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Scott Minar songwriting workshop
July 27, 2015 : Minar Leads Songwriting Workshop at Chautauqua Writer’s Festival
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager
Lancaster – Ohio University Lancaster Professor of English Scott Minar’s first experience teaching songwriting at the Chautauqua Writers' Festival is one he says he’ll never forget.  The festival was held in Lake Chautauqua, New York, June 18 through June 21.
“It was a delightful group,” said Minar. “All of us participated in and benefitted from the overall Writers' Festival programming, which included six very well-known literary authors of fiction, poetry and nonfiction/memoir who taught workshops and gave a series of marvelous readings to the public each evening at the Literary Arts Center.”
This is the first time the writer’s festival has had a songwriting workshop, and festival organizers asked Minar last September if he’d be willing to lead it.  Minar was honored and jumped at the opportunity.
Minar is a poet and has been a singer/songwriter since his early 20s. Minar teaches creative writing courses at OUL and is the author, co-author, or editor of five books, including three college textbooks in poetry writing.
Attendees to the writer’s festival are typically university students and adults of various ages. Many different people are interested in studying writing. Some student/attendees benefit from tuition scholarships offered at the three sponsoring universities.
“We had six attendees, including several scholarship students from Monmouth University in New Jersey, which has a newly developed professional music degree,” said Minar. “Our oldest member was 83 years old, a local farmer and Korean war veteran.”
Teaching alongside Minar was Bruce Dalzell who also runs the Songwriters' Circle for Ohio University at Baker Center in Athens. Dalzell is a piano technician at Ohio University and longtime musician/artist/entrepreneur in Athens.
“We shared many songwriting techniques, tactics, and practices with attendees,” said Minar. “We used our own work—both songs composed before the workshop and new pieces composed through exercises conducted during our time together—as material for songwriting workshops.”
Minar’s musical background is extensive. His performance credits include shared stages with Richard Thompson, Kim Richey, and a number of other well-known singer/songwriters. His band The Kings of Hollywood was one of the most popular "jam bands" and original music groups in Athens for more than 20 years. From 1997-2000, Minar was founding writer for 22nd Street Music, a New York City-based music publishing and distribution company. He has performed in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia with a variety of acts and in solo performance.