The Acoustic Stage
- Open Mic for Aspiring Performers -
oin us each month for an entertaining Friday evening of traditional and contemporary acoustic music, fun, and refreshments at Mackenzie Hall. We provide a stage, a supportive audience, and outstanding sound for brave souls ranging from first time performers to semi-professional artists. The eight performers each evening provide some of the best entertainment anywhere. Refreshments (hot and cold drinks, cookies) are available.
The evenings of
January 5th, 2018
June 1st, 2018
will be "
" that feature a selection of the most popular performers from earlier Acoustic Stages.
Admission is free, but donations are invited. The evening begins at
and ends by
, but the house is usually full by 8:30.
Acoustic Stage Schedule
September 8th 2017 October 6th 2017 November 3rd 2017 December 1st 2017 January 5th 2018 SHOWCASE February 2nd 2018 March 2nd 2018 April 6th 2018
May 18th 2018 June 1st 2018 SHOWCASE
REQUESTING A PERFORMANCE To perform on Friday, October 6th, please call Jan Ciborowski (Tel. 519-978-3274) no sooner than Friday, September 29th and leave a message including a telephone number and an e-mail address where you can be
HINTS FOR PERFORMING ON THE ACOUSTIC STAGE You want to be a star? Or you just want to share your music? Whatever your goal, Windsor Folk Music Society will be glad to help. Weíll give you a chance to hone your stage skills, try out your material and meet fellow performers — all in front of an audience that appreciates the efforts of performers at all skill levels.
We ask performers to follow a few guidelines, which we think will help make each gathering fun for those both on stage and off.
The acts for each Acoustic Stage are selected on a first-call basis. If you want to perform, call the Windsor Folk reservation number: 519-978-3274, beginning no earlier than the Saturday before the Friday performance date. Early callers will not get any advantage.
If your call reaches an answering machine, leave your name, the reason for the call, your telephone number, and an e-mail address where you can be reached over the week-end. If you are a first-time performer at Windsor Folk, give a brief description of what you do — i.e., “I’m a poet” or “I play banjo and lap dulcimer” or “I play guitar and sing original songs”.
AFTER YOUR SIGN-UP CALL YOU WILL NOT BE CONTACTED UNLESS THERE IS A PROBLEM, SUCH AS A FULL ROSTER BEFORE YOUR CALL.
Because we have a large and growing roster of performers, we ask that you not sign up for more than two Acoustic Stages in a row and, after that, wait at least three months before performing again.
PERFORMANCE NIGHT Select your songs and practice them ahead of time - complete with the intros. Keep your explanation short and interesting. Don’t paraphrase the whole song before you start — let it speak for itself.
On the night of the performance, please arrive at Mackenzie Hall no later than 8 p.m. and check immediately with that night’s host to determine your place in the evening’s lineup.
Each performer is given about 12 to 14 minutes onstage to perform up to three songs or poems or whatever. Time your performance and if it runs longer, consider different material or shorten your songs (do you really need to sing all 17 verses of that second song?).
Windsor Folk has a lot of good talent and the more we can display it the better it is for both performers and audiences. To do that, you can help us make the most of the time by following some simple steps:
1. CHECK YOUR GEAR — Before you leave home, double check that any cords, batteries or other gear you’re going to need is working properly. A dead tuner or guitar pickup can bring everything to a screaming halt onstage.
2. BE IN TUNE — Tune your instrument ahead of time. Occasionally something happens during the setup that makes it necessary to retune after you get on stage. But this should be just a tweaking. The most important thing is to be in tune when you go on stage.
3. USE MINIMAL GEAR — This is an Open Mic, not a recording session. Usually your instrument, a tuner if you use one, and whatever capos or picks you need is enough. Since Windsor Folk players use mostly acoustic instruments, it is perfectly acceptable (or even preferable) to use microphones rather than pickups. If you do plan to plug in, using your own cord and having it ready will probably save time and hassle.
4. BE READY — Know your place in the lineup and prepare to go on while the act ahead of you is onstage. Check all cords, straps, capos, tuners, etc. and head right to the stage when you’re introduced.
5. SET UP QUICKLY — Rehearse this at home if you can, using whatever you have to approximate microphones on stands and boxes you need to plug into, this can become challenging if you have an instrument slung around your neck.
6. LEARN TO USE VOCAL MICS - (ask for advice at the start of the evening if you haven't used one before). The main rules are “stay close” and “don’t move around.” Someone will help you position the mics for your vocals and instruments. While singers’ styles differ on vocal mic placement (usually by only minor height requirements), the people running the sound system know the best places to put mics for instruments. TRUST THEM — they’re trying to make you sound good. Once an instrument mic is in place, neither it nor the instrument should be moved unless there is an overriding consideration such as an equipment malfunction.
7. TRUST THE PEOPLE RUNNING THE SOUND SYSTEM — If you have an instrument with onboard controls, set them to a low-end volume and flat (i.e., middle) tones, then let the person running the sound board make you sound good in the room. Remember, what you hear onstage through the monitor speakers is not what the audience is hearing. If you need more volume in the monitor speakers, say so. But please donít adjust your instrument unless the sound people ask you to.
8. BE CONSIDERATE — Always the basis for good manners, there are a few things specific to the Acoustic Stage that bear repeating.
Stay to listen to and support the other performers. Too often Acoustic Stage performers play their three songs and leave. Sometimes that’s unavoidable, but often it’s just bad manners — like saying “I’ve shown you my stuff, but you have nothing to offer me.”
Don’t be repetitive. If you have a limited repertoire and you’ve done all your songs, wait till you’ve learned some new ones before you sign up again.
Respect other opinions. Songs and poetry are an important and traditional medium for addressing social, environmental or religious issues. But please respect the fact that Windsor Folk has a diverse membership and everyone has their own beliefs and causes to support. Most people come to the Acoustic Stage mainly to be entertained.