Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Antietam Early Banjo Gathering-VI (June 21-23, 2013)

Event Details

Antietam Early Banjo Gathering-VI (June 21-23, 2013)

Time: June 21, 2013 to June 23, 2013
Location: Keedysville, MD
Street: 18906 Shepherdstown Pike (MD Rt 34)
City/Town: Keedysville, MD
Phone: 301-695-1864 (ext 823)
Event Type: conference/gathering
Organized By: George Wunderlich, Kyle Wichtendahl, Tom Frezza, Greg Adams
Latest Activity: May 14, 2016

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Event Description

The Sixth Annual Antietam Early Banjo Gathering

The Antietam Early Banjo Gathering (also known as the Early American Banjo Conference) is the premier event for enthusiasts and scholars of the 19th century banjo music and culture. The conference, held at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum on the Antietam National Battlefield, raises awareness of the early banjo’s significance in the development of American popular music. It also underscores music’s importance in the lives of Civil War soldiers. 

We are excited to announce the schedule for the Antietam Early Banjo Gathering-VI to be held on June 21-23, 2013. The event will take place at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum, Antietam National Battlefield, 18906 Shepherdstown Pike, Keedysville, Maryland.

The Antietam Early Banjo Gathering is focused on three main activities: formal presentations (screenings, lectures, and workshops); one-on-one mentoring sessions about playing techniques; and two public concerts (for additional information about the schedule, please see this forum post).

Registration for the event is $60 per person and includes morning breakfasts (Saturday and Sunday), Saturday lunch, and daily snacks. For more information or to register online, visit www.civilwarmed.org/calendar and click on the Antietam Early Banjo Gathering. For questions, please contact Kyle Wichtendahl at 301-695-1864 ext. *823 orpryprograms@civilwarmed.org. To register for the conference by phone, please call 301-695-1864 ext. *811.



FRIDAY, June 21

• Noon: Registration opens

• 1:00-5:00 p.m.: “Early Bird" Mentoring Sessions (first come, first serve)

• 5:00-7:00 p.m.: Dinner on your own

• 7:00-8:00 p.m.: Greetings and Show & Tell

• 8:00-9:00 p.m.: Presentation 1: Documentary screening: Jim Carrier’s The Librarian and the Banjo (the story of music librarian Dena Epstein and her research into early banjo history)

• 9:00-?: Jam sessions, social time



• 8:30 a.m.: Check-in, coffee, and pastries

• 9:00-9:45 a.m.: Presentation 2: Dorothea Nelson, “Military Amateur Minstrel Groups in the Mexican War and Civil War”

• 10:30-11:15 a.m.: Presentation 3: Panel Discussion, “Interest in the Early Banjo: Why We Do What We Do” with Bob Winans, Cheick Hamala Diabate, Clarke Buehling, George Wunderlich, and Pete Ross (moderated by Greg Adams)

• 12:00-1:00 p.m.: Lunch (provided for registered participants)

• 1:30-2:15 p.m.: Presentation 4: Renee Lapp Norris, “Operatic Parodies in the Minstrel Shows”

• 3:00-3:45 p.m.: Presentation 5: Emily Oleson and Matthew Olwell, “A Presentation and Tutorial on Vernacular Dance and Movement as Applied to the 19th-Century Banjo”

• 5:15 p.m.: PUBLIC CONCERT at Pry House Field Hospital and Museum

• 6:30 p.m.: Dinner on your own

• 6:30 p.m.-?: Jam sessions, social time


SUNDAY, June 23

• 8:30 a.m.: Check-in, coffee, and pastries

• 9:00-9:30 a.m.: Large group meeting about AEBG 2014, logistics for Sunday afternoon concert

• 9:30-10:15 a.m.: Presentation 6: Joel Hooks, “Discovering Horace Weston (1825-1890)”

• 10:30-11:15 a.m.: Presentation 7: Clarke Buehling, “A Presentation on Playing Technique”

• 11:30-12:30 p.m.: Lunch on your own

• 12:30-2:00 p.m.: Concert preparation

• 2:00 p.m.: PUBLIC CONCERT in Dunker Church

• 3:00 p.m.: good-byes 

Comment Wall

Comment by Tim Twiss on June 11, 2013 at 8:11am

Thanks for the tip. I'll look up martinsburg...is it on the way in from the west?


Comment by Andy Chase on June 11, 2013 at 9:08am

I had to look and refresh my own memory - but yes, Martinsburg is just off of I-81, and pretty much due west of Sharpsburg.

Comment by Strumelia on June 11, 2013 at 9:53am

I looked up the Clarion Hotel in Shepardstown- about 15 minute drive straight easy from the event.  Had a generally good rating, and I also looked it up in the bedbug report online database-  it came up clean with no reports at all.   lol!  (don't laugh, this can be a serious issue in some hotels nowadays, you never know)   =8-0   Looks like maybe around $135/night in a room with two beds.  Rob Morrison says he stays there.  Plus, there's that general store music jam right in Shepardstown that Wes mentioned, on thursday night if anyone drives in on thurs and has nothing to do.

Question- how late do people usually stay jamming on friday or sat nites at this shindig?  I'd love to have a general idea, just to know what to expect...

Comment by Tim Twiss on June 11, 2013 at 10:42am

pretty darn late

Comment by Mark Shimonkevitz on June 11, 2013 at 4:13pm

I'm a banjo newbie, so I don't know if I'm excited or scared!  But I'm camping, so I'll get exposed to about as much as possible, I suppose.  I guess I'll be in "period clothing" - my wife asked me yesterday why 50 year old men still dress like children in the summer time (shorts and a t-shirt)!!

Comment by Strumelia on June 11, 2013 at 5:21pm

I'll be there!!  I just booked my hotel reservation!!   =8-0

Feel like I'm doing something ca-raazy, can hardly play a lick of minstrel style yet without looking at a beginner tab...but I hope to learn a few things. 

Woo-HOOOO! Driving down from New YAWK!

I'll bring my Stichter, a limberjack, some bones (hoping to pick up a few bones playing tips), maybe a tambo.

Don't have any period duds, will have to come as I am.

I booked a room at the Clarion from thurs-sunday with 2 queen beds, so if there are any (non-snoring?) ladies who'd like to share with me, that'd be do-able too.  :)

Comment by Dave Culgan on June 11, 2013 at 5:55pm

I'm planning on coming, as long as something doesn't come up to stop me.  I'll be camping, canvas tent and all, and I'll try and bring the shade fly too (might need a couple of pole holders to set it up) so there will be some breezy shade for playing under between scheduled events. I was at the first one in December, maybe it was September but it felt like winter, so I'm looking forward to a weekend at Pry House in warmer weather.

Comment by Connie Vinci on June 11, 2013 at 7:24pm

Dave and I are very excited about this event. As the day draws nearer, I find I have questions (I'm an obsessive data-gatherer, I'm told): is there a list of "bring your own..."? as in our own seating, water, fans. Is there electricity in the barn? will seating be in chairs or on hay bales? As caregiver to a banjoist with multiple sclerosis, I feel I need to be prepared to deal with heat/humidity issues which will make his walking impossible. All hints and suggestions are welcome; tell us what you've experienced in the past.

Comment by Strumelia on June 11, 2013 at 7:47pm

Yes, it's good to know some details about what we need to bring, what kind of seating, etc.  And are all the activities going to take place in the barn?

Comment by Wes Merchant on June 11, 2013 at 8:13pm

It's been really wet down here so insect repellent would be a good idea, but other than the rain it's been a rather mild June, hope that holds on for a while.


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