Bear On The Square Festival In Dahlonega Again Offers Master Classes In Music

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The annual Bear on the Square Mountain Festival, scheduled in Dahlonega the fourth weekend in April, is once again hosting a series of Master Classes in playing stringed instruments.

The Master Classes for the 2014 festival will be held Sunday, April 27, in the Historic Vickery House, home of the Georgia Appalachian Studies Center of the University of North Georgia. Joe Matteson, who is coordinating the classes, said, "The sessions will be taught by some of today's most-sought after professional musicians and instructors who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience that they will share with their students. From these intensive, concise and hands-on classes, students will come away with new skills and knowledge that they can instantly use in their own playing."

The list of instructors and times for Master Classes is as follows:

12:30-2 p.m - Frank Lee, Old-Time Banjo; Erynn Marshall, Southern Old-Time Fiddle, and Carl Jones, Intermediate-Advanced Old-Time Mandolin.

2:30-4 p.m. - Leah Calvert, Bluegrass Fiddle; Jason Kenney, Intermediate Bluegrass Guitar, and Chris Enghauser, Bass Fiddle.

The Master Classes are sponsored in part by the SouthEastern Bluegrass Association (SEBA), and a class costs $15 per student. Or, for $20, a participant can pay for both a Master Class and a SEBA Yearly Electronic Membership, since SEBA is offering Master Class attendees a special discounted price of $10 off the regular price of their yearly electronic membership.

Class size is limited to eight students, and early registration is strongly recommended to ensure a spot. Details and registration are online; contact Joe Matteson, coordinator of the Master Classes, at 706 319-2045 for more information.

See more about the sessions, including class descriptions, instructor backgrounds, and registration information at

Dahlonega's 18th annual celebration of Southern Appalachian culture is being held in and around the town's historic square during the fourth weekend in April this year. The change from the usual third weekend in April was made to avoid conflicting with the Easter weekend. Bear on the Square is a lively weekend of music and art beginning with pre-festival activities, including jamming on the square and a Country Auction, on Friday, April 25. Saturday and Sunday's busy schedule includes free admission, on-stage performances by well known bluegrass and old-time musicians; a juried Artists Marketplace featuring mountain crafts; more jamming on the square; free music workshops/demonstrations; a Gospel Jam; storytelling; an Acoustic Open Mic event; Master Classes for string musicians; an old-time mountain dance; kids activities; and more. More details about the festival can be found on the website.

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