Chatham County's Traditional Music Festival

September 12 - 14, 2024

workshops

2023 Workshops

Music Workshop listed first, followed by Dance:

Country Blues with Hubby Jenkins, Friday 5pm

Join Grammy-nominated, old-time multi-instrumentalist, Hubby Jenkins for this demo-lecture style workshop. A talented and versatile musician, Hubby will demonstrate and discuss country blues music from a historic and cultural context, discussing the ways in which this music came together and was created, and playing tunes that will leave no doubt about why it continues to thrive. Everyone is welcome to sit in on this workshop — no instrument needed. Located in the Dance Tent.

*Special thanks to Chatham Arts Council for sponsoring this workshop!

Exploring the Old-Time Repertoires of Alleghany, Surry, and Grayson Counties with Gap Civil, Friday 6:15pm

Come join the members of Sparta-based band Gap Civil for an exploration of the rich old-time music traditions of Alleghany, Surry, and Grayson counties. This workshop will delve into the common repertoire & musical styles shared by these neighboring counties as well explore the unique characteristics that each calls its own. Local to these areas, Lucas, Chris, Todd and Kyle have studied the tunes and musicians of the region for much of their lives. Come hear them play some of those tunes and talk about the musicians that influenced the musical stylings of the area, where it’s still vibrant with old-time music to this day. Bring your instrument and absorb some of the region’s style…or just come sit and listen. Located in the Dance Tent.

 


Marianne DiNapoli-Mylet’s String Band Cello, Saturday 11am

Marianne DiNapoli-Mylet’s uniquely uninhibited approach to the cello evokes the sounds of a jug, a trombone, a drum, and occasionally even a cello. She will demonstrate and discuss her techniques in this workshop that will also feature a short lesson. Non-cello players are welcome to attend and learn about Marianne’s approach to playing cello as a rhythm instrument in a string band. Marianne’s old-time music education began in the late 1970s after moving to the mountains with her husband, Tom Mylet, and playing with Kyle Creed and Tommy Jarrell. Since then, Marianne has dabbled in various instruments and has been honing her skills on the cello since 2018, playing jug band, blues, jazz, hokum, a little old time, and a bit of Motown. Located in the Barn.


Bluegrass Banjo Fun with Hugh Moore, Saturday 12:15pm

Come listen and talk about the various styles of the 5-string bluegrass banjo. Focus will include the Earl Scruggs Style, Banjo and Fiddle music, the “melodic” styles of Bill Keith and Bobby Thompson, playing songs using banjo “D” tuners, and the future of the 5-string banjo. The workshop will encourage a discussion of developing your own style of playing. Bring a banjo if you are a player, or come listen and see if the banjo is the right instrument for you.

Hugh Moore, a North Carolina native, has played in regional bluegrass bands and has recorded with Bluegrass legends and Hall of Fame members including Benny Martin, Josh Graves, Bobby Osborne, Kenny Baker, and Vassar Clements.


 


Fiddling of Joe Birchfield and the Legacy of the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers with Lucas Pasley, Saturday 2:45pm

The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers have influenced and inspired scores of old-time musicians. A self-described “traditional
Joe Birchfield, date unknown
mountain music band” from the area in and around Roan Mountain, TN, the Hilltoppers played in a raw and hard-driving style. This workshop will be led by award-winning fiddler Lucas Pasley and will focus on the music of the Hilltoppers and the Birchfield family. He spent time learning fiddle directly from Joe in his twilight years and played with the band frequently after Joe’s retirement from playing publicly. Gap Civil recently released a video, Natchez Under The Hill, honoring the Hilltoppers and their legacy.
 
Lucas will delve into the tunes and fiddling style of Joe Birchfield and the Hilltoppers as well as offer general fiddling tips. Bring your fiddle to dive in and learn a bit about the unique Roan Mountain sound, and the fiddling that anchored it. Located in the Barn.

Harmony Singing with Cliff Hale and Alice Gerrard, Saturday 4pm

Most have heard the phrase “sing your heart out.” Well, that’s what Alice and Cliff like to do when they get together. In this workshop, they will be singing some of their favorites and discussing how they work together to make the songs and the harmonies their own.

