Gary Allegretto's Harmonica Workshops at the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival
On September 26th and 27th Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival was held on the beautiful rolling hills of a 230-acre farm just 20 minutes south of Nashville in Franklin, TN. The festival featured a diverse and renowned lineup of rock and roll, alt-country, bluegrass, jazz, indie, gospel, roots and blues with headline artists such as Willie Nelson, Wilco, Cheryl Crow, Steven Tyler, Dr. John and more. There were six stages including one in a very special family-friendly children's area; Hohner’s Lil' Pilgrim Family Stage. This stage area featured a variety of musical entertainment and activities delighting and inspiring audiences of all ages. A highlight of these family events was artist/educator Gary Allegretto's Hohner-sponsored harmonica workshops.
After dazzling the crowd with a stage performance of his jaw-dropping harmonica train song, Gary led children and parents to a workshop area where he proceeded to hand out harmonicas donated by Hohner. In surprisingly short sessions of roughly 30 minutes he successfully taught folks of all ages with no prior musical experience to play the single-note melodies of four favorite songs. Participants beamed with joy, self esteem, and confidence at their new-found musical ability. Notably, Hohner is also a long-time supporter and sponsor of Gary's award winning nonprofit humanitarian organization Harmonikids (www.harmonikids.org) which provides children with special needs harmonicas and "the healing joy of music right under a child's nose".