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 Carl Anderton on June 12, 2013 at 5:49am

Yes, all the activities take place in the barn, and they have plenty of seating.  No worries there.  As to handicapped accessability, I believe the barn is?  The staff will tell you more about that.  

Comment by Joel Hooks on June 12, 2013 at 6:30am

Hey Wes, insect repellent is a great way to strip banjos of their finish.  Everyone is welcome to play anything I bring-- unless I seen them spray or smear themselves-- then I won't even shake hands with them.

Pants and long sleeves.  Boots always help if there are chiggers like I grew up with in Texas.

Comment by Strumelia on June 12, 2013 at 8:26am

chiggers ?!?   =8-0

Comment by Joel Hooks on June 12, 2013 at 8:43am
Comment by Rob Morrison on June 12, 2013 at 8:45am

Joel--I'll look forward to seeing you again.--Rob

Comment by Mark Shimonkevitz on June 12, 2013 at 8:49am

Wow.  After reading that, I do not ever want to have to deal with chiggers!  In my entire life of sleeping rough in Maryland, in all seasons, I've never seen them.

Comment by Wes Merchant on June 12, 2013 at 9:51am

I was thinking more gnats and skeeters.

Comment by Joel Hooks on June 12, 2013 at 10:18am

Oh-- skeeters are no problem.  

Comment by James Pentecost on June 12, 2013 at 10:37am

Last year Mark Weems and I slept in my period tent, set up on the hill above the barn. Only saw a few mosquitoes but they may have been held at bay by Mark's infernal snoring. If you think the skeeters may be a problem feel free to borrow Mark for a roommate during the entire event. I will provide free delivery to the barn on Friday.  I didn't encounter any chiggers but you should not have any problem with them as long as you stay out of the woods. Had a great time last year and looking forward to seeing everyone.

Comment by Strumelia on June 12, 2013 at 11:09am


Hey Joel, would you please bring 3 of your 'legendary' thimbles for me?  I'd like to buy 3 of them- how much are they?


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