High folks,

In the tradition of JPF, I Thought SEMA might be interested in this event. The People's Music Network is probably a good group for you to know about. I am hoping for over 200 people at the weekend, a number of whom record music, and many others involved in the music business in one way or another, mostly through the joy of singing. Most all tend to be involved in political or social activism. The Friday night concert at Amherst College should have over 600 people. You may have worked with or know many of the folks involved.
Hope you can spread the word on your email list.
Mostly hope you can come. It will be a fun-filled, artistic, and provocative week end. see below for more details
Tom Neilson

The Peoples Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle will hold its Winter Gathering at Amherst College in Amherst, MA on the weekend of January 27-29, 2006. The theme for the weekend will be “Standing Our Ground”.
The Peoples Music Network (PMN) uses music and culture to promote progressive ideas and values. PMN is a network of musicians, performers, song-writers, sound and recording engineers, music lovers, record and concert producers, promoters and archivists, whose artistry is rooted in political and social activism. In the words of Paul Robeson, “The artist must fight for freedom or slavery.”
Since 1977, PMN has developed a format that includes a Friday night concert, a weekend of workshops, and a round robin. Members come from all over the country to share their love of music. The gatherings are held in different cities each winter. Summer gatherings are at a camp in the Hudson Valley.
PMN is a place to come to work on issues pertaining to cultural survival. It is a welcoming place for new musicians and songwriters as well as seasoned veterans. It is a culturally diverse group of people committed to working on issues of oppression, having fun in the process
The winter gathering will present a dynamic group of musicians at its Friday night concert on January 27. The concert will be held at Johnson Hall, Amherst College, and begin at 7:00 pm. The evening’s line-up will combine the nueva canción of Puerto Rican independentista, Roy Brown, the political poignancy of Emma’s Revolution, comprised of Pat Humphries and Sandy Opatow, the civil rights themes of Kim & Reggie Harris, the playfulness and wit of Jay Mankita, the high-energy musical outrage of RiotFolks Collective’s Ethan Miller & Kate Boverman, and the political satire and parody of humorist Tom Neilson. All the performers have a strong commitment to social, ecological and economic justice.
Weekend workshops and song swaps focus on topics such as songwriting, the marketing of musicians, funny songs, choral and improvisational singing, rounds, labor, protest, Celtic and peace songs, environmental, gay/lesbian/bisexual and disabilities awareness issues.
On Saturday afternoon, there will be a Children’s Concert at 1:30 pm at Johnson Hall. It will be free and open to the public. PMN songwriters, Sarah Pirtle, Tom Neilson and others will perform their original children’s music.
Following the Children’s Concert will be a Plenary, focusing on current issues of military recruitment, globalization and money. Jo Comerford and Raul Matta of the American Friends Service Committee and the WMA Military Recruitment Education Network will talk about current local and national efforts to educate communities about the realities of military service and its alternatives. Suzie Polucci and Court Dorsey will present their hilarious, but profoundly insightful, “Melotrauma”, which will include pieces from “Globalize This”, a satire that pits global capital against that other superpower, We The People, and from “The Invention of Capital”, a mimed passion play with music that chronicles the degeneration of human love and natural beauty, and the rise of money.
We invite you or your organization to co-sponsor the PMN weekend. The primary responsibility of co-sponsors is to help publicize the weekend and to encourage your members/associates to attend.
Over 100 PMNers will be coming from out of town and will need lodging for the weekend. If you can provide a homestay for the weekend, please contact Bob Blue at bobblue@the-spa.com.
For information and a registration form, go to the web site: www.peoplesmusic.org or contact Diane Crowe, at diacrowe@yahoo.com - 413-548-9394

Christine Mascott
formerly just Christine
vocalist/graphic design/web hosting and design