2009 WCRF Seminar Lineup
November 20, 21 and 22
Updated 9/10/2009. Previous Update .

Click on presenter's name for biographical information. 

Click on the buttons to view the show's location on the schedule.

From Vaudeville to the Nickelodeon: The Forgotten Sensation of the Illustrated Song
by Galen Wilkes - Sat, 11:00 am to Noon, Camellia 

As ragtime and popular music took root in the 1890s, new industries developed that helped sheet music publishers sell their music and create the hits. Galen’s last seminar discussed the phonograph. This year, he focuses on another missing chapter in the ragtime story – the illustrated song – a highly effective marketing tool and forgotten rage of the era. Once again Galen presents historical reenactments of this colorful and theatrical form of entertainment , using actual artifacts from the era. (Don't miss Galen’s exhibit on display throughout the festival.)

Gershwin Rediscovered
By Richard Dowling - Sat, Noon to 1:00 pm, Camellia 
Richard Dowling illustrates how ragtime influenced George Gershwin’s compositions throughout his short life as a Tin Pan Ally and Broadway composer and piano roll artist. He performs several little known Gershwin works, including the original six preludes that Gershwin premiered in New York in December 1926. Adding Rialto Ripples to the mix, Richard demonstrates how Gershwin’s piano roll version radically differs from the printed (easy) version of this popular rag. Dowling also includes a late Gershwin work with a distinct ragtime stamp: Walkin’ the Dog created for the Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire movie
Shall We Dance?

Generations in Ragtime: Style and Interpretation Over the Decades
By Max Keenlyside - Sat, 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, Camellia 

Each "generation" of ragtime and stride pianists bore a different set of stylistic, interpretational, and compositional characteristics. Max Keenlyside defines, discusses, and demonstrates these characteristics through old recordings and live-performance examples. Musicians covered encompass the original composers of the music right up to present-day pianists.

Les Copeland – A Ragtime Odyssey
By Trebor Tichenor - Sun, 11:00 am to Noon, Camellia 

Trebor Tichenor explores the life and music of an eccentric ragtimer, Les Copeland. He was born in Kansas, played the western Gold Rush towns, beat out Brun Campbell for a job with Lew Dockstader’s Minstrels, played in New York City vaudeville, made piano rolls, and invaded Paris, France in the 1920s where he is recalled in a bartender’s memoires.

The Dolceola – A Lovely, Rare, Miniature Piano of 1904  Jump to Schedule
By Ray Skjelbred
 - Sun, Noon to 1:00 pm, Camellia 

The Dolceola, a miniature piano with a true hammer mechanism, was produced between 1904 and 1908 and described by the manufacturer as “equal to two mandolins and two guitars” as well as “a miniature grand piano.” Today very few of these instruments are in working condition but Ray Skjelbred found one and brings it (fully restored by Seattle pianist Dan Grinstead) to illustrate its amazing sound. He discusses the instrument’s history and demonstrates how to navigate its eccentric keyboard pattern of single notes and chords.

Memories of Eubie Blake
By Morten Gunnar Larsen  - Sun, 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, Camellia 

In 1977 when ragtime, stride, and pop-to-light classics composer/pianist Eubie Blake visited Norway, Morten Gunner Larsen spent important times with him and was inspired to continue on his road into ragtime and jazz. Morten recollects this visit with photographs, private recordings, and letters from Eubie, plus excerpts from the Norwegian Radio interview Eubie made that year (in English of course!). At the piano, Morten demonstrates Eubie’s remarkable style and presents some manuscripts, including Randi´s Rag, a piece Eubie composed for Randi Hultin, the journalist who was instrumental in bringing Eubie to Europe (and convincing Eubie to take his very first flight).