Starting a club

Here are some suggestions about starting a club.  Here in Dallas, we are lucky
to have a couple of harp teachers who work privately and at the local community
college.  We also have a lot of musicians who play harp in country and blues
bands.  When we started HOOT here the core group was three guys, one a teacher
and session player (who will be on Austin City Limits with Gary P. Nunn in
February), the other a country player and session player (who now has a great
tape out) and myself, musician and involved in the mic biz.  The three of us hit
all the music jam nights, music stores, and other places, including the mailing
list of SPAH, to find all the members in our area.  No one was overlooked, and
we included area pros--Gary Primich, Sam Myers, Mickey Rahpael--all of whom
became members.  We also went to the club owners and asked them if they knew of
players, and to the music producers and session types that would employ harp
players.  So we heavily canvassed the area.  For our first three or four
meetings we had programs that we felt would appeal to all--on equipment, the
chromatic, etc.--and after each meeting had and continue to have workshops for
players of all abilities.  We tried a number of locations, including a club that
had a jam after our meeting, and have finally settled on the small rehearsal
hall of a community college--this is a tremendous location with great acoustics
and a small amount of theatre seating.  We have also included a guitar player at
our meetings, necessary to help make the music move along, and also to make
beginners feel more comfortable about getting in front of the group.  Our
membership has stabilized at about 40, but we continue to mail messages to
everyone we know of who plays, telling them about the meetings, programs, etc.  
HOOT would be happy to help anyone trying to start a club.  For the most
information, call our club president, Jerl Welch, at 214-327-5008 daily--you can
also request copies of his new tape.    

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