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home : community : community news May 24, 2016

8/20/2014 7:30:00 AM
Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music coming to Minocqua Aug. 30-31

Jerry and Tara Woolpy will host Old Town School of Folk Music instructor and performer Mark Dvorak for two days of guitar workshops, private lessons and a concert sponsored by Bats In the Boathouse Press, on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 30 and 31. All the events will take place at 8395 Woolpy Drive on Lake Kawaguesaga.

On Saturday, Aug. 30 from 1 to 3 p.m., Dvorak will present "Beginning Guitar." The workshop will focus on providing a simple, solid approach for those interested in starting the guitar, or starting over. The session will cover the fingerings for basic chords, keeping a steady rhythm and exploring some longer-term strategies for improving skills, including picking out single notes, bass runs, and simple finger picking exercises.

From 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday a workshop will be held for those who can change basic chords comfortably and are looking to take the next step. "Six Strings and Ten Fingers" is Dvorak's two-hour exploration into the acoustic guitar. The workshop will cover basic finger-picking accompaniment, picking out a melody finger style, some chord theory and working with a five-note scale.

Dvorak will also be available for private instruction throughout the weekend.

Dvorak will perform a concert on the dock of the Woolpy's historic boathouse on Lake Kawaguesaga at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Since 1986, Dvorak has been an integral member of the faculty at Chicago's remarkable Old Town School of Folk Music. He has worked with thousands of music students who have passed through his classes. He has helped many a beginner get through their first chords and strums, and has hosted a catalogue of master classes and workshops on a range of subjects from old-time banjo picking to the legacy of the great Lead Belly, to just about every other topic related to the study of American folk music.

Dvorak was named "Chicago's Troubadour" by WFMT 98.7 FM fine arts radio last year, and is the 2013 recipient of FARM Lantern Bearer Award for his contribution to the field of folk music. His songwriting has been called "wondrous," and "profound." His performance "an elegant balancing act of the traditional, the original and the powerful." The Chicago Tribune calls him "masterful," while SING OUT! magazine says, "Dvorak shines!"

Dvorak has released 16 albums to date and last year his first book of essays and poems, "Bowling for Christmas and Other Tales from the Road" was published and received glowing reviews. The initial printing sold out in nine days.

"We're blessed to have Mark return to our series. He's gotten rave reviews from the audiences who have packed our home for previous concerts," said Jerry Woolpy, president of Bats In the Boathouse Press. "We're looking forward to hosting our first music lessons and workshops with him. Hopefully we can make it an annual event."

Registration for either workshop is $25 per adult. The rate for a private lesson is $35 for a 50- minute session. The concert is offered at a free will donation, $10-20 suggested. RSVP to to reserve a seat at a workshop, the Sunday concert, or a private session.

For more information, visit

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