January 2016 Newsletter

Dear Friends of the Corvallis Guitar Society,

We have just passed our first year anniversary and enjoyed a year of more music, open stage performances and guest artists than we dreamed possible when we began this venture. So let’s look forward to what we have in store for the coming year.

The Board has established two objectives which are:

  • Bring local guitarists out of the woodwork
  • Grow the Corvallis Guitar Society through education and awareness programs and through service to the local community

In support of objective 1, we will establish a Corvallis Guitar Society Ensemble that will rehearse two times per month with the goal of putting on a concert in the second half of the year. There is no limit to the size of the ensemble which will rehearse and perform pieces in the style of a guitar orchestra. In addition, there will be sub ensembles (duets, trios, quartets, etc) that will also work on pieces to perform at the concert. The number, size and scope of these will depend on who wishes to participate. The guitar orchestra as well as the satellite ensembles will include guitar parts suitable for a wide range of styles and abilities from beginner to advanced. Scores will be issued using standard music notation. Acoustic steel string guitars as well as Spanish style guitars are welcome. If you are interested in participating, please email me at jmds157@yahoo.com.

In support of objective 2, we already have “The Spanish Guitar: from the streets to the concert stage” planned for April plus we will add a mini concert series as well as explore community outreach ideas. More details will follow.

As we expand our activities, we are going to need more resources so I am delighted to announce that Tom Strini has joined our Board. Tom holds a bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition and a master’s in classical guitar performance. He enjoyed a lengthy career as a writer and critic at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and now teaches at Oregon State University. Tom has already begun contributing his writing talent to Corvallis Guitar Society (CGS) in the form of programs, promotional material and in the upcoming show at the Majestic Theater on April 23rd when CGS will present “The Spanish Guitar: from the streets to the concert stage”. Tom is both authoring and presenting the content for the show. He will be a real asset to CGS and we look forward to working with him. I anticipate further Board announcements in the near future.

Thanks to those that braved the icy weather on January 4th and joined us for our first Society meeting in 2016. Unfortunately, due to the severe icy conditions, Jamie Stillway was unable to get out of her driveway in Portland and therefore was unable to make it as our featured artist. We hope to welcome her at a future date. We nevertheless had a very enjoyable evening playing some very great ensemble music and enjoying a variety of open stage performances from our members.

Our next meeting is on February 1st and will feature local blues and fingerstyle guitarist Adam Scramstad as our guest artist. Adam is a strong and creative songwriter in his own-right and his repertoire also covers a broad range of early American Folk/Blues artist’s works such as Son House, Bukka White, Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Lightning Hopkins, Blind Blake, John Fahey, and Elizabeth Cotton.
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I have been lucky enough to attend some of Adam’s recent performances, and I am very much looking forward to greeting him at the February meeting. Don’t miss this great blues and Americana guitarist!

In the last month we have revamped the website. If you haven’t visited recently you might want to check it out. Please note that the ensemble music for the upcoming February 1st Society meeting will be posted on the website one week ahead of time for those of you wishing to prepare parts.

Agenda for Monday February 1st Meeting

7:00pm – 7:05pm             Welcome

7:05pm – 7:30pm             Ensemble – bring your guitar and join in.

7:30pm – 8:10pm             Open Stage – time to get on stage and play for a friendly audience.

BREAK & refreshments

8:20pm – 9:00pm             Featured Artist: Adam Scramstad

We look forward to seeing you at the Guitar Society on February 1st, bring your guitar and share some music with us!

Jon Sharp

President, Corvallis Guitar Society