Thursday, August 2, 2012

Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat are GO!

The Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat will take place January 31st - February 3rd, 2013 in Homosassa, Florida; just west of Orlando.  Sponsored by Folkcraft Instruments, the four day retreat will all take place at the Homosassa Riverside Resort.  $99 gets you any and all of the workshops and Saturday night concert.  National recording and performing artists Bing Futch and Guy George and Sharrie George will be entertaining and informing during this first-ever four-day event.

Homosassa Riverside Resort is a fabulous property with access to riverboat rentals, fishing charters and markets, wildlife observation, swimming and dining.  They are reserving a block of rooms for the retreat.

Workshops will take place Thursday - Sunday and will not run concurrently, so no worries about choosing between such great classes - you can take them all.  And at the pace we've set, you'll still find time to wander about and discover the magic that is Homosassa Springs.  


9 am - 10 am - Seven Modes For Seven Dulcimers!
10:30 am - 11:30 am - Traditional Dulcimer Tuning - CGG & DAA
Noon - 1 pm - Beginning Hammered Dulcimer 
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm - Chords on HD
3 pm - 4 pm - Beginning ukulele
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm - Past Beginner Ukulele


9 am - 10 am - Blues for Hammered Dulcimer
10:30 am - 11:30 am - Da Slockit Light
Noon - 1 pm - Intermediate Ukulele
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm - Beginning Guitar or Baritone Ukulele
3 pm - 4 pm - Two Crooked Fiddle Tunes Walk Into A Bar
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm - Three Irish Ballads


9 am - 10 am - Calypso for HD
10:30 am - 11:30 am - Island Combo class
Noon - 1 pm - I Got Those Mountain Dulcimer Blues
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm - Learning To Play Native American Flute
3 pm - 4 pm - Steel Drum - Beginning Level
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm - Pennywhistle - Beginning Level


9 am - 10 am - Understanding The Baritone Dulcimer
10:30 am - 11:30 am - Arranging A To Z
Noon - 1 pm - Steel Drum - Intermediate Level
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm - Pennywhistle - Intermediate Level

ALL WORKSHOPS WILL BE HELD IN THE MANATEE BALLROOM.  Scroll down for workshop descriptions.

Easy to get to and we're going to have a breeze - part of a little sub-tropical tour of events in the winter of 2013.  Make your reservations at the resort - there are only so many of those nice waterfront rooms to go around.  You're within walking distance of the Manatee Ballroom, where workshops and vending are located as well as the Monkey Bar, Yardarm Lounge and Riverside Crab House for food and beverages in the heart of old Florida.  Reserve your place now!

Just $99 Per Person For All Workshops
and Saturday Night Concert!

Bing Futch leaped into the national mountain dulcimer scene back in 1999 with his
Americana band Mohave. The award-winning Americana band has performed in a variety of venues including multiple shows at The House Of Blues at Walt Disney World, Hard Rock Live Orlando, The Bamboo Room, Freebird Live, The Orlando Fringe Festival, The Central Florida Fair and they've also opened for national acts Molly Hatchet, Subject To Change, St.  Somewhere and The Crests.

As a solo performer, Bing's high-energy, crowd pleasing shows and unique approach to the mountain dulcimer combined have made him a popular national act from California to Connecticut.  Named 2006 "Songwriter of the Year" by the Songwriters Showcases of America (with a 2007 "Song of the Year" award for "Crazy Feels Like"from the album Dulcimer Rock), Bing has become a regularly featured artist at festivals, fairs, concert halls, pubs, clubs, cafes, house concerts and other venues across the country.  He's opened for Grammy-award nominated artists Sam & Ruby, bluesman Scott Ainslie, singer/songwriter Larry Mangum, shared the stage with Zydeco king Chubby CarrierTom Constanten (The Grateful Dead), national fingerstyle guitar champion Michael Chapdelaine, Grammy-award nominated act The Dixie-Beeliners and dulcimer heroes Robert Force and Stephen Seifert, among others.  He's also produced numerous recordings and has published several songbooks.
Alongside his performing career, Bing has become a popular instructor of the mountain dulcimer, Native American flute and ukulele.  His video podcast, Dulcimerica, has been viewed by over a million people worldwide and is currently in its sixth season.

Six sessions will present workshops each of the four days in mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, penny whistle, Native American flute, steel drum, ukulele, and more!

Bing Futch's Workshops

• Learning To Play Native American Flute
This beautiful, haunting and expressive instrument dates back 4000 years on the North American continent.  Originally used in courtship and later in ceremonies and, more recently, ensemble performance, the Native American flute now enjoys great popularity in all types of music.  You'll be surprised at just how easy it is to play!  In this workshop, you'll learn basics: flute anatomy, how to hold it, breath control, major and minor scales, ornamentation techniques and how to discover your very own spirit song.  Must have a six-hole Native American flute, preferably in the key of "B minor."  Bing will have an assortment of modestly priced flutes available for purchase at the retreat. (Beginner to Intermediate)

• Seven Modes For Seven Dulcimers!
The mountain dulcimer was created as a modal instrument and, in this workshop, we'll take a grand circle tour through each of them  Yes, there will be re-tuning!  Discover the history of the modes, why we tune to DAD and DAA, hear and play some familiar tunes that were written using the modes and also learn to use a capo (required) for playing in seven different keys without re-tuning.  You'll be more confident in the jams and know a lot more about your instrument after this one! (Beginners - Advanced)

• Traditional Dulcimer Tuning - CGG & DAA
Learn to play your dulcimer in the traditional way by taking this workshop, which gets back to the roots of the instrument.  You'll get familiar with the 1-5-5 tuning and explore new territories within this versatile mode.  Deeper drones and fuller chords lead the way into a sound made popular by the Jean Ritchie's "The Dulcimer Book."  We'll learn chord shapes, harmony building and gorgeous chord melodies.  Yes, DAA and DAD can play happily together! (Beginners - Intermediate)

• Two Crooked Fiddle Tunes Walk Into A Bar
Crooked tunes drive dancers crazy, because those off-kilter bars of beats throw them off their groove.  But they are great fun to play.  In this workshop, we'll tackle two crooked fiddle tunes; tunes in 4/4 time that feature strange little extra measures of 2/4 thrown in.  They're highly addictive and usually have killer riffs that make for lots of fun jamming, once everyone gets the hang of it.  We'll engage ear-training through learning the tunes by hearing and imitating at first.  Then, we'll look at the music and see what makes each tune crooked and why. (Intermediate)

• I Got Those Mountain Dulcimer Blues
Woke up this mornin', all my dulcimer played was the blues
Woke up this mornin', all my dulcimer played was the blues
You'll get scales and chords and riffs, baby
and you'll sho' 'nuff learn to groove! (Intermediate - Advanced)

• Three Irish Ballads
Learn three lovely Irish ballads while incorporating playing techniques such as slides, turnarounds, hammer-ons, pull-offs and vibrato.  We'll also get into the dynamics of rhythm and volume to bring tremendous emotional power to tunes like "Danny Boy." (Intermediate - Advanced)

• Arranging A To Z
If you've ever wanted to create your own arrangements of tunes, then this is the workshop to get you started!  Whether you've just stumbled across an interesting tune or have had a favorite rolling around in your head and don't know how to translate it into an instrumental arrangement, we'll cover the basics.  How to plot out a tune and find the key, if you don't already know it, will be covered as well as identifying bass lines which lead to chord progressions.  Each 90 minute workshop will take one song from simple melody and chord accompaniment to full-blown arrangement and performance-smoothing techniques. (Intermediate - Advanced)

• Understanding The Baritone Dulcimer
People love the baritone's rich sounds, but fear it because of its tuning and all that it brings.  Bing breaks it down simply and gets you to understand more about not only the baritone dulcimer but the so-called "standard" mountain dulcimer.  You'll learn how to play quickly without drowning yourself out and  how best to arrange pieces to best showcase the baritone's range (and yours!) Must have a baritone handy. (Intermediate - Advanced)

Guy George, from Cleveland, Ohio, is a rhythmic, melodic hammered dulcimer player with a definite jazz influence to his playing style. Guy comes from a background in jazz and performance on the saxophone, having studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston; honing his skills playing with many jazz influenced musicians in the Boston and New York area. He has settled outside Cleveland, Ohio and presently plays hammered dulcimer, tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, flute, steel drum and keyboard. He has made his name in the dulcimer world as a performer, instructor, author/publisher and recording artist.   

       He tours throughout the United States and Canada performing and recording and teaching workshops on the hammered dulcimer, steel drums, and penny whistle. His teaching style is relaxed and fun, as he teaches tunes of many different genres and styles.  In addition, he incorporates methods for more advanced practicing and playing techniques while simultaneously entertaining his students.  

