MAY 2016
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Mothers' Day is on on May 8 and the Reading Symphony Orchestra will have its Mothers' Day Concert, 7 PM at the Santander Performing Arts Center, 136 N 6th St, Reading.  Tickets are $10 and $15.  You can get tickets online.  We will be there!

A lot of other very cool stuff is happening in May and beyond. The Half Moon Cafe is having concerts on the 6 and 20. Kutztown Folk Music Society is having a concert on the 13. Meadowood Music's first open mic of the year is May 21. Mayfair Festival of the Arts (music and visual arts) is from May 27 through 30. Memorial Day is on May 30. These events are just a few of those we already know about and even more that we'll add to our e-calendar as we learn of them.

For an updated calendar, click on the static image of the calendar below to view the interactive version on our website.


Cole Cutlip, who now drives himself to lessons, has studied with Gene since he was a young boy.



Meadowood has the great privilege to have a cadre of marvelous teachers who help hundreds of students become stronger musicians every week.  We want to introduce you to each of them and plan to feature one of our wonderful teachers in this newsletter each month.

Gene Cullison has been playing guitar for most of his life.  He has been teaching guitar nearly as long.  He has been teaching at Meadowood since 2000.  We are so pleased to have him here.  

Gene is originally from Maryland, but moved to our area with his family when he was a child.  He studied with Gene Bujunoski as a teenager (Gene B still teaches and performs in the area) and taught guitar himself before he went to Northwest Texas University and West Chester University to study Music Education. Gene earned his Music Education degree from West Chester along with a minor in Classical Guitar. After graduation and certification as a music educator, he decided that he would be most able to help people develop musically in a private studio.  He has been teaching music for over thirty years.

Gene teaches all styles of guitar (electric, acoustic, classical) in a wide array of genres. He takes beginning through master level students in most styles of playing. Gene also teaches bass guitar from beginning to advanced intermediate and harmonica from beginning to intermediate.

An excellent solo and ensemble guitarist, bass player and harmonica player, Gene has played virtually every style of music professionally. He's played venues from campgrounds to casinos to cruise ships - in solo acts to large bands - playing Country, Rock, Funk, and nearly every other kind of music. Gene couples his extensive teaching and playing experience to aid students in their development.

Gene works equally well with children and adults and is truly invested in his students’ growth, helping them to set and achieve specific musical goals. He is the guitarist for the band, TimeWhy?s, but focuses most of his time on teaching guitar bass and harmonica at Meadowood on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We are delighted to have Gene teach here.  


Mayfair Festival of the Arts, from May 27th through 30th in Allentown, includes both concerts and a juried art exhibition. Berks Country Fest, from June 6 through 19th all around Berks County, sports many events including the Berks County Early Bird Fiddle Fest on June 11th at the and the Mountain Folk Fest on the 18th and 19th. It's not too early to mark your calendars for the Maidencreek Old Time Music Festival on July 10th.

1825 W Chew Street, Allentown,  PA 18104
(610) 437-6900


Mayfair is an arts festival that features visual arts, performing arts, culinary arts, garden arts, children's art and art education. The Festival has been on Memorial Day weekend since 1986, attracting 50,000 people every year to buy art, enjoy food, listen to music and take their children for hands-on children's art activities.

For years, Mayfair was in Allentown's Cedar Creek Park, a picturesque location that was also, unfortunately, prone to flooding. The flooding in 2011 and 2012 prompted Mayfair to move to the Allentown Fairgrounds in 2013. With many attractions under roof, attendees and vendors applauded the lack of rain, mud and chilly spring temperatures as well as the bonus of hundreds of free parking spaces.

Mayfair is one of the Lehigh Valley's biggest art and music festivals. The four day festival features a juried art show, craft vendors and multiple stages with music, dance and theatrical events for adults and children. The children's area of the festival has climbing structures, play areas and children's art work. Since the festival also has a culinary arts component, plenty of food and drink is available from vendors.

