2019 Chapman Stick Workshop
July 10-13, 2019
A celebration of 50 years of the Stick
and 10 years at Interlochen
From the writeup of the 2009 event (the first at Interlochen):
Nestled between Duck Lake and Green Lake in the northern part of Michigan's lower peninsula, the Interlochen Center for the Arts was founded in 1927 and is a world renowned organization boasting a 2500 student summer arts camp for kids ranging from ages 8 to 18, a 500 student visual and performing arts high school, two 24 hour listener supported public radio stations, an evolving series of adult arts programs and almost nine decades worth of alumni worldwide.The 2019 event was a landmark event as the year 2019 marked 50 years since Emmett Chapman began developing the Stick and 10 years since the Michigan workshops moved to Interlochen. To celebrate the occasion, the event featured instruction from world class performers and teachers Steve Adelson, Greg Howard, and Bob Culbertson.
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Who Was There?
Glenn Poorman - (Artistic Director) Novi, MI Steve Adelson - (Teacher) Long Island, NY Greg Howard - (Teacher) Charlottesville, VA Bob Culbertson - (Teacher) Sebastopol, CA Steve Osburn - Ann Arbor, MI Bruce Bacher - Greenwood, IN Brian Bagget - Fort Qu'appelle, SK Steve Balogh - Traverse City, MI Jeff Brengard - Cedar Hill, MO Jeffrey Dallavalle - Kalamazoo, MI Art Durkee - Ypsilanti, MI Gary Emanuel - Toronto, ON William Farmer - Elk Rapids, MI Rob Gellner - Guelph, ON Luke Gray - Fredericksburg, VA Bill Hall - Saginaw, MI Andrew Jeffries - Painesville, OH Benjamin Johnson - Franklin, TN Eric Knapp - Monona, WI John Koszarek - Chicago, IL Tim Longfellow - Norton, OH Jeff Luebke - Northville, MI Cory McCormick - Glendale, AZ David Melhorn-Boe - Kingston, ON Matthew Morse - Sacramento, CA Thomas Powers - Wausau, WI Harry Shifman - Glen Spey, NY James Stack - Harrison, OH Claire Steger - Litchfield, NH Darin Stewart - Tualatin, OR Lee Tarricone - Greenfield, IN James Todd - Troy, MI Win Westervelt - Anchorage, AK David Williams - Wood River, IL
Pre-EventPlanning for the 2019 event started earlier than usual and went through several hiccups along the way. After 2017, I had started to consider doing some things much differently including inviting some teachers we've never had before and also giving both Steve Oz and myself more teaching responsibility. Then in the summer of 2018, I spoke to Greg Howard and he reminded me that 2019 would be the 50 year anniversary of Emmett's discovery of his "Free Hands" method of playing. It would also be 10 years since the inaugural Interlochen Stick Workshop. With this being a milestone year, the appropriate course of action seemed to be a return to the original two teachers from 2009 (Emmett Chapman and Greg Howard). I had really wanted to bring Steve Adelson back to Interlochen as well and so with that, I began planning to promote the event such that we could accomodate three teachers.
With agreement from Emmett, Greg, Steve, and Interlochen, we officially had a 50th anniversary workshop on the calendar and I was able to put out a "Save the Date" announcement almost a full year ahead of the event. There was a lot of buzz early on which was encouraging. As the fall of 2018 was moving into winter, Interlochen opened up registration and we started getting signups almost immediately.
At this point, the biggest complication appeared to be putting a schedule together. Normally we would split our student body up into novice/intermediate players and intermediate/advanced players. I had considered simply getting a list of courses from all three teachers and letting the students pick their courses buffet style. That was when the first complication arose. The new music building at Interlochen fell behind schedule and available space was disappearing rapidly. It was looking like we simply didn't have the space to do three courses. The first plan I had was to do our usual split into two groups, have two courses going at once, and rotate two teachers with the third having time off to enjoy the grounds. I solicited course information from all three teachers, put a schedule together, and all seemed ready to go.
