2021 Workshops Announced for
Old Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival
Attendees at this year’s Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival will be treated to a great schedule of musical workshops during the event June 5. Artists who know the value of passing along the knowledge and joy of traditional music will share their talents with all who want to participate. Workshops will be held in the Dogwood Rooms at the West Plains Civic Center.
The annual Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture. Admission to all festival events is free. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
This year’s Workshop schedule includes:
Noon-1 p.m. Shortleaf – “FIDDLING” “SO MANY TUNES/SO LITTLE TIME”
Workshop will be divided into two sections. The first will be information about fiddling in general and include sources for fiddles, tunes, what to expect from various jam sessions, learning to play by ear, and advantages of open tunings (Key of A).
The remaining time will consist of group discussions about any question regarding playing the fiddle. This workshop is open to all levels of expertise beginning with those who do not play the fiddle but have an interest in getting started. It is not about learning a particular tune.
1-2 p.m. Van Colbert – Old-Time Banjo
Van will demonstrate old-time clawhammer style as opposed to the five-string picking popularized by bluegrass music. A bluegrass musician once recalled as he listened to Van’s drop-thumb banjo, “It sounds just like my mother used to play.” Van’s family band plays what they have lived, created and shared for generations. He is self-taught and was named a master artist on clawhammer, teaching others to embrace this traditional style.
2-3 p.m. Duane Porterfield – Mountain Dulcimer
Duane Porterfield will be conducting a Mountain Dulcimer workshop featuring an overview of the history, tunings, and styles of this American folk instrument. Originating with the early settlers in the Appalachians, the mountain dulcimer has echoed its unique voice through hills and valleys, accompanying songs and playing melodies. Bring your instrument or sit and listen to how the mountain dulcimer can remain a simple and relaxing therapist or become as complex as desired.
Duane Porterfield is an award-winning mountain dulcimer player, performer and instructor. He can regularly be seen playing a variety of old-time instruments at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, loitering at the Dulcimer Shoppe or exploring the Ozarks with his wife, Cindi.
3-4 p.m. David Scrivner and Ashley Hull Forrest – Ozarks Fiddling
Ashley Hull Forrest and David Scrivner both studied with the legendary Bob Holt through the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP) sponsored by the Missouri Folk Arts Program.
Ozarks fiddling is a broad yet distinct style of fiddling. Yet this variety in our tradition can make it difficult to determine what is included in Ozarks fiddling and what is not. This workshop will begin with a discussion of the defining elements of Ozarks fiddling. It also will include a demonstration of various types of tunes common to Ozarks fiddling, such as square dance tunes, waltzes, two-steps, jigs, rags, and train songs. It also will include a demonstration and discussion of twin fiddling and possibly cross-tuning in the key of D. Questions from the audience will be encouraged, as will tune requests. This workshop will not focus on learning a tune together and is open to those who play and those who do not.
4-5 p.m. – Shortleaf – “YES, YOU CAN PLAY MANDOLIN”
The first half of this workshop will focus on beginning mandolin, and will address such questions as mandolin set-up, types, styles, costs, lessons, learning melody and chords.
The second half will address questions from the audience. This is not a workshop to learn specific tunes.
The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival is the signature event for West Plains. The festival seeks to celebrate, preserve, pass on and nurture an appreciation of the old-time music and folk life traditions distinctive to the Ozark Highlands.
2021 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, West Plains Civic Center, and Missouri State University-West Plains. Partial funding for this event was provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.