What is Songkeepers at Schreiner?

This program — 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.”

One of the unique and interesting things that will happen with the students in the Songkeepers program 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. 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.

What is Songkeepers at Schreiner?

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.

Apply Here

**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.

Music & Conversation

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