OVFF 22 Guests
What is a Filk convention without guests?
Probably a lot of fun, really, but it is better to have guests, and we have a very good set of them this year. The concentration of talent and personality in these four honored guests is almost scary; which is appropraite for a convention held close to Halloween.
On top of that, two of this year's guests are 2006 Pegasus Award nominees. (No, this is not a part of a conspiracy on the part of the OVFF Concom to pack the ballot with our guests; this was chosen by the world-wide filk community.)
GoH: Dr. Mary Crowell
Dr. Mary Crowell lives with her husband, Wesley, and their son, Simon, in Athens, Alabama. She has taught piano and composition for sixteen years. As a new (but returning) resident of north Alabama, she currently teaches music appreciation, class piano, and private piano lessons at Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama. She also teaches yoga at the Athens-Limestone Wellness Center. She loves playing Rachmaninov, Gershwin, and Bach, training Shotokan and Wado Ryu karate, practicing yoga, gardening, and gaming with good friends.
She has a B.A. in piano performance from Huntingdon College, M.M. in musicology from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and a D.M.A. in music composition -- also from the University of Alabama. While acquiring these degrees she accompanied ballet classes (and still twitches when she hears "Let's go. Five, six, se-ven, eight!"), helped organize receptions and run concerts as a house manager, graded many music appreciation and history papers, and taught freshmen music theory, ear training, and sight singing.
She also snuck around and performed jazz whenever her teachers weren't looking.
Mary was introduced to filk music by Karen Murphy and John Brewer who paid her way and drove her to her first filk convention -- GaFilk 2001. And now people cannot keep her away with sticks. She's written several torchy songs (Magnus Retail, and Oh Milo); blues songs (Legolas and Page Not Found Blues); and some that defy description (The Song Will Tell Me True). She enjoys making lead sheets for the GaFilk Songbook and is having a good time learning the ins and outs of the latest incarnation of Finale -- Finale 2005b.
More recently Mary played concerts at Confluence 2003, TorCon 2003, GAFilk 2004, Noreascon Four, and was a "visiting faculty member" at Capricon 26 in February, 2006. She was toastmistress for GAFilk in 2004 as well as for Concertino in 2006. She was nominated for a Pegasus Award in the category "Best Performer" in 2003, and was nominated for that same award again in 2004. Her song, "When I Grow Up" was nominated for a Pegasus Award in the category Best Comic Book Song that year. This year, she is once again a Pegasus Nominee both for "Best Composer" and in the category "Best Torch Song" for her song "Legolas".
Poison Ivy, her octet for flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, french horn, trumpet, and trombone was performed at the UAH Local Composers Concert in March of 2004. Mary gigs primarily in Athens, Alabama at downtown bookstores and garden markets.
In August, 2004, Mary accepted the invitation to join Three Weird Sisters and looks forward a long and happy collaboration with the band. She is currently recording a solo CD with Greg Robert (with Bill Sutton from Bedlam House production company as executive producer) and is very busy studying up on the TWS song catalog.
Toastmaster: Paul Kwinn
Paul Kwinn lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has been involved with filk since about 1990. You may know him from his attendance at almost every filk con, at one time or another (Great Britain's filk cons elude him thus far, but it's only a matter of time).
You may know him as an entrant in various song-writing contests at OVFF and FilKONtario (with some wins). You may know him as the tallest, hairiest member of the filk foursome Puzzlebox.
Notable songs that Paul has written for OVFF songwriting competitions are Stop Singing Ose or I'll Kill You (1st place, 1995), Nuts (3rd place, 1996), In and Out (3rd place, 1999), Joyride (tied for 3rd place, 2000), and Inward Bound (1st place, 2005). His song Where the Magic is Real won the FilKOntario songwriting competition in 1998.
Paul's song, The Dark Man was nominated for the "Best Filk Song" category Pegasus Award in both 1997 and 1999 and for "Best Spine Chilling Song" in 2002. His song Urban Legends was nominated for a Pegasus Award in the "Best Sword and Sorcery" category in 2005. Paul himself has been nominated in the "Best Writer/Composer" category of the Pegasus Awards three times (1998, 1999, and 2000), and for "Best Performer" as part of the group Puzzlebox.
Mr. Kwinn resides, busily but happily, with his sexy and incredibly talented wife Beckett Gladney (a noted artist of filk album covers, among other things) and their five-year-old twin boys Casey Beckett Kwinn and Riley James Kwinn.
Paul, as part of Puzzlebox was Interfilk guest at GaFilk in 2000, Guest of Honor at FilkContinental in 2001, and earlier this year served as Toastmaster at Consonance 2006.
He is soloing for his toastmaster duties for this year's OVFF. Yes, it's dangerous, but then again, he is the Danger Man himself! (Or maybe this is just another one of those Urban Legends...)
Honored Listener: Judi Miller
Judi is a longtime fan who has been attending conventions in the Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio areas since 1984.
She is happily married with three children, ages 8,6, and 2.
As a teacher for the deaf in Columbus, Ohio, she works at a residential teen behavioral treatment center.
She has been signing since 1990, and signing at conventions since 1991, when she first heard Kathy Mar's "Velveteen" and couldn't keep her hands still.
She loves the poetry of motion that signing adds to melody and lyrics.
She also adores word play and punning, which unfortunately do not translate well to Amercian Sign Language.
Judi was the Interfilk guest at FilKOntario 16 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April, 2006.
This year, besides being our Honored Listener, Judi is also a Pegasus Award nominee in the category "Best Performer".
She considers OVFF, along with Marcon, to be her "home" filking conventions.
InterFilk Guest: Tony Fabris
Tony Fabris has been inflicting his Filk songs on West coast audiences since the turn of the century. Originally raised by cockroaches in the Southern California desert, Tony was kidnapped at age 14 by an insane guitar teacher who enslaved him and forced him to play nothing but 70's and 80's rock standards until he was old enough to catch and cook his own meals.
Tricked into becoming a sysadmin in the early 90's by being asked to crawl under a desk and help plug in a mouse, Tony has been answering the question "is the network down?" every 17.2 seconds since. His greatest ambition is to personally administer a dope slap to Bill Gates. Recently transplanted to Seattle, he has just learned what the windshield wiper switch on his car is for.
Tony pronounces his last name "fuh-BREE", even though it's not technically correct because there are no silent S's in Italian. He plans to change his name to an unpronounceable symbol someday.
Please do not ask him if the network is down.