Instructional Workshops

All Instrument Workshops will now be located on the Front Porch of the Farmhouse.

Dance Workshops in the Dance Tent.

Fiddle with Tatiana Hargreaves, Friday 6pm

Tatiana’s teaching draws upon her performing experience as well as her academic background. Combining history with musical technique and stylistic commentary, Tatiana engages her students with more than just the tunes. She has taught at music camps such as the Swannanoa Gathering, Augusta Heritage Week and the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, and has presented about the history of old-time and bluegrass music at institutions such as Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina and El Institute Superior del Arte (ISA) in Havana, Cuba.

“Tatiana is one of the most effective teachers I’ve encountered in traditional music. She’s able to provide a framework across a range of skill levels by introducing the basics of a tune, then augmenting that with hands-on discussion of bowing and possible variations, grounding it all in source recordings as well as historical and cultural context. The instinctive joy she finds in the fiddle is contagious.” – Missy Roser

Fiddle with Joe Thrift, Saturday 4pm

Our 2018 featured Master Musician, Joe Thrift, does not usually teach fiddle playing workshops, generally reserving his tutelage for the art of violin making, so we are very excited that he will be doing so at Hoppin’ John this year. Joe studied violin making at the Newark School of Violin Making in Newark-On-Trent, England. After graduating in the 1970s, he moved back home to the Winston-Salem area and opened a fiddle shop. As he became more interested in playing the instrument, he made regular visits to Tommy Jarrell’s house near Mount Airy, learning a host of tunes from Jarrell, as well as an approach to playing.
“I play the notes they way they sound to me,” he says. “I like driving fiddle with hard-driving but simple guitar playing.” With four decades of experience playing and composing original fiddle tunes, we are honored to offer this rare workshop… bring your fiddle and learn a Joseph Thrift original tune from Joe, himself.

Mandolin with Tony Williamson, Saturday 12:30pm

2018 North Carolina Heritage Award recipient Tony Williamson is a visionary musician, composer, musical instrument expert, teacher and mentor.  Born and raised right here in the rural Piedmont, he has been playing mandolin, and other stringed instruments, for six decades, and has been receiving awards and honors for his music for nearly 50 of those years.

The latest recordings by Tony include his solo “Lloyd Loar Mandolins,” and with his brother Gary and an all-star band, the Williamson Brothers’ “Bluegrass!” His touring has taken him to almost every state in the union, as well as countries around the world playing with greats like Alison Krauss, Chris Thile, Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Bobby Hicks, Tony Rice, Vassar Clements and David Grisman, to name but a few. “Quite simply, what Tony Williamson doesn’t know about mandolin is probably not worth knowing. As a player, collector, dealer, historian and mandolin community activist, Williamson has helped keep the mandolin’s great American legacy alive while uplifting and encouraging generations of modern players. From bluegrass, to classical, pop and other forms, Tony Williamson is a national treasure.” (–David Ryoko of the Chicago Tribune)

Bring your mandolin to this special workshop and learn from a master musician!

Banjo with Hilary Dirlam, Saturday 11am

Hilary Dirlam learned to play clawhammer banjo over several years of listening to
and playing with western North Carolina fiddler Gordon Freeman. Besides playing and teaching old-time tunes from the United States, she works with Nepali musicians Parashuram and Achyut RamBhandari playing both Nepali and American tunes. With fiddler Mary Gordon,she is the co-author of several books of tunes for both fiddle and banjo, the All-in-One series. Hilary plays banjo locally with the North Carolina Chickpeas, and regionally and beyond with the Reed Island Rounders.

This workshop will be geared for advanced beginners (already knowing the basic clawhammer strum) and intermediate pickers. Hilary will teach a couple of interesting regional tunes, and hopes to have enough tab for everyone. She will also have copies of her books available to purchase.

Old-Time Bass with Andrew Small, Saturday 2pm

Hoppin’ John’s own Andrew Small leads our first-ever upright bass workshop. As a bassist, Andrew has toured with artists including Sierra Hull, Mandolin Orange, Chris Henry and the Hardcore Grass, Jayme Stone, Jim White, and the North Carolina Symphony. He has a Master’s degree in double bass performance from Yale, has worked as an instructor at Yale and presented workshops at festivals around the US and Australia, where he and partner, Ashlee are forming an old-time music school. His performance highlights include the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, MerleFest, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and the Montreal International Jazz Festival. He has also been racking up the awards at fiddlers’ conventions across North Carolina and Virginia these last several years. Lug your own bass on down to the coffee barn to learn from this talented multi-instrumentalist!

Harmony with the South Carolina Broadcasters, Friday 5pm

Stars of the Lowe Vintage Radio Show, and masters of primitive bluegrass, The South Carolina Broadcasters’ razor sharp harmonies and exceptional multi-instrumentation keep listeners riveted to their seats. This unique trio has put their own spin on the music of the foothills.  Their recent release “Tell Me Truly” features a broad and mature mix of sounds ranging from Surry County bluegrass to Carter Family country and even the Cajun sounds of Lafayette.

In this workshop, they will draw a song or two from the traditional repertoire, e.g., Carter Family and old hymnal, and examine and explain how to find and hear harmony lines in different styles of songs. This program is suited for all levels of singers.

Flatfooting Dance Workshop, Friday 4:30pm

20160707_111326Come ready for fun and exercise! Flatfooting is a percussive dance form – your feet beat the drum. In this workshop, we will explore freestyle flatfooting to old time music, practice finding the rhythm of a tune, learns some simple flatfooting steps and practice “playing the tune” with those steps. Jan Gittelman leads this instructional workshop to live music. Wear smooth soled shoes if you can, and bring a towel and water bottle, because we are going to sweat! Located in the Dance Tent.

Clogging with The Green Grass Cloggers, Saturday 12pm

Inspired by traditional mountain-style clogging teams, but more influenced by older flatfoot29827851680_c76c521375_q
and buck dancers, North Carolina’s premier clogging group has been kicking up their collective heels for over forty years, and together have developed an original, eclectic style. Unlike the traditional “big-set” mountain square dance figures, they use choreography based on four-couple western square dance figures in short energetic routines. Stop by and learn some basic clogging steps and more advanced moves, as well.  Located in the Dance Tent.

Kids’ Clogging Workshop, Friday 6pm

_sajf_august_21__2009_376Jen Hughes has been kicking up her heels as a traditional clogger for over 37 years, having learned from her third grade teacher at Carrboro Elementary School. In 2003, she joined the Apple Chill Cloggers and has enjoyed dancing for audiences locally and abroad. When she’s not dancing, she’s teaching 6-9 year olds at Willow Oak Montessori School. In this workshop you will learn several clogging steps including the basic, single, chug and lifts, and if there’s enough time, we can put some steps together for an easy routine, which you can show off in the Kids Dance Contest later in the afternoon!
12th Annual Festival! October 18 - 20, 2018 at Shakori Hills in Silk Hope, NC