About the artist
Dave Hepler is a pianist based in Indianapolis. He’s been a musician for 40 years, and has worked with Arts for Learning for 15 years teaching kids about jazz, creativity, and the power of improvisation. Dave studied at the Indiana University School of Music, and he has performed all throughout the Midwest. In Indianapolis, he has performed with a number of jazz musicians, and has been the house pianist at the Midtown Grill for over 20 years. By combining the art of storytelling with music, Dave opens kids’ minds to a new world of new sounds, melodies, and feelings. “Many times, it’s the kids’ first exposure to words and live music,” Dave said. “The hope is that it will inspire them to read more stories and learn more music—and that often happens.” Students take many lessons away from Dave’s performances, including: practice does make one better, working together yields good results, and that sometimes, just trying something new opens new doors.
Will Gould is an Indianapolis-based performance artist who specializes in acting, storytelling and impersonations. He’s been a performing since 1982, and he’s been with a teaching artist with Arts for Learning for 25 years. Will has a B.F.A. from The Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University; he taught Theatre Literature at The Orchard School from 1991-1997. Will does literature-based programming both by himself and with accompaniment from a pianist, Dave Hepler. “My programs are infused with vocal interpretations and more than a dash of nonsense and lunacy,” Will says. His energetic approach gets all students—even the most reserved ones—involved in the action. “I have a way with reluctant or shy students,” he says, adding that he hopes all of the students he works with come away with a new or renewed appreciation for the arts. “If I’ve encouraged even one student in the audience to pursue the arts and their talents, I feel I’ve done a good job,” he says. “Hopefully, their imaginations will be sparked and they’ll learn new ways to solve problems and new lessons about empathy, active listening, and collaboration.”