A local connection and a passion for making music learning accessible to young people will bring international touring musician Muriel Anderson to Woodstock for a concert at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 25, at Unity Spiritual Center, 225 W. Calhoun St. She will follow the performance with a guitar clinic at 11 a.m., Sunday, March 26, at Stage Left Café, 124 Van Buren St.
Free Guitars for Future Stars will host the evening of music and benefit from the proceeds. The Woodstock-based nonprofit organization provides guitars and lessons to children ages 10 to 17 from lower-income McHenry County families.
“It’s incredible that she’s doing this for us,” said FG4FS founder Scott Neumann.
One of the world’s foremost fingerstyle guitarists and harp-guitarists, Anderson is the first woman to have won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship. She has performed/recorded with such renowned musicians as Chet Atkins, Les Paul and Victor Wooten. Her musical niche spans several genres including folk, classical, jazz, bluegrass and international music.
Neumann was introduced to Anderson in 1989 when she won the Winfield National Fingerstyle Championship. She resided in Downers Grove at that time, but she has since moved to Nashville. Each November she returns to Downers Grove to perform in an After Thanksgiving Concert. Her foundation, the Music for Life Alliance, has been supporting FG4FS for several years with cash donations given out at the concert.
“I’m excited to see the kids’ reactions to the concert,” said Neumann who currently has more girls than boys as students in the male-dominated field of guitarist. “I use her as an example to them.”
Learning to play at a young age, Anderson referred to her guitar as an immediate friend. She said, “Musical education for kids is really needed at this time. What music can do for kids is unbelievable, it’s undervalued.”
The concert will feature a variety of music on various instruments including her signature instrument, a 20-string harp guitar.
“There will always be surprises and interactions with the audience,” said Anderson.
The guitar clinic the following day will be open to area musicians. Neumann said about six of the more advanced FG4FS students will participate in the clinic.
The concert ticket price is $25 and the clinic price is $20. A combination ticket is $40. All are available at fg4fs.org.
Visitors to murielanderson.com/nightlight can request a free download of “What the World Needs Now.”