Mayfair, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that produces the Festival by building community by showcasing artists, performers, and arts that are new to the region.



1102 Red Bridge Rd., Reading PA 19605
Rain Date: 6/612/16
The Berks County Parks & Recreation Department, responsible for the development, operation, and maintenance of our County-owned Parks, recreation facilities and historic sites, provides recreational opportunities as well as addressing interpretive and educational needs related to the facilities. As part of this thrust, the Parks & Recreation Department holds the Early Bird Fiddle Festival. This year, the festival has moved from April to June so that the festival can be part of the Berks Country Fest that runs from June 6 through 19. As always, Ken Gehret, musician extraordinaire, will host the festival. The County and Ken invite you to bring lawn chairs or blankets and an instrument to jam under the trees or perform on the open stage. Stay for the fiddle contest for which Meadowood is one of the proud sponsors.
10:00 AM        Kick off with Ken Gehret
10:10 - 11:00   Matt Miskie - Vocal & Guitar
11:05 - 11:30   Norman & Wileen - Traditional Scottish Music
11:35 - 12:00   Butch Imhoff Acoustic Road Show
12:05 - 1:20     OPEN STAGE - 10 minute spots
  1:30 - 2:05     Full Circle Music Society - Acoustic Music
  2:10 - 2:30     Keith Brintzenhoff & Conlan Kershner
  2:35 - 3:20     Dual County - Youth Bluegrass Group 
  3:25 - 4:40     Fiddle Contest - (register 10 am-3:15 pm)
                        Cash prizes awarded in three age groups
                        10 & under, 11-18 and 19 & over
                        Three Honorable Mention awards

                         (Plaques for Best of Show & Best Berks Country Tune on Fiddle)
  5:00-6:45       Crow Hill CONCERT - Country & Bluegrass


The Mountain Folk Fest, in its 4th year, has become a two-day event in a new location. This year's festival will be Saturday, June 18th and Sunday, June 19th at the Evergreen Club, 415 Hartz Road, Fleetwood, Pennsylvania.  The festival moved its location and date to be part of the community-wide Berks Country Fest: An Americana Music Jamboree. In addition to a broad selection of musical performances, the festival is adding a single microphone competition in 2016 (on Sunday, June 19th).

The Evergreen Club is a great venue where participants can purchase food and drinks and enjoy them in traditional garden style open-air seating or at picnic tables under cover. There's a covered stage, audience area and craft vendor area and shaded areas for musicians to jam. Parking is free.  

Entertainers who are confirmed include Dave Kline & the Mountain Folk Band (fest producer & hosts), Sweet Potato Pie, Gary Reid (and his one-man musical “Life of Sorrow” commemoration of the life and music of Carter Stanley), Big Valley Bluegrass, The Zepp Family Band, Crow Hill and Butch Imhoff. The festival will announce more entertainers as they confirm.

Tentatively, gates will open at noon on June 18. Entertainment will be continuous until gates close at 9:15 P . On the 19th, gates again open at noon with all-day entertainment (including the new Single Mic Contest  - winners will perform a song at the festival on live TV and radio). Mountain Folk will close the festival with a group jam from 7:30 to 8:00 PM.

Advance tickets cost $15/day and $25/two-day ticket. Gate prices are $25/day or $40/two days).  Children 7 to 12 pay just $5 for a two day pass. Children 6 and under enter free.  Advance tickets are available via Brown Paper Tickets. Proceeds pay for the festival venue and entertainers benefit the Mountain Folk Youth Acoustic Guitar & Banjo Scholarship awarded through the Reading Musical Foundation.

Attendees may bring folding chairs and blankets. Musicians may bring instruments for jamming. Service dogs are welcome, but pets are not. Coolers and outside food/beverages are not welcome. More information, photos and videos for the 4th annual Mountain Folk Fest are available on the fest’s Facebook page.

