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On February 6 7 I was part of a unique weekend -- a "Singing Festival" in East Lansing, Michigan, produced by a dynamo named Sally Potter (this was the SEVENTH year!).  The audience sings every song along with song "leaders" onstage.  If you like to sing, if you are a concert producer or promoter and are looking for a way to draw new audiences, this is what Sally wrote to me after I thanked her for including me in this year's event:

SALLY:  YES, the time has come to let the audience into the singing cirlcle. This generation 'wants to play, too!' as they already gravitate towards individual sports and games...what EACH can DO.

And old timers 'remember when . . . they used to sing.'

YES, nights of singing are an instant hit! and while they don't just happen, there is a formula that works and once the system is in place, the whole local movement starts to roll...

YES, nights of singing pull new people into the folk community - folks who then attend regular concerts and help folk organizations survive.

YES, this gets folk music back to its roots - where its real strength is.

YES, the folk world would be stronger and more financially secure if each club/ organization used this asset of folk music - people actually singing songs together - to its advantage.

YES, this is the missing link.

Did you see the huge article about the Greater Lansing Singing Community in the New York Times? Go to the Singing Festival website's home page and click on the link. There is a video, too. Ben Ratliff did a great job; he "got it."

Please send anyone and everyone my music/ singing contact info:
If they email me, I can call them back and go over ideas, what works and why, budgets/ numbers, etc . . .

They can READ ALL ABOUT the Mid-Winter Singing Festival, the two annual Ten Pound Fiddle - produced "Nights of Singing", and the monthly community sings at:

Folks can learn more about the history of the Singing Festival, learn why it works, and read several writers' impressions of the weekend in the "related articles" section of the website. Parts of SingOut articles from Bob Blackman and Sally Rogers, as well as a marvelous piece from writer Russ Fanzen are included.

A couple of hundred photos of past Singing Festivals are on the web site. Between the writings, the Q and A section, and the photos, folks should get a great idea what makes this Signing Festival tick.

YES, it would be great if you could use your contacts and personal thoughts to lean the folk world towards participation via classy community singing events.

Simply put - if you produce it, they wil come. In droves.

Who can argue with that? -- SALLY POTTER>>

I can tell you I LOVED this event, so if this interests you, contact Sally!  -- Christine