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 4, 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!!
Here's this year’s less-tentative-than-it-was-yesterday schedule,. The date and time it was most recently updated are in the lower left-hand corner. It will be updated frequently -- usually up to the night before the event. A not-to-scale (SUCH an understatement) schematic of the school is here.
Ticket prices are unchanged from last year. 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) OR Evening (6 to 10:30 ONLY)
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 and performers' CDs (through House of Musical Traditions) 2009 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.
New this year -- we hope to set up tables in a long hallway 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 Shenandoah Run, a collegiate folk-style big band, followed at 1 by Trio Sefardi, who perform old-style Sephardic music. At 1:45, it's the all-female quartet Sweet Yonder, featuring bluegrass-inspired Americana. Next it's the irrepressible trio of Glyn Collinson, Andrew Marcus and Jim Besser. At 3:15 the Mitchelstown Trio plays lilting Irish music. Then it's all hands on deck for the DC Revels Maritime Voices. 2012. 2013. At 5, a d closing out the daytime Cafetorium track is the New-Orleans-jazz/hot blues/early country/gospel/jug band, The Capitol Hillbillies.2012.
Main Gym:, programmed by Chair
April Blum. features many different dance styles. First is a Schottis/Scandinavian Dance Workshop, led by Dan Kahn and Lynn Walker. Then it's English Country Dancing 2015, taught by Tom Spilsbury. At 2 pm, there's a Tango Workshop which will showcase the impressive Tango Mercurio Community Orchestra. At 3 pm, a rollicking Barn Dance 2009. And here., with calling by Ann Fallon and music by The Barnyard Buzzards-- bring the kids!! We are awaiting confirmation from the instructor, but hope that we will once again feature a Flamenco Workshop 2016, and here, and here, at 5 pm. And to end it all, something new this year, an energetic and rowdy Molly Dance with teaching by Brad Graham. Molly dancing, according to Wikkipedia, is "a form of English Morris dance, traditionally done by out-of-work plowboys in midwinter in the 19th century." At least we'll have the "midwinter" part right.
The Auxiliary Gym will begin with an hour of Waltz, with beautiful music by Firefly. Then two hours of Contra Dance2009: the first hour is music by The Barnyard Buzzards, with caller Ann Fallon, and then local favorites The MetroGnomes will take over. At 3, The MetroGnomes will play for an hour of Couples Dancing. At 5, it's a knees-up English Ceilidh (that's pronounced "KAY-lee" despite the way it's spelled), with the boisterous Glyn Collinson, Andrew Marcus and Jim Besser playing away, and Janine Smith leading the figures. The last hour (still awaiting confirmation) will either feature Cajun/Zydeco or Flatfoot Clogging. Stay tuned!
Jams Room, programmed by Charlie Baum and April Blum, begins at noon with a Gospel Sing (
and here.) followed by Shape Note Singing at 1 (2011,
2014). The Sea Chanteys Open Sing will start at 2 pm. From 3 to 4, a mellow Blues Jam featuring musicians from Archie's Barbershop (2015,
and here,), followed by the ever-popular (and loud) Morris Chorus (2015,
and here), and we hope to end with an Irish Seisiún
Daytime Concerts and Workshops
Brand new this year, and programmed by Ingrid Gorman (FSGW Publicity Chair), is The Family Room (114), an all-day track dedicated to family-oriented music and storytelling. It begins with upbeat and danceable tunes by Ara Casey at noon. Next is The All New Genetically Altered Jug Band plaing goofy ditties perfect for a singalong. At 2, G-rated blues and other fun stuff by The Scabby Knees, featuring Mark "Skip" Casale and Pearl Bailes. At 3 it's Frank Cassel, the Banjo Man. From 4 to 5, storytellers Jane Dorfman, Margaret Chatham, Eve Burton and Michael Fleming will weave their word magic with stories to chase away those winter blues. At 5, there's an open mic for kids ages 0-13. There will be 10 slot available, with a maximum of 5 minutes for each performer. A sign-up sheet will be posted outside Room 114. This open mic will be emceed by Ruby Santana and Adelaide Harris, Blair High School students who deejay on WOWD-LP 94.3 Takoma Park!
The "Workshops" Room (104) features a variety of one-hour workshops. At noon, Martha Burns will teach Shape Note 101. If you've always wanted to learn more about Shape Note Singing, this one's for you. And if you want to try out your newly-learned skills, the Shape Note Sing is at 1 pm in the Jams Room! At 1 pm, Janie Rothfield and Bill Quern of Coracree will teach a Clawhammer Banjo Workshop
. That's followed by Percussion for Dancing
taught by Joe DePaolo
. At 3 pm, we hope to have a Doo Wop Sing
. Then it's Tune Composing
led by master tunesmiths Janie Rothfield, Sarah Gowan,
and Bill Quern
. The day ends with a Mountain Dulcimer Workshop
led by Carl Gotzmer
, owner of June Apple Dulcimers
. Carl's sales booth will be in its usual location!
Lisa Null's "Traditional Song" Room (108)
begins with Don Stallone and Carly Gerwirz
, followed at 12:30 by Connie McKenna
and Betsy O'Malley
. At 1,
offers blues and jazz vocals, and then Melissa Weaver Dunning
will sing songs from Scotland, Ireland and elsewhere. At 2:15 The Two Sisters, Guen and Liz Spilsbury
offer soaring harmonies, followed at 2:45 by the powerful voice of Steve Winick
. Then Martha Burns
and Bill Mansfield
team up for some old-fashioned southern songs. At 3:45 button accordion wizard Peter Brice
presents a grand set of Irish and American songs, including a possible appearance by dancer Catherine Marafino
. Bea Lehman
will melt the heart with traditional folksong, and then Ann Muir
will show her cabaret-singer skills. This track ends with Peter Kraemer
-- blues, cowboy songs and old-time music, on guitar and more.
FSGW is pleased to welcome back Mike Livingston
, FSGW Programs Chair, and Heather Livingston
, FSGW Publications Chair, who have programmed the "Living Traditions" Room (118)
. This track begins with a blues vocals workshop by Judy LaPrade
and Kim Capps
. Next the teen folk fiddle trio Maelstrom
showcases Celtic tunes and playful fusions. Singer/songwriter Matt Holsen
teams up with traditional singer Severn Savage
for some interesting duets. Next, it's Telmen Naadam
, who plays the Mongolian horsehead fiddle, also known as a Morin Khuur. (There's a nice Wikkipedia article.) More fiddles follow -- the Sibling Rivalry Fiddle Band
, despite their youth, are veterans of the Virginia Renaissance Faire. Blues aficionados will enjoy Tal Naccarato
, originally from the Italian Alps. Thie track ends with the soulful and witty songwriting duo of Ara Casey
and Chase Willett
, followed by songwriter and guitarist Miles Spicer
playing music in Piedmont-blues style.
The Storytelling Program
will be back, organized by Tim Livengood
. Of course we will have two sessions by the (young and talented) Twinbrook Tellers
. Featured grown-up tellers include Eve Burton, Walter Jones, and Bob Rowinsky
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 the fabulous Coracree
and local callers. In the Cafetorium
, a varied Concert
programmed by Charlie Baum, which will include performances by M.S.G.
; Karen Ashbrook & Paul Oorts
; The Karpouzi Trio
and The Martin Family Band