Rockford’s Emerson House hosts Handmade Music Exhibition Sept. 21

Staff Report

The Fifth Annual Handmade Music Exhibition will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, at Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., Rockford. Admission is free, and there will be live music and presentations all day.

This one-day exhibit of locally handmade musical instruments from area artisans will include acoustic and electric guitars, theramins, violins, drums and other unique handmade instruments demonstrated by the artisans who built them. Instrument-makers will give short presentations of their creations.

Approximately 20 local artisans will display their handmade musical creations and explain how and why they make their instruments. Many instruments will be for sale from a few dollars to several thousand dollars, and attendees will be encouraged to play the instruments.

The event is the only one of its kind in the area and will feature the hidden talents of the local community and their ability to take simple materials and construct remarkable musical instruments completely by hand. As an educational event, there will be much to learn about how instruments are made. Instruments will be represented from renaissance to electronic, simple to elegant, amateur to professional at this locally-organized, free event.

The exposition was created and is organized by Jim Worland and David Stocker. Worland is a nationally-known luthier and Rockford artist who crafts extraordinary electric and acoustic guitars. His acoustic division, Worland Guitars, builds the finest acoustic creations of custom one-of-a kind guitars. Worland is also the creator of several different kinds of harp guitars. His talents have been sought worldwide, and he is fast becoming one of the most sought-after custom guitar makers in the country. Find out more at

Stocker, of Dijeridoo Productions, is a master’s graduate of Yale University School of Drama. As actor and singer, Stocker has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, his talents have delighted thousands of school-age children and adults through his arts residencies in instrument-making, his concerts, and his storytelling/musical performances: “Stories of Who We Are.” Stocker is a State of Illinois Artist in Residence whose word has received numerous educational grant awards. Find out more information at

Posted Sept. 18, 2013

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