"Memories of a true Renaissance Man"  A Robert Donovan Thomas video is currently in production. RDT born July 21, 1939, died December 16, 1993. Band leader of "The Golden Toad", "Raggle Taggle Gypsies", "Pipe & Bowl Morris", The French Cheese band, "Le Camembert" and more. Video will include footage of Robert playing music, many stills of his paintings, artwork and performances at Renaissance faire, Sweets Mill, the streets of San Francisco, Preston Mansion and the Dickens Faire. We have been gifted donations from, Craig's List, The Living History Centre and Private Donors.


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The Alta California Orchestra: (TACO)
Photos of the Orchestra, research, presentation of early California music and dance, info, contact and current performances.
TACO is Proud to be part of CAC Sponsored American Masterpieces California, "Musica Festiva De Las Misiones".

Fandango at Sonoma CD: CD for Sale - Early California Mission and Immigrant "Fandango" or Dance Music, recorded in 1996 by, The Alta California Orchestra. REPRINT with all 17 tracks remixed and READY for your event. PayPal easy credit card accept.

Community Fandango: You Tube 5 minute video of a residency and public performances, with The Alta California Orchestra. Lee Birch featured in performance at SF Museum.

California Folk Dance Traditions Instruction Booklet and CD: with The Alta California Orchestra and Deborah Fischbach, Arts educator teaching 9 simple dances and a song with words and chords for the waltz. Also "how to use this book" includes lesson plans and more!Purchasing with online discount and PayPal secure cart.

World Music Program, Cultural Arts and Music K-12: Poster with photos, summary, info and contact. Program focuses on the music and musical history of world cultures, with students drawing the displayed instruments as they listen. Musical history from Ancient Persia through Afghanistan and India, the Moorish civilization to Renaissance Europe and today. Playing Antique and unique instruments from their own collection, this husband and wife team plant the seeds of culture into the imaginations of the students, giving them much food for thought.

Preston Historical Photos: #1. Commercial district circa 1910 ~ #2. Community musicians circa 1985 ~ #3. Inside the Preston church, 1999 ~ #4. 1999 Aerial view northeast, overlooking the Russian River and the Preston colonist residences. ~ #5. The covered bridge spanned the Russian River at Preston from 1872-1931 ~ #6. The Preston church 1886 ~ #7. Hartwell Preston ~ #8. Emily Preston aka Madam Preston.

John Patterson. Life and Times of a San Francisco Dancer, Photos of John with the Golden Toad. Dancers and artists, close friends; John Patterson is loved, this is a page to honor his memory.

Please direct memories, comments or questions to Deborah Fischbach, E-mail Director Deb

The Institute for Traditional Studies researches, performs and promotes traditional arts education. Our logo (above) was originally designed by Robert Donovan (Bob) Thomas, who was a founding member of the Institute. Though the original drawing was lost; an embossing stamp remained. Melissa Fischbach, who knew Robert since her birth has copied the stamp design as close as possible. Bob Thomas is most recognized for his famous logo (Skull with lightning bolt) that he and Ernie Fischbach designed for the Grateful Dead, (rock band).

"Mission Statement" 

"ITS Community Links" 

"Directors & About ITS" 

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Ernest L Fischbach, Mandolin Maker, Instrument Repairman, Music History and Performances with Zincali, Bal~Anat and others. Ernie Fischbach, founding member of ITS and eclectic musician with a flair.

Butterfly Reiki : The Institute Program Director's personal page, please look if you are interested in Natural Healing, Reiki, Power of Positive Thinking and cultivation of your True Self. Check it out!

ITS Street Musicians Postcards : Sale of Postcard Series, with The Golden Toad, Raggle Taggle Gypsies, Bob Thomas, John Patterson, David Barnard and more!

Chris Carnes Memorial: Photos of Chris, one with Carmen Amaya and one a painting by the late Olaf Palm, also a letter and poem, remembering Chris Carnes. A Video project is currently pending funds: "Gitanos Caballeros" The Gypsy Life, will be a story of Chris Carnes' adventures in Andalusia. Chris was a student, teacher and historian of Andalusian Gypsy Flamenco guitar, specializing in the accompaniment of singers and dancers.

Past Projects & Programs. Click to view a list.

Merchandise and Projects office; Deborah Fischbach (707) 937-2133 PST
21512 Orr Springs Rd. #ITS
Ukiah, California 95482 USA
E-mail Director Deb



-Robert Thomas Documentary.

-Senior Musician Fund for musicians in need.

-General Dontations, for operating funds, programs, classes, performances, and sponsorships to music camps.

The Institute takes a small operations fee to keep us functioning, all the rest of your donations go directly to your funding choices.

All donations are tax deductible, simply request a reciept.

Also please remember to make your Amazon purchases on Amazon Smile and choose "the Institute for Traditional Studies" as your non-profit choice for your donation.