Old Town School will be closed on Saturday, July 4. Classes resume Sunday, July 5.

Dear Old Illinois: Mandolin Workshop with Gaye Harrison

The mandolin adds a spark to the old time string band sound. Learn how to enhance the fiddler’s tune with unison highlights, octave bouncing, melodic harmonies, and driving rhythm. Workshop will focus on repertoire by Illinois fiddlers like Otis Reynolds, Harvey “Pappy” Taylor, Noah Beavers, as well as prolific composer and traditional Illinois old time conservator, Garry Harrison.

Gaye Harrison moved to Charleston, Illinois, in 1977, and became the mandolin player for the Indian Creek Delta Boys. She spent the early 1980’s assisting her husband, Garry, with collecting old time tunes in downstate Illinois through a National Endowment for the Arts grant from Eastern Illinois University. “Dear Old Illinois,” published as a result of this collection, contains hundreds of fiddle tunes and an extensive ballad collection, from Robert McIntosh. Gaye has been a member of Motherlode string band trio for more than 30 years. Gaye is a respected member of the old time community and a stalwart promoter of old time music in central Illinois. In 2019 she was given the annual “Preserving Old Time Music” award by the Illinois State Fiddlers Association based in Effingham, IL.

Class Schedules and Availability