Sunday, October 24, 2021

2023 Schedule

Hello, all!

Here is the schedule for our 9th Annual Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat.  Unlike past years, we will have at least two primary locations for workshops.  Currently, we'll simply call these "Area 1" and "Area 2."  Be sure to check the workshop descriptions for skill levels and details!


8:30 am - 9:30 am - Ukulele Basics! - BEGINNER - Sharrie (UKE) Area 2
9:45 am - 10:45 am - Beginning Pennywhistle or REVIEW!! - Guy (PW) Area 2
11 am - 12 pm - Right-Hand Strumming - Richard (MD) Area 2
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm - Manatee Orchestra - Mountain Dulcimers - Bing (MD) Area 2
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm - Manatee Orchestra for Hammered Dulcimer, Pennywhistle, & Steel Drum - Guy (HD, PW, SD) Area 1
3 pm - 4 pm - Melody, Harmony, Fills & Thrills on the Ukulele - Manatee Orchestra - Sharrie (UKE) Area 2
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - Tuning Your Dulcimer By Ear - Richard (MD) Area 2
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - Learn & Play the Jumbie Jam Steel Drum! - Guy (SD) Area 1


8:30 am - 9:30 am -  Murder Ballads Greatest Hits - Richard (MD) Area 2
9:45 am - 10:45 am - Part 1 - Hammered Dulcimer, Pennywhistle, & Steel Drum play Calypso Music! - Guy (HD, PW, SD) Area 1
11 am - 12 pm - Mountain Dulcimer - Key Changes Made Easy! - Bing (MD) Area 2
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm - Strum Some Fun on the Uke! - Sharrie (UKE) Area 2
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm - Shenandoah Variations - Richard (MD) Area 2
3 pm - 4 pm - Mountain Dulcimer - Fingerpickin' Good - Bing (MD) Area 2
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - Part 2 - Calypso & Pirate tunes on HD, Pennywhistle, & Steel Drum! - Guy (HD, PW, SD) Area 1


8:30 am - 9:30 am - Jazz Up Your Chords on Ukulele - Sharrie (UKE) Area 2
9:45 am - 10:45 am - Learning To Play Native American Flute - Bing (NAF) Area 2
11 am - 12 pm - Hawaiian Strumming - Fast! - Sharrie (UKE) Area 2
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm - Manatee Orchestra - Mountain Dulcimers - Bing (MD) Area 1
1:45 pm - 4 pm - Manatee Orchestra Rehearsal Area 1

The Manatee Orchestra will open up the Saturday evening concert at 7 pm


9:00 am - 10:00 am - Sunday Morning Coming Down - Bing (ALL) Area 2

Monday, August 9, 2021

Richard Ash Workshops

Richard Ash Workshops

Right-Hand Strumming

Tonal And Amplitude Variations - Let's add some variety to your strumming. Focusing on the right hand, we'll go through a lot of options, and determine some of the best places to use them.

Tuning Your Dulcimer By Ear

A little physics, a little magic, and "twang" you're in tune! (Bring your electronic tuner - we will be using it to check out progress.)

Murder Ballads Greatest Hits

Some old, some new, all either gruesome or fun, depending on your point of view!

Shenandoah Variations

Hammer-ons, slides, pull offs, arpeggios, tempo changes, and lots more. We will take this beautiful ballad, add so much "extra stuff" to it that it's awful, then back off on the fluff until our arrangement is just right!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Bing Futch Workshops

Bing Futch Workshops

Manatee Orchestra - Mountain Dulcimers

In this workshop, we’ll go over the material and prepare for the Manatee Orchestra, which will open the Saturday evening concert.  All skill levels are welcome to participate and we have a blast learning three songs and then rehearsing them for the show.  Mountain dulcimer players are encouraged to join Guy and Sharrie’s Manatee Orchestra workshops for hammered dulcimer, penny whistle and ukulele for extra practice.  There will be a full orchestra rehearsal on Saturday at 3 pm.  Come join us! (All Skill Levels)

Mountain Dulcimer - Fingerpickin' Good

Once you've gained some experience with flatpicking, you'll want to broaden your musical horizons and begin to explore fingerpicking.  We'll use some pretty tunes that sound great when fingerpicked and I'll show you some patterns for each song you play.  We'll also get into some techniques that will help you put a "pinch" of pizzaz in your songs! (Intermediate)

Learning To Play Native American Flute

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.  If you don't have a flute, I will have a limited supply of loaners that are also available for purchase.  Key does not matter if you wish to bring your own. (Beginner to Intermediate)

Mountain Dulcimer - Key Changes Made Easy!