Mountain Folk Fest's Single-Mic Competition

Any band NOT performing as a paid act at the festival may apply to enter the Mountain Folk Single Microphone competition, sponsored by Ear Trumpet Labs.  A $599.00 custom-made Ear Trumpet “Louise” model microphone will be the grand prize.  Mike and Paula of Meadowood and Butch Imhoff of the Acoustic Roadshow will be judges for the competition along with others TBA. Their judging will adhere to a scoring system and rules of behavior adopted directly from the country’s largest single mic contest in Branson.

The contest has no entrance fee other than festival admission. Judging will consider:
  • Instrumental ability (in time, in tune, degree of difficulty) 25%
  • Vocal ability (in time, in tune, degree of difficulty) 25%
  • Professionalism (wardrobe, smiles, eye contact, movement, working the mic) 25%
  • Audience appeal (based on audible response) 25%.
All entries must pre-register.

All songs should be acoustic Americana (bluegrass, gospel, folk, mountain, nature-themed or traditional country music) with family-friendly lyrics.

Acoustic instruments are welcome (no keyboards, drums or electric bass). This requirement allows performers to 'work' a single microphone just like the one that is the grand prize - an Ear Trumpet Labs Louise.

All groups will perform
  • twice during the day - up to ten minutes per round (including intro & dialogue)
             Timing begins with the first vocal utterance or musical sound. 
             Entrants should rehearse with a timer to ensure their sets are ten minutes or less.
  • different songs in each round
  • for different judges for each round
Scores from both rounds determine the overall winner(s).  

In addition to the grand prize of the Louise microphone, top scoring bands may be offered a Mountain Folk Show performance and other opportunities in the future.


10:00 AM - 8:30 PM

 The founders and organizers of this festival are VERY excited about this year's workshop and concert offerings. The festival will have twenty-two general workshops in which you can learn to play an instrument, sing, and dance.

Instrumental offerings include two separate hour-long "Petting Zoo" sessions in which people who have never touched an instrument has an opportunity to hold/play a mountain dulcimer, fiddle, banjo or guitar. For folks who want to go farther than the "Petting Zoo" can take them, the festival will have instrumental "From Scratch" sessions on Fiddle, Banjo and Bass. These workshops are for those who have little or no experience with the instrument, but want to and need a place to begin.

For people with a little more experience, the festival will have "Beginning" sessions on Mandolin, Fiddle, Guitar and Mountain Dulcimer. For the yet more experienced, sessions will include "Intermediate" and "Advancing" workshops on  Mountain Dulcimer, Fiddle, Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar. Two really helpful sessions for ANY instrument will be Jam Etiquette and the Onion Jam, one session in which people learn about playing with others and one in which they do it.

Vocal offerings include a general session by Sarah Morgan - the master clinician for mountain dulcimer (content TBD), Yodel U by East Side Dave for beginning yodelers, Singing with Confidence by Rob Yoder of Daybreak and Railroad Songs by Keith Brintzenhoff for all levels.

Children age 12 and under may attend all of the general workshops for free, but must have an adult companion. The adult must either be a registered/paid workshop participant who actively participates in sessions with the child OR a companion who pays a modest fee to enter and accompany the child in sessions. Companion adults may actively participate in the Petting Zoo sessions and any/all of the seven concerts given by workshop teachers through the day and evening.

Mini-concerts through the day will consist of six 45-minute shows by 
  • Mike and Paula of Meadowood Music
  • Rich Dodson, Ken Gehret & John Ehlis: Roots of the Roots: Roots of Old Time
  • Master Clinicians Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones
  • Norm Williams with Rob and Anna Lisa Yoder
  • Tom and Betty Druckenmiller
  • East Side Dave Kline
The Evening Concert, from 6:30 to 8:30, will include almost all of the General Workshop Teachers and all of the Master Clinicians. All admission levels include participation in the mini-concerts, the evening concert and the Petting Zoo sessions.

