Oct. 1, 2018

Michelle Younger plays an Eastman Whyte Laydie banjo.

Eastman banjo....a remarkable instrument at a very reasonable price.


John's Corner October 1st, 2018 Michelle Younger

Good morning friends,

So, October begins the fall festivities.  The leaves are starting to change and the fish are still biting strong down here at Keuka Lake. I will be back in the store this Friday. On Saturday I’m looking forward to a clawhammer banjo workshop given by the Michelle Younger. Let me give you a little background on Michelle. A couple of years after we had open the store a young woman, who was pursuing a degree in classical guitar, introduced herself. She had growing a bit tired of making sandwiches at the local coffee shop and asked us if we needed any help. As chance would have it, we had an opening. Michelle worked for us for 10 years and managed the front end of the store. She helped us organize and present all of the small things that music stores should have but Julie and I knew nothing about. We were always grateful for the time that she worked for us. Shortly after she started, she asked me if she could borrow a banjo for the weekend. On Monday morning she came in and she could play the banjo!  In fact, it became her instrument of choice. Much to the dismay of her family and professors she opted to become a banjo player instead of a classical guitar teacher.  An accomplished musician even as a young child Michelle grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her family heritage traces their lineage back to the infamous Cole Younger Gang of the old west and somewhere deep inside she still has that country twang. On the day of her Master’s degree recital at the esteemed Kilbourne Hall at Eastman School,  Michelle was on stage, dressed in a long gown with her classical guitar on the stand. She performed incredibly well. At the end she said I would like to perform one last piece and put the guitar down and open up another case and pulled out of banjo much to the dismay of her teacher. She then performed an incredibly complex Joseph Morley piece of classical banjo written around 1900. It was an outstanding moment. Afterwards she secretly told me that she wanted to give up guitar for the banjo!

One day she came to us with a tear in her eye and told us that she was going to have to quit. She had been offered a position with a progressive women’s musical trio called Harpeth Rising.  It was really a dream come true for her. She would be able to play both guitar and banjo, travel the world and realize her musical talent. Today they have several CDs to their credit and a constant touring schedule. Michelle still makes Rochester, New York her home and when she is not on tour she can be found sometimes hanging out at Uptown Music. We are lucky enough to have her this weekend for two Clawhammer Banjo workshops. Hope to see you there!  

 Looking ahead to the weekend of October 13th, Bernunzio’s is sponsoring a ukulele festival to raise money for the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network or RAIHN.  There was an article in today’s Democrat and Chronicle newspaper about the festival. You can read the article here.

Harpeth Rising

The Crooked Lake