As part of Marshall County RSVP’s Melodies and Musings ~ Our Appalachian Legacy, Appalachian culture classes will be open to the public each day of the festival. To participate one or all 3 days, you must register, by calling RSVP at 256-571-7734. For the classes that have a fee, drop by RSVP behind Mike’s Merchandise in Guntersville to register or mail your registration to RSVP, 1805 Gunter Avenue, Guntersville, AL 35976.

Classes will be held at the Guntersville Rec Center, 1500 Sunset Drive, Guntersville, and the adjacent Senior Center. Check-in by 12 p.m. the day of class in the Multi-purpose Room at the Rec Center.

Wednesday, Sept. 25

12:15 p.m.Revisiting Our Childhood – Mark Gilston, Cedar Park, Texas. Let’s share the songs you learned in the playground. Songs with hand gestures. Songs from camp. Songs you’d be embarrassed to sing in a concert. Really short songs. Parodies. You’ll be surprised at what you remember, and delighted and amused by what you’ve never heard before. Cost $10.

Crystal Dragonfly Bracelet – Arlene Rakestraw. Madison, Alabama. Advice from a dragonfly: Spend time near the water… Be colorful... Zoom in on your dreams... Appreciate long summer days. Bring home a remembrance of your time at our festival with a hand-crafted crystal Dragonfly stretch bracelet. All materials are pre-packaged for you...your only decision is what colors to choose from a rainbow of Swarovski crystals. No experience necessary. All tools are provided at the class.

Cost — $20, all supplies included.

Thursday, Sept. 26

12:15 p.m.Introduction to Contra Dance — Jane Ewing, a nationally known contra dance caller, will lead an Introduction to Contra Dance class. Contra Dance was a traditional form of communication making it possible to talk to your neighbors & friends at gatherings while the fiddlers played their tunes. The caller magically moves the dancers in a way that passes you by everyone else in the hall during an evening. There are only about a dozen words that need to be learned to do this style of walking dance. No fancy footwork is done. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. No previous experience necessary. Come join the fun! There is no charge for this class.

International Jam – Mark Gilston, Cedar Park, Texas. We’ll play simple tunes from all around the world (except the USA). All melody instruments are welcome (but we’ll leave the chords to the dulcimer players). Bring a tune from another country that you’d like to play. Cost $10

Friday, Sept. 27

12:15 p.m.Ukulele FUNdamentals – RSVP Ukesters. The ukulele is an easy instrument to learn, and quickly rewarding. Bring your soprano, concert or tenor Ukes and learn the basics: tuning, hand positions, strumming and a few chords. The RSVP Ukesters will have you strumming a song before you leave! When you register, please tell us if you need to borrow and instrument for the day. Cost $10

Advance the Music – Erin Mae Lewis, Wichita, Kansas. A discussion about how to keep our beloved folk music and instruments alive by introducing it to young people. Erin Mae has experience leading kids music camps, after-school classes, instrument petting zoos, and kids workshops. She will share some of her experiences, and help you explore ideas for using and sharing your gifts. Cost $10

Festival Classes are open to the public. Call RSVP for more information or to register, 256-571-7734, by Friday, September 6th. For classes with fees, must come by RSVP, 1805 Gunter Avenue, Guntersville, behind Mike’s Merchandise to register.

These classes are made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, a grant from the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Guntersville, and Marshall County RSVP.

Mountain Dulcimer Concert: 4 national mountain dulcimer artists in concert at the Guntersville Senior Center, September 27 at 5:30 p.m., $5 donation to the RSVP Building Fund. Purchase tickets at RSVP or at the door.

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