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UK's Sore Fingers Summer Schools Demand Up after BBC Coverage

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Sore Fingers Summer SchoolsSore Fingers Summer Schools is Europe's leading organisation for bluegrass and old-time music camps, offering world class tuition for all the instruments played in bluegrass as well as old-time fiddle and banjo, autoharp and singing. Recently, the BBC covered the event and this has caused a rush of registrations to the bluegrass school. If you're interested in the October of next year's Easter sessions, you probably want to get started now.

Sore Fingers Summer Schools run two events. The main event of the year is Sore Fingers Week, a five day residential course held in the Cotswolds at Easter time, during which musicians of all levels can learn and improve their knowledge and skills. It is a complete experience where you can escape the daily routine and immerse yourself in music and fun for a whole week. Many become hooked and return year after year.

Sore Fingers also runs a weekend course in late October with the same classes as the main event, allowing people to try out the experience over a shorter period. Due to the recent coverage, demand is up for this session next month. Sore Fingers Summer Schools also run other events connected with bluegrass and old-time music including the amazing Didmarton Bluegrass Festival held annually in September.

A warm welcome awaits all newcomers. Similarly it is of paramount importance to ensure continuity for those who have gown with us. Here therefore is a sincere entreaty for returning students to submit their bookings as soon as possible. As class sizes are limited please don't leave it to chance!

Here's the full October Weekend line up:

  • Singing - Roland Emmanuel
  • Guitar -Gary Payne
  • Mandolin - Percy Copley
  • Fiddle - John Boston
  • Banjo - Richard Holland
  • Dobro - Bill Dalton (assisted by Martin Froud)
  • Bass – Jules Bushell
  • Old Time Fiddle - Jock Tyldesley
  • Old Time Banjo - Bill Whelan
  • Autoharp - Partick Couton (France)

Moving onto next Easter (9th to 13th April, 2012), Sore Fingers has a few confirmed tutors and are in negotiation with the remainder.

The song writing class is reinstated and Sore Fingers has asked popular John Lowell to lead it. However, in their experience this course is not always as popular as some of the others so they're going to review the level of bookings at Christmas. If Sore Fingers has thirteen students booked by then, the course will go ahead as planned. If not, we will have to cancel it. John is fully aware of these conditions and is already lobbying students to make sure he has a class to teach. If song writing is your interest, then get a booking form in soon!

Sore Fingers is waiting for Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore to confirm their attendance at Easter. Chris Stewart and Janet Beazley are also candidates. They should know within a month or so.

Either way, Sore Fingers has top people lined up!

They really hope to run two mandolin classes this year and have three or four potentials under consideration: Jesse Brock (formerly of Micheal Cleveland and Flamekeeper) is interested and therefore probable. Sore Fingers is considering Barry Mitterhoff and Ben Winship too. But the second tutor will be announced later when they get a feel for how many wish to book 2012 mandolin.

For the Banjo, Noam Pikelny is checking his dates and commitments but has expressed an interest in returning. Other candidates are Richard Bailey (The Steel Drivers), Chris Pandolphi (Infamous String Dusters) and there's an outside chance we might see Alison Brown but we need to confirm her willingness to teach.

Bruce Green was lined up to teach Old Time Fiddle but had to pull out due to prior commitments. He will probably come in 2013.

Carl Jones is considering coming and Sore Fingers has yet to decide whether we will ask him to teach fiddle or banjo. Others Sore Fingers is talking to are listed below.

Sore Fingers is pleased to see the return of Orrin Star to teach guitar, Mike Witcher who just blew all the Dobro folks away this year and we welcome Missy Raines to teach bass.

Whatever happens, there will be another amazing line up of artists to teach and entertain at Sore Fingers Week 2012!

In Summary here is the current position:

  • Guitar - Orin Star (Confirmed)
  • Mandolin Candidates: – Jesse Brock, Barry Mitterhoff, Ben Winship, Don Stienberg (TBA)
  • Bass - Missy Raines (Confirmed)
  • Dobro - Mike Witcher (Confirmed)
  • Bluegrass Banjo Candidates: - Chris Pandolphi, Noam Pikelny, Alison Brown, Richard Bailey, Danny Barnes (All TBA)
  • Singing candidates: - Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore or Chris Stuart & Janet Beazley (TBC)
  • Fiddle Candidates: - Becky Buller, Tammy Rogers (TBA)
  • Beginners - Eleanor Cross - Fiddle and Bass (Confirmed), Dan Norton - Mandolin (Confirmed),
  • Guitar (TBA), Banjo (TBA)
  • Old Time Banjo Candidates: - Carl Jones, John Herrman, Chris Coole (all TBA)
  • Old Time Fiddle Candidates: - Rayna Gellert or Sammy Lind or Brad Leftwich (All TBA)
  • Autoharp - John Hollandsworth - (Confirmed)
  • Song Writing - John Lowell (Confirmed)

Well, we hope that whets your appetite! Booking forms are available to download from the Sore Fingers Summer School website.

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