Three Master Clinics will provide advanced instrumental instruction. The sessions will be two-hours each and run at separate times so that attendees are able to participate in any or all of the sessions. Each session will include a maximum of ten students and require pre-registration. All Master Clinic participants of any age pay an additional fee separate from admission to the general sessions or concerts. The Master Clinics will be  To take a master clinic you MUST register in advance - you cannot register for master classes at the gate. You can register for general workshops at the gate, but if you register in advance, you can save $5. You can register for concerts in advance or at the gate - the price is the same either way. To see the entire festival schedule and pre-register, visit On-line registration is open. If you prefer not to register on line, you can register at Meadowood Music with cash or check in person or by US Post. Please make checks payable to Kutztown Folk Music Society.

The 2016 Festival T-shirts

Every year, the Maidencreek Old Time Music Festival has a music-playing mascot imprinted on T-shirts. This year, a good natured tortoise happily whumps along on a bass. The tortoise is available on red and green short-sleeve T-shirts. Get yours before the festival and pay only $12. They're $15 at the festival. Check the festival web site to see if a t-shirt order link goes up when the registration link goes live. If you see no t-shirt link, contact Meadowood to reserve shirts.
The Reading Musical Foundation (RMF) offers scholarships to Berks County children and adults for musical education. Some scholarships are awarded through auditions, some on the basis of financial need. For a complete list of the funding available and information about the application processes for the scholarships, or information on how to donate to scholarship funds, visit the scholarship page on RMF's web site.
Andrew Constantine - Conductor
Kevin Deas - Guest Bass-baritone
           Andrew Constantine - Conductor
Kevin Deas - Guest Bass/baritone



Andrew Constantine has been the Music Director of the Reading Symphony Orchestra (RSO) since 2007, repeatedly demonstrating why he gained a reputation for imaginative and compelling programming in Europe and Baltimore. We see the reasons for that reputation in RSO's 2015-16 Classical Concert program.

This article comes late in the RSO season - only one Classical Concert remains. In concert six of the season, bass-baritone Kevin Deas joins the Reading Symphony Orchestra to sing in a multimedia presentation of Dvořák's Carnival Overture, Op. 92 and New World Symphony and Horowitz's Hiawatha Melodrama. 

Dvořák acknowledged that he wrote the two inner movements of the New World Symphony as studies for a longer work based on Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha. Horowitz's Hiawatha Melodrama takes the theme to its completion. In Longfellow's poem, the character Gitche Manito (the master of life), descended from the sky to tell people of the Earth to stop fighting. He also promised them a prophet who would improve their lives.

Soon, a woman named Wenonah bore a son to a demigod who abandoned her and her son, Hiawatha (the prophet). His mother died of grief, but Hiawatha was still able to become a strong, wise man who was widely respected. Hiawatha fell in love with and married Minnehaha. Though she and both of his best friends died and he was deeply aggrieved, Hiawatha had to defeat a villain named Pau-Puk-Keewis.

Soon after the conflict with Pau-Puk-Keewis, Hiawatha dreamed that white men who would arrive on big boat with a new religion. When the dream came true, he believed that he no longer had to protect the people and got into his canoe and paddled away, not knowing when or if he would return.

As a member of the audience, you can hear Longfellow's poem in Dvořák's pieces and in the six movements of Hiawatha MelodramaPrologue - Hiawatha's Wooing - Hiawatha's Wedding Feast - The Death of Minnehaha - The Hunting of Pau-Puk-Keewis  - Hiawatha's Departure. The concert is a wonderful conclusion to the season.

The concert is at the Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading on Saturday, May 7 at 7:30 PM. You can get tickets through the RSO office at 610-373-7557 or email or through Ticketmaster where they cost $25 to $75.


Every summer, Meadowood hosts five outdoor open mics, one in May, June, July, August and September.  The open mics are on the third Saturday evening of the month from 6 to 9 pm. The first one this year is on May 21st.

