A whole lot of mentoring will be goin’ on

The members of the Syracuse Sunshine Rotary Club are getting fired up.

It’s not the biggest organization going, this 20-or-so-member philanthropic club.

But, oh, they have big dreams for a festival they’ve cooked up for Aug. 15 at Kellish Hill Farms in Manlius, just a bit to the southeast of the city.

(Courtesy of Syracuse Sunrise Rotary(

(Courtesy of Syracuse Sunrise Rotary(

It’s a music festival with a cool kicker.

Young people will perform, and compete, and be awarded cool prizes, and be mentored by professional musicians. I think it’s pretty tight.

I wrote my community column about it today for Syracuse Public Media site waer.org. If you’d like to read my Mark It Up piece, click the link below.

http://waer.org/post/day-music-mentoring-and-more-kellish-hill-farms

Besides mentoring, artists Tim and Myles Thompson, up from Nashville, will perform a concert. So too will Central New York duo Loren Barriger and Mark Mazengarb, who like the Thompsons, have played their finger-style acoustic guitars in Nashville and abroad. Those two will be joined by multi-instrumentalist Andrew Van Norstrand, another local who with his brother Noah has found popularity around the United States.

I think that’ll an excellent example to mix and match with the local participants, who will range in age from 13 to 24.

Have you had the chance to mentor or teach young people, and if so, what’s your field of expertise? What’s your major point to make to the youth of the world? Were you mentored when you were young, and if so, what did you take away from the sessions?

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22 thoughts on “A whole lot of mentoring will be goin’ on

  1. this sounds like a great event for the rotary. far from what my image of them was back in the day. i think that mentoring is a powerful thing and can change lives in many ways. i like to think i mentor my kinders a bit, to help them find their way through the world. i’ve never been mentored, but i recognize the value and wish each person had someone to mentor them. (my idealistic view of the world)

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  2. I have taught lots. Kindergarten, sixth grade English. Subbed lots, too. For math and even gym. Then I have my own kids, and my nephews. I think I am a mentor to one young woman, although informally. The thing I’m always saying is that we are who we are for very specific reasons. There’s a place, a job, people, a path for everyone. Be authentic. The world needs genuine people doing things they’re passionate about.

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  3. Another great event for you! Well I suppose we are all our children’s mentors to some extent so I will say that I mentor mine in music. Then again, they also have many great mentors in their School of Rock. I personally had some great guitar teachers and teachers in school that taught me a lot about music, books and life.

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  4. How neat! Sounds like something up my son’s alley. He and my dad got to play at a restaurant’s open mic night last week. As you said in your article, it’s hard to get experience when you are too young to play at a club. What a great opportunity.

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  5. I’ve mentored several young people in my lifetime bro Mark, usually in the music department, with guitars. I was very surprised at the funeral home when several young, um, younger people came up to me and told me they were there because they remembered all the times I came to their classrooms and taught them new music, or new ways of finger picking. The worst part of that though was that they have all grown up. I’m not sure how that happened, when for some reason I just don’t feel all that grown up yet myself. That’s why I never keep mirrors in my apartment, lol.

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    • That’s a touching tale about the younger folks remembering you teaching fingerstyle guitar work in their classrooms, sis Angie. And finger-picking, too. I know what you mean about mirrors, by the way. That happens to us all.

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      • I had the Travis style down to a science bro Mark. And then one day my sis came home and asked me if I had ever heard of Merle Travis. Duh!! She had been waiting for a rental at the Nashville airport, and a young couple heard her asking when it would be ready, told her they were on their way to Owensboro and had room for her if she wanted a ride, so she piled in with them. Hippie days. On the way they told her they were bringing the woman’s Dad’s favorite guitar to donate to the Bluegrass Museum, which at the time was here. Elaine asked who her Dad was, and the lady said “Merle Travis”. My bright little sis just said “oh.” She had a jaw dropping moment when I told her who he was. She played Paul Simon, while I played Travis.

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  6. That sounds like such a cool thing to do- the Music Festival. I don’t think I have really mentored anyone. I have tutored – Organic Chemistry and Microbiology. I have had people follow me around when I do my job – Nurse Pracititoning stuff, but no, no formal mentoring stuff.

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