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Friday Night Live DIA Free Concert - Pino Forastiere


Dear friends of MFGS

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to see guitarist/composer Pino Forastiere while he was in Michigan here is your last chance.  Pino has been asked to perform at the Detroit Institute of Arts for their Friday Night Live series and will there this Friday November 4th.

This is a free event for those in the tri-county area
there are tours of the museum starting at 6pm. 

 Music is at 7pm and at 8:30 in the stunningly gorgeous
Diego Rivera Court!

Also remember the amazing Tony McManus will be performing on Saturday November 12th.  It is highly recommended to get tickets online since Trinity House Theatre has limited seating. 

Just play this 13 minutes of youtube to hear and see when you come to Trinity House on Saturday November 12th!  Doors at 7:30 and show at 8pm!

 Tickets are $20 and $17 for Trinity House members and can be purchased at

Support the folks who help bring this music to you!

Great Reviews of new CDs in Minor 7th's latest webzine.  Purchases through Minor 7th help defray the cost of this great (and free to you) webzine!


Check out our friends at  Candyrat records   There are a lot of new artists popping up at Candyrat  click on them to see what's new.   


Trinity House Theatre  -

Michigan  Fingerstyle Guitar Society is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization promoting   Guitar Workshops and performances since 2001        


Web site -                    


                             or just join up with us on Facebook          

JB Davies, Rick Haden, Mark Hawks, Jeb McIntyre, Dave Pierson, Ron Stavale    

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Stocking Stuffers & Important News from MFGS


Best wishes from all of us to all of you for a

Very Merry Christmas & A Happy Holiday Season!


Remember that Saturday December 7th ( like it's tonight! ) the Montreal Guitar Trio & the California Guitar Trio are performing at Noel Night in Detroit Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Max M. Fisher Music Center!   Oh ya!  ITS FOR FREE!!  And there are 2 SHOWS  But you have to get there early cause parking is tight. Go downtown early, grab a bite to eat and then go to the concert !

 3711 Woodward • 313.576.5111 •
The DSO & MidtownDetroit, Inc. present two 45-minute performances of the California Guitar Trio with the Montreal Guitar Trio.

Shows at 7:00-7:45     &    8:15-9:00 p.m.




Not sure where to start with this one but we are feeling Really BLUE!   L.   

Our dear friend and big time MFGS supporter Paul Murphy is ending part of his BlueFish Music commercial venture.  It’s hard to run a store, spend time with customers, do repairs , provide lessons and not end up working 16 hours a day.  Hard to keep up with your kids that way!  

Paul will be eliminating the commercial side of his store and Starting Next Week he will be having a huge sale on all of the inventory at Bluefish Music! Paul has more than stocking stuffers too!!  


Stop by or call and let Paul help you find something nice for the guitarist in your life! All sorts of guitars from acoustic to electric to bass to mandolin to ukulele!  Pickups, amplifiers, strings, books, capos, picks …. and anything else having to do with guitars.  This is the end of a 10 year adventure for Paul.

Paul is not totally gone since  he will still do guitars repairs and have a studio for lesson  out of Bluefish.   Paul is a great guy and so we wish him well. 

Do stop by and get a great deal on some nice stuff.  Keep him in mind for  future lessons or guitar setups or repairs. We all would trust our guitar repairs with Paul!    All the best Paul!!

744 Starkweather St, Plymouth, (734) 927-0675 –


Hrs: Mon-Thu, 1pm-8pm; Fri,1pm-6pm; Sat, 1pm-5pm; closed on Sunday


Here is a Great Idea for a stocking stuffer for your guitarist!

One of our MFGS friends, Trevor Gordon Hall (he performed here in Feb. 2013), is going to record with Windham Hill founder/guitarist Will Ackerman. 

In order to help finance this amazing opportunity he has created some great deals for us.  How about for $50 you can get 2 of his signed CDs, one of them is the one he is working on with Will Ackerman and also a 30 minute skype guitar lesson!  For $100 you get 2, 45 min skype lessons or 4 tickets to a show near you (yes he will play in Detroit in the future) Also you get 4 CD’s, one of them is their combined CD, one is Will’s and 2 are Trevor’s.  Trevor has received great accolades from those who have seen him and even Michael Chapdelaine (the only guitarist ever to win First Prize in the world's top competitions in both the Classical and Fingerstyle genres) and Michael Manring (bassist who played with Michael Hedges)  who is one of, if not,  the best bass guitarist in the world; both have great things to say about Trevor.   Check out Trevor’s site and you will really surprise any guitarist you know!  You can go from $15 up to $5,000 and this is a win-win deal!!!   Check this out !


And another Great Idea from one of our big time supporters and friend of MFGS , Rob Poland of Candyrat Records.  Pick out some of the CDs of his great stable of musicians at

 Another idea is Candyrat’s Limited Edition flash drive with 100 of their top recordings for only $50.



