SPRING HILL — For nearly 20 years, Cynthia Haring has made her living instructing children for whom English is a second language. But getting them to communicate with others who don't speak their native tongues wasn't always easy.
One of the more important things Haring has learned through her experiences is how music can help in that effort. She often brings her guitar into the classroom and has her students collectively join in with her, singing popular folk and pop songs.
It was through those sing-alongs that Haring came up with the idea of creating a multicultural vocal group called the World Nation Singers. From 1997 through 2002, she led an ensemble from Powell Middle School through numerous local performances at outdoor festivals around the region.
Several of those now-grown singers will join Haring and the Tampa Bay World Nation at 6 p.m. today at the Lake House in Spring Hill to celebrate the release of The Life and Times of Destiny Quibble, a 21-track retrospective CD that details Haring's 29-year career as a community music organizer.
Haring said she has enjoyed quite a musical ride during her lifetime. A former busker who performed under the name of Destiny Quibble in the subways of Chicago during the 1980s, she was at the forefront of a movement to convince city officials to overturn a ban on street performers.
"Back then, you could get arrested just for playing a guitar on a street corner," recalled Haring, 48. "We felt it was violation of our First Amendment rights. We organized protests, hired lawyers and bugged them until they finally gave in."
A multilingual specialist who currently works as an English to Speakers of Other Languages resource teacher in Pasco County, Haring spent years dividing her time between teaching and playing music. By 1991, she decided to concentrate exclusively on her classroom career, teaching English to multicultural children in Illinois and Arizona before settling in Florida in 1997.
"I thoroughly enjoy working with kids from different cultures and backgrounds," said Haring. "Helping them put their heritage into music is such a thrill to be part of."
Haring's latest project, Tampa Bay World Nation, is a vocal ensemble made up of kids from Hernando and Pasco counties. Last year, she arranged to take the group into Morrisound Studios in Tampa to record an album called A Journey Through Doo Wop and More.
"I'm so happy to have been able to provide them that opportunity," Haring said. "It's an experience none of us will ever forget."
Haring's release party this evening will be at the Spring Hill Community Association's Lake House at 1202 Kenlake Ave. in Spring Hill. Admission is free. Proceeds from the sale of CDs will support meditation programs for prisoners and the Destiny Quibble Foundation's Cocobolo Project for health and the healing of cancer patients.
Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.