This learning community — and all of the Songkeeper activities — will be designed to provide a safe and nurturing environment for students to have the courage to hone the skills to write and perform their first songs. According to coordinator and professional singer-songwriter Mr. Bill Muse: “I can tell you that we are bringing some of the finest professional songwriters from several genres of music to work one-on-one as well as in group sessions with Songkeepers students, and these students will be helping produce concerts by these artists. You won’t find an opportunity like this on any other college campus.” For those incoming freshmen fortunate enough to be admitted, taking part in this learning community includes protecting and promoting the songwriter tradition by inviting these young folks to practice and master the art and craft. Then they, themselves, become protectors and promoters of the now embodied-tradition–literally sustaining it into the future.
One of the unique and interesting things that will happen with the students in the learning community is professional songwriters will help them master their craft. To that end, each student will prepare an original song for submission to the Kerrville Folk Festival’s University Students Songwriter’s Competition at the end of their first year and at the conclusion of their year together in the Learning Community. Local professionals will work with students throughout the year on these songs, invite other professional singer-songwriters to consult with the students on their work, provide performance opportunities for these students to showcase their work, and have their songs professionally recorded in Schreiner’s state-of-the-art music studio.
The goal is not to identify America’s next famous singer-songwriters (though it might just happen); instead, the goal is to identify those people who are passionate about their music (all academic majors welcome!) and want to be more than a hobbyist. They want to be a student of the genre, and they want to achieve an excellence in their tradition that can only occur through concentrated practice in the company of someone like Mr. Bill Muse who himself is a veteran singer-songwriter.
**Please visit our Music and Conversation series. This program is included in the curriculum of several of Schreiner’s undergraduate classes. Learn more and enjoy previous sessions today.
Once you have been admitted to Schreiner University, you will have access to the Learning Communities online application through your Schreiner One account. To login to Schreiner One use your student login credentials. Please visit the Learning Communities page in Schreiner One to apply.
The Coordinator of the Songkeepers Learning Community and the Advisory Committee will review completed applications in the order they are received. Applicants, based on their completed application, who seem to be a good fit with the community will be invited to participate.
Schreiner University is about to kick off its Sunday Afternoon Songwriters concert series at the new Trailhead complex on the Schreiner campus, with the debut show featuring Texas songwriting legend Shake Russell on the afternoon of June 13.
The shows will be mostly every other Sunday afternoon, from 2:30 to 5:00 PM. Schreiner Songkeeper Bill Muse, a veteran singer/songwriter in his own right, will host the series, featuring a different guest artist for each show. Muse has taken advantage of his long association with touring performing songwriters from across the country to put together an impressive lineup, including:
Shake Russell (Houston) – June 13
Johnny Chops (Austin) – June 27
Dana Cooper (Nashville) – July 11
Warren Hood (Austin) – July 25
The Flyin A’s (Austin) – August 8
Bernice Lewis (western Mass) – August 15
Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines (Texas Hill Country) – August 29
Doug Wintch (Salt Lake City) and Ken Gaines (Houston) – September 12
Michael Bowers and Siobhan Quinn (Austin) – September 19
Steve Fisher (northeast Texas and Oklahoma) and Bernice Lewis (western Mass) – September 26
Michael McNevin (SF Bay area, California) – October 10
Buddy Mondlock (Nashville) – October 24
The series will demonstrate the ethos of the Schreiner Songkeeper program, that is the preservation and support of the indigenous art form of the Texas Hill Country – songwriting. While many of the feature artists have written songs that have become chart toppers for major recording stars, the lineup is filled with poets of the first order, and this venue and this format will create a unique opportunity to hear the songs the way they were originally conceived. At the same time, all of these artists are proven performers whose shows have impressed audiences from northern Europe to southern California, from Boston to Austin, and from Nashville to Kerrville. And to preserve the craft, Muse and his feature artists will not only play their own songs, but will throw in a few tunes from legendary Texas songwriters who have passed on, but who collectively created the world-famous genre of the Texas singer/songwriter.
The Schreiner Trailhead is an inviting, family-friendly venue, with an amazing set of amenities, including (besides a great outdoor stage and dance floor in the shade of some nice oak trees, alongside the Trailhead Beer Garden) multiple food trucks, an outdoor gaming court with washer and cornhole pitch, a sand volleyball court, a newly renovated disc golf course, and much more. Y’all come on out.