Skunk Misery Ramblers:
What’s a Sunk Misery Rambler? Our own fiddle club, made up of students and adults of various abilities, from beginners to really good pros. We play violins, mandolins, guitars, banjos, whatever. We’re not just old-time, but also Western Swing, Bluegrass, Scots, Irish, and yeah, we throw in a little classical here and there. And yes, it’s free to all.
Next Skunk Performance: February 19, 3:30 at The Hearth, memory unit.
MEETING TIMES: ALMOST EVERY SUNDAY AT 4. AS THINGS CAN CHANGE RAPIDLY, IT’S BEST TO GET ON THE EMAIL LIST, SO EMAIL CHARLIE AT workdog(at)mindspring.com. Sorry for the write-out, but spam-bots have hit.
Meet our Music Director/Instructor, Kat Wallace
Kat comes to us from the absurdly great string program at Ithaca College. We’re especially pleased because Kat represents everything we stand for in our kind of music: she can knock the classics out of the park, yet get down and fiddle with anyone on the planet. Coming through the Ithaca program, she also gets a taste of that funky side of modern alternative strings that doesn’t exist anywhere else. The best of the modern players can play it all, and Kat’s one of the best. She’ll help bring out the best in the Skunks, too.
For regular Skunk attendees, Kat leads a small workshop at 3:30 before each meeting. Each week will feature a slightly different subject matter so even beginners will be able to contribute to that huge Skunk sound. This week, for example, will be on coming up with little fills while others are soloing or singing, last week was a bit of chord work and long bowing. next week will be ways to create your own second violin part on the fly, especially if the main part is too fast!
It’s all part of our mission to get everyone playing, regardless of skill level, and enjoying the community feeling that you get when you play with friends. When you add in the goals of performing, it gets even better. It doesn’t matter how well we play, it’s that we do play, and bring joy to the audience wherever they may be, on a green, in a nursing home or even at a parade
What does all this goodness cost? The weekly rehearsals, the half-hour workshops, the performances? (I’m trying to build up a little drama here, so bear with me…) At a normal music school, it could be hundreds each semester! Maybe thousands for the year! But here, it’s….FREE. Why? Well, if you read our missions page, or some of the blogs, you’ll quickly realize that this 100% all-volunteer community outreach program is solely committed to showing how playing music together, no matter the skill level, is the ultimate community-builder. It brings joy to everyone. It teaches creativity. It provides a life-long outlet for stress-relief, meeting new people, confidence building, and on and on.
Do we care if we produce an army or professional musicians? Not in the least. But if our members can go off to college with a fiddle, and find some like-minded friends, and fit into a group of peers more easily, we’ve won. If it means a mom or dad can come home from a rough day at work, pull out their guitar or mandolin and relax by playing a bit, we’ve won.
We want to tear down the walls of those who categorize music by genre or skill level of the player. We want to destroy the notion of needing an expensive instrument to be able to create beauty. That’s why our tune sets may go from Sibelius to some Scots piping tune to and old-time rocker. If there are a few errors during a performance, we don’t care. Just play.
So that’s the Skunk Misery Ramblers in a nutshell. We’re here, it’s fun, and you can come. What more do you need?