The second annual Singing Doe workshop and showcase is this weekend, and event organizer Anna Robinson said things went so well last year that this one will offer even more.
Robinson, who performs as Anna Robins, and friend Hillary Presecan started the event as a way to showcase and encourage local female musicians, from the established to the aspiring.
Last year, the day included workshops, a networking brunch, an open jam session and an artist showcase. Robinson said attendance was strong across the board, culminating in a standing room-only crowd for the showcase.
"We honestly couldn’t have asked for better," Robinson said.
Now, the event has its own website, singingdoe.com, and will nearly double the number of things it offered last year. Robinson is happy with the momentum, but credited it to the community's desire to see it succeed.
"As long as people want this, I want to do what I can … to make it happen," Robinson said. "I’m looking forward to seeing how our local community and the area surrounding us help us shape this into whatever it needs to be."
Based on feedback sought from vendors, sponsors and participants in last year's Singing Doe, Robinson said this year's will be a little different: they nixed the networking brunch, added two more workshops to the lineup (for a total of four) and an open mic night.
The weekend kicks off with the open mic and social event from 5:30 to 9 p.m. March 8 at the Dahl Arts Center, hosted by Elaine Romero-Douglas. Robinson said the evening is a partnership between Singing Doe and the Dahl's Emerging Artists program, which has live music every Friday featuring open mic, local/regional showcases and mentoring.
After the open mic night, there will be an informal social at 445 Martini Lounge in downtown Rapid City.
On March 9, a Saturday, there is a full day of activities. Workshops start at 10 a.m., and will again be at Racing Magpie, 406 Fifth St. The sessions are for women of all ages and experience levels.
"I think our new workshops will greatly add to the level of education we can offer," Robinson said, adding "not just women or female musicians."
This year there are two workshops in the morning, one about songwriting led by Robins, and another on finances for musicians. There will be an hour break for lunch, then two more workshops in the afternoon, including an artist panel and another open acoustic folk-style jam session. The afternoon sessions will last until about 3:30 p.m.
The artist showcase, featuring five local musicians or groups spanning several genres, starts at 6 p.m. and will last until about 9 p.m. Kim and the Cue Balls, a trio that performs mostly rock, classic country and some gospel, are headlining the event. Folk/rock artist Marnie Cook, alternative/rock musician and singer Davidica, pop/folk/blues singer-songwriter Katie Dwyer and pop singer Tiffany Johnson will also perform.
All of the events on both days are free.
Though much of the weekend is geared toward girls and women, Robinson said the showcase is a family friendly event where everyone is welcome. Last year's, she noted, had a "great atmosphere for everyone," with men, women, boys and girls all enjoying themselves.
For more information on the workshops or artists performing, visit the Singing Doe website or its Facebook page at facebook.com/SingingDoe/.