Meadowood provides an outdoor stage and PA system. Mike and Paula emcee the events. Acoustic musicians and music lovers to come out to play and listen. There is enough time in one evening for about a dozen different acts.  The events are open to the public and FREE. Food and nonalcoholic drinks are welcome.

Musicians may play as long as 15 minutes for a warm and appreciative audience. While Meadowood turns a blind eye to electric pianos and basses and include them in the open mic, all other instrumentation must be acoustic. The musical selections must be appropriate to a family audience.

If the weather looks questionable, call or check the Meadowood web site. Because the open mics are outdoors in open air, we cancel in the event of rain or insufferable heat.

Players may sign up to perform at the open mic or call Meadowood in advance to secure a slot - first come, first served. Audience members are welcome to bring chairs/blankets, though the store does provide about a dozen chairs that folks are welcome to use if they don't bring their own.

The dates for this year are May 21, June 18, July 23 (moved to the 4th Saturday to avoid a scheduling conflict), August 20 and September 17. We hope to see and hear you there!




Some families have traditions for graduation gifts that span generations. Others wing it. Over the years, Meadowood has helped a lot of families in both camps give their graduates musical instruments as gifts. While we are admittedly biased, we are delighted - we believe a musical instrument is a gift that lasts a lifetime - sometimes more than one lifetime. 

In our first months of business, our first pair of graduation-gift-parents bought a Seagull guitar for their son when he graduated from high school. He was not going to study music in college or perform professionally, but he loved playing music and his parents wanted to get him something that would give him joy. Seventeen years later, he still plays the guitar. That boy is now a man. A year or so ago his mom and wife brought his son to one of our summer open mics. The toddler danced with glee as people played music... maybe he will be getting a guitar when he graduates in a dozen years or so. Maybe it will be a twenty-nine-year-old Seagull guitar.
Recently, the parents of a girl who took violin lessons at the store for years purchased a vintage violin for their daughter with which she could pursue a music degree at university. She is nearly done her undergraduate studies and plays the violin every day. She performs with it and teaches.

We have many stories of parents, husbands, wives and children who got guitars, violins, banjos and other instruments that became the treasured possessions of their high school and college graduates. We are grateful to be a part in those stories and hope to help create still more stories in this year.

Below are commencement dates taken from the web sites of some of the schools where we know students who are graduating.

---------------High School------------------------------Commencement Date----------------
BoyertownJune 7
Brandywine HeightsJune 1
EmmausJune 11 - tentative
FleetwoodJune 6
HamburgJune 3
KutztownJune 1 - tentative
MuhlenbergJune 8
ParklandJune 9
Schuylkill ValleyJune 10
----------College/University--------------------------Commencement Date----------------
AlbrightMay 21-22
AlverniaMay 14
Cedar CrestMay 13
DeSalesMay 20-21
KutztownMay 7
Lebanon ValleyMay 14
LehighMay 22-23
MansfieldMay 7
MoravianMay 13-14
MuhlenbergMay 21
Penn StateMay 6-7-8
West ChesterMay 8
HEADS UP! International Make Music Day is Tuesday, June 21.  In honor of the holiday, Meadowood has registered the Bluegrass jam on that night as a Make Music Day Event. If registering the event with the international holiday inspires more musicians to come than our usual jam space can accommodate (and the weather is nice), we can move the jam outside to our back yard for the evening. For more information about this wonderful, world-wide celebration of making music, visit the Make Music Day website.


These items are just a few of the things in the store that we think are especially cool.

G&L Fallout | Tribute Series | review demo
The G&L Fallout guitars are Paula's favorite solid body electric guitar. This video is a thorough review by someone who puts one through its paces.
G&L Tribute
Fallout Electric Guitar
Buy Now
Roland Cube 80 GX
Electric Guitar Amp
Buy Now
Seagull Excursion
Dreadnaught Acoustic
Buy Now
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