Our number of signups continued to rise and we were well beyond the point where I had any concern of having enough people. That was about when the second complication arose. We were down to just a couple of months to go when Emmett contacted me with news that he had to pull out due to some health issues that had arisen. This was unfortunate. Emmett had been looking forward to not only returning to Interlochen but this time he'd planned on bringing Yuta along to visit northwest Michigan. We were, of course, looking forward to having him back. It was a no-brainer though that the health issues had to take first priority.
Immediately I began looking at alternate plans hoping that we could have them in place before alerting people that Emmett would not be coming. Bob Culbertson had planned on coming in for the Ann Arbor Art Fair just like he does every year. I thought that if I could catch him before he made his flight arrangements, he might come a week early and step in for Emmett. Well, Bob agreed to do exactly that so we changed our schedule accordingly and then made the public announcement that Emmett had to cancel.
Knowing so many of the players in the Stick community, I was optimistic that virtually nobody would cancel due to the change and I was right. We did have two cancellations but they were for other reasons. We also continued to get some late signups and at the end of the day, we had 29 students which essentially tied our record from 2002 in Ann Arbor.
With Bob coming in place of Emmett, I made only two changes to the schedule. The first was that instead of a rotation where the third teacher had time off for each session, I made it so the third teacher would do private lessons. The second change was that I would keep Emmett on the schedule for a Saturday lecture but we would do his lecture remotely via Skype.
With that, we were ready to go.
The official start of the 2019 event wasn't until Wednesday but things always start rolling the day before. I knew people were starting to show up on campus. My work began with a run to the airport to pickup Steve Adelson. Steve came in around 3:45pm. From the airport, we headed back to my place to relax until dinner. Before long, Claire Steger joined us along with Art Durkee. Around 7:30 or so, we piled into vehicles and headed to the Bluebird in Leland for dinner where we met up with Greg Howard, and Eric Knapp. From there, Claire, Steve, Greg, and Eric returned to Interlochen while Art and I headed back to my place.
WednesdayThe schedule for Wednesday read as follows:
1:00-2:00Just like 2017, our Wednesday began at 1:00pm with registration so we were able to sleep in for one more day. Art and I left the house around 11:00am so I could get down there early, load in gear, and setup the rooms.
Instrument Setup/Tech Talk
We arrived at Mallory-Towsley well before noon. Betsy was already working on registering the early comers and we met her new interns Evan and Rachel. By the time 2:00 rolled around, just about everyone had registered and were ready to go. I skipped lunch and managed to make my way around to just about everyone re-connecting with some old faces and introducing myself to the new ones. One newcomer who I was particularly keen on saying hello to was Brian Bagget. Brian was one of the first people I connected with on the old StickWire ListServ back in 1999. We've more or less known each other ever since but had never met face to face until this week.
The 2:00 session was mainly a welcome and introductions. We had planned on including Emmett in this via Skype. The idea was that we could troubleshoot the Skype setup so that we could iron out any difficulties before his Saturday lecture. That turned out to be a wise choice as we were unable to connect with Emmett but we were pretty sure we knew what was wrong and we'd be ready for Saturday.
We moved ahead without the Skype hookup and Betsy officially opened the workshop. After discussion of the campus and logistics, I welcomed everyone and went around the room getting everyone's name. We had many new faces this time around and I was hoping on connecting the names with the faces quickly. We went over the schedule for the entire workshop and then moved over to the classrooms 106/107 for the 3:00 session.
Greg ran the 3:00 session and as usual, this session covered instrument setup and general tech questions. We also used this time as an opportunity to start preparing the Great Room for the evening's faculty concert.
At 5:00pm, we wrapped the first day. The students headed for the Stone Hotel to grab dinner. I stayed behind with Greg, Steve, and Bob while they went straight into the Great Room to do their sound check. We managed to get through the check and went down to grab dinner around 6:00pm.
