June 24: Penny whistle workshop
Musician Dane Donato will lead a free penny whistle workshop at The LAVA Center at 324 Main St. on Saturday, June 24, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Of ancient origins, the penny or tin whistle, as it is know today, was mass produced in England as far back as 1840, and was a cheap, easily obtained musical instrument that was popular not only in Ireland, England and Continental Europe, but in the early United States, where it remains an easily played folk instrument.
Donato has played the penny whistle since the 1980s. A trained oboist, he is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music in Boston and is penny whistler and instrumental accompanist for the Old Sturbridge Village Singers.
It is not a requirement to have a whistle to participate in the workshop. Donato will bring a limited number of Irish-made, Walton brass whistles in the key of D, available on a first-come, first-served basis, for $10. Workshop participants can also buy a whistle locally (Downtown Sounds or Replay) or online.
Topics covered in the workshop will include: a brief history of the whistle; discussion of whistle keys (D, C, G, E flat, A, F); modern instruments, costs, materials (brass, nickel, plastic, aluminum, wood) and availability, from beginner to professional models; appropriate tunes from American, English and Irish traditions as well as Kwela music of South Africa; techniques to enhance performance, including rolls, taps, cuts, slides, trills and vibrato; playing by ear vs. reading music, and simple tablature; and recommended tutorials, method books and online resources for further study.
This workshop is open to the public and is free of charge, although donations will be accepted. Register in advance by contacting Donato at firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-773-9032 (home) or 413-522-5969 (cell).
LAVA Center begins Puppetry Percolator
Beginning Thursday, June 22, The LAVA Center at 324 Main St. will offer Puppetry Percolator, an informal exploration of the worldwide art of puppetry, on the fourth Thursday of each month from 5 to 8 p.m.
Drop in to examine puppetry’s history and evolution as an art, play with different forms, and workshop simple puppets and performance with facilitator Jovonna Van Pelt, former director of Puppet Showplace Theatre.
This event series is appropriate for teens and adults. Donations are welcome.