Only Sixty or so Days to go

6th Feb 2024

February 5th, 2024

News is coming thick and fast this year. Only sixty or so days to kick off! “Yikes” and so much to do….


Where have all the singers gone?
Where have all the songwriters gone?
Where have all the etc, etc, gone?

The reaction to our funding appeal has been absolutely astounding.
Around thirty individuals responded within minutes of the appeal being posted online. This is a great result. We thank you so much for this demonstration of generosity.
Although we’d like to name everyone who donated we know we need to respect privacy.
However, special mention must go to the individuals who no longer attend but still think it worthwhile to support Sore Fingers Week. We also received a few donations from non-UK people. We’d also like to make mention of the associations and businesses who support us on a regular basis:

Davidson Instruments
Slim Jim Banjos
Daddario Strings
The BMG (Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar Federation)
The British Bluegrass Music Association (BBMA)
Sweet Sunny South Old Time Festival

We see this as a real vote of confidence. Moira and I feel quite humbled at how much this event means to people on the Bluegrass and Old-Time scenes in the UK.
Donation facilities are still open so, if you won on the horses at the weekend, feel free to Toss us a Tenner or so!

The easiest is to donate is by bank transfer, the details are below and please reference your transfer with YOUR NAME prefixed by the letters “SPON”
SFSS Deposit Account (Sponsors)
Sort-code: 30-98-97
Account No: 47972463
IBAN GB39 LOYD 3098 97479 72463
REMEMBER: Please ANNOTATE YOUR TRANSFER with your NAME PREFIXED by the letters “SPON” so we can easily identify it.

With new tutors being announced and classes added, it has caused a bit of a shift around in the class bookings with students changing courses. We are looking to re-enforce attendance on several classes as follows:

SINGING: Dede Wyland is a legend who started out being the lead singer in Skyline with Tony Trischka and after leaving the band devoted her life to the teaching of singing. Have a look at this link and/or this one . Dede came to S.F. many years ago and was probably one of the top three singing tutors we ever invited. Currently there are just 4 (yes only 4) on her class! Come on singers, bring your voices to Sore Fingers and learn a few more techniques to enhance your singing.

SONGWRITING: Same story. Sue was doing great but then they all opted to change classes and poor Sue is left with only one single student. Sue has proved her song-writing credentials and prowess with the duo the Rye Sisters, who have just released another CD to great acclaim. She ran a lovely class last October. She is good teacher and a superb songwriter. I think we need new songs - we can’t keep doing Old Home Place and Rolling in MY Sweet Baby’s Arms for ever, can we? Well maybe we can but it’s good to add in a bit of up-to-date variety.

BLUEGRASS FIDDLERS: Have you lost your senses? Brian Wicklund has been to S.F several times and is one of the most dynamic tutors ever to teach at the event. He’s a long-established teacher of the instrument as well as a consummate performer. And that’s not all, Brian always finds a way of kicking off some side-line activity like the SFSS mass fiddle performance of a few years ago. He’s also responsible for the only ever 50s Rock and Roll dance in the bar. What a night! I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now… “Jitterbug” anyone?

DOBRO PLAYERS are just so cool! They don’t change light bulbs - far beneath them… But they are so cool, they’ve probably not looked at their calendars and noticed that S.F is upon us, and the great Ivan Rosenberg is here to teach them some real cool and fancy licks to take on the road. Wake up folks. Come out of that cool resophonic fog and send in your booking form.

MUSIC DEVELOPMENT: we know it’s a little bit of a mystery. Well check out Andy MacKenzie’s video on the website to get a little taster of the things you can learn. And don’t be put off by the music theory side. It’s taught at a gentle pace and in very practical way so that you get to understand why what you are playing works. Most of you already know plenty of basic theory, you’re just not aware of it. Andy MacKenzie and Mike Pryor will put you straight and help you raise your creative skills. Link to video:

We aim to close Scratchband registration by tea break on the first Monday of Sore Fingers Week. So, we encourage you to get registered beforehand using the online form. You can always withdraw later if you change your mind. Here’s the link:
Link, login and password are below to access the protected registration form.
Login: is as follows:
User: “musician”
Password: “sbands2024”

I have updated some current information where classes are either fully booked or running out of space. Where there is no comment there is still room for a few more bookings – some more than others as described above. Things keep changing all the time, but this is today’s snapshot:

Michael Poole AUTOHARP
Gabe Hirshfeld BANJO – Only two places left.
Ron Block BANJO – Class Fully Booked.
Sam Quintana BASS
Ed Hicks & Peter Earle BEGINNERS
Heather Farrell-Roberts BEGINNERS AUTOHARP
Ivan Rosenberg DOBRO
Brian Wicklund FIDDLE
Stash Wyslouch GUITAR
Tristan Scroggins MANDOLIN
Joe Walsh MANDOLIN – Only one place left.
Andy Mackenzie & Mike Pryor MUSIC DEVELOPEMENT
Allison DeGroot O T BANJO – Class Fully Booked.
Lukas Pool O T BANJO
Sami Braman OT FIDDLE – Only one place left.
Dede Wyland SINGING
Phil Doleman & Percy Copley UKULELE

Places are available on all these classes except where indicated.

We have loads of useful information on the website and you might like to read the following web pages for insight:

Check out your Easter 2024 tutors and their bios:

The “Experience” page describes both the classroom experience and all the extra-curricular activities. It also includes a comprehensive section about the Scratch Band Activities:

“What Course Should I Go On” if you are a little confused as to which class would best suit your musical needs:

Check the “FAQ’s” page for answers to general and practical questions such as “What should I bring?”, etc:
Follow this link to get a daily schedule of activities:

To Register to Participate in the Scratch Band activity:
Link, login and password below to access the protected form.

Login: is as follows:
User: “musician”
Password: “sbands2024”

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