Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo


The Antietam Early Banjo Gathering is an annual event at the Pry House Barn on the Antietam Battlefield.

The next dates for this event are June 19-21, 2015.
The facebook link is:  https://www.facebook.com/events/683005658487901/

Comment by Strumelia on June 27, 2014 at 3:15pm

I wish someone had taken a picture of the big group in the barn that Greg had going, when he was teaching all the newer players how to play Briggs' Corn Shucking Jig.  It was awesome.   :)

Comment by John Masciale on July 16, 2014 at 11:37pm

Elaine has posted photos from the 2014 conference at:

Comment by John Masciale on July 17, 2014 at 12:12am

She will be adding more to the album as time allows.

Comment by Strumelia on July 17, 2014 at 8:21am

I am not allowed to see the page...is it 'under construction'? or just not available to non-FB members?

Comment by John Masciale on July 17, 2014 at 9:00am

It might not be available to non-facebook members.  I'll see what we can do about that.  If necessary I will try to load all of those pics here.  The problem is that it gets difficult to keep posting pictures on different sites.  Elaine has basically one day uploaded so far, and there is a lot more work yet to do.

Comment by John Masciale on July 17, 2014 at 9:20am
Comment by Al Smitley on July 17, 2014 at 9:50am

Nice photos, and.......somehow, you were able to catch Andy Chase in 21st C apparel!

Comment by Strumelia on July 17, 2014 at 11:22am

That second link works for me John-  thanks!

Comment by Strumelia on July 19, 2014 at 1:03pm

Hmm maybe I should grow my beard out or something...

Comment by Greg Adams on June 9, 2015 at 9:04am

We can't wait! Everything is coming together for this year's Antietam Early Banjo Gathering! Please make sure that you've formally registered for the event here: http://www.civilwarmed.org/pry-house-field-hospital-museum/antietam...

Comment by George Wunderlich on June 22, 2015 at 11:04am

As the host of the event, I want to thank everyone who has come and shared the conversation over the past eight years.  Although the AEBG will end as we know it, I hope that it will continue to shape the conversation in the future through all who have participated.  Thanks to Greg Adams, Kyle and all of our great presenters, we have put forth some difficult and important discussions on race, music, culture, dance and our favorite icon of American multiculturalism.  Thanks you all, and let's plan on keeping the conversation on the next life of the Early Banjo Gathering here on Ning!  

Comment by Strumelia on June 22, 2015 at 11:14am

Um, what does all this mean?

No more AEBG? 

What happened, and why ??

Comment by Michael Pasquerette on June 22, 2015 at 11:32am

I thoroughly enjoyed this year's AEBG, many said they thought this was the best one yet. We had many first timers and they all told me they had a great time and were able to connect well and felt very included in the events. My thanks to all those who mentored over the weekend, your willingness and openness to share with others was a big reason I think everyone had such a great time.

To your question about what happened and why, George and/or Greg can answer more in depth, but simply put George and the Civil War Medical Museum, that operates at the Pry House property including the barn, are parting ways as George moves on to a new position at a local university. Not only that, the Medical Museum staff provide a lot of the organization and manpower to host the event at the barn, and with George's departure their board may not be willing to support the event to this degree. So there is a possibility that the Pry House and barn will not be the venue for next year's gathering.  And while George and Greg are not necessarily stepping away from the gathering, now is the time for some new leadership and vision to arise and carry this further. 

We should probably start a thread here on this site, as we all agreed this is probably as good a central location as any, to start the discussions and get some folks involved in leading the charge to whatever the new gathering might entail. Among the ideas discussed over the weekend were holding the gathering at other local venues to Sharpsburg (like the Antietam or Harper's Ferry or Monocacy Battlefields), local colleges (Hood College, Shepherd College, Stevenson, etc), or other such places. 

I think in a nutshell that is what was discussed over the weekend, more to come on this site, so stay tuned.....

Comment by Al Smitley on June 23, 2015 at 2:38pm

It was good to see some new, enthusiastic people at this year's gathering.  Missed the Carolina boys, Strumula, Mike Randolph, and Dan Gibson as I think it's the first time in my four years of attending that they haven't been there.  Of course we miss Carl Anderton, but he hasn't been to the past couple gatherings.  Good to meet Scott Miller, too, after seeing him on YouTube so often.

Comment by Jeff Trace on June 24, 2015 at 10:09am

Terrific weekend, folks.  One venue as a possible place for the future AEBG I think, would be Gettysburg College.  The interest in 19th century life and society are already there, plus they have great facilities with a strong music department.  Thoughts?

Comment by Robin Netherton on June 24, 2015 at 10:36am

I've put up a photo album on Facebook. You don't have to be a Facebook member to view it if you use this link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10204765342193573.1073741...

Comment by Robin Netherton on June 24, 2015 at 10:55am

Regarding AEBG, I am an outsider and so this may be a completely unworkable thought for reasons I'd have no reason to know, but: Perhaps it would be worth seeing whether a related event is having similar issues and would benefit from co-location (e.g. Bones Fest, the Black Banjo Gathering, a re-enactment event, etc.). The events could still arrange their own programming, in different spaces within a large venue, but having two events at the same venue on the same weekend could allow for economies of scale -- a larger pool in which to spread fixed costs like overhead, group rates at a hotel or camp, and a single point person to manage admin tasks related to the venue. A bonus would be some overlapping programming (e.g. a joint concert, presentation, or jamming/social/meal time) to allow for individuals with similar interests to meet, mix, and network without forcing them to do so. I saw this done to good effect with a pair of historical hobbyist conventions held simultaneously at the same hotel, with separate programming in different rooms, but a single individual handling registration and housing, and common social areas; registering for either event gave you access to "visit" the other.

Comment by John Masciale on June 24, 2015 at 10:58am

Jeff.  I think Gettysburg College would be a great place for a conference if they would be interested in having us.

Comment by Strumelia on June 24, 2015 at 11:07am

Nice to see the pics, thanks Robin.

Comment by Andy Chase on June 30, 2015 at 5:18pm

I've been mulling over a longer-form essay about how I found my way to AEBG and what it means to me, but for now suffice it to say that the five gatherings I attended have been tremendously important to me on multiple levels.  I really missed seeing some of the regulars this year, but was glad to see new people.  I'm sad to see it come to an end in its current form, but I do dearly hope that it can continue to exist in some form and somewhere in the general mid-atlantic region, which has so many ties to the banjo's rise to popularity in the 19th century.

I can't offer a lot of "on the ground" support from up here in New England, but if a steering/organizing committee emerges I'd like to be in the loop.  It seems like the ning site is a natural place for sharing details as they become public, but if need arises for private tools for collaboration/organization I could help with setup and/or hosting.


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