West Virginia Folklife & Old-Time Music Week

West Virginia Folklife & Old-Time Music Week

July 19—24, 2020

This year we are excited to introduce another team of outstanding workshop leaders that have both a deep connection to old-time music and a passion for sharing it. Participants will begin each day with a single morning workshop from 9 a.m. – noon with their primary workshop leader. These in-depth sessions create an intimate learning environment to develop new skills, awareness and repertoire. Each afternoon will feature a presentation from workshop leaders and elder master musicians and an array of elective workshops. Evenings are packed with lively jams, slow jams, song swaps, square dances and performances. This week is a nurturing, friendly environment that encourages new musicians as well as seasoned players. Wherever you start, you can be sure that by the end of the week your musicianship will have new life and depth, and you will have new friends from around the globe.

Old-Time Week runs concurrently with Bluegrass Week; Arts, Crafts, & Folklore Workshops; Folk Arts for Kids; Teen Augusta; and Evening Mini-Courses. Participants can take advantage of both weeks by attending special events, swapping tunes and songs in jam sessions, and sharing in the fun!

Tuition Guide:
$490/week if paid before June 1. $5
30/week if paid after June 1. 

(+ Room & Board or other available options.)

Register Here!

Ben Townsend, Coordinator

Ben Townsend

As a member of The Fox Hunt, Old Sledge, The Iron Leg Boys, The Hackensaw Boys, and now as a solo performer, Ben has traveled across the country and around the world spreading his unique take on West Virginia regional old-time music. Born and raised in Romney, West Virginia, multi-instrumentalist Ben Townsend has studied Appalachian traditional music extensively. He is also a successful engineer, whose label, Questionable Records, has released popular traditional albums, as well as albums of music from genres across the board. Ben’s most recent record, Deep End Sessions, Volume 3: Ben Townsend and Friends, has recently been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Folk Album category.

Rachel Eddy, Coordinator

Rachel Eddy

Rachel Eddy is a native of West Virginia who grew up in a musical family steeped in the traditions of Appalachian music and dance. Now based in Washington, D.C., Rachel is known throughout the world as both a dynamic, emotionally powerful performer and an engaging, thoughtful teacher. Rachel’s soulful singing and multi-instrumental finesse—including fiddle, banjo, guitar, and mandolin—may be heard on numerous solo and collaborative recordings as well as at dances and jam sessions, where Rachel is dedicated to fostering community and sharing a love of music with others.

Rachel’s performances, workshops, and festival appearances have featured both a creative range as a soloist and an energetic engagement with fellow musicians part of various ensembles, including the Ken and Brad Kolodner Quartet, the Early Mays, and a European tour with Uncle Earl. Rachel has shared a passion for music at the Alabama Folk School, Augusta Heritage Center, Common Ground, Kauffman Kamp, Nashville Fiddle and Banjo Camp, Sore Fingers, and many others. While living in Sweden from 2008-14, Rachel invigorated the Swedish old-time scene and inspired dozens of people to take up Appalachian music and dance. Always up for new artistic challenges, Rachel is collaborating on the soundscape for, and performing in, the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s 2019 performance of Amber Waves./two_third_last]

Banjo (Beginning) –Joe Herrmann

Class description coming soon!

Banjo (Intermediate) – Rachel Eddy

Class description coming soon!

Banjo (Advanced) – Ben Townsend

Class description coming soon!

Rachel Eddy

Bio coming soon!

Ben Townsend

As a member of The Fox Hunt, Old Sledge, The Iron Leg Boys, The Hackensaw Boys, and now as a solo performer, Ben has traveled across the country and around the world spreading his unique take on West Virginia regional old-time music. Born and raised in Romney, West Virginia, multi-instrumentalist Ben Townsend has studied Appalachian traditional music extensively. He is also a successful engineer, whose label, Questionable Records, has released popular traditional albums, as well as albums of music from genres across the board. Ben’s most recent record, Deep End Sessions, Volume 3: Ben Townsend and Friends, has recently been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Folk Album category.

Fiddle (Beginning) – Jason Barie

We are joining forces with Bluegrass Week for our beginning fiddle class this year. Jason Barie will be teaching all of the beginning fiddle players. You will learn a lot of fundamental technique on the fiddle that will serve you well in your playing as you get more practice under your fingers. Jason will also teach tunes that folks can put to use in both bluegrass and old-time jams.

Fiddle (Intermediate) – Annie Stroud

Class Description coming soon!

Annie Stroud

Originally from Greenbrier County, West Virginia, Annie grew up surrounded by traditional music and dance. She got her first taste of old-time and Irish music traditions from Suite Contra Band, the Lewisburg dance band her parents played in throughout her childhood. Though trained classically starting at age 9, she fell in love with old-time music and dance through regional folk festivals (like Augusta!). She played with the Seaside Farmers in Homer, Alaska, and after returning to West Virginia formed The Allegheny Hellbenders which continues to play square dances and shows around WV, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Hellbenders will be releasing their debut album later this year. In 2018, Annie had the opportunity to spend a year with Doug Van Gundy as a WV Folklife Apprentice focusing on the fiddle tunes and styles of West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley, specifically the playing and repertoire of Mose Coffman, Lee Hammons, Henry Reed, and the Hammons Family. She currently resides in Charleston, West Virginia with her two border collies, Red and Ira.
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Fiddle (Advanced) – Chance McCoy

Class Description coming soon!

