Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The Neighborhood FilesDickson-Murst Farm to Echo With the Sounds of Bluegrass
The Doris Clayton Bluegrass Jam was held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept.18th.
By Erin Sauder
Members of the Northern Illinois Bluegrass Association play during a past Bluegrass Jam event. Merrie Woodward Photos Credit Merrie Woodward
The inspiration behind the Bluegrass Jam at the Farm has passed away, but the memory of Doris Clayton will live on during this year’s third annual event.
The Doris Clayton Bluegrass Jam was held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Dickson-Murst Farm, 2550 Dickson Road in Montgomery.
“She lived and breathed bluegrass,” Merrie Woodward, a Dickson-Murst Farm Partner, said of Clayton, who passed away earlier this year after losing her battle with cancer.
During the jam, the Northern Illinois Bluegrass Association join the Partners at the Farm to generate music with both experts and beginners.
Clayton, of Sandwich, was a member of the Bluegrass Association and was the Illinois Bluegrass Ambassador of the year in 2005. She was also one of the original members of Trumans Ridge bluegrass band.
Three years ago, she brought the first bluegrass jam to the Farm.
“She thought it would be a perfect fit,” Woodward said.
During the jam, musicians move from one group to another to experiment with the blending of different instruments and players.
“It’s fascinating to watch and and fascinating to listen to,” Woodward said. “Nothing beats the sound and energy of live music.”
A special feature of the event is a schedule of workshops about the instruments used in bluegrass.
A "jam etiquette" workshop scheduled for 1 p.m. will explain “how a jam works and what is expected of musicians wishing to join in,” said NIBA member and D-M Partner Peggy McWethy Sutton of Oswego.
“There will be excellent information for musicians or informed listeners,” she said.
Instrumental workshops will be held throughout the afternoon to give attendees a start in learning to play or help them brush up on their skills. Sessions will focus on the guitar at 1 p.m., both the fiddle and standing bass at 2 p.m., and the mandolin and dobro at 3 p.m.
Other activities for the day included displays by Kendall Arts Guild members Peggy McWethy Sutton, Sharyl Iwanski, Joan McEachern, and Doris Lein, as well as the Newark High School Future Farmers of America, who will be on-hand with a large selection of mums and fall plants.
The Bluegrass Jam at the Farm is a free event hosted by the Farm Partners and The Conservation Foundation, owner of the site. The event will be held rain or shine. If the weather does not cooperate, activities will be moved into the century-old barn and other buildings in the farmstead.
The Country Kitchen provided by the Partners of the Dickson-Murst Farm offer charcoal grilled sandwiches. Profits are used for the maintenance of the buildings at the farm.