The faculty concert started right at 7:30pm. Steve opened up the evening and did a killer set. It was a real pleasure to get Steve back in Michigan and just hearing him play was certainly part of the reason why. Greg followed with a fantastic set of his own and then Bob did a set that, in addition to Stick, also featured Handpan and Didgeridoo. After the three of them played, some small ensembles formed to finish the evening. Steve took the stage again and played some Pat Metheny accompanied by Tim Longfellow on piano and Steve Oz on hand drum. After that, Steve did another tuned again accompanied by Tim and Oz and also accompanied by Bob on Handpan. After that, Greg and Bob did a tune together and then they wrapped the evening with all three of them performing together along with Tim and Oz. As I expected, the concert was wonderful and was a great way to wrap up the first day.
After the concert, Art and I returned to the house along with Steve Oz and Cory McCormick. The four of us would be staying at my place for the rest of the week and would be making the trip to and from together. As always, it was good to have the extra company at the house and for the drive.
ThursdayI had a good group at my house this year. And by "good group", I mean that everyone was up and ready to go each morning and we arrived every day with a good 10 minutes to spare. Thanks to Art, Cory, and Oz for that.
9:00-10:00We setup everyone in the Great Room for the 9:00am session with chairs in a big circle. The first hour session on Thursday belonged to Steve Oz. Steve's session was more of a group discussion and focused on musical topics outside of just playing the Stick. Things like timing and some interesting tools available to help with essential music skills.
Steve Oz - Group Discussion
Greg - Basic "Free Hands" technique (Beginner)
Steve - Bassline and melody basics (Advanced)
Bob - One on ones
Steve - Basic concepts (Beginner)
Bob - Articulation and tone (Advanced)
Greg - One on ones
Bob - Three basic rhythms (Beginner)
Greg - Unified bass technique (Advanced)
Steve - One on ones
Open Mic, The Karlin Inn
During Oz's session, the group found out about a surprise bonus this year. Prior to the workshop, Dan Chapman had started working on a "50 Years of Free Hands" t-shirt design. The finished design broke on social media a week or so before our workshop. What our group didn't know was that we had a bunch of shirts sent to Interlochen so we could give them out. In addition, our shirts had an added design on the back commemorating 10 years of the Stick at Interlochen. Dan had also done the rear design and did a fantastic job. I quietly passed these out during Oz's 9:00am session.
After a short break at 10:00am, we started in with our teachers. As we usually do, we split the groups into beginner/intermediate and intermediate/advanced. Greg took the beginners for his "Basic Free Hands" course. This is a course Greg has really honed over the years and has become somewhat of a must have for new Stick players. Steve took the more advanced players and did a course on bassline and melody basics. During the morning session, Bob began the one on one lessons. The weather was nice enough where we were able to setup the private lessons outside in the courtyard. During the morning sessions, Bob did lessons with Jeff Brengard, Art Durkee, Eric Knapp, and Tom Powers.
At noon we broke and headed for lunch. Most everyone did lunch in the Stone Cafeterial. We saw a few Stick players indoors but many of us headed for our usual spot at the picnic tables on the deck outside Kresge Auditorium overlooking Green Lake. The scene couldn't have been nicer. The lunch break was two hours allowing time to wander the campus or just sit in a corner and practice for a while. I saw a little bit of both from our group.
At 2:00pm we started up again. Steve took the beginners and worked on basic concepts including triads in both hands, and scale formations. Bob took on the advanced group and talked about articulation and tone. Greg did private lessons out in the courtyard with Bruce Bacher, John Koszarek, and Jeff Luebke.
At 3:20 we took a short break and changed up teachers. Bob did a beginner workshop that he called "Three basic rhythms". Greg taught a new unified bass technique to the more advanced group, and Steve did the last private lessons of the day in the courtyard with Brian Bagget, Rob Gellner, and Andrew Jeffries.
Our last order of the day before heading for dinner was ensemble rehearsals. In order to get a good mix of skills, we'll generally get away from the beginner vs advanced mix at this point and simply have people choose a group. This year was tricky. Originally we planned on two ensemble groups and only Greg and Steve were going to lead them with Emmett sitting this part out. With Bob coming in, it seemed fitting to do three groups but we really didn't have a space for a third group to rehearse. Bob had commented that he had some ideas for a small group that he would accompany on Handpan so we asked for volunteers stressing to keep it to a minimum. I think Bob ended up with five players while Greg and Steve split up the rest. So we put Steve's group into the Great Room, Greg's group into 106/107, and Bob's group in the hallway outside the Great Room.
