The NEW Raintree Music Heritage Festival You cannot imagine the new things we have in store for 2015. Most of the same Raintree Family whom you know and love. That will never change. But here are some of the NEW things you might expect in 2015. LOCATION: As we have added new classes every year, we have had to move into additional rooms in the church. A few were upstairs. We had a few folks ask where the elevator was, (There is none) and they were not happy. In both 2013 and 2014, I had folks who were camping at the nearby, newly renovated, Cornerstone Campgrounds tell me that it would be a wonderful site for our festival. So I visited Cornerstone. Here is what I found: I was welcomed by the owners Dan and Cyndee Gillmore. Dan and Cyndee are the parents of five (or is it seven?) young children, who assist in the work of the grounds. One was busy mowing, another pulling weeds, and the others were on their way to their daily jobs. The focus of the campgrounds is to provide a center for retreats/seminars/festivals in a Christian atmosphere. No smoking/drinking in any of their buildings or pool area. Facilities: Recreation Hall (similar to our previous vendor area) where we can host our vendors, have our noontime meal, perhaps have one of our larger workshops, and have our mid-day and evening Saturday concert. That is, unless the weather is beautiful, in which case we can set up our lawn chairs outdoors and have our concert at their lovely Gazebo Stage. (You may reserve lunch, at the same cost we have provided it in the past. $5) Office, Kitchen, Dining room: This area is open at all mealtimes, so that you can purchase breakfast items or an evening sandwich, or whatever might be on their menu. The dining area will also seat about 50 and would be a perfect location for Tull and Gary's always overflowing dulcimer workshops. The Bunkhouse is where they usually have dormitory style lodging. There are 25 bunks on the men's side and 25 bunks on the women's side. (Restrooms/showers in the building right across the way. Typical campground style). They will push the bunks toward the back, behind the folding doors, providing us with two medium/large workshop areas. And between those two areas is a Lounge - another large workshop area. And there is a BIG front porch, covered by a roof and enclosed on 3 sides where you could play in a gentle rain and still not get wet! And there are five cabins! Each cabin has two built in bunks, one on either side. They cannot be removed, but there is space in the bunk for about half a dozen chairs, so these could hold some of our smaller workshops. Electricity in the bunkhouse and cabins.
NEW FESTIVAL FORMAT: The 2015 Raintree festival is joining the big guys, in that we will now offer a full weekend festival! Friday night we will host our Power Learning Sessions for ukulele, fiddle, mountain dulcimer and hammered dulcimer - Two workshops with the same instructor: 6:00-7:15, a half hour break, and 7:45-9:00. These workshops will not be for beginners. You should be able to already play a few chords or play some easy tunes on your instrument. This will provide intensive time to allow the instructor to help you really develop some skills and accomplish that which cannot be done in our usual hour long Saturday sessions. But if you ARE a beginner, if you register early you can take advantage of small, almost semi-private lessons (no more than 5 per class) on the same instruments listed above. You will not want to miss these Friday sessions! Friday is now when the "real learning" will be taking place! Saturday will be similar to our past festivals. Lots of workshops to choose from on every instrument you can imagine. There will again be an afternoon concert and an evening concert, lots of vendors for your shopping pleasure, and of course there will be jamming.
Have you noticed, at nearly every festival you attend now, folks are buying and learning to play the ukulele! There is a real revival of this instrument taking place! In celebration of this phenomenon, we have designated this year Raintree's YEAR OF THE UKE! As our Power Session instructor for Friday, we have invited Indianapolis' master of the ukulele, Geoff Davis. I have attended his workshops in Carmel, IN. and you will not want to miss being taught by him! Spending 2 1/2 hours with Geoff, and I cannot begin to imagine all that you will be able to accomplish. If, however, you have just considered to buy a uke and need a headstart session, sign up early and Sharrie George will help you get started. We will also offer Power Hours workshops on hammered dulcimer - Guy George , mountain dulcimer - Tull Glazener, and Fiddle - taught by Myra Dworski! Simultaneously, there will be small beginners' headstart sessions on these same instruments. (Instructors still to be determined). Saturday will be pretty much the same as in the past. Three workshops in the morning, lunch, mid-day concert, and then two more workshops in the afternoon. Supper on your own (perhaps here at the campgrounds, if you choose to purchase a bite to eat from their kitchen), the evening concert and then JAMMING, to your heart's content. This year we will not have that "stop at 10:00 so we can clean up and lock up" restriction. We will need to jam in one of the buildings, as there might be non-festival campers on the grounds, who do not appreciate music into the wee hours.
SUNDAY - A GOSPEL SING! This is always my favorite part of most festivals and I have always wished we could have one at Raintree, but it was impossible because the church needed their building back for Sunday! Dan and Cyndee always have church for their campers, usually at 9:30. But for the convenience of our folks who travel from a distance and want to get back on the road, they have moved it to 8:30. We will have our Gospel Sing, they will provide devotional thoughts and we will be on our way after a totally refreshing WEEKEND OF MUSIC!
What about our instructors who travel for Indianapolis, Brookville area, and elsewhere and would have to commute back and forth in order to participate in two or three days of festival? I can offer a cabin for you to stay in (Restrooms just across the way) or a bunk in the bunkhouse. But these are limited in number. Contact me soon if you are interested.
OK! This is about all I can tell you for now. I am working on all the details. Oh, by the way, they will offer campers a festival discount! Full hookup, (electric, water, sewer), which usually is $50 will be only $30. Regular hookup, (electric and water), which is usually $40 will only be $25. (I told you, they are REALLY nice people!) I do think the festival is going to be BIGGER this year and I know it is going to be BETTER!
The rest of the website pages will be updated gradually with new registration information and new workshop information. But at least you "have the scoop" on what is brewing. Stay tuned........Mark it on your calendar now: May 8-10, THE NEW Raintree Music Heritage Festival!