Mandolin Festival to be held virtually

The 19th Annual March Mandolin Festival will be held March 27 and 28, via Zoom, and hosted by the Concord Community Music School in Concord. This year, the festival features Marla Fibish, Baron Collins-Hill, and David Surette, with special guest vocalist Susie Burke. This two-day event offers group workshops on a variety of topics, jam sessions, and a Saturday evening concert.

Last March, the festival was the last live musical event that many  participated in, Susie and David included. They were very lucky, in that it appeared that no one in the mando community came down with COVID as a result of the weekend.

The virtual music events will allow for students to participate from all over the country and all over the world, without the limiting factors of travel and cost. So we are hoping to have a great turnout of mando-folk from all over. In addition, on both Saturday and Sunday, we will have an epic Group Tunes jam featuring highlights from all the group tunes we have learned and played over the last 19 years. A list will be sent out upon registration.

To register for the festival workshops, visit Or, you can send a check for $150 made out to Concord Community Music School, 23 Wall St., Concord, NH 03301. Please include your address, phone number and email address with any form of payment!



Saturday, March 27

Workshop One: 10:30-11:45

Baron Collins-Hill: A deep dive on mandolin technique and tone production

Marla Fibish: The mandolin in Irish music – history, development of styles, key contributors, etc.

Workshop Two: 12:00-1:15

David Surette: Right hand technique through different picking patterns and meters

Baron Collins-Hill: Learn a Scandinavian tune

Lunch:  1:15-2:30

Workshop Three: 2:30-3:45

Marla  Fibish: Phrasing, variation and ornamentation in Irish music

David Surette: Bill Monroe: repertoire and legacy

Workshop Four: 4:00-5:15

Group tunes jam with David Surette

Evening concert: 7:30-9 p.m. 

Marla Fibish brings her American-born, Irish-accented mandolin style back to our festival, where she was a big hit a few years ago. Marla is internationally renowned as one of the top Irish-style players, and hopefully for part of the concert she will be joined by her husband (and ace guitarist) Bruce Victor, as the duo Noctambule.

Baron Collins-Hill is a versatile and highly-skilled “all rounder,” a great player on the mandolin, tenor guitar, and tenor banjo, and the guiding light behind the website, which provides top-notch mandolin instruction with a series of impeccably produced videos focusing on traditional music.

And David Surette, founder and artistic director of the Mandolin Festival, will be joined by his long-time musical partner (and lovely wife) Susie Burke, for a set of tunes and songs spotlighting their take on the classic folk duo, featuring Susie’s straight-from-the heart vocal style as well as David’s graceful touch on the mandolin and cittern.

This year, we have the opportunity to bring in as many folks as want to be there, and we would like to offer this concert on a Pay What You Will format. In the “before times,” the ticket price for this concert was $20. This year, we are instead welcoming your donations at any level (larger or smaller!) to support the Music School’s outstanding faculty and programming. We could love to have you in the audience, so please join us for what promises to be a great night of music.

To sign up for the concert, visit Workshop registrants receive one complimentary concert ticket.

Sunday, March 28

Workshop Five: 10:30-11:45

Baron Collins-Hill: Improvisation and melodic variation for fiddle tunes

Marla Fibish: Irish polkas – keeping them lively and fun to play (and learn a couple)

Roundtable Q&A: Noon to 1 p.m.

Lunch: 1:00-2:00

Workshop Six 2:00-3:30

Group tunes jam with David Surette

Author: Insider Staff

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