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Water Music – Discovery through Improvisation on the Scuppernong River

Date(s) - May-01-2018 - May-02-2018
Starting at 4:00 PM

Pocosins Art School - Columbia - NC - United States


By the Sea-Side


When I was down beside the sea

A wooden spade they gave to me

To dig the sandy shore.

My holes were empty like a cup.

In every hole the sea came up

Till it could come no more.


Come with us to a place of deep magical waters.

Bring your favorite “spades:” instruments, voices, and willing improvisational spirits. Who knows what musical wonder might wash into our ears and souls as we follow the prescient words of the great David Darling: “GO DEEPER.” This is your chance to join a small community of dedicated improvisers for four days of deep listening, sharing, and discovery in the aesthetically blessed Pocosin School of Fine Craft on the bank of North Carolina’s tranquil Scuppernong River. We also plan to do some voluntary pop-up performances around town within walking distance of our retreat site.

We will stay in Pocosin Art School’s Riverside Studios for a three-night, four-day, improvisational music retreat. The upstairs sleeping rooms are new but spartan–two have a Queen beds and the rest have double bunkbeds. All have private baths and individual thermostats. Linens are provided, but we suggest you bring a quilt, a favorite pillow, and a heavy towel if you prefer. For music making, there is an upstairs porch facing the river and a downstairs porch if you prefer (and the elements cooperate.) Depending on our numbers, we’ll also find some other practice spaces around town.

Columbia, NC, (population 863) is the county seat of Tyrrell, which is North Carolina’s smallest county in population (4,338 residents) and second smallest geographically. It is a territory rich in wildlife, unspoiled rivers, and thick vegetation. Tyrrell’s natural elements have made life a challenge for humans, and from this hardship has arisen a strong culture of make-do and take-care among the people. This is a setting full of sensory stimuli, memorable characters, and natural surprises. No matter whether you are a seasoned musician or a curious novice, take a chance on exploring your expressive voice, musically and literally, by engaging in improvised conversation. This retreat is a non-judgmental opportunity to be in the company of musicians, songwriters, and writers at all levels of experience.

Bring your musical instruments, kayak, binoculars, camera, laptop, printer, whatever. Columbia is 2.5 hours east on Highway 64 from Raleigh, NC, and approximately 45 minutes west of Manteo and Roanoke Island on the Outer Banks.


The total rate for three nights: Single room $575, Double room $395 per person. We’ll provide one home-cooked meal per day. Thursday you should plan to arrive after lunchtime and no later than 4:00 pm. After a big breakfast on Sunday, we’ll check out at noon. Maximum number of participants is 18.

If you want to bring a friend/spouse who is a birdwatcher, nature enthusiast, fisherman, photographer, antique hunter or someone who just wants to hang out without disturbing the musicians/writers at work, that’s okay, too. The room cost per person is the same.


Find a friend(s) to share a room and reserve your space now by printing and mailing THIS FORM (PDF format) along with a $100 deposit via check to: ??Minnow School ?206 West Main Street

Carrboro, NC 27510

Sorry no credit cards. Specify single or double. If no roommate is named, we will assign one. First come, first reserved. The $100 non-refundable deposit per person will secure a spot in the retreat. We will then send you a return invoice for the full amount, due March 1, and your reservation will be complete with our receipt of payment. Sorry, we can’t issue refunds after March 1 except in case of dire illness or emergency. Because this is a small group, we will keep a waiting list open, however, and issue a refund if we have someone to take your place.

–Contact Georgann Eubanks, with questions