Let your friends know that International Guitar Night will again be touring throughout the US in January and February.  Here is a list of where they will be.  They meaning....Mike Dawes, Brian Gore, Quique Sinese and Pino Forastiere! 

January 16-17 Wolf Trap Barns, Vienna VA
January 18 Gordon Center, Owings Mills MD
January 19 Cross Roads Music Philadelphia PA 
January 22 Livermore Performing Arts Center, Livermore CA
January 23 Harris Center, Stage 1, Folsom CA
January 24 Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre, Thousand Oaks CA 
January 25 Soka University, Aliso Viejo CA
January 26 The Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix AZ
January 28 The Museum of Making Music, Carlsbad CA
January 30  Tower Theatre, Bend OR 
February 1 Lincoln Theater, Mt. Vernon WA
February 7 Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport MA
February 8 Center for the Arts, Natick MA
February 10 The Blue Note, New York NY
February 13 The Ellen Theater, Bozeman MT
February 14 Myrna Loy Center, Helena MT
February 15 Alberta Bair Theater, Billings MT 
February 17 St. Joseph's Collegiate, Buffalo NY
February 21 Manship Theatre, Baton Rouge LA


AND last  but not least, MFGS will be taking a hiatus of sorts after our spring 2014 series.  We are not totally going away but we really need some new energy in our non profit organization or we need to take a break.  JB Davies and Mark Hawks have been volunteering to support the fingerstyle artists and bring this great music to you since 2001.  Jeb McIntyre Rick Haden, Dave Pierson and Ron Stavale hopped on along the way.  So, if you have an interest in sharing some of your energy please let us know!  If not, the artists that you have come to know and love can still book with Bill Keith at Trinity House and we will keep our website open for the time being for  newsletters and other info.   



MFGS - Providing fingerstyle concerts, workshops, picking parties  and community outreach since 2001!!

JB Davies - Rick Haden - Mark Hawks - Jeb McIntyre - Dave Pierson - Ron Stavale  

Mark your calendars for 2014's Spring Concert Series

Peppino D'Agastino - March 8th

Michael Chapdelaine - March 29th

Murial Anderson  April 26th

Don Ross & Calum Graham  May 17th



Phone 248-646-4030 – Email-

or please join us on Facebook!!

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California Guitar Trio - November 5th - In Ferndale


Dear Friends of MFGS

For our last concert of 2011 we are honored to present the California Guitar Trio in concert on November 5th at the First United Methodist Church in Ferndale. We were fortunate that they could come by on their fall tour. 

California Guitar Trio 


   Saturday November 5th 7:30pm

Doors open @ 6:30pm

@ First United Methodist Church

22331 Woodward Ave. Just south of 9 Mile

 Tickets are $25 and available online or at the door

Buy Tickets

In 1991 Paul Richards (USA), Bert Lams (Belgium) & Hideo Moriya (Japan) created the California Guitar Trio (CGT) after initially meeting at Robert Fripp’s (King Crimson) Guitar Craft Course in 1987. The trio has toured worldwide since then frequently sharing the stage with Tony Levin (King Crimson). CGT has released 12 albums: 7 studio CDs featuring original CGT songs and a variety of other works spanning numerous genres, 4 live releases, and a Christmas CD with familiar and not-so familiar Christmas music. Lams, who graduated with a concert level degree in classical guitar studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, has also made a solo album of Bach preludes titled ‘Nascent’.  Their 2010 release ‘Andromeda’ was named the Best CDs of 2010 in the instrumental category at the Indie Acoustic Project. CGT’s music was featured on television coverage for the 1998, 2000, 2002 & 2004 Olympics, they performed on the 2003 Grammy Award Show and they also provided wake up music for the crew of NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavor as it orbited Earth. Their music ranges all the way from King Crimson to Bach, fusing rock, blues, jazz, world music, progressive, as well as the quintessential California musical genre surf music. The California Guitar Trio's stunning virtuosity and sly sense of humor have earned them an enthusiastic following and wide notoriety. You can’t miss this show!

California Guitar Trio Guitar Workshop 

This is a remarkable opportunity to spend 2 hours with CGT then pick out your seats watch sound check or grab a bite to eat before the show begins.  Call 248-646-4030 to reserve a spot.     


Other Fingerstyle Guitar Events

October 24th   Guitar Masters Tour  at the Ark featuring MFGS friends Antoine Dufour, Andy McKee and Stephen Bennett -

November 12th – George Worthmore  @ Trinity House in Livonia – 734-464-6302 –

November 13th   Luthier’s Workshop  at Bluefish Guitars in Plymouth. Starts at 1pm.


And from our friends @ Classical Guitar Society of Michigan -

Wednesday, October 19 -7:30pm Dearing Concert Duo in Concert– An Evening of Voice, Strings and Flute-at The Henry Ford Estate

Friday, November 4th @ - 8:00pm - Xufei Yang, guitar plays Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez" with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Sunday, November 6th @  3:00pm - Special Student Recital & Meeting of the Classic Guitar Society of Michigan-Dearborn Historical Museum's McFadden-Ross House

Saturday, November 12 - 12:00pm Johannes Möller, Masterclass 

The Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization

248-646-4030 -Call us if you can help post flyers !!