At 6:00pm we broke for dinner. Tonight was our student "open mic" at the Karlin Inn. Steve Oz and I headed straight down to Karlin so we could start setting up. The plan was for me and Art Durkee to bring rigs. Essentially everyone playing the open mic would play through my rig but Art and Cory wanted to play a tune together so we need the added rig for that. I managed to get setup in pretty short order and started putting together a list/order of players while grabbing dinner there at the Inn. At one point I noticed that several of the names on my list still weren't there (with about five minutes until we were supposed to start). Right about then, Art texted me that they were up at the Hofbrau sitting through the slowest service known to man and were still waiting on food. In a panic, I tossed my list and redid shuffling the order so I'd get most of the players already present out there early. It actually ended up working out that the stragglers started making their way in and everyone was present when we needed them to be. It seemed like it was just that kind of week. Everything just kind of worked.
With the number of students this year, I was a little worried about time. I'd planned on only giving people one tune each but in the end, we really didn't have that many who wanted to perform so everyone was able to do a couple of tunes. Oz started the evening shortly after 8:00pm and played a couple of tunes joined by David Melhorn-Boe on hand drum. The rest of our lineup went as follows:
Art Durkee/Cory McCormick
Greg Howard/Rob Gellner/Oz
All of the performances were really good. Harry Shifman opted to play in front of people for the first time and did really well. Other highlights of the evening were the performances from Luke Gray, Brian Bagget, and a wonderful duet with Greg Howard on Stick and Rob Gellner playing cornet. I wrapped up the evening with two tunes of my own.
By this time we were pushing 10:00pm. We quickly packed up and headed back to the house. Once again, Oz, Cory, and Art were with me. By this time, Rasa had joined us as well. After a long road trip though, she was fast asleep by the time we got back to the house. We had a couple of beers and chatted a bit before crashing ourselves.
FridayOnce again we were all up and out in plenty of time and got to Interlochen with a good ten minutes to spare.
9:00-10:00Art Durkee took over the 9:00am session on Friday. Art and I had discussed topics leading up to the workshop and the topic of singing and playing stood out. It had always seemed to me that with the exception of just a small handful of notable players, this was something sorely lacking from our little world so this was where we went. Art's session went really well and garnered quite a bit of good feedback.
Art Durkee - Group Discussion
Greg - Focus on independence (Beginner)
Steve - Advanced concepts (Advanced)
Bob - One on ones
Steve - Improv and basic techniques (Beginner)
Bob - Playing freely and by ear (Advanced)
Greg - One on ones
Bob - "Wish You Were Here" (Beginner)
Greg - Playing the whole board (Advanced)
Steve - One on ones
Again we took a short break at 10:00am and our main teachers took over. Greg started the morning with the novice players and worked on independence. Steve took the more advanced group and worked on harmony, polychords and groove. Bob did private lessons for the morning session working with Claire Steger, David Williams, Bill Hall, and Tim Longfellow.
At noon we broke for lunch. Once again the weather was picture perfect. We all headed for the Stone Hotel cafeteria and hit our usual spot out on the deck outside Kresge for lunch. We had another two hour lunch and after grabbing some food, people started trickling back to do some practice before the afternoon sessions started.
At 2:00pm we were back on again. Steve took the novice group and started introducing them to the world of improvisation giving them a basic vocabulary for creating music. Bob moved into the advanced group with a workshop about playing by ear, hearing invervals and modes, and universal patterns for each hand to play without regard to key or position. Greg did private lessons working with Cory McCormick, Matthew Morse, and David Melhorn-Boe.
After the 2:00pm session, Oz had to head back to Ann Arbor to get ready for some early teaching sessions on Saturday. With that in mind, we opted to do our group photo before he left so we used our break time here to do just that. One of the interns (Evan) was our trusty photographer and did a great job of getting the shot and getting us back to start our 3:30 session on time.
