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National Guitar Workshop 2008

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San Francisco, CA -Martin craftsperson Emily Meixell experienced a true once-in-a lifetime opportunity this summer when she attended the National Guitar Workshop. Held at various locations throughout the nation, the National Guitar Workshop (NGW) has been advancing the study of music since 1983. This particular workshop convened on the beautiful campus of Notre Dame De Naur in Belmont, CA (just outside of San Francisco).

Because of C. F. Martin & Co. continuing sponsorship involvement, one employee is entitled to receive one week's tuition. Emily could not pass up the opportunity. She scheduled four days vacation time, hopped on an airplane and headed to San Francisco.

Having played guitar for seven years, Emily considers herself an intermediate-level player. She is self-taught, and has maintained an open approach to guitar discovery. Understanding the requirement to choose a specialized curriculum for focused study, Emily chose the blues. She was immersed in core studies prepping her ultimately for an on-stage concert. In addition, students also are encouraged to attend daily special interest clinics. She attended a rhythm guitar clinic, a women and music clinic and a guitar master class by Laurence Juber.

Though the immersion in music took up most of her day, Emily was able to do some sight-seeing, visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Tamalpais, known for its redwood trees and spectacular views.

Her favorite part of the trip, however, was meeting many wonderful people. There were many talented musicians, but their openness and friendliness will remain with her forever. Thank you, NGW.

Government Acknowledgements of the Company's 175th Anniversary Rich Grucela

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Nazareth, PA - State Representative Richard T. Grucela (137th Legislative District, Northampton County) of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives visited Martin Guitar to congratulate the Company on its 175th anniversary of manufacturing in America. Representative Grucela has been a member of the House since 1999, and has committee assignments related to Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Education, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness. Representatives Grucela and Craig Dally (138th Legislative District, Northampton County) co-sponsored a House of Representatives Citation, which was presented to Chris Martin during Representative Grucela's visit. After a photo opportunity in the company's museum, a tour of the manufacturing facility was conducted by Scott Follweiler, a 10-year employee of Martin Guitar.

Each year in May, Representative Grucela hosts a Senior Citizen's Fair at the Mount Bethel Fire Company, Mount Bethel, PA. Martin Guitar was asked to participate in this fair in May 2008, and had a display table commemorating our 175th Anniversary. Much interest was expressed in visiting Martin for tours in the future with many seniors noting that they had already toured, but wished to return. Our table at the event was appreciated and generated interesting conversation.

Representative Dally and the Legislative Assistant for Representative Grucela will be among other dignitaries at a special 175th Anniversary ceremony to be conducted by the Nazareth Area Chamber of Commerce and the Borough of Nazareth on November 6, 2008. This ceremony will take place at the Martin homestead at our 10 West North Street location.

Nazareth Celebrates "Martin on Main"

Nazareth, PA - The Borough of Nazareth joined together with the Nazareth Chamber of Commerce and the Nazareth Downtown Association to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of C. F. Martin & Company. Martin has been operating continuously in Nazareth since 1839.

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Martin's Manager of Guest Relations, Sherri Hoff, knew there would be plenty of gifted musicians and singer/songwriters on hand the weekend of August 1-4 willing to share their talents for this event. Members of the Martin Owners Club (MOC) and the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum (UMGF) were in town for their annual events at the Martin factory.

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A stage and sound system was set up in the town circle and local businesses and vendors provided food and services. UMGF president Mac Carter kept the talent flowing by supplying a long list of open mic performers. Martin clinician Richard Starkey and picker-extraordinaire Clay Hess were the musical headliners for the event. Once the brief lightning storms passed, the Martin Band took the stage and their musical performance marked the close of the day's festivities.

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Reception was very positive and attendance was estimated at 5,000-8,000 throughout the course of the day. Plans are already being discussed for a repeat event. Thank you to the Nazareth community and to all the club and forum members who performed throughout the day.

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Martin Owners Club Annual Event and Open House

Nazareth, PA – 1000-plus Martin guitar owners, collectors and enthusiasts made the trek to the legendary Martin factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, for the 3rd Annual Martin Owners Club Event and Open House on Friday, August 1.

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Plenty of sunshine, music and camaraderie with like-minded individuals set the perfect backdrop for the day. Reflecting on the deep passion that Martin guitars inspire, this year’s annual gathering drew members from as far away as Finland, Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

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We began the morning by greeting more than a thousand acoustic guitar fans who came to revel in our Company’s rich musical history and be among their favorite guitars and the dedicated people who own them.

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The event featured factory and museum tours, live musical performances, family entertainment, various educational clinics. It was highlighted by an address to the Club members by Chris Martin.

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During his speech, Chris touched on a wide range of topics from the sustainable and responsible forestry of tonewoods to his first guitar lesson. Interestingly, the one comment that got the most applause from the crowd was the announcement that he and his family have no intention of selling the business -- not surprising considering the loyalty and passion this crowd has for his family’s guitars. In response to a member’s question, Chris stated the Company’s commitment to producing the finest acoustic instruments in the world and not necessarily branching out into other areas like electric or classical guitars. “We’ve tried some of those things in the past but have had only varying degrees of success selling them,” said Chris. He went on to say how amazed he was that people came from so far away to make this festival. “This is a terrific event, and we are thrilled that you all could make it,” said Chris.

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The theme of this year’s event was the celebration of our 175th Anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, artists Robert Goetzl, and “Nub” of Nub Grafix, were on site signing postcards that were hand canceled with a special USPS-Martin stamp. Robert Goetzl created the artwork that was reproduced on the 175th Anniversary models, and Nub created artwork for the Nub X Limited Edition model.

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If you were able to attend, we hope you left with great memories that will last a lifetime!

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Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum Makes Seventh Quest to Martin Factory

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Nazareth, PA -Nearly two hundred Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum (UMGF) members made their pilgrimage to the birthplace of their beloved Martin guitars to tour the factory, have lunch with Chris and the employees, play some new guitars and basically enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded individuals.

This year, an exciting new twist was added to their Saturday schedule. UMGF members were invited to participate in the C. F. Martin 175th Anniversary celebration held on Main Street in Nazareth. The event was orchestrated by the Borough of Nazareth, Nazareth Chamber of Commerce, The Nazareth Downtown Association and Martin's Manager of Guest Relations, Sherri Hoff.

An estimated five thousand visitors were treated to enthusiastic musical performances. The Martin Band even played. Local merchants supported the event with food and services and the event was deemed an overwhelming success. Discussion is already underway to turn this community day into an annual occurrence.

Sunday began at Borough Park with a memorial service for fallen UMGF members, the planting of a third commemorative tree and the annual softball game between forum members (Aging Toners) and Martin employees (Dreadnoughts). Luckily, this game ended with no serious injuries and a 9-9 tie. Fortunately, there was plenty of energy left for music making throughout the remainder of the day. Mandolin, banjo and fiddle players flavored the musical stew. A forum tradition was preserved as prized Martins (both old and new) were passed around for others to play. At 6 P.M. they assembled for a group picture.

Monday, members arrived at the Martin Factory prepared to absorb everything Martin. Blessed with great weather, the atmosphere was uplifting and festive. The new guitar models from the Nashville 2008 show, as well as exotic customs and one-offs, were made available to play. Inlay artist Tracy Cox demonstrated his craft and artist Robert Goetzl signed post card recreations of the DX 175th Limited Edition guitar top. Members were given the factory tour and treated to a fine catered lunch under the gigantic tent. The Martin employees also ate lunch at this time and were invited to mingle with our guests. After lunch, Chris Martin addressed the group and later autographed guitars, including many LX 175th Little Martin® models that were only available for purchase at the Martin factory.

The day's factory events came to a close, but members headed back to Nazareth Park to regroup. Former Martin employee Dave Musselwhite was the guest speaker at the afternoon session. Dave is an expert repairman and is a well-known collector/trader of vintage Martin guitars.

Forum members were glad to see that many new faces made the trip this year and were thankful for the opportunity to meet each other in person. Many new memories were created and we are looking forward to next year.

 
 
 
 
 
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