October 2008 Stringalong Weekend


PRE-STRINGALONG: COME EARLY! Come early for a smaller, more intimate Pre-Stringalong. Join us Thursday for dinner and a Special Surprise Evening Event. Enjoy Friday's Group Staff Concerts and In-Depth Classes and stay as late into the evening as you like. Or just come only Friday, all day and evening, including lunch — all for just $89!

GUESTS AND CHILDREN: Bring a guest at a greatly reduced rate to share your Stringalong Weekend room, join you for meals and enjoy the pool and spa. Ages 12+ may attend staff concerts and evening program with you. Children ages 0 - 3 free; ages 5-11 are $79 (Fri/Sat). We are trying to build a list of local babysitters who will come to your room and babysit for your children as needed during the weekend: Email Ann at annschmid@mac.com to inquire.

JEWELRY MAKING: Make glass, silver clay, and/or beaded jewelry to take home. Please make a check to “Kim Stanfill-McMillan” and enclose with your registration:

  • Pre-Stringalong
    (one 2-hour class): $20
  • Stringalong Weekend
    (3 hours of class): $38

Glass, Silver Clay, Beads
Glass, Silver Clay, Beads

2 SONGWRITING TEACHERS: Simply the best — Bill Staines and Joel Mabus.
5 GUITAR TEACHERS: Fingerstyle Great Muriel Anderson is back! Stringalong favorite Joel Mabus teaches Fingerstyle. Justin Carbone (Special Consensus) and Dave Para teach Flatpick. Bruce Emery gives all “skeptical” guitarists a safe start.
6 DULCIMER TEACHERS: Karen Ashbrook and Cathy Barton teach Hammered Dulcimer. Neal Walters, Karen Mueller, Katie Waldren, and Mary Park offer many levels of Mountain Dulcimer.
3 BANJO TEACHERS: Greg Cahill (Special Consensus) teaches bluegrass; Cathy Barton and Joel Mabus teach clawhammer/frailing banjo.

SING, SING, SING! — ALL WEEKEND LONG! Sing Bill’s songs w/ Bill Staines, join a Gospel Choir taught by a Gospel expert, or sing harmonies with Cathy Barton/Dave Para. Pre-Stringalong harmonies with Will and Ann Schmid. Other classes feature singing while playing various instruments.

AFRICAN DRUMMING: Taught by Master Drummer Sowah Mensah from Ghana. Drums provided, but feel free to bring your own African drum if you have one.

African Drum


A “first” at
Stringalong. Play in Jo's
Handbell Choir and learn
how to ring out a tune,
one bell at a time.
Handbells provided.

PLAY IN A BLUEGRASS BAND OR A JUG BAND: Special Consensus will show all our guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and string bass players how to join together in a bluegrass band. Learn when to step up to take the lead and how to play backup. Discover how to sing those “high, lonesome” bluegrass vocals. All instruments are welcome to join Lil' Rev to play in a JUG BAND.

FIDDLE with Randy Sabien; FOLK HARP with Kim Robertson; TINWHISTLE with Brett Lipshutz; and UKULELE with Lil' Rev.

chocolate mouse

CHOCOLATE MICE: Steal the show at any party with these chocolate “mice” — a dessert, party favor or just for fun. All supplies provided.

$3 materials fee (enclose separate check to “Carroll Brown”).

STOP THE MUSIC! Sore fingers? Need to get up and move? Try our easy dance classes, learn about ecology and the importance of “Going Green.” Try calligraphy (fancy lettering), paint your own watercolor greeting cards, or make jewelry, chocolate, or wooden toys. Bring your camera and learn digital photography tips and tricks and how to use computers to get the effects you want. Watch a documentary film about the amazing and inspiring Dr. Emmanuel Bronner, his family and corporation. “It's one thing to slap the word ‘green’ or ‘natural’ on a label, but it's another to make responsible manufacturing, profit-sharing and even saving the world the bedrock principles of an enterprise…there's a reason the soap has been popular for almost half a century.” - Chicago Tribune

MAKE AN INSTRUMENT TO TAKE HOME: Gary Stone, Master Craftsman and owner of Hobgoblin Music, will bring kits, tools and supplies to help you build a cherry or walnut instrument to take home. More info >>

Click on the photos of each instrument below to see details and costs for each instrument. Then tell us which instrument you are planning to make, along with any special feature choices, and enclose a separate check made out to “Hobgoblin Music” with your Stringalong registration. Due to the extra time required, only those registering for both the Pre-Stringalong and the Stringalong Weekend may choose to make a 22-string Eve harp. Sometimes additional time is needed outside of class to finish making your instrument, or you may complete the final sanding, finishing and stringing at home. Questions? Call Gary at 877-866-3936.

Eve Harp
Eve Harp

Click on photo.
mountain dulcimer
Mountain Dulcimer (scroll head not shown)
Click on photo.


Bodhran Irish Drum
Click on photo.
Gramps Teal Banjo
Click on photo.

MAKE A WOODEN TOY: The holidays are coming! Make and decorate this wooden toy, and see if your favorite Little One can catch the ring on the toy's nose!

wooden toy

PRIVATE LESSONS with Staff of Your Choice: Sign up with your favorite staff when you arrive. About $30/half hour. The Pre-Stringalong is a great time for private lessons.

NEW TO US? COMING ALONE? Meet other newcomers at a Welcome, 6:00-6:45 p.m. Friday. Get the Stringalong “inside story!”

ABSOLUTE BEGINNER? WANT TO TRY SOMETHING NEW? We provide a supportive atmosphere to try active music-making for the first time. NO music background or note-reading is needed (unless indicated). Autoharp and Mtn. Dulcimer are perhaps easiest musical instruments to learn…and some of our beginning classes start with “How do I open up the case?”

RENT / OFFER TO RENT AN INSTRUMENT FOR THE WEEKEND: Instruments are not provided unless specifically indicated. Help a newcomer enjoy the Stringalong by renting your extra instruments for $30 per instrument/weekend. Good condition only! Sign up on the registration form. We’ll try to match up those who have an instrument with those who need one, and put you in touch with each other. Pay when you arrive.

JOIN US! MEMBERS MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE: Stringalong Members provide essential supplemental funds that allow us to continue as one of the most popular and least expensive acoustic arts retreats in the country. Many of our most talented participants add a great deal of music leadership and richness to our Stringalong events…and many cannot afford to attend without your membership contributions helping to keep the tuition low. Ann and Will Schmid host special music-filled dinner parties in their home to thank our members, and we ask Olympia to give our First Position members ($75+) rooms with balconies, a lake or golf view, and your requests for floors 1-4 (or even a particular room number).
> Go to membership details

CAN YOU VOLUNTEER A LITTLE OF YOUR TIME? Volunteering is a great way to get to know folks, and we could sure use the help! “Never doubt that a small group of enthusiastic citizens can change the world...indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead. Please see the Volunteers page and fill out the Volunteer Form.