Songkeepers

Passionate about music

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Welcome to Songkeepers!

The program, Songkeeper’s mission is to create a secure and supportive atmosphere for students to develop their original music and perform their pieces live with an audience.

The goal is to find enthusiastic individuals who have a passion for music (all academic majors are welcome!) who want to move beyond being a hobbyist. Students will acquire a level of proficiency in their songwriting. Which can only be attained by intensive practice in the company of Mr. Muse, a seasoned singer-songwriter and well-known professional artist who will join, help and teach all Songkeeper Students.

Songkeepers Programs

Sunday Afternoon Songwriters
Music & Conversation Series
Music at the Mansion
Schreiner University Trailhead
Apply Here

August
Week 1: Aug 8-13
The Flyin’ A’s

The husband-and- wife duo of Hilary Claire and Stuart Adamson—better known as The Flyin’ A’s—are on the cusp of releasing their fourth independent album. Their latest album You Drive Me Crazy, is a top-shelf complement to the pair’s engaging, fun, contagiously enjoyable live shows, You Drive Me Crazy is right on the money. The album has received critical acclaim and play around the world, making it on the first round Grammy ballot for “Best Americana Album”.

Week 2: Aug 15-20
Bernice Lewis

With almost four decades of performing festivals, concert halls, coffeehouses, colleges, and house concerts, along with a half dozen acclaimed CDs, Bernice Lewis has built a solid national fan base. She is also a published poet, a producer, and an educator extraordinaire. Lewis — who studied vocal improvisation with Bobby McFerrin, guitar technique with Alex DeGrassi and Guy van Duser, and songwriting with Rosanne Cash and Cris Williamson — has been a featured performer on NPR’s Mountain Stage program, as well as at the Kennedy Center. In 2008, she was awarded an Artist in Residence position by the National Park Service. In 1987, she was a finalist in the prestigious New Folk Songwriting Contest at the Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival, where she continues to be a main stage favorite. Her ballad, “Bridges That Hold,” was included in Peter, Paul and Mary’s Lifelines video (PBS). She was featured in Yoga Journal for her work with sound and yoga, and has shared the stage with many renowned artists, including Dar Williams, Dixie Chicks, Patty Griffin, Pete Seeger, Ellis Paul, Rory Block, Livingston Taylor, Odetta, Christine Lavin, Marty Sexton, Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis, Mary Gauthier… it’s a long list. She has a forty-year old daily yoga practice, loves good coffee, and her religion is the Grand Canyon.

Week 3: Aug 23-27
Matt Nakoa

Matt Nakoa is an award-winning songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. A modern troubadour, he makes his home on the highways and concert stages of America, and appears regularly with folk music icon Tom Rush. The Boston Globe says of Nakoa, “Between his piano chops and heartfelt originals on guitar, he drops jaws.” Born on a small goat farm in New York State, Nakoa trained to be a concert pianist before accepting a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music as a vocalist. He developed his dramatic songwriting style with his college alt-rock band, The Fens, and after the band dissolved, he landed in NYC. It was in Manhattanʼs all-night piano bars that Nakoa developed an uncanny ability to command the attention of any audience. His first solo albums, released in 2012 and 2014, garnered multiple songwriting awards, including a win at Kerrville Folk Festivalʼs New Folk Competition. Nakoaʼs newest album, Casting Shadows, is a spellbinding blend of pop, soul, and classical influences that tells a story of childhood dreams crashing headlong into grownup reality. The Ark of Music magazine proclaims, “What we have here is a truly encouraging sign of what pop could once again become …”

Week 4A: Aug 29-31
Terri Hendrix & Lloyd

Terri Hendrix is a pioneering independent Texas songwriter who spins sorrow into joy and wrings wisdom from the blues with a poetic grace and engaging melodic flair that has endeared her to three generations of fans around the globe. Recognized by “Acoustic Guitar” Magazine as one of Texas’ 20 essential contemporary singer-songwriters, Hendrix has released 18 albums since her 1996 debut, “Two Dollar Shoes,” all on her own Wilory Records label. As the owner of the masters to every album she’s ever made, “Terri is truly a self-made woman” (as music legend Al Kooper observed). That autonomy has allowed her the freedom to dodge musical pigeonholes her entire career by weaving folk, pop, country, blues and jazz into an eclectic style all her own, which makes for an energetic and spiritually uplifting live show in any setting, from listening rooms and house concerts to theaters to outdoor festivals. Along the way, she’s also co-written a Grammy-winning instrumental (the Dixie Chicks’ “Lil’ Jack Slade”), and garnered such honors as a star on the South Texas Music Walk of Fame, the Art of Peace Award by Saint Mary’s University in San Antonio, the Distinguished Alumni Award at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, and a 2015 induction into the Women’s Hall of Fame in San Marcos, Texas. But her proudest achievement to date is the OYOU (“Own Your Own Universe”), the 501 C3 non-profit she founded in 2013. Based in Martindale and San Marcos, Texas, the OYOU’s mission is to make the arts accessible to everyone, regardless of age, income, social, or mobility issues, through a variety of workshops, concerts, and retreats.

September
Week 4B: Sept-2-3
Beth Galiger & Bill Ward

A veteran of the singer/songwriter circuit since 1990, Bill has forged a wonderful reputation as both a performer and writer. From Maine to Miami, San Diego to Seattle and points in between, he has entertained audiences with his dynamic stage presence, powerful voice, and award-winning songwriting. A Main Stage performer at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival he has performed both solo with his piano and guitar, and as accompanist to many artists as well. He loves the stage, and it clearly shows. His music enjoys airplay in the U.S., Canada, Russia, Ireland, and The Netherlands. You can hear him on Willie Nelson’s “Outlaw for Peace” show, which airs worldwide on Radio for Peace International. He currently works for Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas where he runs the recording studio and is an adjunct faculty member for Song Keepers.

