SAVE THE DATE - November 3-5, 2017
Registration is open. Sign up before July 31 to take advantage of our Early Bird Discount! Click here to register.
Fall FEATURED PERFORMERS: Michael Longcor & Les Gustafson-Zook
The following Performer-led sessions have been scheduled for the Fall 2017 Gathering.
Michael Longcor has done a lot of offbeat things, including riding a bicycle down a ski run, helping General Chuck Yeager park a vintage P- 51 Mustang, donning medieval armor to fight in the bruising tournaments of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and placing third in a cricket- spitting contest. His music is different, too. He writes and sings songs on subjects ranging from space travel to Native Americans, old veterans, vengeful seeing- eye dogs, vampires and pirates. His music has aired on regional radio across the U.S. and Europe and his skewed sense of humor has resulted in spots on the syndicated radio show, Doctor Demento (Michael has accompanied the Good Doctor in his live stage show). He's also appeared as a guest on National Public Radio's "Folksong Festival," hosted by Oscar Brand. Michael's released over a dozen albums on CD, the most recent being Walking the Wilderness. In the curious subgenre of Science Fiction folk music known as "Filk" Michael is a six- time Pegasus Award winner (sort of the Filk equivalent of a Grammy), including Best Song and Best Performer. In 2014 he was inducted into the international Filk Hall of Fame. "Filk music is just good music that pertains primarily to Science Fiction or Fantasy, but can cover a variety of other subjects as well, and is most often performed by people who just like making music for themselves." He says. "It's really very similar to what the folks in MOO Music do." Aside from writing and performing, Michael has at various times been an insurance investigator, employment counselor, farm hand, hunter, fencing instructor, news reporter, blacksmith, and fiction writer. He shares a 150- year- old farmhouse outside of West Lafayette, Indiana, with a variable number of pets, guitars, old motorcycles and sometimes even his wife.
9:45 - 11:45 AM: WRITING THE SONGS YOU'D LIKE TO HEAR
With over 25 years of recognized songwriting and mentoring experience, Michael Longcor discusses how he writes songs that cover the subjects pop radio rarely gets into, from space travel to American history and bumbling outdoorsman to flying monkeys. He deals with where to get ideas, how to develop writing skills and making connections with others who like songwriting.
1:00 - 3:00 PM: CHEAP TRICKS FOR THE INSTRUMENT IMPAIRED AND PERFORMANCE INHIBITED
Michael Longcor is (according to him) not a very good guitar player, and a worse banjo and mandolin player. Yet he's entertained audiences on stage while playing all three (though not at the same time). He talks of and shows some of the cheating tricks he's picked up in 25 years of performing that help fool audiences into thinking he's a better musician than he really is, as well as how a painfully shy guy manages to stand up and perform in front of an audience. Many of the instrumental tips are not just for playing guitar, banjo or mandolin. But if you want to play the saxophone, they may not be as much help.
Les Gustafson-Zook, from Goshen, Indiana, is a popular autoharp instructor and performer, appearing at many festivals and music schools in the U. S. since 1990. He began playing the autoharp in 1985 after receiving an autoharp as a wedding gift from his wife's sister who thought the two of them were collecting unusual instruments. Visiting the autoharp contest at Winfield, Kansas that fall gave a taste and vision of what the autoharp could sound like and soon, contests and jamming became a motivator for pushing the limits of the instrument. Les won the 1989 National Autoharp Championship in Avoca, Iowa and placed 3rd and 2nd four times each at Winfield before winning the International Autoharp Championship in 2001. Along the way, he discovered the joy of teaching and the joy of building musical community by making music with others. Les began teaching autoharp in 1991 at Linn Benton Community College in Oregon, and founded the Willamette Valley Autoharp Gathering with a group of his students in 1994. He has taught at Augusta Heritage Center, John C. Campbell Folk School, Kentucky Music Week, Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering, Walnut Valley Festival and many other festivals across the U.S. In 2014 he was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame, acknowledging his contributions to the autoharp community. He is known for his clear and encouraging teaching style, his fast, clean picking of fiddle tunes, his energetic performances and for his sensitive arrangements of hymns, waltzes and Christmas carols. Les has recorded six Cds, including Cascade Noel and Gather at the River (with guitarist Jon ten Broek), Finger Pickin Pals (with guitarist Ray Frank), and two with his wife, Gwen joining him on guitar and vocals - Long Time Traveling and Home. Les also hosts a two hour acoustic music radio show on Monday nights on a local college radio station, WGCS. You can hear his musical choices by streaming it on the internet at globeradio.org at 9-11pm EST. He's also been a core member of a contradance band, called Band 'o Goshen, which plays regularly for dances in the northern Indiana area, and performs regularly with Gwen and his daughter, Sadie.
9:45 - 11:45 AM: AUTOHARP ADVENTURES
Come prepared to expand your autoharp skills with this experienced performer and instructor! Working through accompaniment and melody techniques, everyone will leave this session with something new for coaxing more musicality from their autoharps. You'll be excited about all the new possibilities for your playing!
1:00 - 3:00 PM: CREATIVE PERCUSSION WITH ODD INSTRUMENTS
You'll never look at spoons, a spam can, a yard stick or a pizza box the same after this session with odd instruments. Les will be sharing his limberjack collection and odd instruments and leading the group in percussive adventures, offering creative uses for recyclables for musical purposes. Come prepared to laugh with others in this lighthearted experience of cacophony.
Look for updates to the sessions on Facebook and on the MOO website.
Sign-Up before July 31 to take advantage of our Early Bird Discount! Click here to register.
YOGA Y'ALL! - Back by popular demand (OK, it was just Tony) is the early AM Yoga session to stretch your body before stretching your mind.