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March Mandolin Festival 2010

By Mandolin Cafe
December 13, 2009 - 8:00 pm

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David Surette

David Surette

Concord, N.H. — The Eighth Annual March Mandolin Festival will be held March 5-7, 2010, at the Concord Community Music School and will feature Mike Compton, Will Patton, Glen Loper, and David Surette, with special guest Susie Burke.

This two-day event offers group lessons, and workshops on a variety of topics, jam sessions, and an evening concert. Additionally, the festival will present a March 5, Friday night concert featuring the same performers at The Stone Church, Newmarket, NH (this is a separate ticket from the Concord events).

To register for the festival, send a check for $110 made out to:

Concord Community Music School
23 Wall St., Concord, NH 03301

Lodging is available at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Concord, New Hampshire, with a special festival rate. A limited number of rooms have been set aside, so if you are interested, please contact the hotel directly at (603) 225-0303.

For more information, contact (207) 384-8151, (603) 228-1196 (Music School) or email

Sponsors include the NH State Council on the Arts Traditional Arts Program, Mandolin Cafe, and the Concord Courtyard Marriott Hotel.

Performer bios

Mike Compton

John Hartford once said that Mike Compton knows more about Bill Monroe style mandolin than the Father of Bluegrass himself. Born in 1956 in Meridian Mississippi, Mike was exposed to old-time music at an early age, and received his first mandolin at the age of 15. He moved to Nashville in 1977, and since then has been carving out an enviable niche for himself in the worlds of bluegrass, old-time, country, and popular music. Mike has been a long-time member of the Nashville Bluegrass Band, and also performed and recorded as part of John Hartford's band for over 10 years. Mike received Grammy Award acknowledgement for playing the mandolin on two award winning projects, "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" and "Down From the Mountain". Most recently he has been recording and touring with legendary pop/rock singer-songwriter Elvis Costello.

However, for mandolin players and listeners, what really sets Mike apart is his devotion to the style and repertoire of the old-time and bluegrass mandolin music of Bill Monroe. Mike is an acknowledged master of this style, and uses his extensive knowledge and background to create a fresh new approach to Monroe-style mandolin.

Will Patton

Will has been playing music since the age of 6, starting on piano and taking up guitar at age 12. Mandolin and bass soon followed, and he's been leading bands since he was thirteen. Based in VT, his travels have taken him to Rio, Paris and the Caribbean as well as all over the U.S. and Canada, playing rock and roll, folk, bluegrass, Brazilian music, and jazz. His bands have opened for Van Morrison, Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, Earl Scruggs, Maynard Ferguson, John McLaughlin and Toots Thielemans. He has shared the stage with Roy Eldridge and Mose Allison and is featured on many recordings as a bassist and mandolinist. During the last ten years he has been visiting and playing in Paris, and his collaborations with legendary gypsy guitarist Ninine Garcia as documented on his recordings have received critical acclaim both in the U.S. and abroad. His recordings, made with his long time working ensemble as well as guest artists such as Ninine, have all been very well reviewed nationally and have been heard on folk, World and jazz radio shows all across America, as well as on NPR.

Glen Loper

Glen Loper is well-known throughout the New England contra dance world for his work on both the mandolin and the tenor banjo. He is a member of several popular contra dance bands (Rumblestrip and Frigate), and is also a core teacher at the Maine Fiddle Camp. Glen has a great style geared towards playing fiddle tunes, and has a diverse repertoire of tunes, including many cool and unusual newly-composed tunes. He describes his dance repertoire as a mix of Irish, Scottish, Old-Time, French Canadian, Scandinavian, rock and roll, swing tunes, funk, blues, or anything else that the dancers like. Glen is a patient and experienced teacher, and teaches regularly in Portland, ME, where he lives.

David Surette

David Surette is highly regarded throughout New England and beyond for his work on the mandolin, guitar (both flatpick and fingerstyle), and bouzouki; Sing Out Magazine wrote that "Surette's playing is always inventive, and sets a new standard for traditional instrumentalists." As part of a duo with his wife, singer Susie Burke, they have performed regularly together for 20 years, recording several albums and building a reputation as one of New England's top folk duos. Surette was a founding member of the Airdance band with fiddler Rodney Miller, with whom he recorded four albums and toured nationally. He has also released four critically-acclaimed solo CDs; his most recent solo release, The Green Mandolin, is a collection of Celtic tunes for mandolin and cittern. He is also an experienced teacher, and coordinates folk music programming and teaches regularly at the Concord Community Music School.

Festival schedule

Friday, March 5

March Mandolin Festival concert featuring Mike Compton, Will Patton, Glen Loper, and David Surette, with special guest Susie Burke, at the Stone Church Music Club in Newmarket, 7:00 p.m., (603) 659-6321 for more info). This is a separate ticket from Saturday and Sunday events at the Concord Community Music School.

Saturday, March 6

All Saturday and Sunday events at the Concord Community Music School, Concord.

Workshop Room schedule

Community Room - participatory teaching workshops: int/adv
Recital Hall - participatory sessions: int/adv
Studio B - Beginner's session
Room 119 - participatory teaching workshops: int/adv

10:45-12:00 class session

Community Room - Monroe's Blues w/ Mike
Recital Hall - Irish session w/ David
Studio B - Beginner's class: the basics w/ Glen
Room 119 - Improvisation w/ Will Patton

12:00-1:00 lunch break

There are a number of quick and easy places to get lunch and/or dinner within walking or driving distance of the school, and parking in Concord NH is not a problem at all. We will assemble a short list of good options, and may try to provide an on-site sandwich purchase option. I am also planning to have coffee/tea and light snacks available for purchase at the school. There are basic kitchen facilities at the school, and you are welcome to bring a cold lunch or even something to heat up in the microwave.

1:00 - 1:30 Group tunes in the Community Room, led by David, open to all

This is a chance for as many as are interested to play through a selection of choice mandolin tunes in a large group setting; written music will be provided in advance to all registrants. Led by David.

1:30-2:45 class session

Community Room - Jazz chord voicings w/ Will
Recital Hall - Old-time session w/ Mike
Studio B - Beginner's class: open-string chords w/ David
Room 119 - Cool new tunes w/ Glen

3:00-4:15 class session

Community Room - Monroe-style right-hand workout w/ Mike
Recital Hall - Contra dance tune session w/ Glen
Studio B - Music theory for total beginners w/ Will
Room 119 - song accompaniment w/ David

4:30-5:30 class session

Community Room - open jam
Recital Hall - Blues and swing session w/ Will and David
Studio B - Beginner's class: Basic bluegrass toolbox w/ Mike
Room 119 - Generating rhythm grooves w/ Glen

5:30-7:30 dinner break

See lunch break

7:30-9:30 March Mandolin Festival concert featuring Mike Compton, Will Patton, Glen Loper, and David Surette, with special guest Susie Burke. Admission included for Festival participants; general admission tickets.

Sunday, March 7

10:30-12:30 - Mando roundtable and Group Tunes

This is planned as a loose, casual way to consolidate everything that goes on Saturday; a chance to ask questions, fill in last-minute gaps, get a close-up demonstration of that tune from Saturday night's concert that mystified you, compare notes, socialize over coffee, pick a few more tunes,etc. In addition, we will get a second chance to play through the group tunes together.

Additional information:
David Surette
MySpace web site
Concord Marriott

Click red map pin below for driving directions to March Mandolin Festival, Concord Community Music School, 23 Wall Street, Concord, NH 03301.


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