Many old time and music fans see next week’s Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers Convention as a highlight of their year, with thousands of musicians and fans flocking to the city for the two-day event.
But quite a few folks find the bluegrass and old-time workshops filling up the days before the convention just as much fun, and this year’s slate of workshops has something for just about every music or dance interest.
The free workshops will take place on Wednesday, May 31 through Friday, June 2 at Veterans Memorial Park. It brings master musicians directly to attendees of all ages who want to learn from area masters. The workshops are another way to extend the old-time experience for those attending the Mount Airy Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers Convention.
Instructors include Wes Clifton, Darrius Flowers, Kevin Fore, Trish Fore, Chester McMillian, Michael Motley, Lucas Pasley, Martha Spencer, Emily Spencer, Kirk Sutphin, Fred Carpenter, and Jim Vipperman.
The free workshops begin on Wednesday with a dance from 4 to 6 p.m. No registration is required. There are multiple classes in fiddle, banjo, and guitar as well as dances, slow jams, and old-time band classes focusing on dance, vocals, and playing together. The workshops also include Round Peak Style banjo and fiddle workshops and a Surry County music circle.
During the first weekend of June, thousands of old-time musicians and enthusiasts from all over the country and the world congregate at Mount Airy’s Veterans Memorial Park for the annual fiddlers convention. Here, the Surry Arts Council hosts special workshops and demonstrations that celebrate Surry County’s musical heritage.
The workshops are hosted by the Surry Arts Council and made possible through grant support from presenting sponsor The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources as part of its COME HEAR NC program.
The workshop schedule is:
4-6 p.m. — Old-Time Dance, Kirk Sutphin, Kevin Fore, Wes Clifton, and Chester McMillian, play for Old-Time Dance Workshop with Darrius Flowers serving as the caller.
10 a.m.-12 p.m. Kirk Sutphin with Fred Carpenter, Old-Time Fiddle Workshop, Bowing Focus
10 a.m.-12 p.m. Chester McMillian with Emily Spencer, Guitar Workshops, Intermediate
10 a.m.-12 p.m. Wes Clifton, Lucas Pasley, Darrius Flowers, and Martha Spencer, Old-Time Jam Workshop “Playing with Others”
12-1 p.m. Lunch Break
1-2:30 p.m. Wes Clifton and Emily Spencer, Folk Song Workshop
1-2:30 p.m. Kevin Fore and Kirk Sutphin, Round Peak Fiddle and Banjo Workshop
1-2:30 p.m. Martha Spencer and Darrius Flowers, Playing Together Workshop, Singing focus
1-2:30 p.m. Chester McMillian and Lucas Pasley, Old-Time Guitar Workshop
2:30-4 p.m. Wes Clifton, Darrius Flowers, Martha Spencer, and Emily Spencer, Old-Time Jam Workshop, Dance focus
2:30-4 p.m. Kevin Fore and Kirk Sutphin, Round Peak Fiddle and Banjo Workshop
2:30-4 p.m. Chester McMillian and Lucas Pasley, Guitar Workshop
4-6 p.m. Old-Time Dance, Kirk Sutphin, Kevin Fore, Wes Clifton, Chester McMillian, Emily Spencer, and Martha Spencer, play for Old-Time Dance Workshop, Darrius Flowers Caller
10 a.m.-12 p.m. Kirk Sutphin and Fred Carpenter, Round Peak Fiddle Workshop
10 a.m.-12 p.m. Chester McMillian, Guitar Workshops, All levels
11 a.m.-12 p.m. Kevin Fore, Advanced Banjo Workshop
11 a.m.-12 p.m. Trish Fore and Darrius Flowers, Clawhammer Banjo Workshop, Beginner and Intermediate
11 a.m.-12 p.m. Wes Clifton and Kevin Fore, Old-Time Jam and Workshop
12:00-1:30 p.m. Circle hosted by Jim Vipperman: Chester McMillian, Darrius Flowers, Kirk Sutphin, Trish Fore, Kevin Fore, Lucas Pasley, Wes Clifton, and Fred Carpenter
1:30-2:30 p.m. Lunch Break
2:30- p.m. Michael Motley, Flatfoot Workshop accompanied by Darrius Flowers, Lucas Pasley, and Kevin Fore
2:30- p.m. Trish Fore, Banjo Workshop, All Levels
2:30- p.m. Chester McMillian, Guitar Workshop
2:30- p.m. Kirk Sutphin, Banjo Workshop, Oscar Jenkins Style
2:30- p.m. Wes Clifton, Folk Song Workshop
4-6 p.m. Frolic, Kirk Sutphin, Fred Carpenter, Kevin Fore, Trish Fore, Darrius Flowers, Wes Clifton, Lucas Pasley, Michael Motley, and Chester McMillian, play for Old-Time Dance Workshop, Darrius Flowers Caller
A complete schedule of workshops, jams, and dances will be available at the gate and online www.surryarts.org and www.mtairyfiddlersconvention.org. For additional information, visit the website or contact the Surry Arts Council at 336-786-7998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.