Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Future bluegrass musicians will be picking their way through new tunes next weekend during the Blistered Fingers Kids Academy.
Mike Robinson of Belchertown, Mass. leads in the singing some hymns under the big tent on June 23 at the 40th Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Festival at the Litchfield Fairgrounds. Robinson and his wife, Mary, not shown, travel the country to bluegrass festivals to share the gospel both in word and in song.
File photo by Jeff Pouland
41st Blistered Fingers Family Bluegrass Music Festival
• Thursday, Aug. 22 through Sunday, Aug. 25
• Showtimes: 5-10 p.m. Thursday, 12:30-10 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday (worship service at 9 a.m.)
• Tickets: $80 for all four days; daily tickets cost $15 Thursday, $30 each Friday and Saturday ($20 after 5 p.m.) and $10 Sunday. Children 12 and under get in free with an adult.
• Information: www.BlisteredFingers.com
The academy is part of the 41st Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Festival in Litchfield. The four-day semi-annual festival is scheduled to kick off Thursday at the Litchfield Fairgrounds, 30 Plains Road.
"It's to get our next generation going," concert promoter Sandy Cormier said.
The festival, which began in 1991, features dozens of bands from throughout the nation. For the third consecutive year, it also will feature instructors from the Bluegrass Music Association of Maine to teach those ages 6 to 18 to play a variety of instruments, from mandolins to violins and banjos.
Students are encouraged to provide their own instruments, though the festival does have a wide range of instruments available for children unable to afford their own. Cormier said children are encouraged to take part, whether they've been playing for years or they don't know a mandolin from a fiddle.
"It gives them a little bit of a feel for the music," Cormier said. "The focus is going to be on how to play, sing and perform bluegrass music."
The instruction and instrument use are free with admission to the festival, though students are asked to commit to three days of classes.
At the end of those three days, the students will get to show what they learned during a brief concert on stage.
"Everybody gets to shine a little bit," Cormier said.
The festival kicks off at 5 p.m. Thursday, though gates open for camping at 8 a.m. Monday. Cormier said plenty of spots still are available to campers.
The festival continues with nearly daylong performances through 1 p.m. Sunday. A worship service is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sunday. The festival typically draws thousands of people, Cormier said.
"It's a family-friendly atmosphere," she said. "It's like one big family gathering."
For information, log on to www.BlisteredFingers.com or call 873-6539.
Craig Crosby — 621-5642