Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Convergence Polka - FREE MP3

I have a good friend named Rochelle Santopoalo. Rochelle is the founder of GLOBAL HALLOWEEN ALLIANCE which operated until 2005. Their mission was to provide a network for Halloween lovers, promote a positive view of Halloween, educate the public about celebrations of Halloween, and elevate Halloween to the status of a national holiday. Receiving her Ph.D. in Human & Organizational Systems from The Fielding Institute , her dissertation explored the story of yard haunters across America. Friends and colleagues refer to her as the Halloween Ambassador. I refer to her as our Halloween Den Mother. Rochelle also was the Publishing Editor of Happy Halloween Magazine. From her site (click here) "Halloween fans will find an amazing variety of articles on their favorite season, courtesy of Happy Halloween Magazine. Each issue is packed with interesting articles including celebrity profiles, collectibles, community celebrations, Halloween decorating and Halloween party ideas, how-to projects, and personal stories all about celebrating Halloween in the USA and the world.
Happy Halloween Magazine was published from 1998 - 2002. A few select articles per issue are available online. Back issues are no longer available." I had the pleasure of writing some articles for Happy Halloween Magazine (they can be found online here).

So...here's an article that Rochelle wrote about the Global Halloween Convergence (condensed and reduced)
What is a Halloween Global Convergence? : by Rochelle Santopaolo

What is it? Why have it? Who's it for? While interviewing folks around the country for my dissertation on Halloween, I discovered that people who loved Halloween were very isolated. While they had a passion for all things related to their beloved holiday, there were few people with whom they could share ideas. Each person I interviewed was surprised to find that there were other people who were just as crazy about the holiday! At the time I thought, "Wouldn't it be great if we could all get together and have a fun time?" And the idea for the convergence was born.
In contrast to the formality of a convention or trade show, a convergence is a coming together—a forum for people to gather and share information in a relaxed, fun and joyful environment. And so, the purpose of the convergence is simple - to provide an opportunity for people who love Halloween to get together. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please come with photos and stories and a desire to have a good time. No doubt you will leave with new ideas, new ghoulfriends and memories of the quintessential Halloween celebration. Just think, now we can celebrate Halloween twice a year!
Rochelle Santopoalo is the Publishing Editor of Happy Halloween Magazine.
I missed the first two Global Halloween Convergence's (Salem and New Orleans), but did get to enjoy the 3rd Global Halloween Convergence in San Jose, CA and 4th Global Halloween Convergence in Sleep Hollow, NY. I DJ'd the 3rd and was a speaker and DJ at the 4th. I also created a song for the 4th Global Halloween Convergence for my friend Rochelle called "The Convergence Polka". I am offering that today as the "download of the day". This single was only available for sale at the Global Halloween Convergence in Sleep Hollow, NY and has not been made available since - until now. This was a fairly lame attempt at a polka, but a lot of folks like it so what the heck. My sister lends her vocal skills as my back-up singer and the schmultz is laid on thick. Click here to download the FREE MP3 of "The Convergence Polka" by none other than Mark Harvey (who knew?)(link disabled)

Here's an excerpt from an article in Haunted Attraction Magazine by Pam Liebson about the San Jose convergence:
"The highpoint of the weekend and a tradition of the event was the annual Costume Party that was held on Saturday night. Mark Harvey of Pumpkinland Studios handled the DJ position, and Halloween songs filled the air while party goers watched the door in anticipation of the next incredible costume. It was hard to tell who was who under all the makeup, wigs and masks, and sometimes the only way to tell was by process of elimination. A wolf in granny clothes escorted little Red Riding Hood and a furry fully-suited werewolf hounded her also. Two doctors wheeled in their mental patient, while a mysterious sultan and his slave girl tore up the dance floor. Witches seemed to fly around the dance floor on their brooms to the music, and in keeping with the San Jose ambiance, a skeletal cowboy, his settler girlfriend, a ghostly “pro-specter” and his ghoulish saloon girl danced into the night."
Click here for the full story

Both events were incredible and I was very disappointed when I found out that Rochelle could not continue the Global Halloween Convergence. I am still friends with many of the folks I met at the two Convergence's I attended and I thank Rochelle for bringing together such a great group of folks.


More from Rochelle's site about the Global Halloween Alliance:
At the Alliance, our goals are simple:

  • To provide a network for Halloween lovers who are hopelessly in love with Halloween, and
  • To promote a positive view of Halloween, a time when fantasy & festival come together to create the Greatest Play Day of the Year.

To help us reach these goals we:

  • Publish HallowZeen, the only online publication dedicated to celebrating Halloween...the greatest play day of the year!

  • Sponsor the Halloween Postal Stamp Campaign, initiated on August 13, 1999
  • Published Happy Halloween Magazine (1998-2002), designed to help Halloween fans explore the fantasy... and discover the possibilities
  • Sponsored the Global Halloween Convergence (like a convention but a whole lot more fun)

  • Hosted the Halloween Alliance, the Official Fan Club of Halloween

Someday I hope that we (Rochelle's friends and some new friends) can pull together the dream and the goals she set forth. A noble cause for our noble holiday.

Mark Harvey

Click here if you can't figure out where you're supposed to click to download the song. (link disabled)

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