At 3:30, Bob took the novice group and worked on building the tune "Wish You Were Here" looking at important bass positions and chord combinations. Greg took the advanced group and worked on expanding scales and keys in all directions utilizing the entire fretboard. Steve did the last of the private lessons working with Ben Johnson, Harry Shifman, and Steve Balogh.
After another ten minute break, we broke into our three ensemble groups at 5:00pm for another hour of working on pieces for a Saturday performance. This took us right up to the dinner hour.
Friday evening was essentially a night off. As we usually do, Rasa and I invited everyone to come over to our place for a night of snacking and socializing post-dinner. After our group rehearsals, everyone headed out to grab dinner. I went straight home so I could help Rasa with getting the house ready. She had enlisted some help from our friend Janice Derian earlier in the day so by the time I got there, things were pretty much ready to go so we just waited at that point. Our friends Janice and Dan were the first to arrive but others started rolling in and before too long, we had a house full. As always we had a great time. This year's crew was a lot of fun. As an added bonus, Matt Wiliford showed up. Matt was the original director of the adult programs at Interlochen and I always considered him as responsible for our workshop as I am. It just wouldn't have been a 10 year celebration without him.
It was a great night. We had fires going outside and the weather was fantastic (as it had been all week). We drank and chatted well into the evening and then wrapped up by around 1:00am as we all had one more long day to be up for.
SaturdaySaturday morning started an hour later so we were able to sleep in just a little bit. We were up and out on time again and back to Interlochen with minutes to spare.
10:00-11:30We setup in the Great Room for the 10:00 session. We put Greg, Steve, and Bob up on the stage for a Q&A session. We started out going around and getting bio info from all of our teachers and some background on how they got into the Stick. After that, they took questions up to 11:30.
Q&A session with Greg, Bob, and Steve.
Emmett via Skype
Offset Modal System
"Conceptual" 3-finger melodic technique in the right hand and melodic adaptability
Concert at the Filling Station
Lunch ran for only an hour and a half. As was the case every day this week, we had blue skies and mild temperaturs again and took our lunch out overlooking the lake. It's a small thing but the lunch always turns out to be one of my favorites parts of these workshops. I didn't have long to savor it though as I needed to get back early and test our connection with Emmett prior to the 1:00pm session.
Today I had a tech from Interlochen helping me get everything hooked up the house system. There was a large screen in the Great Room I projected to along with the house sound system. I did a test session with Emmett the night before to make sure we were ready on both ends. We opted out of using Skype and switched over to FaceTime instead. Emmett setup his phone in his office such that we could seem him play and pickup his amplifier from the back of the room. The sound and picture were both perfect. Emmett sent along a few handouts that Evan printed up and passed out to everyone in the room. We were ready to go.
We had Emmett on the schedule for a two hour session. There is always a little finger crossing going on when putting your faith in technology but it all went perfectly. Emmett started with an hour on his "Offset Modal System". This is a topic that Emmett has continued to hone over many years and continues to clarify his presentation. It's an interesting theory topic and every time he covers it, I see more light bulbs firing up in the room.
The second half of Emmett's lecture revolved around a newer right hand melodic technique. this is a "conceptual" 3-finger technique that allows for use of all four fingers but does so by shifting the three finger technique to other fingers besides just one, two, and three. Really interesting and may just provide the onus I needed to start building that pinky strength again in the right hand.
We broked at 3:00pm after a successful session from Emmett. With Emmett still on the big screen, we did another group photo so that he could be included in it. After that, we setup our three ensemble groups and performed. All three of the group performances were superb. Steve's group started and opted to go funky. They called themselves the "Below Average White Band" and did a version of "Pick Up The Pieces". They nailed the tune and added a few chants along the way. Bob's group was next. Bob had a small group of more proficient players. He played the Handpan (tuned in C# minor) and they arranged an original tune using that tuning with almost everyone doing some improvisation over it. I really loved what they did. Last up was Greg's group. I was in Greg's group and we'd started working on a version of "House of the Rising Sun". During our first rehearsal, it turned out that David Williams could nail the vocal for this so we opted to include that in the performance. The first two lines were a little hard to hear though so we went with a version where Lee Tarricone started with the low lines and then David took over when the vocals went up an octave. We put a handful of solos in the middle and had ourselves a tune. I think the vocals were a surprise for everyone and these guys nailed it. Really fun!!
