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SAW Community Day

  • 06/02/2018
  • 12:30 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Bethesda United Methodist Church, 8300 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda MD 20814


  • FREE
  • Nonmember Free

Member RSVP
Registration is closed

Please join us for SAW Community Day: A special day of and about Song for songwriters, singers, fans and friends. 

SAW's annual open house is an informative, festive, musical menagerie of song circles, songwriter and performer classes, networking and educational opportunities in a relaxed but energetic atmosphere. This is SAW's yearly introduction to our members and potential members into the musical world we create and strive to make thrive in our area. Come for part of all of the event (12:30 to 7 pm) - everyone is welcome but we ask that you register at www.saw.org.

Schedule (subject to change)
See map for workshop locations:

- Song circles will run all day
- Vocal exercises and harmonies workshop by Peter Schmitt, MCPS Chorus Director (1:00 – 2:00)
- What to expect when you're expecting a gig, Tom Carrico (1:30 – 2:30)
- Chord Grammar, Matt Holsen (1:30 – 2:30)
- The Art of Performance, Danny Dean and Lani a'Kea of The Watch (2:30 – 3:30)
- Painting Pictures with Words and Music, Mike Ryan (2:30 – 3:30)
- Ukulele workshop, Glen Hirabayashi (2:30 – 4:00)
- First Impressions Panel, Dan Magnolia (3:30 – 5:00)
- Screening of Documentary about John Wort Hannam (MASC Grand Prize winner; 5:00)
- SAW AV club will do video shoots (2:00 on; contact Steve Pendlebury to arrange)
- Performance Showcase (6:00 – 7:00)


Vocal Warm-ups and Workshop with Peter Schmidt, MacGruder Chorus Director (1:00 - 2:00)

Peter Schmidt, Chorus Director at MacGruder High School, will lead vocal warm up and harmony exercises, and share some hints on improving your singing. All singing levels welcome.

Chord Grammar with Matt Holsen (1:30 - 2:30)

Even if you don’t remember the rules of language grammar, you know those rules instinctively. The same can be said for music construction.  Learn about the music theory you know but were never taught - circle of fifths, relative minor substitution, tritone substitution, transitions and more  - and how it can open up the doors to constructing better sounding and more confidently structured songs in any genre. Accessible to novice songwriters and still informative to more experienced writers.

What to expect when you’re expecting a gig, Tom Carrico (1:30 - 2:30)
Have you ever wondered what booking agents, talent buyers and venue owners want and look for when hiring musicians? Are there best ways to approach a potential venue? What do they look for? Tom Carrico brings a lifetime of booking and managing experience to the topic. Bring your curiosity, questions and learn how to find the right gigs for you and your group.

In addition to being manager for  Mary Chapin Carpenter (1985-1995), Steve Forbert, The Nighthawks Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band, and a booking agent for Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Tom is a Talent Buyer for Bethesda Blues and Jazz.

The Art of Performance workshop, Danny Dean and Lani a’Kea (2:30 - 3:30)
Find your inner voice as Danny and Lani discuss the art of performance.  Topics include developing tools to build a presentation, preparing for your performance, and discovering the philosophy behind your music.  This is where art meets life, and life becomes art.

Danny Dean and Lani a’Kea (The WATCH) are a dynamic duo who met while performing at the Ryman auditorium in Nashville.  Danny with his record label tour experience (performing as well as band directing) has enabled him to be a part of some of the best performers at some of the top venues across the country.  Multi-instrumentalist, composer and recording artist, Lani, is a Nashville native who found her passion for music at a young age. Following her path, she continued earning her degree in music from Cumberland University. Combining years of classical training with an imaginative presence, Lani now writes, produces, and performs her own works, fronting The Watch.

Painting Pictures with Words and Music, Mike Ryan (2:30 - 3:30)

Hey songwriters. Would you like to make your songs more descriptive? Your images more vivid? Your songs more impactful? Join award winning songwriter Mike P. Ryan for a workshop on "Painting Pictures with Words and Music." Mike, who has won numerous national and international songwriting awards, will take an in-depth look at the writing process and help you improve as a songwriter by teaching you how to join the right words with the right music so your finished songs paint an unforgettable picture for your listeners.  Mike will offer tips, techniques, and insights in a fun, friendly, no pressure environment that will help you create songs that touch your listeners' hearts and souls.

Glen Hirabayashi’s Ukulele Workshop (2:30 - 3:30 or 4)

The Ukulele, while accessible and inexpensive as an instrument, lends itself to many different uses in music.  It is even said that if a song sounds good on the uke it means it is well composed. Glen will take the group through some history, some practical applications and some exercises to improve your approach to this powerful instrument. Uncle Glen was born a long time ago on O'ahu. His first musical instrument was the ukulele. He is a master of " kanikapila" a relaxed style of uke that lends itself to many styles of music.  Glen and his group, The Aloha Boys, have played at Carnegie Hall, the National Mall, the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, the Barns at Wolf Trap, and in Rheims, France, Toronto, Canada, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charlotte, Southern California and Hawai'i.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS, Dan Magnolia (3:30 - 5:00)

As songwriters and performers in a crowded marketplace, it's hard to get noticed, let alone get honest feedback of our art. At First Impressions, a select panel of music professionals will listen briefly to pre-recorded--and anonymously submitted--music and provide feedback and insight from the perspective of their areas of expertise (i.e., radio hosts, event organizers, bookers, etc.). This is your chance to hear the feedback from multiple perspectives in one compact format, so you can apply their advice into actionable results.

How to Submit a Song:

CD (preferred): Drop off a CD at the information table at Community Day no later than 3:00 pm on Saturday, June 2. On the CD, affix a label with the track you are submitting. If no track is identified, the first track will be selected by default.

DIGITAL: Alternatively, you may bring a digital track (MP3 preferred) on a USB thumb drive. Affix a label on the drive or place drive in an envelope with the name of the track you are submitting. If you include more than one track, the first track sorted alphabetically by file name will be selected by default.

Songwriters' Association of Washington is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


4200 Wisconsin Ave, NW
PMB 106-137
Washington, DC 20016

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