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Introducing David Edwards, Troubadour to Tots

Posted on April 1, 2017, by Loretto Community

By Cecily Jones

David Edwards entertains the children at Loretto Child Care Center.
Photo by Peg Jacobs

One might bestow the honorific “troubadour to tots” on co-member David Edwards because he can be found, guitar slung over his shoulder, playing and singing folk songs and his own songs for the children at the Loretto Child Care Center and the Head Start Program in the little town of Loretto, Ky. Not long after he and his wife, Kaye, also a co-member, moved here in February 2016 (they live just up the road from the Motherhouse), David began visiting the center. And since last September he regularly has been engaging with the kids in the classrooms of the two groups during his twice-monthly sessions there.

David not only plays and sings the songs, but also teaches them to his tiny friends. “I’m not a meeting person,” he said, explaining why he chose not to join one of several committees at the Motherhouse, opting instead to offer his talent at the center, which has long-time Loretto Community connections.

When the couple relocated here from Lynchburg, Va., David had just retired from 13 years as the minister and covenant member of the Church of the Covenant of the Christian Church/Disciples of Christ denomination. Both his vocation as an ordained minister and his music and teaching talent “come naturally.” His father was also a Disciples minister; his mother, a teacher. The family’s roots lie in southwestern Virginia, Appalachian country, where music is a constant of every aspect of life. David grew up singing, hearing fiddle and zither music and acquiring his first guitar when in high school.

He and Kaye married during the Christmas break of their senior year at Lynchburg College. After two years of alternative service as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and three years at Lexington Theological Seminary, David began a ministerial career during which he served congregations in Kentucky, Indiana and Virginia. In the late 1980s he was artist-in-residence with the Amherst County (Va.) Schools, using traditional U.S. folk songs to teach singing, geography and history.

David’s musical gifts have enabled him to record and produce several CDs. Some have intriguing titles: “The Greatest Things: Folk Songs for Children” followed by a small- type parenthetical “and older folks, too!” Another is called “Arabella’s Eyes,” named in honor of the sweet granddaughter of Kaye and David.

The most recent CD, created in December and January, contains seven original “Songs for Children,” four of them written last autumn. David comments that they were “inspired by my work with the children at the Loretto Child Care Center and Head Start as well as by the farmland, fields and lakes of the Motherhouse.” The titles include “Dragonfly Song,” “Bill the Bullfrog,” “Cloud Song,” “Care for the Earth,” “Why Did God Make the Gnats?,” “How Gentle the Rain,” and “The Greatest Things.”

Among other music-related accomplishments are a children’s book of music and art based on David’s song “At Midnight on Christmas Eve” and his work on a hymnal development committee to produce a new hymnal for the Christian Church/Disciples of Christ. A complete roster of the creations of this troubadour to Kentucky tots and information about him are available at www.davidledwardsmusic.com. Proceeds from the sales of his works go to programs serving children, including the Loretto Child Care Center and the Loretto Head Start Program.

A profile of Kaye Edwards, also an ordained Disciples of Christ minister, will appear in a future issue of Interchange.


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