Zimfest 2015 Archive

What’s New This Year

Tent and RV Camping at Zimfest

The 2015 Zimfest Organizing Committee and Western Oregon University Conference Services have put their heads together to offer on-campus space for tent camping and RV parking on an experimental basis. The fees are only $10 per night per tent or RV, and we hope this great deal will enable some Zimbabwean music lovers who thought they couldn’t afford it to attend the festival!

Pre-register and pay online to secure one of the limited spaces within walking distance of The Grove and Zimfest Marketplace. Once you have paid through Zimfest registration, WOU housing check-in staff at the WOU Residential Service Center (or at the Zimfest registration area 2 – 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday afternoons) will give you a camping registration pass to display on your tent or RV. For more information, go to the On-Campus Housing page.

“Drop-in” and “On-call” Volunteering!

When unexpected or urgent needs arise during the festival, Zimfest staff come to the volunteer desk in the registration area for assistance. You might be available to help, but how would we know? We’re pleased to coordinate Drop-in and On-call opportunities at the volunteer desk this year. Being available to help when help is needed is rewarding and fun! Learn more on the Volunteer page.

Volunteer Contact Form

We’re also introducing a new way to connect with the volunteer program before the festival, by using the Volunteer Contact Form found on the Volunteer page. Want to volunteer in advance of the festival? Or explore in advance how and where you could make the biggest difference at this year’s festival? Use the Volunteer Contact Form. Check it out on the Volunteer page!

Change to Prefest Private Lesson Payment

Each year a number of Zimfest teachers make themselves available to teach private lessons or group workshops at Prefest on the Thursday preceding the Opening Ceremony. The 2015 Zimfest Organizing Committee welcomes all groups or individuals who would like to schedule a Prefest workshop to contact us at . We will put you in touch with the teacher(s) and help determine a time and location for the workshop.

Zimfest will provide workshop space, including marimbas if needed for Prefest instruction. Note that unlike previous years, all Prefest workshops taking place in rooms rented from the host institution must be entered as private workshops in the Zimfest registration system. Zimfest will charge each participant the workshop hourly fee ($15/hour) and will pay the instructor the hourly rate for teachers ($60 per hour). This arrangement does not mean your group cannot negotiate an additional private instruction payment to the teacher, however!

Please see the Festival Events page for further details and a listing of teachers available for Prefest teaching. We strongly suggest that you schedule your Prefest activities well in advance (six weeks recommended) to give Zimfest and the teachers enough time to plan for your personalized workshop.

Commitment to Improving the Experience of Beginners at Zimfest

This year, the Zimfest organizing committee is focusing on the quality of our workshops. We are particularly interested in improving the experiences of our newer participants who attend Zimfest as an early step into Zimbabwean music and our community.

We realize that for new students, it can be intimidating to come to your first marimba workshops at Zimfest, working with students and teachers you haven’t met before. We would like beginning workshops to be supportive and give inexperienced students ample time and encouragement to learn material they find challenging. We also realize that it is common for non-beginners to take beginning workshops as a way of learning more from a favorite teacher or song, or to expand their own teaching repertoire.

In order to accommodate both of these needs, we’ve created something new this year: two different types of Zimfest marimba workshops at the Introductory and Advanced Beginning levels. Some of these classes will be reserved for true beginners (or advanced beginners) only, so that those who register can feel comfortable knowing they will be in a supportive environment of people who are at their same level. Other workshops at these levels will be open to non-beginners as well, with the request that they participate in a manner considerate of beginners’ learning (E.g. not monopolizing the learning and playing of parts, holding off on more advanced questions until the end of the workshop, waiting until the end to record parts, etc.).

The Zimfest 2015 Organizing Committee would like your help in making the Zimfest workshop experience for beginning (and all!) students positive and inspiring. We hope that increasing awareness of the needs of our beginning students will lead to ideas that encourage a more supportive learning environment and community as a whole. If you have further ideas on this topic, we’d love to hear from you. Write to the Zimfest organizers at ; also feel free to address your concerns in the Zimfest 2015 survey at the close of the festival.