Instructional Workshops

All instrument workshops located in the tent beside the coffee barn; dance workshops in the dance tent.

Freestyle Flatfooting Dance Workshop, Friday 4:30pm

jan20160707_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.

Fretless Banjo with Gordy Hinners, Friday 6pm

gordy2In describing his evolution as a musician, Gordy wrote, “I had an old Cole banjo stolen [in the early 1980s], and while looking for a replacement happened on an old no-name banjo . . . with a fretless fingerboard laid over the neck. Well, I really liked the sound, bought it, and intended to put some frets on when I had the time. But as I played on it, I realized that not having frets was really more liberating than limiting, and I’ve kept it that way.”

Hinners has performed throughout the world with musical and dance groups at such venues as the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, State Department tours of South America and Spain, major folk festivals such as the Philadelphia and Winnepeg Folk Festivals, and at numerous concerts in the US and abroad. He is a popular instructor at such camps as the Swannanoa Gathering (NC), Fiddle and Dance (NY), Festival of American Fiddle Tunes (WA), and the Augusta Heritage Workshops (WV). Located beside the Coffee Barn.

Intro to Gypsy Jazz for Fiddle, Guitar, Bass & more! with Gabriel Pelli, Saturday 11am

gabrielJoin us for a workshop focusing on the unique sounds of Django Reinhardt’s Gypsy Jazz of 1930’s and 40’s France. We’ll explore this genre by first learning a bit about its history and musical fusions. We’ll learn a few tunes like “Minor Swing” and “Sweet Sue,” some typical chords and scales, and how to interpret a chord and melody chart (no worries if you don’t read music).  And we’ll leave time for plenty of jamming and improvising! Handouts provided.  All instruments welcome.  
This workshop is taught by Gabriel Pelli, lifelong musician and explorer or the many fiddle genres. He’s been playing Gypsy Jazz for 15 years and leads his own band in this genre, Onyx Club Boys, while also playing with The Old Ceremony. He has taught hundreds of students over the years and is the musical director of High Point University’s production of “The Grapes of Wrath,” this summer. Located beside the Coffee Barn.

Clogging with The Green Grass Cloggers, Saturday 11:45am

Inspired by traditional mountain-style clogging teams, but more influenced by older flatfootggc_78 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.


DIY Instrument Set-Up & Maintenance  with Greg Hanson, Saturday 12:30pm

Greg Hansen of Hansen & Crawford leads this workshop where he will discuss and demonstrate how
each of the common stringed instruments should be setup an how to keep them in working order. He’ll have some take-home info along with suggestions on basic tool kits, followed by a Q & A session where you can ask him about anything instrument related!

Dance Calling with Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Saturday 2pm

megaphoneAppalachian square-dance calling is easier than it looks! In this workshop, we’ll learn to call simple dances for friends and family. We’ll start with big circle dances and move on to learn figures for scatter promenades. Participants will practice timing and patter, and begin making their own set of dance cards. We’ll talk about traditional calling—ladies-and-gents style—and we’ll cover strategies for calling without reference to gender. If you’d rather not try calling, you can just show up to help our new callers walk through their first-ever figures! Help keep the tradition of oldtime square-dance calling alive, and learn a skill that just might come in handy when you least expect it.

Fiddle with Paul Brown, Saturday 3pm

Paul Brown, former NPR anchor and current host of  Across the Blue Ridge – a wonderful radio showtumblr_inline_o4pxa20M7r1qhxf18_500 on 88.5 WFDD dedicated to the exploration of southern music –  learned from and played with some of the last musicians from the “older generation” of old time music like Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, Fields Ward, and Benton Flippen, just to name a few. He has won the banjo prize several times at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival, where he’s also won the senior fiddle prize and was named a master artist. Paul left his world newscaster job at NPR’s Washington, DC headquarters in 2013 after fourteen years in executive, editorial and on-air positions there.


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11th Annual Festival! September 14 - 16, 2017 at Shakori Hills in Silk Hope, NC