Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Joel Sweeney Convergence

Event Details

Joel Sweeney Convergence

Time: September 7, 2018 to September 9, 2018
Location: Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
Street: 111 National Park Drive
City/Town: Appomattox
Website or Map: http://www.nps.gov/apco
Phone: 434 352 8987 x.233
Event Type: festival
Organized By: David Wooldridge, Mark Weems, James Pentecost
Latest Activity: Sep 10, 2018

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Event Description

An opportunity to play early banjo music at historic Appomattox Court House where " the banjo passed from black hands to white hands."

Comment Wall

Comment by Byron Fenton Hovey on January 29, 2018 at 9:56pm

Are the details for this event, I.e., suggested accommodations, times of activities, fees, etc., available yet?

Comment by CURTIS PAYNE on March 29, 2018 at 3:57pm

just now seeing the date, loved it last year, and now that I know what to expect.   I hope to be able to come once again.   

Comment by Mark Weems on July 17, 2018 at 2:11pm

Joel Sweeney Early Banjo Convergence

2018 Schedule


Fri. Sept. 7th

9-12      Early arrivals may check in as they arrive & enjoy     

               touring the park.

12         Camp opens for set up for period camping.

1-4        Mentoring sessions for banjo, bones, fiddle.  

5-6        Supper

6-7        Gourd Gathering at Joe Sweeney’s gravesite.

7           Playing at the campsite fire.


Sat. Sept 8th

9-11       Playing on the Clover Hill Tavern Porch.

10:45     Joel Sweeney Day proclamation reading.

11-12     Going Beyond Briggs: Presentation by Paul Draper.

               A look at a few Banjo and Guitar - Style pieces in Buckley 

               and Converse.  While many tunes in Buckley and Converse are   

              meant to be played banjo - style, others can readily be played

              either banjo or guitar – style, and still others are specifically

              guitar – style pieces. This workshop will look at a few examples

              of each. 

12          Lunch

1:30-2:30 Singing with the Banjo: Mark Weems & Dave Culgan.

               Thoughts on tuning, pitch and arrangements for singing with

               the banjo.  We will learn to play a piece or two using tab.

2:30-3:30 Concert preparation (solo or group).

3:30-5:00 Concert for the Public on the Clover Hill    

                  Tavern Porch featuring the Sweeney Convergence Musicians.

5:00-6:30 Supper

6:30         An evening of music in the Sweeney Cabin.


Sun. Sept. 9th


9-10        Open session on Tavern porch.

10-11      Planning meeting with David Wooldridge.

11-4        Playing throughout historic village.

4:00         Period camping grounds closed. 

Comment by Mark Weems on July 17, 2018 at 2:15pm

Here is the tentative schedule for the Sweeney Convergence this year folks!

If you have questions, go ahead and field them and David or I will try to answer.

Comment by Mark Weems on July 19, 2018 at 9:48am

Here is a link to kick this event around with your social media friends.


Comment by Scott Danneker on August 11, 2018 at 5:12pm

I will be sleeping on-site in my car during the event, but I will be setting up my simple CW A-frame by the "campfire."   It is available on first-come-first-serve basis to any who may wish to reside within during the event. It's still somewhat musty from Clifftop, but it will keep rain off through the night.   

Comment by Scott Danneker on August 23, 2018 at 2:22pm

Last night, after a long illness, my wife's mother passed away.  This was not an unexpected event.  Her funeral will be held in Madison, FL on 8 September.  


Comment by Strumelia on August 24, 2018 at 8:30pm

Scott, my condolences to your family.  

Comment by Paul Draper on August 24, 2018 at 10:22pm

Hi Scott - my condolences. Sorry you won't be making Appomattox.

Comment by Jacalyn Thomas on August 31, 2018 at 1:07pm


I am sorry for your loss. Safe travels.



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