Key changes are an exciting element of music and you don’t need a chromatic instrument to make them happen!  Taking a simple tune in one key and then switching keys somewhere in the song is a fabulous way of adding depth, complexity and emotion to your playing. We’ll look at the so-called “truck-driver modulation” and the “parallel modulation”, but will focus mainly on the stealthy “pivot chord modulation” for changing keys mid-song.  You will need a 1+ fret for this workshop and a capo! (Intermediate-Advanced)

Sunday Morning Coming Down - All Instruments

This has become a tradition for a number of years at the retreat and is a great way to wind down after three full days of fun!  Here’s your chance to reflect on new things that you’ve learned, ask questions, get clarification and share lightbulb moments with the group.  It’s always an easy-going good way to start the final day!

Sharrie George Workshops

 Sharrie George Workshops

Ukulele Basics!- BEGINNER - Get started playing the Uke! Find out just how much fun it is to play with this workshop.Sharrie will cover all you need to know to get started; from tuning to strums, chords, and more!We’ll be playing some fun tunes by the end of the workshop! 

Strum Some Fun on the Uke! - Beyond Beginner Level

Grab your uke and learn, practice and play some different strums!Learn how and when to use them in tunes as we learn some great uke classic tunes. Suggestions for strums provided for each tune. We’ll also learn and practice strums for the Manatee Orchestra tunes so you can play with us for our performance on Sat night! (Not required, but fun!) 

Hawaiian Strumming - Fast! -All Levels-Beyond the basic “island strum,” there are faster, some really fast, Hawaiian strums!You hear some of these strums used for Hawaiian ‘Hula’ tunes, but also for many other styles of music as well.Even for beginners, learning to strum some of the basic Hawaiian strums are great practice for speed, accuracy and rhythm!

Melody, Harmony, Fills & Thrills on the Ukulele - Manatee Orchestra! - Intermediate Level - If you can read tab, we’ll practice the melody, harmony, back-up “fills” and “licks” for this year’s Manatee Orchestra tunes.We all perform 3 tunes together to open the concert on Saturday Night - an annual tradition you won’t want to miss!

Jazz Up Your Chords on Ukulele - Intermediate Level -Learn some “jazz-style” tunes, rhythms, and chords, and how to make a tune sound “jazzier” with some chord substitutions.Can be applied to many tunes you already know to create your own version of a tune!Great for ear training as well!

Guy George Workshops

 Guy George Workshops

Beginning Pennywhistle or REVIEW!! - Beginner Level - Learn or review all the basics to play a “D” Pennywhistle; be playing tunes in 2 keys by the end of this workshop! “D” Pennywhistle is all you need; if you don’t have one, Guy will have some great-sounding, inexpensive whistles for sale at our booth.

Learn & Play the Jumbie Jam Steel Drum! - All Levels

Quick Review of the basics, and then we’ll learn some new tunes on the Steel Drum!  We will have a few for sale at the Retreat - - contact Guy before Jan 1st, 2022 if you would like to order one for this workshop! (Ukulele players welcome to join and practice strumming - music will be available with chord pics)

Manatee Orchestra for Hammered Dulcimer, Pennywhistle, & Steel DrumAll Levels - Learn all the parts for our Manatee Orchestra tunes, and practice together to be ready for our Saturday evening performance!  Mountain dulcimer or ukulele players who have their music are welcome to join, practice, and play along!

Part 1 - Hammered Dulcimer, Pennywhistle, & Steel Drum play Calypso Music!Intermediate Level

Learn some fun, all NEW calypso music with melody, harmony, and embellishments!  We’ll learn and practice together, creating our own mini-orchestra! (Ukulele players welcome to join and practice strumming - music will be available with chord pics)

Part 2 - Calypso & Pirate tunes on HD, Pennywhistle, & Steel Drum! - Intermediate Level

Learn a few more NEW calypso, pirate, shanty style tunes with melody, harmony, embellishments, and lyrics!  Focus on performance and tips provided to help with arrangements. (Ukulele players welcome to join and practice strumming - music will be available with chord pics)

Friday, June 4, 2021

Registration is open for the 9th Annual Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat!

Hello, everyone! 

We're pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 9th Annual Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat, sponsored by Folkcraft Instruments!  Our dates are February 24th - 27th, 2022 and we will once again be on the Homosassa River at our host resort, the newly re-christened Florida Cracker Riverside Resort.

Guy & Sharrie George, Richard Ash and Bing Futch will be teaching workshops in mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, pennywhistle, ukulele, Native American flute, repertoire-building and more.  The resort is once again offering us a discounted block of rooms so you can stay right in the center of the action.  

We'll have more details soon, but wanted to get this info out to you.  We will be capping attendance at 100 registrations, so don't miss the return of Florida's original laid-back dulcimer festival!  You can register using the button on the top right side of the page.

Oh, and the 2022 Castaway Music Cruise is still sailing the week after, and it's not too late to join us there as well.  We're excited to see everyone of you again after taking a year off.  We'll be having twice as much fun come next February!