This section of the website will highlight two kinds of workshops: (1) musicians working with students or with the public at area schools or the William B. Ogden Library in Walton prior to a Music on the Delaware concert; and (2) workshops presented to the public about Grant Rogers and the history of traditional music in the Western Catskills.
Workshops at Downsville School and Middle/High School in Walton
The musicians gave min-concerts in Downsville to grades 1 through 12. In Walton, the group introduced senior high orchestra students to the skill of learning music by ear, which is how most traditional musicians learn and pass on tunes.
The band gave two workshops at the library, one at 11:00 for children and the other at 1:00 for adults. The morning workshop was a mini-concert, with the audience invited to join the band in singing the refrain for two songs. In the afternoon workshop, the band addressed questions from the audience and performed some of their repertoire.
The three musicians of North Sea Gas performed a mini-concert for elementary school students at Townsend School in the morning, worked with the high school orchestra at the Walton High School and gave a mini-concert to middle and high school music students in the afternoon. Elementary students had learned the refrain of two of the band's songs and enjoyed singing along with band members on those. High School orchestra students had learned the melody of a song beforehand and after a brief rehearsal, performed that number with the band during the school concert.
The Kennedys did two interactive workshops at the William B. Ogden Library the day of their concert, one for children and one for adults/families. In addition to hearing several original songs, audience members had opportunity to engage the musicians in conversation about their music, songwriting, and music influences.
Maura and Pete Kennedy did four lively workshops with students at Franklin Central Schools. The musicians performed several of their original songs, some of which were participatory, and answered students' questions about themselves and their music lives.
The band Charm City Junction conducted two interactive workshops at the William B. Ogden Library on Saturday, February 10, the first at 11:00 a.m. for children and the second at 1:00 p.m. for adults and families. The afternoon workshop included discussion about and demonstration of the different kinds of traditional music played by the band. Musicians highlighted some differences between bluegrass and old time music.
Two members of the Charm City Junction Band conducted a mini-concert at Townsend Elementary School at which the student body sang parts of two songs with the band. The musicians also gave a mini-concert at the Middle/High School and then worked with school string players on two old-time numbers the orchestra had been practicing. Students thoroughly enjoyed the experience. A number of the students attended the library workshops and/or the concert on the following day.
Workshops at William B. Ogden Library, 42 Gardiner Place, Walton, NY
11:00 a.m. (Children): The band presented traditional songs appropriate for children to learn and sing, including one or two made popular by Grant Rogers.
1:00 p.m. (Families): In a workshop titled "Folk and Blues Roots of the Grateful Dead," the band explored the deep well of American music that inspired the Grateful Dead and discovered some fascinating stories behind the music.
Three Workshops at Local Schools
9:00 a.m. Townsend Elementary School, Walton: The Band presented a mini-concert for the student body. Townsend School students joined the Band in singing two songs sung by Grant Rogers, "Bessie the Heifer" and "Ground Hog."
10:20 a.m. Walton Central School, Walton: The Band worked with the High School String Orchestra in a Grant Rogers' tune, "Rogers Hornpipe." Band members gave students suggestions on improving their ability to learn tunes by ear.
2:05 p.m. Delaware Academy, Delhi, NY: The Band performed a mini-concert for middle and high school music students.
Workshop at William B. Ogden Library, 42 Gardiner Place, Walton, 11:00 to 12:30
Building on the Pat Kane and West O'Clare dance event at the Walton Theatre the previous night, musician and folklorist Kathy Shimberg conducted a workshop exploring traditional dance music in the Western Catskills. Members of the audience who knew Grant Rogers and square dance traditions of the area contributed to the discussion. Several samples of typical dance tunes were played, either from recordings by Grant Rogers (from the Grant Rogers website) or live, by Kathy and audience members Bob Moss and Dane Scudder. The workshop was video taped for future use.
Square Dance Workshops at Walton Middle/High School
Pat Kane taught traditional square dances to several Physical Education classes. Students seemed to enjoy the experience.
Concert/Workshop at William B. Ogden Library, 42 Gardiner Place, Walton, NY
Local area singer/guitarist Ira McIntosh performed traditional songs and discussed Grant Rogers' influence on Ira’s music life. The workshop ended with a jam session involving several area musicians.
(Go to video page to see 3 more videos of the workshop)
This group presented several workshops in the area. These included a mini-concert at the Walton elementary school, instruction on guitar playing to a guitar class at Delaware Academy in Delhi, and a mini-concert for all the Delaware Academy music students on Friday, plus two workshops at the William B. Ogden Library on Saturday.
This is a quote from the November 7th blog of Mile Twelve fiddler Bronwyn Keith-Hynes:
“I just got back from a very fun weekend of teaching and performing with Mile Twelve over in Walton, NY. An organization called Music On The Delaware brought us into the schools and library of Walton for two days, to perform and educate about bluegrass music. In addition, they hosted a concert for us at the beautiful and historic Walton Theatre, which has been around since 1913. It was great to get to know the community in that area and we had a wonderful time.”
Grant Rogers played a local type of old-time music. Bluegrass music is a direct descendent of this type of music. For a discussion of similarities and differences between old-time and bluegrass music, see pages 268-269 in Wayfaring Strangers by Fiona Richie and Doug Orr. [See Bibliography.]
Before their Music on the Delaware concert on October 15, 2016 Ungar and Mason presented school workshops at the George Mack High School and at the William B. Ogden Free Library. A highlight was Jay teaching Walton string students a waltz he wrote in honor of Grant Rogers and Walton, “Amid the Rivers and the Streams.” The students not only played the piece with Jay and Molly that day, but also later in the school year, at a school concert.
Jay also gave an interesting interview about his knowledge of Grant Rogers. [See Interviews, Jay Ungar, on this website.]
Dave Ruch and the Canal Street String Band conducted workshops with students at the Townsend Elementary School on Friday and with children and adults at the William B. Ogden Library on Saturday, October 25, 2014. At the adult workshop at the library, the band taught audience musicians a tune often associated with Grant Rogers, “Larry O’Gaff,” which the musicians recognized as an Irish jig.
At the school workshops, the band and students rehearsed two of Grant Rogers’ songs, including “Bessie the Heifer” and “Bread and Gravy.” They were preparing for the Saturday night concert at the Walton Theatre. Here are photos of students and Dave Ruch rehearsing and singing at the evening concert.