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Heading for the 25th Sore Fingers Week

3rd Jun 2019

Hello everyone,

ingers Summer Schools is about to enter an interesting twelve month period. The Easter 2020 Sore Fingers Week will be the twenty fifth event and even though we say this ourselves, it’s quite a milestone to reach! Back in the early days, I remember reading an article in Bluegrass Unlimited about the Augusta Heritage Workshops - which inspired our predecessors Mike and Andrea Preston to kick-off a similar event on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. They were celebrating their 30th event. I thought at the time, that we had an awful lot to do to put Sore Fingers on the worldwide Bluegrass map.
We all have to be grateful to Mike and Andrea for having that vision back in 1996! Moira and I have been involved since the very first Sore Fingers Week initially as the Sound Crew. We remained with the event to this day taking over the reins in 2003.
Naturally, the event has been most significant to people living in the British Isles and Europe due to its location on this side of the pond. But it hasn’t gone unnoticed in the country where Bluegrass emerged as an influential art form back in the 1940’s. Sore Fingers Week is rated as one of the choice Bluegrass and Old Time camps worldwide. Quietly makes us proud.
But, I am getting ahead of myself, there are events coming up before that landmark of Easter 2020 and here is what we’ve got in store for you.
First, we are announcing a new venture which takes the form of a musical retreat in Spain and we are kicking this off with a weeklong course taught by Mike Compton on Bill Monroe styles mandolin playing. This isn’t another Sore Fingers Style break, the aim is more towards a holiday with a musical element and will include some local tourism. Have a look and though it will not necessarily appeal to our traditional base of students, it is something we believe could prove to an enjoyable interlude. And in November in Spain, it’s nice and warm and sunny! Read more about it on the course pages.
We are running the usual October Weekend and we have assembled a stellar line up of musicians to come and teach. It should be amazing! We also have a new course: IMPROVISATION. This will be taught by the fantastic Andy Mackenzie who is perfectly qualified to take your instrumental skills to a higher level, towards ability to improvise breaks for all occasions. This new course is largely the brainchild of regular student and S.F. Scratch Band mentor, Trevor Hyett who has been running Improvisation electives to great acclaim at previous Sore Fingers Weeks. This has just got to be runner!
Again, full details are on the course page.
We are working on Easter 2020 tutors right now and we will be announcing the line as it develops.
Earlier this year, we ran a very successful appeal for contribution to our sponsor student fund and several generous people came forward to help. With added funding from Sore Fingers itself, we able to assist several highly talented young people from various backgrounds to enjoy Sore Fingers Week 2019 and learn a lot too. Many people volunteered to contribute for next year’s event and we have identified a bank account for this purpose. The details are below and include data to enable a international transfer too. Please reference all transactions as follows: “SPONS firstname lastname”. Then we can make sure the funds are properly allocated and we know from whom they came from.
Bank details are: Sort Code: 30-93-40 – Account Number 27110368.
If transferring from abroad, you will need the following data too:
IBAN:GB61TSBS30934027110368 - BIC:TSBSGB2AXXX
In these unusual times, with uncertainty over so many aspects of life from food prices to job security; from the cost of flights, to exchange rates, there is understandable caution…some folk are thinking twice about what, where and how they spend their hard-earned cash. Despite these external circumstances, way beyond our control, we are determined to see SF through these difficult times and continue to offer the best value-for-money, high quality learning opportunities over here in Britain and Europe.
If you share our belief in what SF has done for the scene and can continue doing the same for a long time into the future, support us by booking early and continuing to attend these amazing events until we return to better times. And anyway, where else can you get served a fine cup of tea by the in-imitable Ron Block!

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