Instructors/Performers:

Maria Zemantauski has performed in Spain, Italy and across the continental United States to great acclaim. Her five cd releases, including the self-titled, Maria Zemantauski (2018) have received stellar reviews from music critics around the world. With an MA in Anthropology, she is a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and universities. In addition to her performing career, Maria is on the faculty in the Department of Fine Arts, Theater Arts & Digital Media at Hudson Valley Community College, where she has been the Coordinator of Cultural Affairs since 2004. mariazemantauski.com

Pat Wictor is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter known for his lean and poetic songs and expressive guitar playing. Grounded in rural blues and gospel traditions, Wictor’s performances incorporate elements of jazz, pop, spoken word, and improvisational surprise. He first gained attention for his outstanding lap slide guitar playing, which made him a sought-after collaborator and session musician. For seven years he toured nationally as one third of Brother Sun, the powerful harmonizing trio with Joe Jencks and Greg Greenway. Wictor’s newest recording is a duo album titled Counterpoise, a collaboration with jazz vocalist Deborah Latz. His latest solo release, This is Absolutely Real: Visions and Versions of Phil Ochs, reached #2 on the Folk-DJ charts and was nominated for Best Tribute Album by the Independent Music Awards. patwictor.com

Glenn Weiser grew up in New Jersey and took up guitar at 13. He studied classical guitar while in high school with Maestro Paul Battat, himself a student of Andres Segovia’s pupil Rodrigo Reira. Glenn later switched to steel-string fingerpicking and learned ragtime guitar from Eric Schoenberg. He is the author of six books on fingerstyle guitar and five books on harmonica, and has also written for Acoustic Guitar and Sing Out! magazines. Glenn teaches private lessons on Skype/Face Time on guitar, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica, and has a website at celticguitarmusic.com. He currently lives and performs in western Massachusetts.

Ron Gordon has been teaching and performing traditional American music for well over a half century at this point. Fretted instruments ( banjo, guitar, ukulele, and mandolin) are his passion, and in teaching at Old Songs, Dance Flurry, SUNY Schenectady SCCC, and many festivals, he’s decided that what he is really teaching is Musical Thinking! It has also been a pleasure producing festivals for ukulele and guitar with Old Songs : the goal is to bring a combination of innovative learning experiences and instructors together, so students have an affordable opportunity toexpand their musical horizons and technique. Many free learning resources are at his site, learnyourfrets.com.


Full Saturday Schedule:

  • 9:30—Registration
  • 10:30—Workshops/Classes, Session 1
    1. Celtic Guitar with Glenn Weiser
      • The objective of this session will be to learn a basic Celtic fingerstyle arrangement of an Irish song. We’ll start with the chord line, and move from there to playing the bass part with the thumb. Then we’ll learn to play the melody using the technique of alternating the right hand fingers. Finally, we’ll put it all together and play the complete arrangement. The song will be written out and copies provided with both standard notation and tab.
    2. The Bass Side of the Guitar: Leading, Alternate, and Bass Runs with Ron Gordon
      • The techniques and musical concepts of using bass note movement in strumming and fingerpicking highlight the counterpoint nature of the guitar. This can add interest and musical creativity to any style : country, blues, old timey, jazz, etc… and has been since the 1800’s for American guitarists. We’ll learn how the theory and practice apply to the styles and common keys you are using “down the neck”. Handouts provided.
  • 11:30—Lunch
  • 12:30—Workshops/Classes, Session 2

    1. Intro to Flamenco ‘Rasqueado’ with Maria Zemantauski
      • This class will focus on rasqueado, the rhythmically precise chord strumming style specific to flamenco guitar.It is designed for guitarists of other styles who are curious about flamenco. The class will introduce basic rasqueado patterns within the compas (rhythmic structure) of farruca and rumba.A working knowledge of first position chords and the ability to move easily through basic chord progressions is recommended.Note: A nylon string guitar is recommended for proper technique, but steel string players are welcomed to attend.
    2. Playing the Blues With Feeling with Pat Wictor
      • What sets apart good blues players is playing with “feeling.” This class delves into principles, tips and tricks for good blues playing, in a variety of acoustic blues styles. The blues can be powerful as minimalistic music, so we’ll work on making simple things count, and then explore variations.
  • 2:00—Workshops/Classes, Session 3
    1. Harmonica for Guitarists with Glenn Weiser
      • Adding some rack-mounted harmonica to your guitar playing can enhance a song greatly. In this workshop we’ll learn some harmonica basics (we’ll hold it in the hand, so don’t worry if you don’t have a neck rack. Just bring a harmonica, preferably a C-scale). I will cover correct breath pressure, chord-melody playing, single-note pucker and tongue blocking, and note bending. Tunes with harmonica tab will be provided.
    2. The Elastic Song: How to Make a Song Your Own with Pat Wictor
      • This is a workshop exploring several techniques for putting your own stamp on songs that you’ve learned. Songs are like elastic: they can be stretched and shaped to reveal new moods and messages. We’ll look at a range of approaches to reinterpreting and rearranging songs. Knowledge of music theory is a help, but not a requirement. Bring along a song that you’d like to rearrange, including a few copies of the lyrics.
  • 3:30—Concert
  • 5:30—Pot Luck Dinner: bring a dish, and/or drink.
  • 7:00—Open Mic

Old Songs, Inc. is a not-for-profit, educational, 501(c)3 corporation

Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 11 am–4 pm.
PO Box 466 • 37 South Main Street • Voorheesville, NY 12186-0466
(518) 765-2815 • Fax: (518) 655-0061 •
oldsongs@oldsongs.org