Virtual Festival – Let’s Do That Again

by Roberto Alaniz

The HSGA Virtual Festival in January was a great success!  A big thanks to all who participated and donated in support of HSGA and the Festival.  We received positive feedback from many members who viewed the event, as well as suggestions for improvements.  In this Newsletter edition, we have included a couple of the letters received in appreciation of the Virtual Festival.

Inasmuch as we must once again cancel or at least postpone the Annual Convention this year, the HSGA Board has decided to produce another Virtual Festival October 8 and 9, 2021.  In fact, this approach to sharing our music is so effective, that we are proposing an ongoing series of Virtual Festivals, even after we re-start our Conventions.  Many of our members are unable to attend the Annual Convention and the Video Festival provides them with an opportunity to participate as performers and viewers.

To that end, we are asking members to video record their performances as the opportunity arises and submit them to us.  For now, our focus will be on a September Festival, so we ask that you consider recording and submitting new videos by July 15, 2021.

Beginning in May, you will find a new Performer Application and instructions on the HSGA website.

If you prefer, please complete and return the enclosed Performer Application by June 1, 2021.

More details will follow as we work them out.

If you want to submit a video:

If you want to submit a video:

The HSGA Board has decided to limit video submissions for this Festival to current HSGA members.  Videos to be included in the Virtual Festival II must be received by HSGA no later than July 15, 2021. Please make sure and let us know in advance of your intent to submit a video by completing and submitting a Performer Application form, which must be received by June 1, 2021.

Due to the Covid lockdown this deadline will be extended to August 7, 2021 for submissions from Japan.


The on-line Application is below.  If you prefer regular mail, you may print the form (see link below digital application) and mail to:

Roberto Alaniz
2145 Tiffany Walk
Manteca, CA  95336-9555

If you would like to upload your files to Google Drive or Drop Box, after you have completed the upload, share the files with Roberto Alaniz at

Send Roberto an email as well to let them know you have shared the file along with the file name.  Please note that uploading larger files can take long periods of time.

The alternative is to save your files to a flashdrive (USB), SD Card or DVD and mail it to:

Roberto Alaniz
2145 Tiffany Walk
Manteca, CA  95336-9555

If you want the drive/SD Card returned, you will need to send return postage with your drive.

 Feature Artist Participation

All videos included in the HSGA Virtual Festivals are used with the consent of the performers and/or the owner of the video.   Performers and/or owners retain ownership of their videos and any copyrights.

The HSGA Virtual Festival will be made available for public viewing through:

Terms and conditions, rules and restrictions for each of these platforms apply.

HSGA is not responsible for any illegal copying or downloading of videos from the internet.

By submitting your video(s) to HSGA for inclusion in the Virtual Festival, you agree to have your video(s) live steamed on the day of the festival.   In addition, you grant us permission to retain your video(s) for future viewing of this festival broadcast on all HSGA channels.  Your video content will not be used in other ways without additional permission requests.

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Information to be submitted with Videos:

Performer Name(s):

Name of Group: 

Total Time Length of Performance:

Digital Photo Request:  If available, please provide us with a high definition digital photograph of your and/or your group for possible inclusion in a future newsletter.  (cell phone photos are usually not adequate).

Video Preparation Instructions:

If you are fairly proficient at video editing, please compile your own songs and introductory slides into one continuous file. ( If not possible, we will do it for you)

Please continue recording after end of song for approximately five (5) seconds. (needed for editing)

If possible, include your own performance introductory slide (Performer name, Group Name, Home City, State or Province, Country, steel guitar make/model)

Also, include a slide for each song, indicating Song Title, Key of Song, and Steel Guitar Tuning used.

Please Specify the information for your Introductory Slide as you want it to appear.


  • Test your recording settings before recording an entire performance. (Record one song and play it back to make sure it looks and sounds good)
  • Leave 5 seconds at the beginning and end of the video with the performers or speakers just sitting in front of the camera.   This helps us in editing the transitions between individual videos.
  • Do not trim your videos before or after the performance; the editor will take care of extraneous recording.
  • Videos recording indoors or outdoors are acceptable.  Filming outdoors may provide a more interesting background.   However, be aware of external noise and movement behind the performers.
  • Please do not use commercially produced, copyrighted recordings that have been distributed through iTunes, Spotify, etc., as background or accompaniment tracks in your video.  The Festival is broadcast over Facebook, which has an copyright control mechanism that will automatically mute such recordings.

 Tips for Recording Yourself on Video

(From New York University website post)


  • Find a location that is well-lit with natural sunlight or plenty of indoor lighting
  • Choose a quiet location with little background noise (street sounds, music, other people)
  • Avoid spaces with lots of echo
  • Turn off air conditioners and heaters to avoid fan noise
  • Provide a seat for yourself that is stationary and quiet (no chairs with wheels/swivels, overstuffed cushions, or squeaky screws)


  • Set your laptop, phone, or camera on a tripod or steady surface (please do not hold your camera while shooting to avoid shaky footage)
  • Shoot horizontally (use landscape mode and avoid portrait mode)
  • Position camera at eye level (if you can, avoid angles where the camera lens is looking up or down on you)
  • Choose a non-distracting background (avoid windows, showing other people, posters/signs that can be read etc)


  • Shoot in daylight if possible.
  • Position yourself so windows or your main light sources are facing you, not behind you.
  • Avoid overhead lights
  • When shooting indoors, consider using a ring light that clips to your computer/phone to help light your face


  • Clothing with colors that blend in with your background
  • Patterns (stripes, plaids, polka dots)
  • Shiny fabrics or jewelry
  • Visible labels, logos, text, images
  • Wrinkled clothes
  • All white or all black clothing
  • Noisy accessories that could interfere with your audio


  • If you can, ask a friend/family member to assist you while you record
  • Do a short recording test to make sure you can see and hear yourself clearly
  • Have water handy for clearing your throat
  • A bite from an apple can help take care of a dry mouth!


Or pay by check:
Roberto Alaniz, Secretary Treasurer
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association
2145 Tiffany Walk
Manteca, CA. 95336