2017 G.A.L. Convention


Guild member Michael Bashkin builds and repairs guitars full-time in Fort Collins, CO. Before lutherie he was a soil scientist for the U.S. Forest Service. Before that he hiked the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada for apparently no good reason.

Thursday, July 20, 10:30am - Workshop: Multi-piece Headstock and End-graft Overlays

Friday, July 21, 8:30am - Lecture: Tropical Hardwoods: Global Perspectives and Outlook


Greg Byers has been wrestling with lutherie since 1981. His long-suffering wife and sons have tolerated and supported his affliction, while he has built about 350 classical guitars. It never gets old, because it is so hard for him to meet his own expectations.

Friday, July 21, 10:30am – Workshop: Classical Guitar Sound: Seeking Quality and Consistency


Twenty-year GAL member Kerry Char repairs and restores fine acoustic instruments and still finds time to build classical, flamenco, and steel string guitars, not to mention Weissenborns and ukes. He has a special interest in and reputation for his work on harp guitars Ä restoring them, and building replicas of wonderful old Dyers and Knutsons.

Friday, July 21, 1:00pm – Workshop: Adventures in Vintage Guitar Restoration


Nathan Ching has been a member since 1992. He came to lutherie later in life after suffering a serious injury as a carpenter. On a vacation in California he met famed luthier Ervin Somogyi by showing up at his shop unannounced. Ervin discouraged Nathan from pursuing a life in lutherie, saying he'd be poor if he did. But that was enough to pump up his contrarian spirit; since then he has built over sixty guitars and ukes, and repaired thousands.

Saturday, July 22, 10:30am – Ukulele Listening Session (moderator)

Erick Coleman has been repairing guitars for over 25 years, working by appointment only out of his home shop in Athens, Ohio. As senior technical advisor at Stewart-MacDonald, Erick participates in the research and development of new tools, writes product instructions, and educates the staff. He has conducted numerous guitar repair workshops at the Guild of American Luthiers and Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans conventions as well as at the Northwoods Seminar and Purdue University. A guitarist for nearly 4 decades, Erick performs regularly with his band the D-Rays.


Wednesday, July 19, 2:30pm – Workshop: A Thousand or Less Repair Tips
Participants: Erick Coleman and Evan Gluck

After sixteen years of full-time guitar making, twenty-two-year Guild member Mike Doolin has retired from professional lutherie to play music full time. This doesn’t mean he has quit building guitars, it just means now he gets to keep them all.


Friday, July 21, 10:30am – Steel String Guitar Listening Session (moderator)

Friday, July 21, 1:00pm – Workshop: 7-String Guitars and the $400 Laser CNC

Forty-one-year member Jeffrey R. Elliott has frequently contributed both to American Lutherie and GAL Conventions. When he’s not building guitars, he can be found constructing leaning towers of Legos with his grandkids, spotting the International Space Station, or listening to music of all sorts.


Thursday, July 20, 10:30am – Classical Guitar Listening Session (moderator)

Long-time GAL member Dan Erlewine is a frequent writer and convention speaker for the Good Ol’ Guild. If you repair guitars, he is your superstar.


Thursday, July 20, 8:30am – Lecture: Training the Next Generation
Participants:Dan Erlewine and Frank Ford

Ten-year GAL member Evan Gluck says he is not the world’s best guitar repairman, but Google says he is. Like many luthiers, he made models as a kid, then got into a rock band. His shop is in his New York City apartment. Evan was a popular presenter at the 2011 and 2014 GAL Conventions.


Wednesday, July 19, 2:30pm – Workshop: A Thousand or Less Repair Tips
Participants: Evan Gluck and Erick Coleman

Saturday, July 22, 10:30am – Workshop: When Your Business Hits a Bump

Chris Herrod has been the Sales Manager of Luthier's Mercantile, Int'l. since 1997. During that time he has attended every Guild convention, barring one (for the birth of his son). He also served as Director of the Healdsburg Guitar Festival, serves on the Board of Directors of A.S.I.A., and contributes to a variety of publications where he shares his experience in the tonewood trade. He enjoys time with his boys, playing and performing music, serving in local government, and a good nap.


