My name is Lew Stern. “Brooklynbanjoboy” on BHO. I’d like to ask for your assistance on a project of mine. I am writing a biography of Dwight Hamilton Diller, who as you certainly know is a 68 year-old musician from West Virginia devoted to local traditions of fiddle and banjo music. After 9 months of work on this, I’m confronted with several realities.
The first is that Dwight has kept no real systematic records of his teaching work, concerts that he’s played, workshops that he has run.
The second is that here, ON THE INTERNET, we can reach out to a global population of banjo-focused people who might be able to help me.
I’m looking for information on several kinds of activities:
First, Contests: Dwight participated in several of these especially in the 1970s. If you saw him compete I’d like to learn the venue, the dates, what tunes he played, and whether he placed in the contest. Any tape recordings would be very useful, too.
Second, Concerts: Either house concerts or concerts in public venues. Location, dates, who he might have shared the stage with.
Third, Workshops: Banjo (or fiddle) instruction Dwight organized, for from one to four days -- the “customary” length of workshops. Who attended, or hosted, where and when?
Fourth, Retreats: Banjo (or fiddle) instruction Dwight organized, for from four to seven or so days. I’d be interested in information from people who attended, or hosted, and can recall where and when.
If you’d be so kind to reply with your name and email, as a second step I’d be interested in reaching out to see whether you’d be prepared to fill out a “questionnaire” exploring things in greater detail.
My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d be grateful for your assistance. I’d value your contribution.
120-A Overlook Road
Staunton, VA 24401