- By Hannah Dellinger
- Posted June 5, 2014
Donna Britton Bukevicz, a talented vocalist and Warrenton resident, has
embarked on a global mission to make people think ecologically with
Bukevicz helped to organize a Virginia non-profit called Team Green
World that performs songs and dances with children, local talent and
seasoned professionals all over the nation. Their goal is to make people
think about the planet differently and to start making small changes
one step at a time with a positive musical message.
"It’s all about educating our children to think ecological,” said
Bukevicz. "We call it ‘eco-edutainment.’ It’s environmental education
for kids [and adults] of all ages.”
The idea came to Bukevicz a couple of years ago when she attended the
Pensacola Beach Song Writer’s Festival in Florida and met Ross
Orenstein, an accomplished songwriter who is known for the music he
wrote for the cartoon "McGruff the Crime Dog.” The two decided to team
up to create a children’s show that could make a difference for the
Bukevicz began recruiting all of her music industry connections, closest friends and family to make it happen.
"What I love the most about what we do is that it’s family and my
closest friends that are a part of Team Green World,” she said.
Since Bukevicz has many industry contacts in Nashville, Tenn., she
reached out to her friend, Kat "Cool Kat” Korac, who has experience with
singing, writing, performing and puppeteering.
Korac created four puppets and a costume that are used through out the
performance. She said that the puppets are great tools to reach out to
"The puppets get their attention and hold their attention,” she said.
"The puppets do some things like trash comes flying out on the floor and
the kids run up and help pick up the trash, and it’s amazing. The
puppets help them understand that, especially with their songs.”
The show is comprised of a an entire set list of upbeat songs for
children. Songs like "Think Ecologically,” "Talk About Saving the World”
and "Mother Earth” contain lyrics that drive home the importance of
being mindful of the environment. The performers sing and dance happily
with interactive props and puppets.
Team Green World also reaches out to children with their budding
mentorship program. Bukevicz decided to create the program when she saw a
talented 12-year-old singer from Auburn Middle School, Trystin Manahan,
performing at Allegro Community Music School.
"I saw Trystin singing ‘Happy’ [by Pharrell Williams] and thought, ‘Wow. What an incredible talent,’” she recalls.
With backing from corporate sponsorship Bukevicz has taken Manahan under
her wing, coaching him on singing, performance and being more
"It’s wonderful to help kids reach their goals in performance and
learning to sing a certain way and technique, but the cool thing about
what we’re doing is that our message is through our lyrics,” she said.
Manahan said that since working with Team Green World he has started to think differently about the environment.
"There’s more stuff that I do,” he said. "When I brush my teeth I used
to keep the water on, but now I turn the water off and I pick up trash
more often and recycle more often.
"They’ve also taught me how to look at nature kind of differently. You
don’t want to take it for granted, because it could be gone if we keep
doing what we’re doing.”
Manahan has a vocal talent that is awe-inspiring for someone his age. He
has performed locally numerous times, including the Fauquier Spring
Festival that took place a couple of weeks ago. He said that he started
singing when he was 6.
"I got into singing when my dad got an electric piano called a
Clavinova,” remembers Manahan. "There were songs downloaded on it and he
would sing them and I would say, ‘Can I sing them?’ And we would record
them and I would listen to them.”
Trystin performed this past weekend with Team Green World at the Green
Festival in D.C. this past weekend. The Green Festival is the largest
and longest-running sustainability and green living event in America.
The team performed all day on the Family Fun Stage and was invited to
attend the next Greens Festival in San Francisco in November.