There are over 70 staff-led workshops during the three days of Folk College. In addition, there are concerts, student bands, a contra dance, and many of opportunities to jam in structured or unstructured settings.
For specific descriptions and schedules, please check the Schedule.
Most of the workshops are for all instruments playing together. They are divided by level into beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate, and advanced so you may pick ones that are appropriate for you. There are also workshops for specific instruments, but please don't think that just because your instrument isn't listed, the weekend isn't for you. There's plenty to do with mixed-instrument workshops and jams.
Each workshop slot has one or two choices for singers, dancers or drummers, so there are plenty of workshops that don't require any prior musical experience.
To try something you've never played before, we have a number of workshops where instruments are provided. These are great both for non-musicians and for musicians who want to spend an hour getting a taste of something new.
A key part of the weekend is the Student Band where you'll have a chance to work with a small group in a band setting. Each band will be coached by a professional staff member. Once you arrive, you'll fill out a form indicating your interests, and then bands will be created by genre. Styles in past years have included old time, Scottish, blues, bluegrass, jazz, contradance tunes, French Canadian, Klezmer and many more. Most groups choose to perform in the Sunday afternoon Student Bands Concert, though there will also be an option to be in a non-performing band. We'll also have a Beginners' Band for a slow-paced group playing experience.
Faculty members perform on Friday and Saturday evenings, and these concerts have been truly amazing! Concert admission is included in the Folk College registration fee. Additional tickets will be available for purchase at the door or in advance for the general public.
Saturday night after the faculty concert, we'll hold a contradance with caller Bob Nicholson. All are welcome to dance, even if you've never tried it before, and all instrumentalists are welcome to play in the open band. Sheet music will be provided, and we'll have an optional rehearsal earlier in the day.
Get a head start on the weekend by taking a master class, held just before the start of Folk College. These sessions require a separate registration and fee and will be held from 10 am until 1 pm on Friday. Lunch will be provided following the class. Class size is limited, so reserve your spot early!
There's nothing like a jam session for learning new tunes and sharing the joy of making music. Plenty of jamming (led by professional staff) is offered throughout the weekend, both during workshop slots and after the evening concerts. For those who haven't had enough, we'll also jam back at the dorm into the wee hours!
If all of these activities aren't enough for you, there's always plenty of just plain hanging out with like-minded musicians and sharing some tunes.
Act 48 credit is available for Pennsylvania school teachers.