Hooray! FSGW Mini Fest – chanteys and shape note singing, doo wop and duets, English dance and Irish laments, banjos and bodhrans and ballads, Morris and more – at the Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Road, -- Saturday, February 3, from noon until 10:30 pm. Regardless of Punxsutawney Phil's prediction, it'll be warm at Mini-Fest, with two all-day dance tracks, and seven workshop and performance sites, plus unscheduled hallway shenanigans – it'll cure your winter blues!!
This year’s schedule will be posted soon, and updated frequently -- usually up to the night before the event.
Ticket prices are slightly higher than last year, as Montgomery County has increased our rental fee by approximately twenty percent (!). We open the "gate" at 11:30 am, since first performances and workshops begin at noon. We will be able to take credit card payment at the door.
Children under 6 get in free.
|Day plus evening (noon to 10:30 pm)
|Day (noon to 6 ONLY)
|Evening (6 to 10:30 pm)
You can join FSGW at the door, and get the discount for members.
What does Family Maximum mean in the ticket price section? This rate allows parents and their children to attend for one affordably capped admission price. The Family rate for a family of four is slightly less than four individual tickets, and there is no additional fee for any additional child.
All of the wonderful photos are courtesy of Steve Tuttle (thanks, Steve!), of Tuttle and Tuttle Photography.
Hallways and Lobby.
Perhaps we should warn you.... ahem. Perhaps we should mention that Morris Dancers and Rappersword groups infest.... ahem...appear unexpectedly. They dance in the hallways
2008 Photo here. 2009. 2010 was Snowmageddon!
2011. And here. And here. And here.
2014. And here.
2016. They often wear bells, so sometimes you can hear them coming. You can run, but you cannot hide.
FSGW encourages those who play instruments to bring them along. One of the real delights every year is hearing music being made in stairwells and at the end of corridors. In fact, we encourage these ad hoc jams by putting extra chairs in appropriate spots. 2008 Photo here.
Retail therapy will be available. Musical instruments (through House of Musical Traditions) will be available for sale in the Cafetorium, and there will be wonderful crafts available in the hallways near the main lobby.
2009. And here. And here.
We hope to have the handbell "tower" in a hallway. If you've never tried change ringing, it's time for a change.
Again this year -- we hope to set up a table near the Cafetorium to use as a CD Exchange. Have you been downsizing? Have you ripped all of your CDs and no longer want all those jewel cases? We'd like to start small, so think about bringing no more than a dozen CDs to Mini-Fest, and perhaps taking that many (or more) home with you! Your feedback will help us decide whether to do this again next year.
Daytime Cafetorium Performances
Noon to 6 pm -- six hours of music, thanks to Mini Fest Co-Chair,
Charlie Baum. (thanks, Charlie B!). We begin at noon with The Bog Band, lively Irish tunes by a talented group of mostly middle- and high-school age musicians, followed at 1 by DC Revels Maritime Voices. 2012. Next it's DC Ambience, playing Romani Swing music (really). At 3, one of the East Coast’s premiere Celtic fusion bands,
OCEAN Celtic Quartet will show you how ballads and bagpipes can meet the Beatles. At 4, Lyuti Chushki – "Hot Peppers" – play intricately rhythmic traditional Balkan music. We close out the daytime Cafetorium performances with the bellows-driven versatility of The Squeezers.
Main Gym:, programmed by Chair April Blum features many different dance styles. The schedule will begin with an Introduction to Morris Dancing (sticks! hankies!). At 1, Scottish Country Dance , taught by Ellen Terne with music by Liz Donaldson and Becky Ross. At 2, there’s a Tango Workshop which will showcase the impressive Tango Mercurio Community Orchestra; a Scandinavian Dance Workshop follows, taught by Dan Kahn and Lynn Walker with music by Catherine Chapman. Next comes English Country Dancing (think Jane Austen) taught by Ann Fallon with music by Red and Well Fed a new local group. We’ll end the day with a rollicking, rowdy Barn Dance for everyone, taught by the irrepressible Kim Forry.
The Auxiliary Gym will begin with an hour of Waltz, with beautiful music by Firefly. There will be lots of contra and perhaps some squares as well, with music by several local favorites, including The MetroGnomes (Bob Garber, Mark Vidor, and McGregor Yatsevitch), who will also play for an hour of Couples Dances.
Daytime Concerts and Workshops
Jams Room, programmed by Charlie Baum and April Blum, begins at noon with a Shape Note Singing, followed by Gospel Sing at 1, with Sea Chanteys Open Sing at 2. There’s a 90-minute mellow Blues Jam featuring musicians from Archie's Barbershop, with a lively Irish Seisiún to close out the day!
There will be a "Workshops" Room (104)
, which will feature a variety of one-hour workshops, including Kitchen Sink Percussion
led by Ron Goad, Jim Bunch
, and Brendan Bailes
– washboards, buckets, wooden spoons and more; the always popular Doo Wop Sing
, led by Al Kehs
and Ron Davies
; a chance to try Balkan singing
, led by the women of Orfeia
; and a Scots Gaelic vocals workshop
, led by Sarah Murdoch
Lisa Null's "Traditional Song" Room (108)
begins with Steve Woodbury
singing songs of a New England family, followed by Martha Burns
singing cowboy and old time songs. At 1, Nora Rodes
sings American and British songs, followed by Don Stallone
, whose offerings range from the comical to the sublime. Linda Rice Johnston
will charm you with traditional Scottish songs, and Sarah White
brings magic and beauty into the room. At 3, The Two Sisters, Guen and Liz Spilsbury
will weave their tight harmonies. Next is Connie McKenna
and the fabulous harp of Sue Richards
. The powerful voice of Steve Winick
will ring out starting at 4:30, and this track ends with Jocelyn and Darriel Day
FSGW is particularly delighted that last year’s brand new track is back again this year, programmed by Ingrid Gorman
. Yes, it’s The Family Room (114)
, an entire track dedicated to family-oriented music and storytelling. It begins with an introduction to Family Dance (FSGW sponsors a monthly Family Dance!) at noon. Next is banjo music by Bill Jenkins
, and then an hour devoted to Nap Time Music and Lullabies. At 3 there’s an open mic for kids 12 and under. At 4, The All New Genetically Altered Jug Band
will attack your funny bone, and the track winds to a close with Massive Donut
FSGW is pleased to welcome back Mike and Heather Livingston
, who have programmed the "Living Traditions" Room (118)
. This track begins with Scottish fiddle tunes by Seán Heely
, followed by thrilling Balkan vocal ensemble music from Orfeia
. At 2, it’s Going Home
featuring Molly Hickman and Corinne Ducey
. Next up is Michael Sevener
and his daughter Patricia Sevener
, playing boleros, rancheras, and other beautiful songs in Spanish. At 4, Severn Savage
sings a cappella
traditional songs, and he’s followed by Maryland Renaissance Festival favorites Cat & the Fiddle
. This track closes with traditional blues by Miles Spicer and Friends
The Storytelling Program
will be back, organized by Tim Livengood
. Of course we will a session by the (young and talented) Twinbrook Tellers
. Featured grown-up tellers include Ming Diaz, Janice Curtis Greene, BumjoButler, Laura Bobrow, Miriam Nadel, Margaret Chatham
and Tim Livengood
. There will also be a Storyswap
, so polish up that 5 minute story of yours and bring it along.
From 7:30 to 10:30, two simultaneous evening programs – in the Main Gym
, an evening of Contras
with members of the fabulous Glen Echo Open Band
and multiple callers, all of whom were recently in the FSGW Callers Practicum. In the Cafetorium
, a varied Concert
programmed by Charlie Baum.