JB Davies - Rick Haden - Mark Hawks - Jeb McIntyre - Dave Pierson - Ron Stavale


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Thanks For Your Support and Don't Miss This Event!!!


Dear Friends of MFGS

We would like to take a moment to thank you for your support in this our 10th season of presenting Fingerstyle Guitar concerts, workshops and picking parties.  Thanks to Mike Moss @ Callahan's for offering his venue for our concerts and to Pete who does the sound in the house. Can't forget our 'main man'  soundman extroidinare, Rick Ratcliff.

We would like to thank these truly amazing guitarists who came to the  Detroit Area to perform and teach Fingerstyle Guitar.  Preston Reed, Pierre Bensusan, Tony McManus, Stefano Barone, Craig D'Andrea, Antoine Dufour, Gareth Pearson, Ewan Dobson, California Guitar Trio (Bert Lams, Paul Richards & Hideo Moriya)  & International Guitar Night consisting of  Pino Forastiere, Brian Gore, Alexandre Gismonti and Clive Carrol.

More thanks to those that support our picking parties

Paul Murphy of Bluefish Music in Plymouth  ,

Tracey Ambrozy of Tracey's Cafe in Warren,

Gordy Shelst of  Shelest Music in St. Clair Shores.

Also a huge, huge thanks to Rob Poland of Candyrat Records  for his support of our organization and his efforts in promoting guitar music and singer songwriters all over the world. 

We cannot thank enough our dear friend and a fabulous supporter of Fingerstyle Music Pam Rossi of 'Overeasy'.  Sadly her show was cancelled and we certainly miss her and wish her well.  Music misses her too!

We still have Ann Delisi on WDET 

and her cohort  host of Acoustic Cafe Rob Reinhart and Essential Music on WDET

Enjoy the summer and if your looking for a great guitar fix you cannot miss the Canadian Fingerstyle Festival coming up at the end of July.  It is a bit of a hike to get there but once you look at the lineup you'll think more than twice on whether to go there.   Click on this site and look through the amazing lineup and the location &  Hope to see you there !!!

On our facebook page!/pages/Michigan-Fingerstyle-Guitar-Society/145932971825  you can post if you are driving or looking for rides to the Canadian Festival.  Also VIA Rail leaves from Windsor (and other points in between) and considering the price of gas I think the rail line is pretty competetive. 

The Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization    

JB Davies - Rick Haden - Mark Hawks - Jeb McIntyre - Dave Pierson - Ron Stavale



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Craig D'Andrea & Antoine Dufour - This Saturday, May 21st


Saturday, May 21st, 2011 @ Callahan's Music Hall

Candyrat Recording Artists

          Craig D'Andrea       Antoine Dufour


        2007             &            2006

       Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition Winners

"Creating new audiences for fingerstyle guitar by playing tunes with jaw-dropping chops"    

                                                                   Acoustic Guitar Sept 2008

Doors open at 6pm, Show at 7:30.  Stop on by early to get good seats and enjoy some food and drinks @ Callahan's


Discounted tickets available online only @

Online General Admission: $15 / Seniors $12 / Students with ID $5

At the Door -General Admission: $20 / Seniors $15 / Students with ID $5

Craig and Antoine will host a guitar workshop the day of the show from 3pm - 5pm.  Cost of Guitar Workshop is $40 & $20 for students.

Call 248 -842-8124 for information on this show.

Also on

Tuesday May 3rd - the Saint Columban Concert Series in Birmingham Michigan featuring 6 amazing Michigan Guitarists.  Some really fabulous local guitarists including -Nathan Montgomery, Bob Tye, Dan Mervak, Brett Lucas, Jim Nelson, Sean Blackman.

The Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization    

JB Davies - Rick Haden - Mark Hawks - Jeb McIntyre - Dave Pierson - Ron Stavale



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Picking Party this Sunday, 5/1/11, 4-7 pm


Picking Party Sunday, 5/1/11, 4-7 pm at Shelest Music Workshop

22410 Harper Ave, Saint Clair Shores, MI 48080 | 586-218-7071

Topic: The Roots of DADGAD'ology, presented by Prof. Dadgadave

Fingerstyle friendly refreshments will be served.

Saturday May 21st

Candyrat Records Artist and winners of the

Candian Fingerstyle Competition

 Antoine Dufour & Craig D'Andrea  



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Stefano Barone April 16th


This Saturday, April 16th  

From Rome Italy

Candyrat Records Artist and member of Italy's Guitar Republic 

Stefano Barone


with special guest - Glenn Poorman


an Italian guitarist who has an incredible fingerstyle technique that conjures some amazing harmonic and melodic sounds we didn't even know an acoustic guitar could do on its own"                                        Fret Base


Barone's compositions for 12 guitars are performed with the help of a mult-track machine. In such a perfect balance in between acoustic and electronics, Stefano performs live a continuum program, where all the songs are mixed one into another.


