Old Time on the Onion (OTOTO), Vermont’s premier old-time event, produced by the Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture, will take place July 22-24 at the Onion River Campground, 61 Onion River Road in Marshfield, just off Route 2. Admission is $30 for the full weekend, $20 for Saturday only, $15 for Friday or Sunday, payable at the gate by cash or check (no credit cards). RV hookups are available for an extra $10, also payable at the gate, but we recommend you make a reservation by contacting R.D. Eno (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Even though we bill Old Time on the Onion as a free-form weekend campout for Old-Time Musicians and their enablers, we do actually offer a few scheduled Saturday events, and we will have at least one food vendor this year. There will also be the traditional Saturday night potluck, starting around 6 PM.
Under the Big Top at 10 AM on Saturday, R.D. Eno, banjo player from Cabot, VT, will lead a slow jam workshop called “Playing Around and Inside a Tune,” not for beginners but to give players of all skill levels a chance to get inventive with counter-voices and bizarre harmonies not normally permitted in Old-Time music. At 11 AM, Jenny Monfore, originally a violist and veteran of several string bands (you can catch her on a “Get Up in the Cool” podcast with Cameron de Whitt from April 18, 2018) will be teaching a fiddle workshop. After a break for lunch, at 1 PM, Dana Robinson, one of the founders of OTOTO, recording artist and now director of Cabot Arts, will offer a workshop on Old-Time guitar. And at 2 PM, Tom Mackenzie, banjo (and also hammered dulcimer) virtuoso, shows you “How to Play Along When You Don’t Know the Tune,” which, if you know how to do it, will take the anxiety out of sitting in on those jams with the human jukeboxes who know the whole megillah.
One of those extraordinary musicians was Mark Di Stefano, a founder, along with Dana Robinson, of OTOTO. Mark died in April only a few short months after learning he had pancreatic cancer. We are dedicating this year’s OTOTO to his memory and urging you to donate to a special fund established in his memory at the Montpelier Roxbury Public School to support instrument rentals and lesson fees for students in need. If you can’t attend OTOTO, you can still make a contribution by check to: Debra Garrett, MPRS Business Manager Office, 5 High School Drive, Unit 1, Montpelier VT 05602. Cover with a note to: Music Dept. Student Activities, Di Stefano Fund.
The Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture is an arts education organization located in Montpelier, Vermont. The school’s mission is to promote traditional music and culture through affordable concert, workshop and dance programs. Visit: www.summit-school.org for more information.