After the three group pieces, we did a full group improv essentially just picking a key and going. We do these at the end of every workshop and it's always amazing how these pieces take on a life of their own with very little instruction beginning and ending very organically. After that, we officially wrapped. We still had another faculty concert in the evening in Traverse City but our Interlochen workshop officially closed at around 4:30pm on Saturday.
Most everyone milled around a bit but we were also hungry so we packed up everything, loaded up our vehicles, and were completely cleaned out by around 5:30pm. Greg and I grabbed a quick meal at the Stone cafeteria (one more excuse to hang out at the lake). After that, I set out for the Filling Station in Traverse City so I could start setting up for the evening's concert.
A Traverse City concert was something we added in 2017 to give our teachers an added gig that would draw more than we usually do on campus. Matt Wiliford had turned us on to this place and introduced me to Todd Klepper whose family owns and runs the establishment. Our 2017 gig there was very successful and so Todd welcomed us back with open arms. We lucked out again too as the Filling Station works best when the weather is nice and we can do the music outside. As had been the case all week, the weather for the evening was perfect.
I started setting up and Todd pulled up his QSC tablet based system and showed me that he still had our setup from 2017 stored so he just pulled that up and made a few minor modifications. I hadn't been there long when Greg arrived and started setting up his rig. Between our two setups, we had everyone covered for the night. I had a nice surprise to when I saw Rasa walking in. She had been cleaning up from the night before and hadn't planned on coming out but then surprised me right at the last minute.
I started the evening doing a very short set. After what I thought was a disappointing showing at the Karlin Inn on Thursday, I was pretty happy with the set I delivered on Saturday. I kept the set short at three tunes and then turned it over to Steve. Steve's set was one of the more notable parts of the evening. Everyone who knows him knows that he loves to do Pat Metheny covers (among many other things). On this night however, he put a setlist together that contained no Metheny. About one tune into his set, this older gentleman approached him, said he really loved what he was doing, and asked if he knew any Pat Metheny. Everyone who knew Steve laughed at the request and, of course, Steve was happy to oblige. After Steve wrapped up, Bob did a set. When I first talked to Todd, he joked that he still had the Didgeridoo settings from 2017. Turned out he put those settings back to good use when Bob pulled the instrument out again this year and also added the Handpan. Bob nailed his set and that left Greg to come and close out the night. Greg gave us a fantastic set and wrapped up with Bob accompanying him on Handpan. It was a great night all the way around for a full house and we wrapped up right around 10:00pm.
With the Filling Station gig over, we were wrapping up for real this time. We slowly started packing things up and everybody spent some time milling around, enjoying the great beers at the Filling Station, and saying our goodbyes. Everyone slowly started making there way back to where ever they were spending Saturday night. Rasa had left right when the music ended and went back to get a bonfire going out on the deck. Art and Cory left just before I did and I followed shortly after. Back at the house, we had some more drinks out by the fire and stayed up for quite a while before finally turning in.
Post-EventSunday was wide open. I was actually enjoying a sabbatical from work so I wasn't on the hook to return to normal life until mid-August. Rasa had taken Monday off. Cory left early on Sunday morning and was gone by the time I woke. Somewhere around 11:00am, Claire came by the house with Bob. Bob was going to rent a car in Traverse City on Monday and drive down to the Ann Arbor Art Fair returning the vehicle in Detroit at the end of the week. So we were putting Bob up for an extra day. Both Claire and Art hit the road early afternoon so Bob, Rasa, and I spent the rest of the day touring around Leelanau County and then in the evening, we met up with our friends Janice and Dan for a really nice dinner at Amical in Traverse City (one of my very favorite TC restaurants).