Special Guest, and Chapman Stick Artist Glenn Poorman will open the show @ 7:30

@ Callahan's -

Tickets only $5 for MFGS Patrons!

Doors at 6:00pm. Showtime 7:30pm

Callahan's has dinner and drinks so get their early for great seats.

 Tickets through Vendini     Click here for tickets

Stefano will also be performing @ Creole Gallery in Lansing,

Check Creole Gallery on facebook

Friday  April 15th

Creole Gallery 1218 Turner Street, (Oldtown) Lansing

Show starts @ 7:30 pm - door @ 6:30

Tickets $12 @ the door  or Elderly Instruments

Also at this show will be Michigan Luthier Jim Howard who will display a few of his amazing works of art!   Check out this home grown talent.

Upcoming Events - Save the dates

Sunday May 1st 4pm - 7pm, a Picking Party with MFGS's Dave Pierson at Shelest Music Studio in Saint Clair Shores.

Tuesday May 3rd - the Saint Columban Concert Series in Birmingham Michigan featuring 6 amazing Michigan Guitarists.  Nathan Montgomery, Bob Tye, Dan Mervak, Brett Lucas, Jim Nelson, Sean Blackman.

Call 248 -842-8124 for information on this show.  


And finally if you didn't get the chance to complete our Survey we are accepting responses this week for a chance to win one of 10 guitar CDs with the help of Rob Polands Candyrat Records.  Please email me at to recieve a copy of the survey write to MichFingerstyle




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Preston Reed Sat. Sept 25th


 This Saturday September 25th

MFGS presents in Performance

Preston Reed

First United Methodist Church

22331 Woodward

Ferndale (just south of 9 mile)

Tickets $20 General Admission - Students/Seniors $15

         Buy Tickets Now!


At age 16, Reed was inspired by Jefferson Airplane's rootsy blues offshoot, Hot Tuna, with guitarist Jorma Kaukonen. He then studied John Fahey and Leo Kottke. At 17, Reed played his first live gig, supporting beat poet Allen Ginsberg at the Smithsonian Institute. Preston Reed has virtually reinvented how the acoustic guitar is played. Reed plays a flamboyant "self invented" style, characterized by percussive techniques and simultaneous rhythm and melody lines that dance and ricochet around each other, giving his music a level of excitement that is unparalleled today. 

See for yourself


"A heart stopping tour de force"      -                                         Billboard Magazine

"True spellbinding guitar mastery"      -                                    Guitarist Magazine

$20 General Admission, $15 seniors/students,  Doors open at 6:30 pm

Tickets @ the door or

Preston Reed will host a 2 hr guitar workshop 3pm-5pm same day of the show. Workshop cost is $40.

Discounted concert tickets are $10  to workshop attendees. Workshop is intended for players of all levels and  seating is limited!  Call (248) 646-4030 to reserve a seat @ the workshop or for concert info.

Other events to consider

Celino and Lito Romero of the Romero Guitar Quartet will be at WSU Friday, Sep. 17

                Guitar Masters Tour Featuring Eric Johnson, Peppino D'Agostino & Andy Mckee, October 3rd @ the Ark

Tony McManus  First United Methodist Church, Ferndale on November 20th

International Guitar Night - Callahan's on January 29th, 2011,  featuring Italy's Pino Forastiere, Brazil's Alexandre Gismoni, England's Clive Carrol and Brion Gore from the US

The Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization

JB Davies - Rick Haden - Mark Hawks - Jeb McIntyre - Dave Pierson - Ron Stavale

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Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society Updates


Dear Friends of MFGS

Well, as much as we'd like to, we can't book all the great players so Trinity House is helping out by bringing in a fabulous fingerstyle guitarist, Richard Gilewitz  this Saturday, November 7th.  He puts on a great show and if you get a chance to see him you won't be disappointed. 

On Sunday November 8th, our good friend Paul Murphy of Blue Fish Music  is hosting a soon to be annual  Luthier Gathering from 1pm-5pm.   There will be about a dozen amateur and pro luthiers from Michigan, Ohio and Ontario getting together to discuss building, swap tonewoods and show off their instruments. Any friends of MFGS are welcome to check it out and try some guitars. Paul will have the stage and amp set up so there will be some open mike time and with the lesson rooms there will be some quiet places to test drive some guitars.  Paul also does repairs and helpful with advice on anything to do with guitars.

 Of course you know that the remarkable Michael Chapdelaine will close out our 2009 Michigan Fingerstyle Series November 14th (click on our web site, ).  What you don't know yet that on November 14th Michael will be gracing the studio of our good friend Pam Rossi on her Overeasy show,  94.7, WCSX on the dial.  We will be on the show sometime after 9am but just set your alarm to Pam's show @ 7am and blend yourself into the morning (Sat. & Sun)  with a nice mix of great songs. Also Michael will be heading down to 101.9 WDET  to visit with Ann Delisi on her Essential Music Show at 12 noon.  Ann is back on the radio scene in Detroit on Sat. & Sun. from 12 noon to 4pm bringing home grown, eclectic and new 'essential' music to Detroit’s airwaves. 

