Post Independent Staff
NEW CASTLE ” The hills of the Western Slope are alive with the “The Sound of Music.”
But instead of Julie Andrews and seven rowdy kids, this family story features six of eight Jones kids drawn to musicals like Maria was to crisp apple strudels.
“We love that movie, actually,” said Dina Jones, mother of Matt, 19; Ben, 17; Rachael, 15; Andrew, 13; William, 11; Anna Rose, 9; Becca, 6; and Beth, 4.
For two weekends this month, Ben, Rachael, Andrew, William, Anna Rose and Becca performed in the Defiance Community Players presentation of “Oliver!” at Glenwood Springs High School. The play wrapped up Nov. 20 with the six kids on stage at one time during “Consider Yourself.” Rather ironic that six siblings starred in a production about orphans.
“They were all orphans and thieves,” said Dina, whose husband is Tom Jones, pastor at New Hope Church in New Castle. “It’s really fun. They all sing and dance.”
Before “Oliver!” many of the Jones kids performed in New Castle’s Garden School production of “Fiddler of the Roof” and Rifle High School’s “Sound of Music.”
“I think we’ve set a record this time. It’s been a real family commitment,” said Dina, of her six children who all participated in one production. “I think they really enjoy the community, especially with being around other kids.”
When the Jones kids aren’t learning dance cues for local productions, the children ” minus Matt who attends Colorado Christian University in Denver ” can be found at their New Castle house where their mother homeschools them.
“We’re able to have time to pursue things that interest us and excite us,” said Dina, who decided with her husband that they would homeschool Matt when he was 6 months old. “I’m not a pioneer (of homeschooling) but I’m definitely a veteran.”
The Jones family moved to New Castle from southern California eight years ago after Tom was offered a pastor job. Tom’s father, a retired choir and drama teacher who inspires the Jones clan, remains in California.
“My dad is still directing musicals. He just finished his 50th year of teaching in the same school system,” Tom said. “Music is just a big part of our life.”
Living in Colorado allows the couple’s multiple children to go skiing and snowboarding at Sunlight Mountain for physical education credit on Mondays.
“(Colorado) has been a really good home for us,” Dina said.
Remembering which Jones child likes to snowboard and which one prefers skiing is like pinning down a Post-it Note during a wind storm.
“I took lessons,” said Anna Rose, proudly.
Keeping track of which activities each Jones offspring prefers can be just as tricky.
“I really like drawing and playing baseball,” Andrew said.
“Me and Andrew play the guitar,” said Rachael, whose favorite song is “Feelin’ Groovy” by Simon and Garfunkel.
William likes playing music, too. He wants to be a professional musician ” a drummer in a ska band.
“I like golf,” he added.
Anna Rose, the family’s most extroverted child, likes books, dolls and music.
“I like reading and playing the piano,” she said.
Ben’s a weather buff who listens to contemporary Christian rock. The
oldest child in the Jones house since his brother left for college ” who now has his own room ” summed up his siblings quite simply.
“We’re all different ” our personalities are all different,” he said.
Ben doesn’t mind the differences.
“Big families are fun,” he said.
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