Bill Schilling's Slides, Songs, & Stories

Updated October 12, 2001

Bill Schilling is a born traveller who has driven across the country 10 times. Although he has spent over half his life in Northeastern Ohio, he has also lived on Cape Cod, in the Pacific Northwest, and in the desert Southwest. He has backpacked, hiked, and camped in 30 of our national parks and many other natural areas in all four seasons. He enjoys sharing his remarkable photography of these regions and of other subjects with his audiences, drawing on his collection of over 25,000 slides in the unique combination of pictures and folk-style music which is Bill Schilling's Slides, Songs, & Stories.

The actual program utilizes a cassette tape which controls a dissolve unit with two or more slide projectors for flowing, interesting changes between slides, not the harsh changes associated with single projector shows. The tape also includes recorded performances of Bill on various instruments and vocals, sometimes joined by other musicians including Carol Gaj. Bill's live performances add to the tapes by highlighting instruments, giving extra information about his photography, and allowing him to add elements of his concert performances.

The spectacular programs of Schilling's Slides, Songs, & Stories are available when lighting, time, space, and other conditions permit. While designed to run about an hour, times can be adjusted to meet your needs. Complete performances of the slide programs use a member of your group following simple directions to operate the equipment. Present slide programs include The Land Knows You're There, National Parks, What a Wonderful World, and Christmas Carols and More. If and Scenes & Views of Home are the next ones in line to be developed. Check to see if they are far enough along for your program if they sound most interesting to you,

If is a journey into the world of creativity using songs from the real world and fantasy worlds. Most of the songs in the program have an important "if . . ." clause. When compared with the other programs, the songs here are generally slower and more thought-provoking. Thus, this program may be more appropriate for older or family audiences than for young audiences. However, since the program was also developed to provide inspiration for students in schools involved in creative writing units, it may be appropriate for all ages of students in those schools. The slide shows include Cape Cod, mountain views, other natural areas, and animals.

The Land Knows You're There concentrates on the idea that one person can make a difference in the world. Environmental issues and endangered species are included in slide shows that range from the sky-blue waters and waterfalls in the land of the Havasupai (a side canyon of the Grand Canyon) to the drainage area of the Missouri River to several of our country's waterfalls to facts about whales. This program has many fun and informative parts for audiences of all ages, and it is highly interactive.

National Parks helps the audience to discover the beauty, wonder, and importance of up to 30 of our national parks that Bill has been lucky enough to travel through (in many ways) and to photograph. The songs that accompany the slides are ones that Bill has associated with particular parks. The journey includes some fun times and emphasizes geography as maps are used to show where the parks are located, and the viewers find out what the areas are like.

Scenes & Views of Home is Bill's attempt to share some of the interesting perspectives of the area of Northeastern Ohio where he grew up and now lives. The songs and photographs take us through the growth process, and they examine some of the natural and human-affected areas in the region. It is an appropriate program for folks from any area (including Northeastern Ohio) as it suggests the importance of being involved with the places and the people around us.

What a Wonderful World journeys to several parts of the United States which Bill has gotten to enjoy where he has grown in his appreciation of our wonderful world. His photography takes us from the east coast to the west coast with many stops in between, concentrating special attention on wildflowers and moving water. The songs are well matched to the settings, and they give the audience a chance to join in on some material in one of Bill's more serene programs.

Christmas Carols & More features Bill leading a sing-along of many favorite Christmas carols (with his live and taped accompaniment) with photography of Christmas scenes of decorations in churches, malls, and elsewhere including many creche scenes with the scenes fitting the mood of each song. Bill also uses some other songs and selected slide shows from his other programs relating them all to the Christmas theme (and still allowing the audience to get to know some of the natural world photography that makes Bill's programs special).


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Contact Information

Bill Schilling

984 Homewood Avenue

Salem, Ohio 44460-3816