The Old Time Music Players of Maine and Carver Memorial Library hosted a jam party April 28 to raise funds to create a stringed instrument lending program, sponsored by Makers Guild of Maine.

With the surge in player-based music along the Midcoast and statewide, Carver Memorial Library Director Katie Hessler had told Steve Tanguay of the guild about an increased request for instruments to lend through the library. Noting the success of similar programs in other towns such as Camden and Bath, the two decided to try and make it a reality in Searsport.

Reaching out to the Old Time Players group, Tanguay teamed with Jim Hyland and Bill Smith of Belfast to gather musicians together for an evening of fast and slow jams, culminating in an intimate performance, at The Mill. Old-time music is a style of playing stemming from the Appalachian mountains that focuses on participation of musicians of all levels.

The energy for the evening was buoyed by the generous support of Chef on the Run, Tina Cook of the Purple Food Truck, WERU, WBFY, and the local cable channels. Fifty people gathered for three hours of fun and raised more than $1,000 in instruments and funding to create a stringed instrument lending program in Searsport.

The program currently being developed now has two two ukuleles, one guitar, one mandolin and one fiddle for lending. Everyone agreed that more of these community-based gatherings are in order and there are plans for future jams being developed.

Makers Guild of Maine is a Searsport-based nonprofit that facilitates Fiber College of Maine, Vacationland Bluegrass Jam Camp of Maine and The Old Time Music Campout each year. In addition to these September events, the guild is sponsoring a weekly summer gathering, Wednesdays at the Shores, which will include music, art and food activities for intergenerational community involvement.

Those who missed the event and still would like to make a donation to the Carver Memorial Library Instrument lending program are encouraged to call 930-5919 or email

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or