The 7th Annual Smithfield Music Fest

The 7th Annual Smithfield Music’s Aiken & Friends Fest Offers More Than Just Great Music
Event’s September 29 Workshops Benefit Isle of Wight County Music Education
Nashville, TN (September 4, 2012) – The 7th Annual Smithfield Music’s Aiken & Friends Fest
offers more than just great music; the event also offers fun and
informative workshops that benefit music education in Isle of Wight
County, Virginia.  A much-touted Fest feature, the annual educational
seminars offer a variety of topic choices to those who wish to learn
more about the various aspects of the music industry.  This year’s
program features:
  • Songwriters’ workshop – hosted by singer/songwriters Mike Aiken, Elliott Lurie and Bonnie Bishop
    Format is often governed by attendee questions, but this year writing
    for specific markets like film and TV placement will be addressed.
  • Guitar seminar – taught by master guitarist Sam Dorsey
    (Chair of Norfolk State University’s Music Dept., member of the
    Tidewater Guitar Orchestra); open to players of any age and skill level.
  • Music Promotion 101 – insights from Northwind Records’
    President Amy Aiken and Lurie.  Topics cover how the Indie artist can
    advance their career and song/artist promotion within film and TV.
aiken  Smithfield elementary band students 
These Smithfield Elementary Band students are among many who have benefitted from the Fest fundraisers. 
 (Photo credit: Tom Tokarz)
All educational
events are held on Saturday, September 29, and the cost to participate
is included in the general ticket purchase price of $35.  Special
seminar-only tickets are available for $10.  “The Saturday kick-off
concert consists of musicians from our local schools,” comments Jim
Abicht of Smithfield Music.  “This gives our audience a chance to see
what their money is doing for our communities and a chance for our
students to perform before a non-biased audience.  Both sides learn
something.”  Abicht comments on the educational workshops offered each
year, “They have done a great job of engaging the participants–no
matter the level of expertise they bring to the table.  From beginners
to those who could probably teach their own class, the leaders make sure
everyone walks away with something that will advance their knowledge of
Now in its seventh year, Smithfield Music’s Aiken and Friends Fest benefits youth music education through its vibrant annual Americana/Roots festival.
 A “celebration of songwriters,” this small-town Virginia event
introduces music fans to national, regional and local artists in the
rural splendor along the Pagan River.  Smithfield’s very active music
scene is due in part to the efforts of Jim & Elaine Abicht who head
Smithfield Music.
Festival founder
and Americana/Country/Roots artist Mike Aiken notes, “The benefits to
area children are enormous, and we are humbled by the many folks who
continue to participate.”
Click HERE for more information on the Smithfield Music’s Aiken & Friends Fest.
In 2005, the Isle of Wight Arts League entered into a partnership with Smithfield Music,
a venture created by Jim and Elaine Abicht, to present performances by
top tier professional musicians in the family-friendly venue, the Smithfield Little Theatre.  Net proceeds from Smithfield Music events are donated to the school music programs in Isle of Wight County.  As
a program of the Isle of Wight Arts League, Smithfield Music is a
501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and donations to Smithfield Music may be
tax deductible.


Amy’s background
was pure do-it-yourself, and she learned from the ground up.  She has
engineered albums for Mike Aiken, blues artist Bobby Blackhat Walters,
pop artist Sonya Lorelle and others.  She started the Indie label Northwind Records in 2002, and as label President she’s produced and promoted numerous records to #1, Top 25 and Top 50 in U.S. and Europe.
For more than 25 years,
Elliot Lurie has been a successful film & TV music supervisor in
Hollywood.  As an independent supervisor, he has contributed to hit
movies like A Night At The Roxbury, Something’s Gotta Give and Stuart Little.   His television credits include: Clueless, The 4400 and Lizzie McGuire.
Northwind Records’
recording artist Mike Aiken is a songwriter/artist known for his
signature blend of Americana, Country and Roots which have garnered him
#1 hits in the U.S. and Europe.  Between performances Mike is writing
new songs, recording and working on his philanthropic projects that
include both the annual Aiken & Friends Fest and the Great
Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race that benefits environmental concerns.

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