Monday, May 25, 2020

Island Family Stage Front Yard Concert for Neighbors


Photos by Helen Totten | Julian Totten, a.k.a. King Bling, performs with his family in the driveway of his family’s home. His father, Shane Totten, called it a “fun, positive, small-town America, happy moment.”

Marco Island’s Totten family is a very creative and talented one. They also believe in giving back. So in the middle of our coronavirus pandemic, they came up with a creative idea. On April 1st, the Totten Family Band did a front yard concert and streamed in live on Facebook.

“I have three singers in the band,” said Shane Totten, the father and leader of the band. “I used to be in a rock and roll band when I was younger. Then I stopped to raise my family… and one by one they all started singing with me.

“For many years now they’ve been members of the No Exceptions Band, at St. Mark’s Church. They all play instruments, they all sing, and they do all the musical theatre around the island.

“My son Julian is a junior at Marco Island Academy. He’s got his own celebrity status. He goes by King Bling. All the island kids and island families know him as King Bling. He has a bunch of videos on YouTube; he’s 16.

“We did a bunch of songs from 6:30 to 7:30 to spread some joy in the neighborhood. Everybody kind of hung out in their driveways. I just turned up the speakers as loud as I could go. Then we just played a bunch of songs everybody knows. My sons Elliott and Julian did a couple of songs from King Bling’s repertoire. On a few tunes, Elliott plays with him. He goes by E.T. We did some crowd favorites like Wagon Wheel and Country Road. We added in some current stuff for the middle schoolers and high schoolers.

“It was really fun. It was loose. We invited some other kids, who came by; they kept their social distancing. It was very cool. We streamed it on Facebook and had people listening in from other states. We had people coming by, pushing their kids in strollers. It was a fun, positive, small-town America, happy-moment.”

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