FROM THE SAVANNAH FOLK MUSIC SOCIETY:
The Annual Savannah Folk Music Festival began with a huge crowd in attendance at 7 pm on Friday, October 12 in Ellis Square with”FOLKFEST” showcasing Savannah Folk Music Society Members. The large audience, seated all around ELLIS Square and in the courtyard at City Market, was entertained with a variety of different styles of music from the many genres that make up folk music. Savannah Folk Music Society President Chris Desa opened the show and Jim McGaw, Lauren Lapointe, Cynergy, and Pace Brothers performed for and were applauded by an appreciative audience of local area residents and out of town visitors who enjoyed the show. The best part was the ticket price. . . “ F R E E“.
Noteworthy Art and More Auctions, Friday, October 12 & Sunday October, 14 (Ellis Square & Grayson Stadium)
Chris Desa and Fred Gretsch with Alison Krauss & Union Station signed Gretsch Guitar Auctioned During Festival
All 14 guitars, generously donated by the GRETSCH FOUNDATION and some of which were artfully transformed by local Savannah artists (see below), were sold at silent auction during the Friday and Sunday events. One brand new playable Gretsch Historic Series guitar, signed by all performers at the Sunday concert was auctioned and sold on October 14 at Grayson Stadium.
Youth Songwriting Competition, Saturday, October 13
The Youth songwriting competition, with $1,000 in prizes sponsored by Portman’s Music Superstore was held at Stewart Hall, First Presbyterian church where 3 finalists performed their original songs. Declan Berkley of Savannah won First Prize – a $500 gift certificate for his song “North Pike Island”, Catherine Altomare also of Savannah placed second and received a gift certificate of $300 and Kent Woods of Ridgeland, SC was third and received gift certificate of $200.
Blues Guitar Workshop with Doug Macleod, Saturday, October 13
Immediately following the songwriting competition, a two-hour acoustic blues guitar workshop was hosted by headliner DOUG MACLEOD with about 12 local guitarists and listeners in attendance. It was a great opportunity for attendees to spend quality time and learn from one of the best blues performers in the country.
Old Time Country Dance, Saturday, October 13
Savannah Arts Academy gym was decorated with numerous colorful quilts in preparation for the Festival Dance, which was again very well attended by nearly 250 people. The “Curley Maple” Band provided excellent music throughout the evening which veteran dance caller Janet Shepherd relied on to “call” and guide novices and veterans alike through a myriad of contras, squares, waltzes, and circle dances.
Concert at Grayson Stadium, Sunday, October 14
The Sunday Festival Concert began on schedule in Grayson Stadium with Deidre McCalla, Curley Maple, Al Petteway & Amy White, and Doug Macleod each performing two sets for the benefit of audience members who could attend only a portion of the concert. It was a treat to see long time fans of the performers position themselves at vantage seats in the stands to get a close up view. Every artist gave a stellar performance to an appreciative and attentive audience scattered all over the stands behind home plate at Grayson Stadium.
The Youth Songwriting Competition winner Declan Berkley performed his winning song “North Pike Island” on stage at the Sunday Concert.
Overall, the festival was a great success and next year we will be back again in our usual location at Grayson Stadium said Chris Desa. The collective efforts of SFMS leadership, members, volunteers, and numerous sponsors is greatly appreciated.
Major Festival Sponsors
City of Savannah Leisure Services Bureau: Dept of Cultural Affairs
The Gretsch Foundation
Portman’s Music Superstore
Quality Rock Q 105.3
Brighter Day Natural Foods
For more information about the Savannah Folk Music Society, call (912) 898-1876 or visit www.savannahfolk.org.
Four of the beautiful art guitars auctioned during the festival: