It's been five years since the organizers of the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum (UMGF) proposed a group visit to Chris Martin and he accepted…
Fully aware of the impact that this collection of enthusiasts could bring on the daily business routine, Chris wanted to coordinate their arrival with other large-scale events that take place on the Martin campus. This event coincides with the Company quarterly meeting, lunch and the kickoff of the Guitar Design Course offered with Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
UMGF members enjoyed a factory tour, visited the new museum, mingled with the workers, played new model guitars and sat down for a catered lunch and a speech from Chris under the very large tent.
By themselves, these events are a fairly large undertaking but, the UMGF members have turned their visit into a three-day get together of camaraderie, jam sessions, clinics and various other activities.
This year the Club booked famous Martin artist Laurence Juber to hold a clinic after their day here at the factory . But, we have to back up a bit. Since Laurence mentioned to Dick Boak (Director of Artist Relations) that he was in town that weekend, Dick helped coordinate a gig with the Borough of Nazareth as part of their Concert in The Park series Sunday night. The members were made aware of this good fortune and started arriving that Sunday. The Nazareth Borough Park has coincidentally become the backdrop for the Club's gatherings while they are in town.
In addition to Laurence's dazzling playing and arrangements, the public and members were treated to a surprise performance by none other than the Kingston Trio. Turns out, this was a "gift" coordinated by the Forum for Dick Boak.
As you see, this event is taking on a life of its own, and we are so thankful to be part of it. The year 2007 will bring the sixth annual visit, and we have already seen postings suggesting the event be stretched to a month! See you next year, Forum members.