       Guy has authored 13 books arranged for hammered dulcimer, steel drum, pennywhistle, and other instruments, which are distributed around the world through Gesani Publications, a company he and his wife, Sharrie, own and operate.  

In recent years, Sharrie George has emerged as a talented performer and instructor in her own right.  Her solid timing and clean rhythms have made her an important part of Guy's groove in more ways than one, plus she's fun and helps you work on what you need the most.

Guy George's Workshops

1. Beginning Hammered Dulcimer - Find your way on your hammered dulcimer - learn or review all your basics, where the notes are and easy tricks to finding them, how to use your hammers for the best sound, and how to play a simple melody, as well as chord back up for tunes, and some chord arpeggios. This can be a review if you’ve learned a little, but want to pick up a few tricks for better playing, or a first class if you’re just starting.

2. Blues for Hammered Dulcimer - Intermediate to Advanced level - Put a little blues in your play- ing. We’ll learn a blues progression, and learn how to put that into practice with some of your reper- toire. Add a ‘bluesy’ sound when you want to change things up as you play!

3. Chords on HD - Chord rhythms and back-up - Past Beginner to Intermediate level - Take the mystery out of playing chords on the Hammered Dulcimer! Learn some easy back-up techniques and how to use them in a tune.

4. Da Slockit Light - Intermediate Level - Learn a beautiful arrangement of this tune from the Shet- land Islands. Perfect piece for weddings, church services, and concerts!

5. Calypso for HD - Learn a few island tunes to add to your repertoire and how to get that wonderful “calypso feel” in your playing. Learn melody, harmony and back-up parts to play with other hammer or mountain dulcimer players, or any other instrument!

6. Island Combo class - HD, MD, Uke - All Levels - Bing, Guy, and Sharrie will each take a few minutes to go over the parts played by their instruments, section by section, and then we’ll put the whole thing together - we’ll learn as many tunes as possible - and then jam on them at the end! Get ready for the “Pirate Jam”!

7. Steel Drum - Beginning Level - Learn how to play an authentic steel drum! We’ll have some Jumbie Jams available to try. Learn the basics and be playing melody and chords on this great island instrument! Great re- fresher if you haven’t played in a while.

8. Steel Drum - Intermediate Level - Take your steel drum playing to the next level as we learn more about steel drum back-up. We’ll learn a few new tunes with melody and all the parts!

9. Pennywhistle - Beginning Level - Learn how to play the easiest instrument to carry around! We’ll have you playing and sounding good in 2 keys in this first lesson! Inexpensive, great sounding “D” whistles will be avail- able at our vending area.

10. Pennywhistle - Intermediate Level - Duets - Calypso, fiddle, and other tunes will be taught with at least 2 parts for each!

Sharrie George's Workshops

1. Beginning ukulele - Have fun learning the basics on ukulele - tuning, chords, and a few strums as we learn a few fun tunes!

2. Past Beginner Ukulele - If you know the basic chords and strums, you’re ready to move on to a few more chords, strums, and more fun tunes! Learn some of the ukulele all time favorites!

3. Intermediate Ukulele - Intro to finger-style playing - Learn a few finger-picking patterns to help you get started playing chord-melody on your ukulele. We’ll play back-up and melody, and learn how to put those to- gether for chord melody. You must be comfortable playing and changing chords quickly to take this class. 

          4. Beginning Guitar or Baritone Ukulele  - Have fun learning the basics for guitar or Baritone Ukulele - Tuning, basic chords (in Jammin' keys!), a few easy strums and then we'll use our new skills to play a few familiar tunes.  Be ready for the next jam in no time!  Guitar and Baritone are very similar, so we can have both instruments going at the same time - Chord charts and tunes will be available for both instruments.

Workshops will all take place in the Manatee Ballroom and will take place one after the other - never at the same time.  Register now to get your place! 

Only $99 Per Person To Register!

We're very excited about this new event and are grateful to Folkcraft for sponsoring our maiden voyage.  Be sure to contact the Homosassa Riverside Resort to make your reservations! Call 352-628-2474 or Toll Free  800-442-2040.

Subscribe to this blog as there will be updates here along with posts on local attractions and inside tips on getting the most out of your stay.  Looking forward to sharing one of our most favorite places in the world with you!

Sho na bish,