Local musicians Eric Jones and Curt Southall are joining the second annual workshop at the middle school. [Photo courtesy of Nanci Flesher]

The second annual Fiddle Improv Workshop will be held at Grand County Middle School’s band room at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27.

The one-hour workshop will be led by Tamara Freida, the BEACON String Orchestra sectional coach and assistant conductor.

She will be assisted by two Moab folk musicians, Eric Jones and Curt Southall. The Moab Strings Program students, ranging in age from third through 11th grades, will also be playing with other Moab musicians.

The focus of this workshop is to give Moab’s young, classical, string musicians the opportunity to play and jam with Moab folk musicians of all ages.

Nanci Flesher, the director of the BEACON Moab Strings Program, said that M.S.P. differs from other strings programs, in that Moab’s young musicians are learning to play music from all musical genres.

“The reality is that not every child who picks up a classical string instrument will be in an orchestra,” she said. “The main goal of this program is to keep kids playing whatever the music is that is important to them. With possibly the exception of hip-hop, these kids are learning to love the best of all genres: classical, folk, popular, rock, jazz, ethnic, you name it. It is so important that these kids want to sit down and play the best music, of any style, with any musicians in Moab or anywhere.”

Freida holds a Masters in Violin Performance from Arizona State University and is a private teacher of violin, viola and cello in Moab. She plays frequently with the San Juan Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony and Phoenix Opera.

Using three easy folk melodies, Freida will be teaching basic improvisation and fiddle techniques such as turnarounds, intros, codas and grace notes.

Students will also learn to play accompaniments, within a group ensemble, in appropriate folk style.

Jones and Southall are popular Moab musicians who play a variety of string instruments. Jones will be playing guitar and mandolin, while Southall will be playing guitar and ukes.

A number of parents and siblings, as well as other local musicians will also be participating.

For more information about the Moab Strings Program, the improv workshop and private instruction in classical strings, please contact Flesher through the Grand County BEACON office at Grand County Middle School, 435-259-7158.


Event features guest musicians, students