Matt Skellenger

Whether it’s in front of a virtual class or holding down the low end in front of a live audience, Matt Skellenger always knows how to use his musical gifts to help people feel at home. Photo courtesy Matt Skellenger

From Little Swallows to Music Theory to Guitar and of course, Electric Bass, Instructor Matt Skellenger is a beloved mainstay at Swallow Hill Music. Matt kept the music going in 2020, not only switching to teaching classes online, but performing live stream concerts, making safe in-person appearances, and focusing on recording projects. 

The South Ivy 3 is one such project, and Matt and his bandmates are celebrating with an album release party at Dazzle on Saturday, June 12. We’re using the occasion to catch up with Matt and learn more about The South Ivy 3.

What did you learn from music in the last year or so while we were living on COVID-19 restrictions?

I learned how to continue to adapt to an ever changing industry. I learned how to become an online music teacher. And while it is a different connection than in person lessons, music still has the power to connect online. I also learned it was OK to take a break from my busy schedule of gigging and teaching to recharge.

What is a simple but meaningful thing people can do to support working musicians like yourself?

Take a chance on original music!

Another simple but meaningful way to support independent musicians is to purchase music directly from the artist either at a concert or from their website or Bandcamp page. Then share that music with friends and family and encourage them to purchase the music if they enjoy it.

Matt Skellenger

Photo courtesy Matt Skellenger

Speaking of, you have a concert coming up on June 12 at Dazzle. What can you tell us about the concert?

The South Ivy 3 is a collection of Trio, Duo, and Solo arrangements that we recorded at Mighty Fine Productions last July. The original goal was to get the sextet back in the studio to capture high quality videos of the session. Due to the pandemic, though, we decided to use the opportunity to record some of our favorite tunes in a scaled down format. 

This album features Dave Miller on Drums and Matt Reid on Trumpet, Cornet, and Effects. It will be the first all digital release for the group. In addition, we are releasing a limited number of flash drives containing the audio album plus 7 videos of the in studio performances.

The album was recorded by Colin Bricker and the video production was done by Michael Call. Mighty Fine Productions and Dazzle are integral musical forces in our community and I am grateful to work with them both. 

We are playing a release concert at Dazzle on June 12 at 7 p.m. The show will feature selections from the album in trio and duo arrangements, as well as a full band (sextet) set. The concert will be livestreamed as well. 

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I am grateful for the support from the Swallow Hill community through this past year. And I am excited to share this new chapter in the group’s journey with everyone.

Thanks Matt!