Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yesterday's Workshops & Concert

I had an extremely full day yesterday at Our Lady of the Snow Shrine.  I taught three fiddle workshops and one guitar workshop, and then The Chris Talley Trio played in the evening concert.

The workshops were full and went extremely well!  I had a great group of people for all four of the classes.  The three fiddle workshops were set up as progressive classes, starting with beginning fiddle in the first class.  Some students attended all three of the classes.  We talked about everything from the very basics (like how to hold the fiddle and bow) all the way to topics like instrument setup, exercises for double stops and vibrato, and left-hand flexibility.  Everyone got to ask questions, and there were some really good ones asked, too!

The guitar workshop was also a success.  I had students ranging from never played before to proficient with chords for years.  We started with basic left-hand positions and talked about several ways to make the G chord.  We learned G, C, D and an alternate A7.  We talked about why to use certain chord fingerings, but that none of them were "wrong."  We learned basic three note run patterns for G, C and D, and then we put them in a song.  We also learned a very simple flat-pick version of Bile Them Cabbage Down.  After that, we talked about the capo and transposition.  It's actually hard to believe we covered so many topics!

The evening concert was unbelievably awesome!  Since this was a dulcimer festival, all of the groups had dulcimers in them except my group.  That's because I'm the only one who is hired for something other than dulcimer.  There were both hammer dulcimers and mountain dulcimers.  One thing that is really cool about mountain dulcimers is that they can be played in way that makes them incredibly easy or incredibly complicated.  This makes them good for kids, and also good for adults of all levels of musical experience or inexperience!  The hammer dulcimer is simply beautiful sounding, especially in the hands of Rick Thum.  The chapel at the Shrine has a sound that is unmatched.  It is all hard surfaces, so it's actually quite complicated to use a sound system there.  Everything is so "live" that feedback is hard to contain.  When it's right, though, the sound is wonderful!  There was a full crowd there, which is probably 200 - 300 capacity, but it sounds like 5,000 people when they clap.  I love playing there.  This was the fourth year for me and I always look forward to it.

After the concert, my husband Earl and also Emily and her family all met at Denny's.  One of my favorite things about having a band is the comraderie.  Zane and Carla weren't able to meet us, but it was nice even having only part of the band.  Emily had never been to Denny's before, so that made it especially fun.

Now that it's over, I'm simply worn out and I have lost my voice!  It's a good thing it's Sunday and a day of rest.  I sure need it.  I wouldn't have traded yesterday for anything in the world, though.  Thank you to everyone who made it so much fun for me!

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