Day 4 - Report
Posted 20 June 2010 - 11:07 PM
And I was proud as a new dad.
Happy Fathers Day Steve.
Did anyone manage to sit in on every seminar?
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Posted 20 June 2010 - 07:50 PM
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Posted 20 June 2010 - 05:22 PM
Have a wonderful Father's Day!
Posted 20 June 2010 - 02:38 PM
Next years gathering will certainly make it onto my calendar, as soon as the dates are announced.
Posted 20 June 2010 - 01:24 PM
Where to start on this one.
Well, the day started out with us all having our morning guitar workout. As with all conferences, after about 3 days, a blanket of exhaustion and overload coats everyone when they walk in in the morning. I played a little Stevie Ray Vaughn over the sound system to wake them up a bit, and it helped a little.
From there it was a wonderful workshop with Russ Barenberg. Russ is a soft--spoken man with an old, beat up guitar, that can sit and play a simple song and make music that goes right to your heart. His music is simple, beautiful, and elegant.
Sometimes, it's not the amount of notes you put in the music, but how much music you put into the notes.
I had person after person come up to me and comment how they would love to be able to play music like Russ does. He was a gentle man and it was a joy working with him.
After Russ was a break and then arguably one of the best studio guitarists of all time - Brent Mason, and his equally inspiring brother Randy Mason. They flew through styles like country Bob Wills swing, to blazing country chickin' pickin' to blues. In a town filled with musicians, Brent is a legend here. He played for our small group in the morning and also closed the show out on the All - Star Guitar Night.
In the afternoon was the Student Showcase. We had the ensembles first. This is the first year we had ensembles and it was a great success. We will do them bigger and better next year.
First up was the Guitar Jazz Ensemble. featuring our two great soloists Tom Maddox (TomM) and Ray Cowan. Everyone did so great. About 20 guitarists and bass and drums all crammed on the stage playing a great little swing tune. It was wonderful. Great ensemble playing and great solos.
Next was the Classical Guitar Ensemble under the direction of Katie Taylor playing a beautiful arrangement of Canon in D. The song just built and built, layer by layer. At its peak, with all of those steel strings playing all of the parts, it sounded great.
Next up was Adele's band. They struggled through some sound system problems. But they made it to the end and I was glad that the door for an all student led Band had been pioneered. Thank you Adele, and all of those who participated in all of the ensembles. You guys were the first. In the years to come, I see many great players coming through the doors that all of you opened up at this conference.
Next up were the solos. Way too many to mention here, but each was great. It's a time of conquering your fears of getting up on stage. To the observer, some person playing a simple song on stage is not a big deal. But I know to many of those people, a wall broke down in their musical lives when they walked off of that stage after having performed. They did it. And I was proud as a new dad.
This conference is not American Idol. It is about regular people having a safe, encouraging place where they can come and learn and be inspired.
My son is a juggler. Dropping is a part of juggling. Skill is not measured by the drops, but by the catches. It's the catches that are celebrated. And that is what I want to celebrate when we come together.
Next week, these wonderful people are going to be back in their hectic daily lives a thousand miles from here. But you know what they will be thinking "You know, last week at this time I was up on stage in Nashville Tennessee being a musician."
Last night, we all ventured downtown to the Wildhorse Saloon for Muriel Anderson's All Star Guitar Night. After some initial confusion with the seating at the tables, we all got seated and were ready for the show.
I apologize to all for the confusion with the tickets and the tables. The Wildhorse Saloon has been a pain to work with through this whole process and last night was no different. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and hassle.
But once the program began it was jaw-dropping. From harp guitars, to Victor Wooten, to Guitar Player Magazine's Lifetime achievement award to James Burton (Elvis' Guitar Player) who can still play great, to Brent Mason, Vince Gill, and Emmylou Harris, to some Memphis blues guitarist who played a right handed guitar left handed (with the strings completely inverted with the high strings on the top of the neck) to a rousing finish with a stage full of legends in the guitar world. It was an amazing time that couldn't have been topped.
To all of you who were not able to come this year, this is truly an amazing event. I hope you can join us next year.
My goal is to encourage, train, and inspire guitarists in the conference. This year, as in year's past, it did not fail to do this on so many levels.
Each year we get a bit better at putting on the conference. There were a host of things this year that we will improve on for next year.
That's all for now. We have one last event - our Guitar Gathering picnic. I know it's going to be incredibly hot and muggy but it's always a great time to relax and say goodby to everyone.
See you at the picnic!
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