After Michael’s radio appearances MFGS will sponsor a guitar workshop from 3pm - 5pm at the First United Methodist Church.  You can't ask for a better opportunity to learn from one of the best guitarist in the world.  The cost of the workshop is $40 but workshop attendees can attend Michael's concert for just $10.  Call to reserve a seat.  

Now that we've planned your day on Saturday the 14th, if you need any further info call us @  248-646-4030

 join us on Facebook & Myspace!

The Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society is a 501 (3)(c) non profit organization

JB Davies - Mark Hawks - Jeb McIntyre - Ron Stavale 


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JB Davies To Perform at the Blue Note Cafe'



Fingerstyle Guitarist JB Davies releases First Songs, a CD comprised of eight original compositions and renditions of two songs from his favorites Billy McLaughlin and Isato Nakagawa. This CD is a broad representation of cutting edge fingerstyle guitar. Most of the tunes utilize alternate tunings. His technique includes the heavy use of tapping, slapping, two handed playing over the top of the guitar and the use of the guitar as a percussive instrument.

On Friday, January 30, 2009 JB will perform at the Blue Note Café in Pontiac Michigan where the CD will be released for the first time. JB is Co-founder of the Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society ( a charitable organization that promotes the appreciation of fingerstyle guitar through concerts, workshops and goodwill.



located in the atrium of the


7 N. Saginaw St.

Pontiac, MI

Admission:  $5.00/person

8:15 pm to 10:30 pm

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New Officers for MFGS

The board of the MFGS is delighted to announce the appointment of Ron Stavale as the incoming president and Kevin Tarnas as the incoming vice president. We expect great things from both of them.

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Upcoming concert

Hi folks.. Looking forward to seeing the members of the Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society coming out in force to the upcoming show in Sterling Heights this coming saturday night.  This show is for a great  cause and is a terrific  opportunity for our Society members to show support for each other, which in the performing world is HUGE.  We really need to keep spreading the word of this great genre of music that we're all involved in and the best way to do that is to support as many of our member's gigs as possible and bring friends and family to show them just how marvelous this music is.  Its not just the board members that can do this... its each and every member. So please grab the family and friends and come out to the show.  Its an early night and I know I can speak for the performers in that we'd be honored and very very pleased to see you all. 

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Summer Benefit Show for the Church of the Holy City


The Church of the Holy City Presents

Contact Phone No: (248) 546-7683

"The Strings of Summer"

(A Vocal and Guitar Fest)

(All Proceeds to Benefit The Church of the Holy City.)


James Balcerski & Wayne Smoot

(This duo will be singing and playing music with a country flair.

Some of it will be originals – both words and music.)

Allan* & Angela Goetz

(Hear the absolutely angelic voice of Angela accompanied by Allan.

Originals are also on the books for these two. They are truly heaven sent.)

Merv Collins*

(Just in from Chicago with 3 different guitars and his newest CD "Bits and Pieces."

This will be a fantastic grand finale that you won’t want to miss!)


Saturday, July 8, 2006

Concert Performance will be held at

Sterling Estates Clubhouse located at 43475 LaGrand

in Sterling Heights, MI 48314

[For further directions, contact Linda or Mike Numerick at (586) 731-9416.]

Doors open at 7:00PM

Program: 7:30 – 10:00PM

Intermission at 8:30PM – Munchies / Meet and Greet

9:30-10:00PM – CD table perusal and encores.

Tickets are $10.00 at the door; Children Under 18 Free!


We wish to Thank: Our Fabulous Performers, the Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society

and Cheri Miller (Church Musician’s Liason).


*Members of the Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society.

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Fingerstyle Happenings

Fingerstyle Occurrences:
Jere's Picks. . .
Greetings Guitarheads.
Just a little communiqué regarding members of the MFGS, their friends, and their guitar adventures.

Had a chance to drop by the Woman's Club of Royal Oak (just west of downtown) to listen to 3 fine guitar-players APRIL 22nd.  It was an EARTH DAY SERVICE & FUNDRAISER FOR ROYAL OAK ANIMAL SHELTER.  New board member Craig Porter opened the show with some lively ragtime  guitar.  He performed Hesitation Blues, Barnyard Dance and a whole slew of crowd-pleasers.  He sang on most of the tunes and played a little mandolin (the big one is called octave) and delighted the listeners in general.
Next up was Mark Hawks (one the MFGS founders).  There is no better member of our society (that I am aware of) who is so perfect a living breathing advertisement for our concert season. . .  He plays the music of almost EVERYONE we bring to town.  He had the crowd slack-jawed as he performed pieces by Laurence Juber, Al Petteway, Alex de Grassi, Preston Reed & other notable fingerstyle artists – Plus a Beatles song which I believe was an Ed Gerhard arrangement.  Finally, our evening closer was professional guitarist and educator Nick Schillace.  He plays guitar in a number of projects: Great Lake Trawler, Indoor Park and O Death, but on this night we enjoyed his solo repertoire.  Nick counts John Fahey as a prime influence and it shows in his very American frontier "Let's see where the river takes us" sensibility.  He is a lot of fun to listen to, and I appreciated the nod to the great Brazilian guitarist Bola Sete.  Check his website, or at
and buy his CD called BOX CANYON.