Cliff Hale is excited to be coming back to do some singing with Alice Gerrard at his favorite fiddlers convention. Originally from West Virginia, Cliff has recently moved back to the Mountain State after calling The Old North State home for almost 20 years. You may have seen him out and about singing with the Piedmont Melody Makers, Grand Ole Ospreys, Longleaf Pine Nuts, Rye Mountain Boys or starring as Hank Williams in the Cape Fear Regional Theatre production of Lost Highway.

Folk legend, Alice Gerrard is simply that – a legend in her own time. A tireless advocate of traditional music, Alice has won numerous honors, including an IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award, a Virginia Arts Commission Award, the NC Folklore Society’s Tommy Jarrell Award, and an Indy Award. In 2017 Alice was inducted into the IBMA Hall of Fame along with Hazel Dickens. You Gave Me a Song, a film about her life and music won the Official Selection of the Full Frame Film Festival in 2019.


Music Maker Presents: Blues Guitar with Jeffrey Scott, Saturday 5:30pm

The rich musical traditional in the East Coast country blues owes much to ragtime, traditional Appalachian Mountain music, African American string music, spirituals and gospel…This blues style features intricate fingerpicking with alternating bass and a simultaneous syncopated melody  picked on the treble strings. Often called Piedmont Blues, this style has a certain sweetness in the guitar style, but the theme can be about the sacred, or the profane, about hardship, struggle, murder, relationships, and more. Jeffrey Scott carries on the acoustic Piedmont Blues tradition taught to him by by his great-uncle, John Jackson. Bring your guitar and practice a rif or two, as Jeffrey, in turn, teaches a small bit of his magic to you. Located in the Barn.
*Special thanks to Music Maker Foundation for sponsoring this workshop!
 

Tunes for Kids with Lydia & Emily Martin, Friday 5pm

Lydia and Emily Martin of the Martin Family Band will teach tunes for kids to play together. Bring your instruments for some fun and music! The Martin sisters bring a knowledge-base of traditional Irish and old time repertoire to this relaxed workshop. They have performed across the Atlantic and the United States, teaching classes and playing for dances. Lydia will teach banjo and guitar, and Emily will teach mandolin and lap dulcimer.  There may be loaner instruments available, please contact Lydia with special requests. Recommended for kids 6 & up with some experience. Smaller siblings are welcome to come and play a jug band instrument. Located in the Barn.


Flatfooting Dance Workshop with Ruth Pershing, Friday 4pm

You’ve heard the saying, “If you can walk, you can dance,” right? In this flatfooting workshop, you’ll learn to walk a little differently, using your whole foot and differentiating every sound it can make. With that springy lilt in your walk, you’ll learn to imitate the rhythm of an old-time tune with your combination of steps and improvise right along with the musicians. We’ll start at a beginning level and add variations and techniques for intermediate dancers as well. Wear smooth-soled shoes that can slide at least a little. Ruth is an experienced and delightful teacher flatfooting/clogging and has been dancing with the Cane Creek Cloggers for nearly four decades. Singing and playing banjo is her meditation after her day job teaching high school science in Saxapahaw. Located in the Dance Tent.


Kids Clogging with Tampa Enoch-Reese, Saturday 10am

Suggested for ages 5 and up, this workshop provides a basic introduction to clogging, just for kids! Participants will learn fundamental clogging steps through fun, confidence-building exercises. They’ll also have opportunities to express themselves creatively with this energetic dance tradition. Comfortable, closed-toe shoes are recommended. Tampa Enoch is an educator, dancer and musician from Mebane, North Carolina. At an early age, she learned to flatfoot and buck dance from her grandmother, and she carries the tradition forward by teaching percussive dance to children both in her family and in the wider community. Tampa has been a member of Chapel Hill’s Cane Creek Cloggers since 2014 and has worked in public libraries as a youth services librarian for 19 years. In her free time she enjoys playing banjo and sharing about the rich and complex history of the instrument.  Located in the Dance Tent.


Clogging with The Green Grass Cloggers, Saturday 11:30am

Inspired by traditional mountain-style clogging teams, but more influenced by older flatfoot and buck dancers, North Carolina’s premier clogging group, The Green Grass Cloggers, has been kicking up their collective heels for OVER fifty years now! Together they 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, as well as more advanced moves from these intergenerational dance pioneers. Located in the Dance Tent.


 

 

Thank you to our WONDERFUL sponsors! We couldn’t do it without these folks:

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