Thursday, July 20, 1:00pm – Workshop: Talking about Tone

NC Luthier Jay Lichty has built over 225 instruments, the majority of these have been custom designed and crafted to order. He currently offers over 24 models and an almost unlimited number of custom options. While offering this diversity has been a part of his success, Jay frequently says that without Corrie getting the word out he’d just be a dusty old guy in a shop surrounded by guitars and ukes. Corrie Woods, the behind the scenes half of Lichty Guitars, uses her photography and outside-the-box brand of marketing to showcase his work to the world.


Sunday, July 23, 9:00am – Lecture: Making Variety and Customization Work in a Small Shop

Jason Lollar built his first guitars in the mid 1970s. He was introduced to pickup winding at the Roberto-Venn School in 1979, where he still teaches twice a year. He built his first winding machine in 1980. Lollar Guitars eventually came to specialize in making high quality magnetic pickups, offering one-of-a-kind pickups for special applications, reproductions of old pickups no longer made, and a standard line of pickups sold to the general public and guitar manufacturers. Lollar employs nineteen highly trained people and is located in downtown Tacoma Washington. Lollar teaches Pickup winding twice a year at Roberto Venn.


Friday, July 21, 1:00pm – Workshop: Pickup Design Principles and Small Shop Practices

Twenty-four-year GAL member Stephen Marchione spent his earliest years in Texas, then Italy, then Texas again. He went to New York City to make it as a guitarist, but ended up becoming a luthier. Now he’s back in Texas and at the top of his game.


Wednesday, July 19, 2:30pm – Workshop: Fitting Bars and Braces with Hand Tools

Thursday, July 20, 1:00pm – Workshop:
Shaping Necks with Hand Tools

Saturday, July 22, 10:30am – Workshop:
From Good to Great: Refining Your Work Before You Finish
Presenters: Stephen Marchione and Charles Rufino

Eleven-year GAL member Robbie O’Brien was born in Germany to American parents, and grew up in Atlanta. He became interested in the guitar as a young medical student in Brazil. Now he’s been teaching lutherie for over twenty-five years.


Wednesday, July 19, 2:30pm – Workshop: Five Basic Steps of Guitar Setup

Saturday, July 22, 8:30am – Lecture:
Build a Classical Guitar in a Week

Charles Rufino has been immersed in the art of the violin maker since 1974, studying at the Newark School of Violin Making in England and working under “Nigo” Nigogosian of New York and Carl Becker of Chicago before opening his own shop in 1984. He is a full member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and the International Society of Violin and Bow Makers. Like Bach, he enjoys playing the viola in several community orchestras so that he can be “in the middle of the harmony.


Friday, July 21, 10:30am – Workshop: Setting a Violin Neck Like a Professional

Saturday, July 22, 10:30am – Workshop:
From Good to Great: Refining Your Work Before You Finish
Presenters: Charles Rufino and Stephen Marchione

Federico Sheppard was born in Mexico, and he began building guitars in 1979. He now splits his time between workshops in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Carrion de los Condes, Spain, where he is artist in residence. Dr. Sheppard is also a practicing chiropractor with a special interest in orthopedics as it applies to musicians. He has been a GAL member for a total of twenty-two years.


Sunday, July 23, 10:30am – Lecture: Guitar Maker without Borders

Ted White Ted White has taught marine biology and been a major player in commercial aquaculture technology. He has played several instruments since childhood and has been a wood worker nearly as long, with his early efforts producing six-hole flutes. As a traditional fiddler he became interested in building violins in the early 1990s. He is largely self-taught, but has attended numerous workshops in order to improve his making. This effort has developed into a fascination with how such an apparently simple thing could be so complex in its behaviour. Working with Jim Ham he built the world’s first balsawood cello. He is a regular attendee at the Oberlin Acoustics Workshop and has an acoustics research setup in his workshop. Recently he has worked with Mike Kemnitzer to understand the acoustics of the mandolin. Ted is a long-time member of the GAL, the Violin Society of America, and the former Catgut Acoustical Society. He is a member of the VSA’s Board of Directors and the society’s current Secretary.

