Artists on the faculty of Folk College lead workshops, coach student bands, perform concerts and lead jam sessions. Some artists lead 3-hour intensive workshops on Friday: check out Intensives.
Check back as we make more faculty annoucements.
Folk College is thrilled to begin to announce the 2019 lineup with one of our favorite teachers from over the years--SCOTT AINSLIE! Scott has been at Folk College in 2010, 2012, and 2013! He is our favorite blues wizard, an exceptional teacher and gives incredibly moving performances!
As a special treat, Scott will be joined by his long time friend musician, storyteller and lecturer, Reggie Harris! A songwriter of great depth and passion, Reggie Harris writes from a personal sense of mission that merges a world wise point of view with a singularly hopeful stance that life, though often challenging, is filled with possibility and hope. His songs reveal thoughts about life and love and some of the deep aspects of the human experience and cover topics from his own personal journey to world issues and history.
Take a listen to Scott and Reggie reciting a Langston Hughes poem and performing Change is Gonna Come at:
Joe Newberry grew up in a family full of singers and dancers. He took up the guitar and banjo as a teenager and learned fiddle tunes from great Missouri fiddlers. April Verch grew up listening to her Dad’s country band play for dances in the Ottawa Valley. She started step dancing at age three and fiddling at age six. Both Newberry & Verch became masters of their traditions and tour the world with their respective bands and projects. Yet they never forget the roots of their music, that connection to the people in the audience, on the dance floor, to the community sparked by a good song. For these veteran performers who come from distinct traditions and parts of the world, their collaboration is fueled by their kindred passion for bringing people together to celebrate traditional music.
Blues and ballads stem into Canadian regional styles and originals. Their voices blend in harmony, their tasteful instrumentals prove that these masters have nothing left to prove, and then their feet kick up the dust in perfect rhythm…and together, they make you remember why this music existed in the first place.
April will be teaching a fiddle intensive on Friday morning and Joe will teach the banjo intensive.
Folk College's host band, Simple Gifts, is three women (Linda Littleton, Karen Hirshon & Rachel Hall) playing twelve instruments, with styles that range from old time to Celtic to Klezmer and beyond. Karen Hirshon plays fiddle, mandolin, guitar, 6-string banjo, bowed psaltery, doumbek, and spoons. Linda Littleton plays fiddle, hammered dulcimer, banjo, recorders, and bowed psaltery. Rachel Hall is recognized as one of the leading English concertina players in the U.S., and she also performs on piano, accordion, and tabla. Based in State College and Philadelphia, PA, Simple Gifts members designed Folk College and work with the Huntingdon County Arts Council to make it a reality. They have a strong philosophy that everyone can play music, that music is best when shared, and that above all, music is about communication, not competition.