Bill Evans has been a janitor for the Canyon Lake POA for several years. But on a couple of Friday mornings a month, he walks into the City Hall’s Multi-Purpose Room in the role he loves best. “Mr. Bill” is the beloved (and talented) piano player for the children during Preschool Story Time with Virginia Furnish, "Miss Ginny.”
“It’s the best 10 minutes of my week!” says Bill.
Bill began to play the piano in high school. Never having a formal lesson, he learned to play by ear. He also taught himself to read music “because sometimes you just have to,” he says. He played R&B music for years and then for his church congregation.
As part of his janitorial duties, Bill would set up the reading, craft and play areas for Library programs conducted by Ginny. After learning about his expertise on the piano, Ginny asked if he would play for the children.
“I immediately got hooked on doing it,” Bill says. “It’s challenging and fun.”
He enjoys playing for the children so much, Bill has written his own music and lyrics especially for Miss Ginny’s group. Upon the request of several parents, Bill is in the process of creating a book of interactive children’s songs that will include a CD. If enough interest is shown, Bill says he will make the book and CD available.
“The charge will be just enough to cover my costs. I don’t plan on making any money on it,” he says. Those interested can reach Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The preschool children of Canyon Lake and the surrounding community look forward to Friday’s Library program. Reading time begins with the children sitting quietly on a blanket as Miss Ginny reads to them from books appropriate to that week's theme.
Then, led by Miss Ginny, the children dance and sing as Mr. Bill plays happy, playful tunes. Even parents who are present join in the dance and song. They, too, enjoy his music. Afterwards, the children sit down for craft time, making fun projects to take home.
The program today, May 17, is the last of the season and will have the theme "Under the Sea." Preschool Craft and Story Time will resume in the fall.
Preschool Story Time is one of several programs sponsored by the Friends of the Library. The Library is located down the corridor from City Hall at 31516 Railroad Canyon Rd. It is open Monday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call the Library at 244-9181 or visit cityofcanyonlake.com.