On Saturday April 29th several members congregated at founder JB Davies residence to tryout some new Sheldon Schwartz guitars first hand.  Schwartz is a luthier based in Ontario Canada and several of our  membership have had guitars custom-built by this highly skilled artisan.  He had 2 nearly identical guitars rich in abalone inlay. One of Koa wood, and another of East Indian Rosewood, with both soundbounds of Master-Grade Sitka Spruce.  It was a sonic treat to hear so many different guitarists do their "things" in an astonishing array of styles. Check out his website:
If this kind fun sounds like well, kind of fun . . .  Join our society and you'll see that it is!

Picking parties:  Over the years we have hosted guitar circles we like to call Picking Parties.  The last couple have been at the Ferndale Coffee Beanery. It is a fine forum for those of us who like to play for an audience.  However, we do have some Picking Parties in the homes of our members although none are scheduled at this time . . . bringing me to the next point:  Think about hosting one.  Just takes 2 or 3 hours. Nothing fancy required.  You name the place and the appointed hour.  It's pretty low maintenance because the guitarist are really there to play, not to sample finger food.  (Or we'd be the Michigan Finger-Food Guitar Society). And finally, another reminder to check out one of the premier guitar instrumentalists around: Ed Gerhard.  I missed him last time, but I won't miss him this time:

Saturday May 6 at the First United Methodist Church
22331 Woodward Avenue
Ferndale, MI 48220
Doors at 6:30 Showtime at 7:30
Tickets $15, Seniors and Children $10
Plus Ed will be holding a workshop Sunday May 7th
Space is limited and by reservation only.
And finally, please check out our newsletter page on the website:

And triple finally, I will be playing some sample of this kind of
fingerstyle guitar music on the radio Tuesday early evening from 5 to
7pm on WXOU FM 88.3.
It is really easy to stream on your computer at
I will play liberal doses of grammy-winning Ed Gerhard in anticipation
of his concert THIS SATURDAY.
See you there, Jere out
If you have any questions please send an email to or .

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Dec. 3rd Benefit Concert!

We had a great time playing for The Royal Oak Church of the Holy City on December 3, 2005!  Speaking for all the performers, the audience was great and the night went very smoothly.  On behalf of the performers, a big Thank You to Rev. Renee Machiniak, her husband Joe, and Cheri Miller for making sure the event came off without a hitch!  Four MFGS members performed - Dave Pierson (me), Dan House, Merv Collins, and Nathan Montgomery.  A special thanks to Jeb McIntyre for allowing us to use his PA system.  It was a great night at a great venue with a variety of styles and lots of energy!   
This is from Rev. Renee:
The Royal Oak Church of the Holy City is most grateful to the volunteer fingerstyle guitarists who performed at our December 3rd, 2005, benefit concert. We would like to thank David Pierson, Dan House, Mervyn Collins and Nathan Montgomery for magical performances on guitar, vocal selections, and the mountain dulcimer! Stories of life and song added depth to the music presented. By the end of the evening, we felt the spirit of the holidays and an appreciation for their love of music and for the sharing of their talent. We we were all very glad we had gathered on this snowy and cozy evening amidst the Christmas lights surrounding the stage - to share the gift of music at the Royal Oak Women's Club. Thank you, once again, Dave, Dan, Merv and Nathan!
Nathan Montgomery contributed 50% of all his cd sales to the church!  Overall $350 was raised for the church. 
This was a function of the MFGS Community Outreach effort.  I think this is a great way for MFGS members to get involved.  Check out the other outreach opportunities we have! 

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Benefit Concert for Church of the Holy City


The Church of the Holy City in Royal Oak

is proud to host

A Very Special Benefit Concert

Presented by


Members of the

Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society


Mervyn Collins

(He’s driving in from his new home in Illinois for this special performance.)

Dan House

(He will treat us to vocal selections and the mountain dulcimer.)

Dr. David Pierson

(A Chiropractor by day.  I understand he may have some surprises up his sleeve.)

Nathan Montgomery

(He has to be seen to be believed!)

Saturday, December 3, 2005

7:00 – 10:00PM

Royal Oak Women’s Club

Corner of 4th and Pleasant Streets

Tickets are $10.00 at the door

(Children under 18 Free!)

For more information call:  (248) 546-7683


You won’t want to miss this one!

Bring your family, friends, and even a stranger or two!


