hernando County.
On Saturday, Cynthia Haring & World Nation will host their "Doo Wop, Pop and Swing" CD release party at the Oasis Coffee Spot in New Port Richey. The event will include a pre-show at 7:30 p.m. featuring solo performances by some of the youngsters on the CD followed by the CD Showcase from 8 to 10 p.m.
Included on the CD are Doo Wop, Pop and Swing favorites like "Oh You Beautiful Doll," "Pretty Little Angel," "Blue Moon," "Summer Place," and "Mister Sandman," all with some deep personal connection to music lovers of all ages.
"'Mister Sandman' was always my mother's favorite song," said Haring, who dedicated the CD to her parents. "Much of the CD celebrates my mother and her love of music. She wasn't a performer, but her life was filled with these happy songs that she sang to us as kids and later to folks at senior centers."
The original theme song for the CD, "Cruisin' in My Wagon," was written for Haring's little nephew, Pierce, now 2, who struggled with complications of a premature birth. Other originals include "In Your Arms" and "Sweetie Pie," written by Haring and Valdeos. The classic song, "I Don't Know Why (I Just Do)," features Haring's father, Earl, "on the song that won his wife's heart in 1952."
As Haring was growing up in Iowa, music became the backbone of her future. Her experiences in performing, recording and songwriting, as well as her years as an English as a Second Language educator in the Midwest, Arizona and Hernando and Pasco counties have helped guide this latest masterpiece with some of the area's best young talent. The young performers include Justin Bacchi, Samantha Gee, Ashley Giron, James Kuntz, Crimson Leavitt, Caitlin and Shane Matthews, Katie Meisner, Mike Mekus, Mikaela Mulch, Celeste Orellana, Matthew Romeo, Dakota and Lyndsey Ruiz, Aditya Shah and Annika Sly. The group creates a world of wonder with their nostalgia music, and some of the group's talented singers can often be seen at the Show Palace in Hudson and Stage West in Spring Hill. Dakota and Lyndsey Ruiz will be appearing in "Les Miserables" at Stage West in November.
"This nostalgia CD creates a musical bridge between kids and grandparents," Haring said. "We are grateful to our parents, our grandparents and the Doo Wop artists who have supported our musical mission, as we pass the torch of this great music to another generation."
The CD release party is free to the public, with all ages welcome. CDs will be available for purchase while the performers take center stage. Haring and assistant director Katia Valdeos, a native of Peru and teacher in Hernando County, will also perform.
Tune in to Cameron Dilley's "Friday Morning Show" on WMNF Radio 88.5 FM this morning just after the 8 a.m. news to hear some songs and an interview with Haring and Valdeos and a couple members of the group. For information about the event, World Nation or the CD, visit www.world nationgroup.com or call (352) 686-7038.