Thursday, July 20, 1:00pm – Workshop: Mandolin Acoustics: Practical Workshop Techniques

Science and Technology Seminar

Wednesday, July 19, 2:30pm – Workshop


John Doan's classical studies include a guitar performance degree from California
State University at Northridge along with n umerous master classes with renowned
artists such as Oscar Ghiglia, Michael Lorimer, and Alirio Diaz and lute studies with Toyohiko Satoh, Paul O'Dette, Frank Eyler (Paris, France) and Catherine Liddell. Doan is the only musician who has ever played Sor' s complete works for the three-necked harpolyre, which he recorded on "The Lost Music of Fernando Sor." He has performed and recorded with Burl Ives, Mason Williams, The New Christy Minstrels, Ricki Lee Jones and others, and his playing and arranging has attracted praise from Chet Atkins and Doc Watson. He is recognized as the pioneer of the twenty-string harp guitar and recently was given the International
Brand Laureate Award for "World's Leading Harp Guitarist." He lives near Salem, Oregon with his wife Deirdra, where he is an Associate Professor of Music at Willamette University.


Wednesday, July 19
7:30pm Concert: John Doan, Homage to Fernando Sor - A Musical Tribute to the Father of the Classical Guitar

Fiddler, composer, producer and educator, Darol Anger is at home in a number of musical genres, some of which he helped to invent. Exceptional among modern fiddlers for his versatility and depth, Anger has helped drive the evolution of the contemporary string band through his founding of numerous pathbreaking ensembles such as his Republic Of Strings, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the David Grisman Quintet, Montreux, his Duo with Mike Marshall, and others. He has performed and taught all over the world with musicians such as Dr. Billy Taylor, Bela Fleck, Bill Evans, Edgar Meyer, Bill Frisell, Tony Rice, Tim O’Brien, The Anonymous 4, Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, Mark O’Connor, and Stephane Grappelli. Today Darol can be heard on NPR's "Car Talk" theme every week, along with Earl Scruggs, David Grisman and Tony Rice. He was also the violinist on the phenomenally popular Sim City computer games. In addition to performing all over the world, he has recorded and produced scores of important recordings since 1977, is a MacDowell and UCross Fellow, and has received numerous composers’ residencies and grants. He has been a featured soloist on dozens of recordings and motion picture soundtracks. He is an Associate Professor at the prestigious Berklee School of music. He recently began an ambitious online Fiddle School at ArtistWorks.com. He is interested in 5-string violin technology and has built 2 of them.


Rushad Eggleston AKA Rusharguanox Grimblestein AAKA Ushard Imbleston delights the senses and expands the mind with his far flung tales of Sneth and Jick and Thurrowogoufnees. Besides being a world renowned virtuosic cello innovator, he is a lyric poet, kazoo master, guitar shredder, and galavanting banjo clumper extraordinaire, who is becoming quite famous on the internet. Many consider this gently fierce man a Wizard. If so it be because he has been evolving forth from Snee Goblin to Sneth Wizard. Nothing can compare to seeing him in person give his 337% committed musical sermons of infinite glee, covering topics rarely imagined by even semi mortals. Indeed, he eats topics, and makes them into topical ointments for the healing of your world-worn imagination-that-used-to-be. Do you dare to think the unthinkable? Do you dare to support a truly original rebel artist jester antelope of mind melting capabilities? Then come forth, brave squire, and be amazed.

Two important innovators of the String World come together again in a reunion show. Darol Anger and Rushad Eggleston have worked together in The Republic Of Strings, The Fiddlers Four, and in various Duo settings all over the world. Darol's long history of virtuosic violin innovation and Rushad's startlingly unique approach to just about everything make an unforgettable combination.


Thursday, July 20
8:00pm Concert: Darol Anger accompanied by Rushad Eggleston, fiddle

Award-winning British guitarist Michael Partington began playing guitar at age six while growing up in Wales, gave his first public performance at age seven and won his first competition at age nine. He has trained with many of the world’s greatest guitarists, including Oscar Ghiglia, Eliot Fisk, Eduardo Fernandez, Manuel Barrueco and David Russell. Partington has appeared throughout North America, Europe, Russia and Scandinavia as a soloist and with ensembles. An advocate of new music, he has commissioned and premiered works by Stephen Goss, Bryan Johanson, Toshio Hosokawa, Angelo Gilardino, Tom Baker, Kevin Callahan, and others. He released eight solo CDs for Rosewood Recordings, and can be heard on the Cadenza and Present Sounds labels. He is currently Artist in Residence and director of the guitar program at the University of Washington in Seattle.


Friday, July 21
8:00pm Concert: Michael Partington, classical guitar

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