Dear Folk Community,
Well…now that my feet have come back down to the ground after a fabulous weekend, I wanted to say a few words about Festivus, and to thank all of those who made it possible. If you weren’t there, you missed a fabulous weekend.
Despite some initial early morning rain on Saturday (hmmm… seems like there should be a song in there), we ended up with a beautiful weekend full of great music, good food, and opportunity to hang out with friends and share the sense of community spirit. We had a full line-up of local talent for our Saturday afternoon open mic… and thank all of you who got up on that stage and performed for us. Our headline talent on both Saturday and Sunday nights was incredible. The energy up on that stage was palpable… and we couldn’t have asked for finer talent than Hungrytown (Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson… www.hungrytown.net), Hardin Burns (Andrew Hardin and Jeannie Burns… www.hardinburns.com), Kim and Reggie Harris (www.kimandreggie.com, and Still on the Hill (Kelly Mulhollan and Donna Stjerna… www.stillonthehill.com), as well as opening act Ellen Bukstel (www.ellenbukstel.com). All of these acts were outstanding!!! Mara Levine, an artist in her own right, shared not only her lovely voice with us (at the open mic), but also her lovely jewelry (www.maralevine.com).
Our singer-songwriter competition was the biggest unknown. We haven’t had one since shortly after Wilma destroyed Easterlin Park, and we made the decision this year to bring it back, with a twist. We weren’t sure quite what to expect. We had a competition for emerging artists (under age 30) as well as for the “over 30” more established artists. And we got some wonderful submissions. In the end, 12 artists/duos were up on that stage, ranging in age from 12 years old thru… well… let’s just say “AARP eligible.” It was so heartening to see that there are young people interested in this music who will carry our folk tradition forward. The music was incredibly good. ALL of the artists were outstanding, and I know the judges had an extremely hard job. In the end, although each of the performers was excellent, here are the winners… and congratulations to each and every one of them!!!…
BANG (under age 30)
First place winner – Samuel&Caleb (Samuel Glanton & Caleb Jackson) – www.facebook.com/samuelandcaleb
Second place winner – Derek Teichert – www.derekteichertmusic.com
BASS (age 30 and over)
First place winner – Scott and Michelle Dalziel – www.dalziel.net
Second place winners (tie score) – Al Scortino (www.reverbnation.com/alscortino) and Heather Pierson (www.heatherpierson.com)
Photos of the artist performances are up on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.541187979239464.126492.216145698410362&type=3 Part of it was taped, and if/when I am provided with a link, we will get that video up on both Facebook and on our BFC website
The weekend was perfectly capped off with a campfire on Sunday evening that went well into the wee hours (we broke up at 2 am)… and was one of the most incredible song swaps/campfires that I can recall in years, reminiscent of years past. The talent sitting around that circle was incredible… a mixture of artists who remained after the event, singer-songwriter participants, audience members who brought their guitars, non-performers who shook eggs or tambourines… and everybody who was there was included and was part of that magical circle of music. I managed to tape about 4 minutes worth… the picture is bad (it was pitch dark out)… but the sound speaks for itself:
What a perfect way to end a perfect weekend.
All of this, of course, would not have been possible without the hard “behind the scenes” work of a dedicated group of volunteers, all of whom deserve kudos for a job well done. If you see them, please pat them on the back and say “thanks.”
First, of course, was the venue itself… Shack in the Back. Ellen Bukstel and Brian Wolfsohn once again supported our community with their generous offer to host the event at the Shack. We are hugely grateful to Ellen and Brian for all they do for our community, and for making this little piece of heaven available to all of us. And then there was Brett Segal and his helpers (whose names escape me at the moment) who handled the sound with such precision that everything sounded just wonderful.
Singer-Songwriter Competition – The Songwriting Competition was made possible through the generosity of Reba Heyman, who sponsored the event and provided the prize money to the winners. The winners received the Vic Heyman Songwriting Award in memory of the late Vic Heyman. We will be eternally grateful to Reba and Vic for their many years of support to our community. The Committee was headed by Bob Singer and Dr. Bob Mitchell… and was comprised of the following team of volunteers: Bruce Feldman, Carol Foster, Susan Moss, and Andrew Waks. This group listened to literally hundreds of songs in order to come up with a list of finalists who would compete at the event. And then our incredible judges (Chrystal Hartigan, Reba Heyman, and Aaron Stang) ended up with the hardest job of all as they listened and conferred and judged and looked at all the finer points of songwriting and finally came to some agreement on the competition winners. Thanks to all of these wonderful people.
Emcees – Being an Emcee is often a thankless job… it requires a lot of work, demands that you are on the ball and following everything that is happening, requires the ability to keep things flowing. It’s often ignored, but it’s an integral part of the show. Steve Greenberg did Yeoman’s duty for most of the event… and Michael Stock joined us for part of Saturday evening’s show. Thanks to both for keeping things rolling along so smoothly.
Everything Else – And then, of course, there is everything else. The multitude of small jobs that have to be done, and somebody has to do them. Banners have to be hung. CD’s have to be sold. Food has to be arranged. (Ah yes, that was a really tough job… testing out all the local food vendors! J) Updated information has to be posted on the website, publicity has to be arranged, lists have to be made, ticket sales have to be tracked, artists have to be paid, award plaques have to be designed and ordered, arrangements have to be made for artists, microphones need to be plugged in, minor glitches and crises have to be tended to, a multitude of little tasks arise that take time and energy. And this is the group of dedicated people who could be depended upon to get the job done, whatever the job was: Bruce Feldman, Carrie Lynn Kaplan, Neil Leibowitz, Laura Levene, Walter Morris, Janis Rubel, and Bob Singer. If I have forgotten anybody, it is inadvertent. Please forgive me.
After we have time to recover from this event, we’ll be setting our sights forward as we begin to think about what to plan for the future. In the meantime, if you are not currently a member of Broward Folk Club, please join us. Membership forms are available at: www.browardfolkclub.com/Join.html. And be sure to join us at our next BFC “Open Mic with Featured Performer” on Friday evening, February 1st at Your Big Picture Café, featuring Texas artist J.R. Byrd (www.jrbyrd.net).
Thanks again to all of you for supporting our music community.
President – Broward Folk Club
Director – 2013 Broward Folk Festivus (Festivus II)