Week 5: Sept 9-12
Ken Gaines

Houston area singer/songwriter, guitarist, producer, and teacher Ken Gaines has the goal of writing great songs in just about every genre and style you can come up with. “For all the great songs that have been written I belong to a wonderful tribe who believe there are a least as many great ones still to be written.” His voice has the range to cover all styles and his supple guitar work lays down arrangements instead of just chords. His lyrics are both powerful and poetic and highlight the skills of a story teller and observer of life.

Week 6: Sept 12-17
Doug Wintch

Hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah—Doug Wintch has been actively making up songs since he was a small boy. (He’s quick to admit that he’s forgotten most of those early songs, even though they were all very short! Also, Doug has always been uncomfortable writing in this strange “bio” voice, but such is life for the nearly 64 year old songster.) Doug’s debut CD—Wooden Nickels, was recorded in Salt Lake City in 1993—Amazingly, he still remembers how to play many of those twelve songs! Checkin’ In, followed in 1996—recorded in Kingsland, Texas. Beloved Hill Country picker and recording engineer, Larry Nye producing. The late great Champ Hood is featured on a couple of cuts. 2010 saw him recording Singing on the Job—in Tacoma, Washington. Production, engineering and backing vocals by the mucho-talented Evan Brubaker. (Older Kerrverts will remember Evan from The Bigsbys.) Over the past forty some odd years, Doug figures he’s fronted at least thirty-seven folk’n’roll combos—and played thousands of solo, duo, and band gigs from Salt Lake to Seattle—Grand Targhee to Terlingua. Whatever the context—Doug’s songs will touch your heart and tickle your funny bone. He’s been called a Utah treasure—(among other things!) It’s been said his sound comes from a place where the Wasatch mountains meet the Rio Grande—(and he considers the sentiment high praise.)

Week 7A: Sept 19-21
Michael Bowers & Siobahn Quinn

Siobhán Quinn (pronounced shhh-vawn) is originally from Berkeley, CA, & upstate New York, and was born of immigrant parents. With a voice of powerful texture and variety, some refer to her as a “pyrotechnic folk & blues singer.” She can rip into exuberant blues, bring tears to your eyes with a soulful ballad, or bring an audience to complete stillness with a centuries old folk song. Siobhan’s English and Irish family experience comes out in her songwriting; along with that occasional twist into the blues she loves so much. When he witnessed history in the making as a young boy in Selma, Alabama, Michael Bowers realized that his most prized possessions were not in boxes or on paper, but in his mind and his voice. He’s known for his strong, sophisticated lyrics as well as cut-to-the-chase songs. The lessons of his storied southern roots sometimes surface in live performance and his lyrics range from the heartfelt to humorous. To add even more spice to his vocals and guitar, Michael often uses a Paul Beard resonator & Veillette Gryphon guitar to create a certain texture to various songs.

Week 7B: Sept 23-26
Steve Fisher

Steve Fisher’s songs reveal a deep resonance of spirituality and soul-searching, seasoned with just a pinch of wry humor and a dash of self-deprecating awareness of the frailty of us humans as we stumble through this life without a road map. Steve just seems to see life from a slightly different angle than most of us, and it affords him clear views to universal truths that often escape us in our busy lives, because we are in just to big a hurry to notice. Steve has roots in East Texas and Oklahoma and earned an Engineering Tech degree from Texas A&M. In the ’80s, he spent some time as the keyboard player for the Southern Cross band. In 1989, he was a New Folk winner at the Kerrville Folk Festival. If Steve Fisher had chosen a more commercial path, we would all know his name and would be hearing his tunes in elevators, but that isn’t who Steve is. On the other hand, not very many people who could teach us as much about the art and craft of songwriting as he can, and that’s why he is playing Kerrville, again.

Week 8: Sept 26-28
Bernice Lewis

With almost four decades of performing festivals, concert halls, coffeehouses, colleges, and house concerts, along with a half dozen acclaimed CDs, Bernice Lewis has built a solid national fan base. She is also a published poet, a producer, and an educator extraordinaire. Lewis — who studied vocal improvisation with Bobby McFerrin, guitar technique with Alex DeGrassi and Guy van Duser, and songwriting with Rosanne Cash and Cris Williamson — has been a featured performer on NPR’s Mountain Stage program, as well as at the Kennedy Center. In 2008, she was awarded an Artist in Residence position by the National Park Service. In 1987, she was a finalist in the prestigious New Folk Songwriting Contest at the Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival, where she continues to be a main stage favorite. Her ballad, “Bridges That Hold,” was included in Peter, Paul and Mary’s Lifelines video (PBS). She was featured in Yoga Journal for her work with sound and yoga, and has shared the stage with many renowned artists, including Dar Williams, Dixie Chicks, Patty Griffin, Pete Seeger, Ellis Paul, Rory Block, Livingston Taylor, Odetta, Christine Lavin, Marty Sexton, Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis, Mary Gauthier… it’s a long list. She has a forty-year old daily yoga practice, loves good coffee, and her religion is the Grand Canyon.

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.

Bill Muse | Songkeepers

Bill Muse
Coordinator
Schreiner Songkeepers
Phone: 830-792-7355
Email: BMuse@schreiner.edu