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A Special Note from Cheri Miller



My name is CHERI MILLER.  I am what you might call a talent scout for two churches:
1)  The Church of the Holy City
     Royal Oak (4th and Pleasant Streets)
     Reverend Renee Machiniak
     Sunday Service:  11AM - 12 Noon
     Fellowship and refreshments after the service.
2)  Unity Chapel
     Southgate  (Northline Rd. - off I-75S)
     Reverend Virgil Brewer
     Sunday Service:  10:30AM - 11:30AM
     Fellowship and refreshments after the service.
I visit the Coffee Beanery and other places to discover new talent.  Through a short and very pleasant conversation with exchange of phone #’s and e-mail addresses, I enlist people to come and play for our church services and other events.
I spoke with Mark Hawks on Sunday, July 10th at the Coffee Beanery in Ferndale. He requested that I put together some information indicating why fingerstyle guitarists might want to play for these services.
*  You will get exposure to an audience, especially good for talented members who are not so used to being and playing in front of a live audience.  Even the more experienced players will be left with a wonderful feeling of being completely and totally appreciated.
*  It will give you a goal to work toward.  Because you have been given and are working toward a certain date to perform, you will practice more, work harder and therefore, you can't help but become better at your guitar playing.  This may even spur you to come up with some new ideas (new music pieces or your own compositions perhaps).  You will develop more poise in front of an audience and become more comfortable and accepting of yourself, your talents and of others.
*  You will know that someone believes in you and knows you are good enough to captivate (keep the attention of) a live audience.  Because of our (my) belief in you, it will create a greater belief in yourself and your talent(s). This strengthening of your self-esteem will allow you and perhaps even propel you to be open and available for further opportunities to perform extending your boundaries to a wider audience.
*  Our congregations are small family-type atmospheres.  The people you will be playing in front of and for will be listening to not just who you are right now, but who you can be. They are loving, accepting, forgiving, tolerant, patient and literally starving for new and fresh talent.  You will be loved and accepted for who you are.  Any fears you may have about performing in front of an audience or in a church service will quickly melt away.  You will be left with possibility, opportunity and a great feeling of accomplishment and goodwill.
Come and join us.  If you see a girl with a yellow legal pad and long blonde hair at the Coffee Beanery or any place else, it will be me.  Come on over and say Hi!  I may be
looking for you!

If you have any questions about this experience, feel free to speak with:
David Pierson
George Hesser
Mervyn Collins
Jere Stormer
J.B. Davies

They have played for us and will share just how positive the experience was!

To set up a date to play, send me an email!


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Soothing Sounds Promote Wellbeing

Reprinted with permission.

The little girl barely opened her eyes as she listened to the guitarist’s clear notes. He asked if she knew who the Beatles were. She didn’t. Instead, he played “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” for her and was rewarded with a smile. A few songs later and she dozed off. Jeff Hawes took his guitar and moved on to visit another patient at the Karmanos Cancer Center.

Jeff Hawes lives a busy life. The 42-year-old father of two works in technology sales support at SAS Institute. His evenings and weekends frequently involve ferrying his children to sports activities and music lessons. A talented guitarist who has been playing for 25 years, Jeff also finds time to use his musical skills to reach out to people in need of the instrument’s soothing quality.

Jeff is a member of the Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society (MFGS). Promoting the appreciation of fingerstyle guitar through concerts, workshops and goodwill, the Society has a membership of 60 guitarists. It was through the Society that Jeff met Kristine Frias, the Coordinator of Complimentary Therapies in the Patient and Family Support Services Department at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. The Institute and MFGS have collaborated to create a soothing and healing environment for the Center’s patients. Studies have found that music, especially music performed live, can help improve patients’ mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. MFGS members are now donating their time and talent to provide patients with that environment at the Karmanos Cancer Center.

Jeff Hawes shares a musical friendship with a young cancer patient

Robert Thurber of Farmington Hills enjoys a musical offering with his breakfast
For his next performance, Jeff’s audience grew as staff came to listen to him. He had adjusted his repertoire to accommodate the tastes of Robert Thurber, a patient from Farmington Hills. Robert, whose recent surgery left him in substantial pain, visibly relaxed as Jeff played “Misty” and “Tenderly”. He could be seen silently mouthing the words to “Girl from Ipanema.”

Later Jeff played in the Wertz Clinical Cancer Center atrium where patients and loved ones wait for treatment and doctor’s appointments. Leonard, from Toledo, was waiting for a friend to emerge from his appointment and commented on how the soothing music took the edge off waiting. After driving to Detroit from Ann Arbor, a patient named Marilyn was pleased to have the pleasant relaxing background sound. She said it took her mind off her problems. “Can he come back for my next appointment?” she asked.

Kristine explained that the main goal of music therapy at the Cancer Center is stress release and pain management. She frequently meets with patients using a flute, keyboard, guitar or voice to help them relax and feel more in control of their situation. Kristine has hosted a Spirituality and Music Workshop with Julie Weber, the spiritual counselor at the Hospice Center. For further information about music therapy and future workshops please contact Kristine Frias at 313-576-9284 or by email:

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Van Elslander Cancer Center Volunteer Opportunity

We have a great opportunity to enrich the lives of
others with our music.  Mr. Andrew Stewart is the
board certified music therapist at the Van Elslander
Cancer Center in Grosse Pointe Woods.  He invited me to tour
the Cancer Center and see how music therapy benefits
cancer patients.  I was impressed to say the least. 
The facility is a beautiful and peaceful healing
environment.  Mr. Stewart would like volunteers from
the MFGS to play for an hour or so a week.  

