Singer and actress Rena Strober (“Les Miserables” on Broadway) has made an album of children’s music to benefit the blind community. It’s a collection of “Sesame Street” favorites, featuring some of the kids she advocates for from the blind children’s choir, Dotz. The album is called “Imagine That!” It comes out this Friday.
Strober tells KCRW that when she became a mom, she felt a void in children’s music. “I was losing my mind after singing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ for the 3000th time. And I grew up on classic ‘Sesame Street,’ and I just remembered the purity of the music and the simplicity of the music. … It’s the music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss specifically, who were the original composers. And I just wanted to bring back their message and their simplicity with new voices, basically.”
Strober has been an advocate for people with blindness, and she got involved with them about seven years ago. She says at the time, she decided to say yes to every opportunity, which led her to a job as a voice teacher at the Academy of Music for the Blind.
“I fell in love with that community because their connection to music is so much deeper than the sighted world. I’ve studied music my whole life, and I’d never heard a connection like that. … I was learning as much from them as I was trying to impart to them from my vocal teacher wisdom,” she says.
Actor Jason Alexander (“Seinfeld”) also sings on the album, and he did one episode of “Sesame Street” in the past.
He says, “I’m very much in the Rena Strober camp of saying ‘yes’ when you can do things that are a little unimaginable and that you don’t know where they may lead at first. Because the journeys that we go on as a result of them tend to be some of the most extraordinary ones we get to do.”