I’ve worked with a number of “groups” (bands) over the years: Grace Notes, Young-Time Fiddlers, The Pick ‘n’ Bow Company, Blazin’ Bows, StringSong, Shenanigans, Smokin’ Strings and Mulligan Stew. These groups have all had opportunities to perform outside of our regular concerts. The Pick ‘n’ Bow Company, Shenanigans and Mulligan Stew recorded seven music albums, earned a lot of money and performed in such places as Alaska, Colorado, Washington D.C., and Ireland in addition to innumerable performances in northeast Oregon. We have also put on a number of concerts and barn dances to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, Pregnancy Crisis Services, the Humane Society, a child in need of serious medical help, a church that burned to the ground … Being contributing members of our communities is a huge part of giving the gift of music. Here are the guidelines I’ve used for performing groups.
Expectations of Performance Group Members
- You must come to practices. Other things in life are important, but IF you commit to being a part of a performance group, I expect you to be there. It must take priority over other things.
- Along the same line, IF you commit to a gig, I expect you to be there. I refuse to chase you down, or hassle you to get your commitment. If you’d like to participate, great! Then I expect full participation. And it will be your responsibility, not mine.
- If you are a part of a performance group, you must represent the group well. Your school performance and reputation in the community are as important as your musical ability.
- You must be flexible. Teamwork is an important part of any group activity, and music performance is no exception. You must be willing to accept my final authority after the group has worked together to arrive at a consensus in matters of repertoire, dress, musical interpretation and presentation. You must be ready to take the lead on stage, any time I ask you to.
- You must keep your performance clothes clean and neat and always ready at a moment’s notice. Our appearance is as important as our sound.
- When you find that other things in your life are becoming more important than your music group, it’s time to let the rest of the group know that you’ll be changing focus and then move on. (You may not back out of any gig you’ve already committed to, but after your commitment is fulfilled, you may leave.) We will miss you greatly, and you’ll always be one of our favorite people, but we will not try to make you stay with us, when it’s time for you to go. And you don’t have to take on the responsibility of figuring out what we will do without you. We will accept that challenge and learn and grow from it.