Andrew says, "We would love for any members of your
group to come and play for the patients while they are
receiving chemotherapy in the infusion center.  It is
a large community room in which most of the patients
are patiently waiting for their IV administered
treatments to complete.  I am also looking to initiate
a research project sometime in May this summer
involving live, environmental music and the patient

This is not a performance opportunity, per se.  Anyone
who volunteers to play will be making music to be
appreciated as part of the environment, not as the
center of attention.  Don't expect a standing ovation,
but do expect to add beauty and comfort to the lives
of some people who need it.  

You can play just one time or set up a regular
scheduled time to play every week, if you like. 
Andrew wants to make this an easy, low pressure way to
volunteer.  Give him a call or email him to arrange a time
to play.  

Andrew Stewart MT-BC
Van Elslander Cancer Center
19229 Mack Avenue
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236

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Community Building


Community Building is really what this site is all about. If any of you have further interest, take a look at some of the links below. Tor Hough from suggested these links as a good introduction to the web-based community building concepts.

Community Building on the Web


David Wineberger

Doc Searls

Christopher Locke, Gonzo Marketing

Derek M. Powazek, Design for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places

Web Log Resources

Why is the blog more important than the web page? It is a log, a journal, it changes more often than a static piece of content.

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Community Outreach Opportunities


Community Outreach Bulletin:

Over the past year we have linked up with some new organizations that already have been welcoming and experiencing the generosity of our community outreach volunteers or are interested in having volunteers from MFGS visit in the future.

Here's a list of these organizations and their contact coordinators. Please feel free to contact them to find out more about their needs and programs and how you can volunteer.

In general, contact the medical sites to play for patients, families, and staff. .

The church involvement, so far, has been to provide music surrounding worship services. (For a brief insight on this, see George Hesser's wonderful write-up of his experience at the end of this bulletin.)

Schedules and sites are to be arranged with the coordinators. You will find them welcoming and flexible in trying to work with the constraints of your schedules to make this as rewarding and convenient as possible.

We certainly encourage everyone to consider this worthwhile activity and to participate.

Medical facilities we participate with are:

Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit

This site is coordinated by:

Kristine Frias, Music Therapist

(313) 966 5029 Email: <>

Oakwood Healthcare System Arts in Healthcare program

This program is coordinated by:

Lisa Rutledge

Manager, Community Benefit


313.792.7149 (fax)

Email: <>

Local churches we participate with are:

Church of the Holy City in Royal Oak

Unity Chapel in Southgate

These opportunities are coordinated by:

Cheri Miller

Wayne State University

Department of Economics

656 W. Kirby

Room 2074 FAB

Detroit, MI 48202

          Work: (313) 577-3346

          FAX: (313) 577-9564

Cell: (313) 492-7426

E-mail: <>

If you are still undecided as to if this is something you want to do, please read this note from George Hesser. It is a perfect summary of why this is a worthwhile and rewarding experience to seriously consider.

Re: Community Outreach by George Hesser

I had the pleasure this past Sunday (Father's Day) to play during the worship service at the Church of the Holy City in Royal Oak. What a pleasure it was, too. Not only did I get to share my guitar music, but also I met several very kind, energetic and interesting people in the process. This was my first experience playing during a church service, and I can honestly say that I hope it is not my last. Reverend Renee Machiniak, the church's young pastor, made me so comfortable and welcome, and, as she said during the service, she felt like she had known me for years. It was a wonderful experience.

The Church of the Holy City is a new church with a small, but growing community. The church leaders, along with Rev. Renee, believe that music is a special part of their worship service. They hold their services in the Royal Oak Women's Society building on 4th Street in Royal Oak. It is a beautiful little worship area, and the acoustics are pretty good. I played for about 15 minutes prior to the start of the service, while folks filtered in, and set the mood with meditational pieces. I played two pieces during the service, and then played for an hour downstairs in the community room while everyone enjoyed coffee, snacks and each other's company.

There were approximately 50 people at the service, and each and everyone made a point to thank me. Many took the time to share their love of guitar music and pass along some anecdote about when they played guitar as a kid. The Church is thinking about hosting a fund raising event in the early Fall for one of its members. They would like to see if a few MFGS members would be willing to donate their time and talent. It was great experience for me, so I plan on helping out.

The Church also has a few Sunday services in the future where they would greatly appreciate the playing of other guest "fingerstylists", so, if you're interested and have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Oh! One more thing: this is a great way to spread the word about our concert series. There were several folks that seemed really excited about attending, so this is an easy and fun way to build community support for our concerts!

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