by Lynn Hedl

As you contemplate the increasing array of choices on your convention pre-registration form, you will find that FIA will again offer many tried and true traditions, but notice also that there are a couple of new events planned. Please consider spending some time with us, at the mixer, at the annual showcase, at one of our workshops, or at our booth in the exhibit hall, where our CDs and T-shirts can be purchased. If you are a current member of FIA, please feel free to become more involved, through offering an hour of time in the booth, or by attending our board meetings, which are always open. But don't forget to pay those dues ($15 adults, $8 students)! And remember to pay the registration fee, too.

Below is a brief overview of events we have planned for the week. Times, further descriptions, and cost information are included in your pre-registration material. We look forward to sharing a great time with you in Orlando! Traditions

The first official FIA event of the week is the pre-convention board meeting, beginning at 7:00 on Saturday night. The FIA mixer and Showcase sign-up will take place at 4:00 Sunday afternoon. Come and enjoy some refreshments, meet new friends, and sign up for a Monday afternoon rehearsal slot if you plan to audition for the Showcase. The FIA chorus will again perform two exciting numbers this year, and the first rehearsal will be held immediately following the mixer. Besides the Showcase rehearsal, Monday's offerings include the MIDI workshop, the second and final chorus rehearsal, and our annual prose and poetry reading.

On Tuesday, we will hold our annual luncheon, a delicious meal featuring fried chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetable and dessert. If you are a vegetarian, please indicate this on your pre-registration form, and your preference will be honored. The annual Tuesday night FIA Showcase is an event not to miss. Wednesday's offerings include the Writers' Workshop and the round and harmony sing. If you are an early riser, feel free to attend the post-convention board meeting on Thursday morning.

New Stuff

This year, we're offering two new workshops. On Sunday afternoon, please join me if you want to learn to play a Native American flute. You can even take your flute home and continue to practice. On Wednesday, Paulette Monthei will offer a hands-on, interactive workshop exploring the history of belly dancing. Yes, you can touch the traditional costumes and other regalia, but probably not the dancer herself!

As you can see, we have planned a fun-filled week in Orlando. We hope to see you all there!

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