Bluegrass workshop offered for musicians by WKSA

Todd Toman, who has played and taught guitar, mandolin and fiddle for more than 30 years, will conduct a bluegrass workshop for Fort Hays State University's Western Kansas String Academy in October and November.

The workshop will be presented in three sessions on three consecutive Saturdays: Oct. 24, Oct. 31 and Nov. 7.

"We want people to be able to commit to all three sessions," said Cathy Drabkin, WKSA executive director. "Each session will present new material."

Each session will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Malloy Hall on the FHSU campus. The cost for the workshop is $30, but it is free to WKSA students who are already enrolled on Saturdays. Registration deadline is Oct. 15, and registration fees are non-refundable after that date.

Toman played fiddle in the string band "Blackwolf" at mountain man gatherings, Civil War reenactments and cowboy balls. He also played for 10 years with the "New Old-Timers." Currently, he plays electric guitar with the country rock band "Country Highway."

Workshop participants will be asked to learn by ear as well as from sheet music. After learning traditional and original bluegrass, they will conduct a culminating performance, a date for which will be selected at the first meeting.

"String players should be comfortable playing in first position with various bow strokes and quick tempos," said Drabkin. "Violins and violas should be able to play pieces equivalent to 'Hunter's Chorus', cellos should be able to play 'The Happy Farmer' and guitars should be able to play a series of chords."

For more information or for a registration form, contact Drabkin at (785) 628-5363 or

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Kent Steward, Director   |  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |