2009 Chapman Stick Workshop

Personal note from Glenn

Boys of AS Cabin #1, 1977
Hi everybody,

Growing up as a student of music and especially a student in the state of Michigan, the Interlochen Center for the Arts was a place we'd always heard about. As a freshman in high school, our music program offerred partial scholarships for students who qualified to attend the summer arts program. I was one of those students and in 1977, I made my first of three summer trips north to the Interlochen campus.

I know it sounds a bit cliche but Interlochen was indeed a magical place. The student body was made up of kids from all over the world. We immersed in music. The buglers blew reveille at the crack of dawn every day and after our breakfast on the beautiful shores of Duck Lake, we were off to rehearsals. We had two full ensemble rehearsals a day as well as sectional rehearsals and private lessons. We took breaks from the schedule in the afternoon for rest and physical activities (usually soccer) and also for our own practice time. In the evening, we either attended concerts or social gatherings. The concerts ranged from campus ensembles to national touring acts.

In all of my years since that time, I have always looked back at my summers at Interlochen as some of the greatest musical experiences of my life. As an adult, I've frequently stopped by the campus when I've traveled to northern Michigan just to visit and to this day, I still get goosebumps as soon as I get out of my car.

It has only been in recent years that the adult programs started. As an alumnus, I've gotten the mailers for these programs and have threatened to attend just about every year. During a visit to the campus in the spring of 2008, it hit me like a ton of bricks ... we should have a Stick seminar HERE!

My original intention was simply to look into renting space and holding the same event we always do. Then I met Matt Wiliford who heads up the College of Creative Arts. Matt was very enthusiastic about the Stick and suggested that we make our seminar part of the Guitar Festival and Workshop.

And so 2009 will be the inaugural event and if all goes well, there could be more. As it would happen, 2009 also celebrates the 40th anniversary of when Emmett Chapman discovered his Free Hands playing method and to commemorate this, Emmett himself will be teaching at this kickoff event as well as Greg Howard.

To the Stick players, students and enthusiasts I've come to know over the years. I realize we're asking for more money and more commitment than we usually do and I realize we're doing it in uncertain economic times. But there has always been an incredible vibe just walking around the Interlochen Campus and I would love to share that vibe with all of you. I truly believe that this will be a one of kind event and that once you get settled, spend time on the campus and soak up the environment, you'll love it and will want to come back and do it again.

So please come join us in August. You might not want to go home afterward.

Glenn Poorman