On Monday, Rasa was up and out early heading back to civilization. I went for a run and then Bob and I hung out chatted, and even played a little Stick in the morning. At around 11:00am or so, I drove Bob to the airport on TC to get his car. Bob's plan was to slowly tour western Michigan driving down the coastline, spending an evening somewhere, and then cutting west to Ann Arbor. From there he would be staying with Oz and playing the Art Fair until Sunday. Bob and I said our goodbyes at the airport. From there, I made a market stop in town and then headed home. At this point, it was just me and the dogs in the solitude of the north woods. After the week we had, the quiet when I got back to the house was palpable.
Time for some serious down time!
WrapupAfter a few events that could have derailed us, this actually turned out to be one of the best events we've ever had. With the hiccups and the amount of people we had, things ran extremely smooth once they got going. We stuck to the schedule, moved from session to session easily, and just had a great time.
We were, of course, disappointed that Emmett couldn't be with us in person but there are some things in life we can't control. Even with that, Emmett's support throughout the process was invaluable and I can't thank him enough for doing the Saturday FaceTime session with us. That was a real highlight for all involved.
After Emmett cancelled, it was really only a matter of a few days before we managed to secure Bob to come in his place. I just can't thank Bob enough for agreeing to do so on such short notice. It's always a real pleasure to have Bob here to teach and, of course, to hear him play.
For Greg, this was his fifth time at Interlochen. In addition to always bringing new things to the teaching table, Greg also has a knack for the logistics side of things and is always way more help in planning than I generally give him public credit for. So thanks again to Greg.
This was Steve's second time returning to Interlochen. Steve always brings a somewhat different approach to playing that is refreshing and always welcome. He has a mastery of music and theory that is really valuable to these events but also manaages to keep things really light so that everyone really enjoys it. Thanks to Steve for coming out this year. Always a pleasure!
Every summer, things just seem to get busier and more demanding at Interlochen. Betsy Braun managed to stick with me through thick and thin in the planning of this event and I would have never made it without here. She also managed to pickup some interns this summer who were a tremendous help and were always there when we needed them. So thanks to Betsy, Evan, and Rachel for everything they did this year.
Again the off campus events were fantastic. This was our second time doing the open mic at the Karlin Inn and as is always the case (with us and with the guitar workshop) Sandy and her staff were incredible and very welcoming. Same goes for Todd at the Filling Station. Todd provided us with a fantastic venue and a good built-in crowd to hold our last performance of the week.
As we are celebrating ten years at Interlochen, I have to continue to thank Matt Wiliford for having the foresight to make us part of the ICCA curriculum back in 2009. His vision for us was larger than mine and I can't stress enough his role in making this a reality. It was only fitting that Matt visited our Friday night gathering to rub elbows with the old guard that he knew and the new guard that he didn't.
As always, I have to thank my wife Rasa. She is always a huge part of the support for these events from the day we start planning right to the end. With her own experience organizing many medical conferences, she's always a calming influence in the planning stages especially when things go wrong. She also continue to be eager to open up her home to our visitors and is always a great host. On top of that, I have to give credit where it's due and mention that the special commemorative t-shirt was her idea.
Which brings me to Dan Chapman. Emmett's brother Dan is huge supporter of Emmett's life work. In addition, Dan is also an incredibly talented designer and has spent the better part of his life designing and illustrating movie posters for some of biggest movies in Hollywood. It seemed fitting to tap Dan for the t-shirt design and in addition the the "50 Years of Free Hands" design on the front, Dan also design the "10 Years at Interlochen" design for the back. Just incredible work and I can't thank him enough for it.
I always have to give my biggest thanks to the people who signup with their hard earned cash to come and attend. We do this for you and I don't know what it is about Stick players but I always really enjoy these gatherings just because of the people I get to meet and the return people I get to see again. It's a real highligh at as always I had a great time!
And of course as always, thanks to Emmett, Yuta, and everyone else at Stick Enterprises. We're all here because of you.