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  • 12/30/2013 7:29 PM | Steve Coffee (Administrator)
    Dear SAW Family,

    Hope you all had a very wonderful Holiday Season and you’re ready for a great 2014. Over the past year, many of you had a hand in making SAW what we are and it is only through your contributions of time and talent that we were able to offer so many wonderful events. I’ve seen the commitment to continue in 2014 and I think we may even do this year improving our craft, sharing our talents, and giving back to the community.

    By the time you read this, the winners of the 30th Mid-Atlantic Song Contest should be announced. Check out the web site because you’ll see a notice that the 30th MASC Award Night Gala is scheduled to take place at Jammin’ Java in Vienna on Sunday, January 19, 2014 starting at 6:30 p.m. It’s always a magical evening of music, camaraderie and fun! Congratulations and thanks to all whom entered this year’s song contest! Mark your calendars and get your tickets now.

    The short notice, 2nd Sat Open Mic Holiday Party in Dec was a great success in spite of the weather. I know that there were more than a few of you who wanted to come but were thwarted by the weather. It was such a great evening that we came to the realization we should try to have more SAW events for the membership, other than just our annual membership meeting. That said, we are starting to plan something for the spring. If you have some ideas or want to help in the planning, please contact me. 

    I’m excited about 2014! We’ll be expanding our SAW Serves Mission and that will present some great opportunities to participate, perform, and show our community that we care. We will also continue to pursue opportunities for us to hone our songwriting and performance skills. Don’t forget the SAW’s Toolbox Sessions on 4th Saturdays, our Critique Session and Open Mic on 2nd Saturdays, and all the other Song Circles, open mics, and showcase opportunities. Please, please, please . . . Check the calendar at saw.org regularly!

    All my best for the New Year. I look forward to seeing you soon!
    Rob Veale, SAW President | president@saw.org

  • 12/30/2013 7:25 PM | Steve Coffee (Administrator)
    By Amy Lowenstein
    On November 23rd, SAW sponsored a concert to benefit the Lyons, Colorado Community Foundation. (http://lyonscf.org/) Lyons was devastated by flood waters on September 12th 2013. Lyons is the home of Planet Bluegrass (www.bluegrass.com) and a vibrant music community. Many of us have strong ties of friendship and respect for that community of fellow musicians. The concert generated over $1,000 in donations for the Lyons Community Foundation. The concert was produced by Larry Mediate with the assistance of Amy Lowenstein.
    SAW members Siobhan Quinn and Michael Bowers related accounts of the near total destruction of the town’s infrastructure during their SAW concert series performance in September. A brief phone conversation between Larry and SAW Serves coordinator Richard White was all it took to get the ball rolling. It all came together as planned although Cindi Slaughter was unable to make it to Northern Virginia for the show as scheduled, Ladies Done Waiting graciously filled in with a great set of music.

    Gratitude and respect to these performers and volunteers:
    Ladies Done Waiting (Chris Anderson, Kathleen
    Hubert, and Kim Melton)
    Jean Bayou (with Jim Clark and Ron Goad)
    Tom Bodine, Marcy Cochran and Scott Malyszka
    T. Edwin Doss
    Jim and Ashley Cash
    Michael Bowers
    Larry Mediate, Jim Clark, Niels Jonker (with Ron
    Goad)
    Caron Dale (Master of Ceremonies)
    Jim Johnson (Stage Manager and live sound mix)
    Richard (Cardo) White (Live sound mix)
    Ron Goad (Percussion and color commentary)
    Amy Lowenstein (Logistics and attention to detail)
    Larry Mediate (Sound / lighting systems and volunteer
    coordinator)
    Special thanks to Pastor Stephan Smith-Cobbs and
    Trinity Presbyterian Church of Herndon.

  • 10/29/2013 11:48 PM | Steve Coffee (Administrator)
    “Sing What You Mean/Mean What You Sing”
    Monday, November 11 | 4 p.m. | BREWER’S ALLEY, 124 N. Market St,
    FREDERICK MD 21701
    Limted Spaces @ $25
    Contact for reservations: Roderick Deacey roddc@xecu.net

    Are your songs a little down in the mouth?
    Is your performance a little lackluster?
    Is your between-song banter in need of help?
    You need to come and see the Song Doctor...