Chance McCoy

Instructor bio coming soon!

Slow Jams – Rachel Eddy

Description coming soon!

Rachel Eddy

Rachel Eddy is a native of West Virginia who grew up in a musical family steeped in the traditions of Appalachian music and dance. Now based in Washington, D.C., Rachel is known throughout the world as both a dynamic, emotionally powerful performer and an engaging, thoughtful teacher. Rachel’s soulful singing and multi-instrumental finesse—including fiddle, banjo, guitar, and mandolin—may be heard on numerous solo and collaborative recordings as well as at dances and jam sessions, where Rachel is dedicated to fostering community and sharing a love of music with others.

Rachel’s performances, workshops, and festival appearances have featured both a creative range as a soloist and an energetic engagement with fellow musicians part of various ensembles, including the Ken and Brad Kolodner Quartet, the Early Mays, and a European tour with Uncle Earl. Rachel has shared a passion for music at the Alabama Folk School, Augusta Heritage Center, Common Ground, Kauffman Kamp, Nashville Fiddle and Banjo Camp, Sore Fingers, and many others. While living in Sweden from 2008-14, Rachel invigorated the Swedish old-time scene and inspired dozens of people to take up Appalachian music and dance. Always up for new artistic challenges, Rachel is collaborating on the soundscape for, and performing in, the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s 2019 performance of Amber Waves.

Hammered Dulcimer (All Levels) — Sam Herrmann

Class description coming soon!

Old-Time Ballads of West Virginia’s Allegheny Highlands (All Levels)– Michael Kline

Michael will be joined by his wife, Carrie Kline. From the Klines:
“In this week of eye-to-eye and knee-to-knee sharing of West Virginia ballads, we will teach the vocal techniques and styles learned firsthand from such legendary singers as Currence Hammonds, Maggie Hammons Parker, Phyllis Marks, Hazel Stover, Wavey Chappel and others. These ancient ballads, one of which dates to the time of Beowulf in the Ninth Century and passed down through the oral tradition over sixty generations, are vivid windows into life and love in earlier times. Interspersed between the songs we will recount stories of the singers themselves and tales from folkloric fieldwork. We will use traditional teaching methods through cultivated listening and absorption, rather than printed notes and texts. Students will be encouraged to use small recorders to document the songs and class discussions of contexts and meanings for further reference following the class. No previous singing experience necessary; no solo singing will be required. These are full-throated, compelling songs of the heart and soul which will overtake you and change the way you feel and view the past.”

Mountain Dulcimer (Beginning/Intermediate)– Luanna Moore

Through old tunes and songs of many genres, such as old-time, folk, gospel, Celtic, and country, we will expand playing abilities. We will explore adding chords to tunes; playing chords for jamming and accompaniment; playing in different keys, with and without a capo; playing in different octaves; and techniques such as hammers and slides. We will expand your repertoire of tunes. Most tunes will be taught in DAD, and some may be taught in DAA. Tunes will be taught many ways, and standard dulcimer tab will be provided for all tunes. Bring a capo if you have one, but don’t worry if you don’t. This workshop is geared toward the advanced beginner level, meaning when you come to class you should be able to comfortably play some tunes, maybe add a few simple chords, and are ready to learn more tunes and techniques.

Luanna Moore

Luanna Moore was born and raised in the Elkins area. Her interest in the Mountain Dulcimer was sparked when she was a student at Berea College in Kentucky and had the opportunity to hear and see Jean Ritchie in concerts and workshops. Her father, a woodworker, made her first dulcimer from plans in Popular Mechanics. She carried her dulcimer to camps around the state, playing popular camp and folk songs of the sixties. In the 1980s, she took her first Augusta class and learned to play with others and use chords. Since that time, she has taken more Augusta classes, and participated in workshops in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. She is a regular at Pickin’ in the Park here in Elkins. She teaches weekly classes in mountain dulcimer at the Homestead Community Center and the Elkins Senior Center, where she also teaches hammered dulcimer. She leads workshops annually at Pattyfest and teaches tunes for the Mountaineer Dulcimer Convention. She has introduced hundreds of school students — pre-K through 12th grade — to the mountain dulcimer. She entertains at nursing homes, senior center events, churches, and many other local groups. She has introduced hundreds of school students to the mountain dulcimer. Through teaching, she continues to pass on the heritage and the music of the dulcimer to others. [/two_third_last]

Click here to see additional full day workshops!
Click here to see the Dance workshops offered this week!
Click here to see Arts, Craft & Folklore workshops offered this week!
Click here to see the Folk Arts for Kids! workshops offered this week!
Click here to see all  mini courses offered this week!