Bardic Roundhouse thanks.
- How can Lady Juliane and I say thanks to all those who made the Bardic Roundhouse a success? We could write a book. Since most of you won't sit still for a book, I'd like to lead with four people without whom the event wouldn't have come off at all:
Thomasina Greenwell and Eva Sturmaere spent 48+ hours tending to the care and feeding of 70 bards and friends. The food moved swiftly and smoothly and all were satisfied, I think. Then they stayed around to tear down.
Serjeant Bernard Sturmaere spent hours over a hot grill making sure the barbecue feast arrived tasty and hot. He spent much of the rest of the time on duties we never asked him to do: guiding parking and making sure the facilities were up to snuff. He even guided one inebriated bardic circler safely back to his tent. Then he stayed around to tear down.
We mention these three in particular because although they've always shown an interest in bardic activities, this wasn't really "their" event at all.
In the top four, we have to tell the tale of Abel the Troll (Abel Frolicher), who spent his time gatekeeping in spite of the insistance of the autocrats that he abandon his post and have fun. Actually, we encourage you to hear him tell the tale himself, as he did at the circle Friday night; he had the crowd in tears of laughter.
May we say with modesty that this event was successful? We'd budgeted for 25; the attendance was 70 (wish we could say this means we made piles of money, but the budget was based on the food; we broke even, though). When we strolled over to the bardic circle on Saturday night, it was stunning. The only larger circles I have seen have been at Pennsic. We'd planned a fair amount of "down time" during the day, and we were pleased to see that time was filled with song and music and storytelling. Our intended audience was the bards of northern Oaken, but we also had many participants from Illinois, Indiana, New York, and Massachusetts.
Ursula the Widow carefully assembled a class schedule which was rightly praised for its diversity, with tracks for both inexperienced and experienced bards, and covering culture, music, and writing. She also neatly juggled a pair of instructors' travel snafus, although we have to admit we were very lucky to have Master John Inchingham on hand to improvise a class on Improvisation.
It can't be a coincidence that as we stuck our heads into each class session, we heard something pithy, or hilarious, or intriguing. Our (scheduled) instructors were: Mathilda Harper, Robin McCauley, Kateryn Draper, Brendan O Corraighe, Lyonnete Vibert, Lady Ursula herself, and of course Tyzes "Szof-we-are-not-worthy" Sofia.
Szof prepared a set of other activities which kept the crowd on its toes all day. (Llywelyn notes: Szof came up with the idea for a scavenger hunt, but Lady Juliane really gets credit for putting it together.)
Wulfgar, our mentor, was there for us, whenever we needed him. Thanks, Wulfie!
Robin and Brendan got a lot of praise - from our most experienced participants - for the way they ran circles on Friday and Saturday nights. One went so far to say Friday's was the best circle she'd ever participated in; she said it twice so she be sure we noticed.
Brendan was also the weblackey; and the site not only looked great, he was thoughtful in his comments and improvements on the content and always highly responsive.
Juliane Bechaumpe and Llywelyn Glyndwr
"Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low." Wallace Sayre