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Puget Sound Stringed Instrument Exhibition

By David Haxton
September 23, 2003 - 5:56 am

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Seattle, WA -- The Puget Sound Stringed Instrument Exhibit, a free celebration of musical instruments by the people who make them, returns to Renton Technical College for two days this October.

The Northwest has become a center for the design and building of guitars, harps, mandolins, fiddles and their popular, portable relatives. It is a low-profile activity, though, and many instruments go directly from a secluded workshop to the home of a collector or musician without seeing the light of day first.

The annual show is a chance for these instruments to mingle with their audience.

Instruments on display will range from the oldest members of the lute family to guitars with the latest in electronics. Construction techniques vary from conservative to controversial, but in each case represent the work of an individual.

The Seattle Luthiers, a community of instrument makers, expects to build on the success of last year's exhibition, where over 500 visitors saw the work of twenty or more builders from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, northern Calfornia and British Columbia, attended informal concerts and demonstrations, and had a chance to play the instruments for themselves. This year's show will have more builders and more scheduled musical events.

The exhibition will be open to visitors from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 4 and noon to 5:00 on Sunday October 5. The exhibition and performances are held in the Roberts Campus Center, in the center of the campus off Monroe Avenue. Renton Technical College is located at 3000 NE Fourth Street, Renton, WA 98056.

Organization History: Since 1998, the Seattle Luthiers have been bringing together builders of stringed instruments, mostly from the Seattle area, but from as far away as Portland and Bellingham. The group meets on the second Tuesday of most months, either to discuss a technical subject or just to have dinner together. In addition to the annual Exhibit, members have shown their works jointly at the Northwest Folklife Festival since 1999.

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