    Amy Speace will be conducting her highly regarded workshop on songwriting and performance “Sing What You Mean/Mean What You Sing” at Brewer’s Alley in Frederick MD on November 11 at 4 pm. This interactive workshop is designed to improve all aspects of the singer-songwriter’s craft, and helps attendees develop both their songwriting and their presentation of the written song. Amy is known as a riveting performer of her own excellent songs, and is the “song doctor” for American Songwriter Magazine. 

    This workshop is presented by Brewer’s Alley Songwriters’ Showcase and precedes Amy Speace’s appearance as the featured songwriter in the Showcase held that evening. There are a limited number of places at the special price of $25. E-mail Roderick Deacey at roddc@xecu.net for reservations.
  • 10/29/2013 11:46 PM | Steve Coffee (Administrator)
    On October 19th, a team of SAW volunteers grilled burgers and hot dogs, and served up a nice meal for the 90 clients and staff at the men’s shelter in Rockville, Maryland. Once the men were fed, the cooks brought out their guitars and did a 2 hour show in the lunchroom for the clients. It was a wonderful event for all. In addition, a one-year membership to SAW was given away in a random drawing. The client who won said he would pass on the gift to a young music student. I offer thanks to the following SAW members who went above and beyond with their help: Larry Mediate (P/A set up, and set), Les Hatley (cook, set); Jean Bayou (cook, set) and Jim and Ashley Cash (cook, set). Also helping with the food, Amina Bayou, and on grill and guitar, Mark Lovett.

    We are planning a Winter event in December or January at a Virginia shelter. To help us, please consider a cash donation to SAW earmarked for “SAW Serves”, or, a donation of help and/or music for an upcoming event. Together, we can put food in hungry mouths, and music in hungry ears!
  • 10/29/2013 11:41 PM | Steve Coffee (Administrator)
    Dear SAW members,

    Once again many SAW members will participate in this year’s Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) conference, Nov 7 – 10, in Kerhonkson, NY. Year by year SAW recognition increases at NERFA through showcasing both our members and Mid-Atlantic Song Contest winners in our two showcase rooms--affectionately called The House and The Senate. This is sure to be another great event with little chance for sleep during the four-day conference highlighting music, workshops,
    mentor sessions, and displays.

    Last month I said we’re working on ways to improve communications, to bring our membership more useful information, and to deliver that information in ways that make sense and are timely. I also asked you to send me your inputs at president@saw.org —your concerns, insights, requirements, etc.—well keep them coming because you’re helping us focus on what we need to be doing.

    To this end, you may notice some changes in the next couple of months—website, educational opportunities, etc. Some inputs we’re considering include expanding workshops for beginners and dealing with collaboration. Other concerns that caught my eye are how to integrate new members, schedule workshops that are led by Grammy Winning songwriters, and increasing the focus on jazz, pop, and country—all great ideas.

    Well, thank you, Education Director Patty Reese for your clairvoyance - hopefully some of you took the opportunity to participate in the multiple Grammy winning Gary Nicholson workshop and performance in Oct. If you did, let us know what you thought—this was a super bargain for SAW members so I hope you took advantage of it.

    Check out the Nov happenings and get out there and have some fun. As I said, we’re looking to bring you more useful and timely information. To do this, we can really use someone who’s willing to lead the effort of birthing this new baby - no it isn’t as hard or complicated as it sounds - in fact, I was wondering what level of effort it might take to coordinate content and increase the usefulness of our SAW newsletter -- so I spent about 10 minutes and reached out to three different people, all having the skills to write and provide a meaningful and relevant article, and I asked if they’d be willing to be a contributor—they all said yes! I know we can make our SAW Notes more engaging and useful to you—Then I thought what fun it might be to read some stories from other SAW members on what motivates them and how SAW has helped them—Testimony Time! So ... I wondered how hard this might be to try out and decided to include my own experience in this issue just to give you an idea of the many different things we might be able to include in our newsletter.

    I think this could really be a lot of fun for a SAW member who wants to make a huge impact on the SAW newsletter—Could that person be you? If you might be interested, just e-mail SAWVolunteers@SAW.org and express your interest.

    Rob Veale, President | president@saw.org
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