2019 Faculty


Begin your weekend with an intensive workshop that will energize and prep you for what is sure to be a memorable and fun few days. Each class offers an opportunity to spend a three-hour block of time with a respected master teacher exploring a topic in depth. Class size is limited and a separate registration is required. Intensive classes are held just before the start of Folk College.


Intensive Class Cost & Registration Information

• Intensive Classes are from 10am – 1pm Friday, May 24

Separate registration and fee required

• Class size is limited – reserve your spot early!

• Registration fee: $65, includes lunch immediately following





Taught by Scott Ainslie

(all levels beyond beginner)


We'll work on solo acoustic blues guitar techniques in the styles of Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Robert Johnson, and others. In the first half of the workshop, we'll look at right and left hand techniques, hybrid chord forms and working in standard, dropped-D, and open tunings. The remainder of the workshop will focus on slide techniques and repertoire. Please bring a slide that fits securely on your little finger. For advice on choosing a slide, please refer to http://CattailMusic.com/ForGuitarPlayers/choosing-a-slide.htm.


Taught by April Verch

(advanced beginner to intermediate)


We'll look at Old Time American, Old Time Canadian, and Appalachian approaches to fiddle music, with an emphasis on the bowing patterns and ornamentation of each style.  Tunes will be taught by ear, but please feel free to bring your recording device and lots of questions, as the class will be tailored to suit your needs and requests.  We will be mindful of keeping with the roots of this tradition - getting together to make music and have a great time in a relaxed, social environment!


Taught by Arun Ramamurthy & Trina Basu



Learn the rich tradition of Indian Classical music for violin, including a fiddle approach to ragas and an understanding of the rhythmic aspects of this music.


Taught by Wayne Fugate

(all levels beyond beginner)


The mandolin is a wonderful little instrument that can do so much with melody, rhythm, and backup. We'll explore techniques and approaches to make your playing shine.


Taught by Joe Newberry

(all levels beyond beginner)


We'll look at the frailing stroke, explore drop-thumb styles, and experiment with different banjo tunings. Participants will learn how to accompany traditional dance tunes and songs and pick out melodies and solos.


Taught by Michael Ronstadt

(all levels beyond beginner)


As cellists, we are the ultimate musical chameleons walking a bass line, bowing long tones, strumming like a guitar, and chopping rhythms like a drummer. We will look at how to use the tools the cello has in its wheelhouse to accompany or lead in any type of musical situation. In the process, you'll learn tunes and musical styles from Arizona to Ireland.


Taught by Christopher Davis-Shannon

(all levels beyond beginner)


You've learned your basic open chords and now what?! This workshop breaks down the right hand techniques used not just to coax specific sounds out of our uke but to emulate other instruments. We'll tackle basic clawhammer, piedmont style, as well as ragtime playing. In addition, we'll being to demystify the fingerboard through the use of moveable barre chords and discuss how they can be effectively used in a number of old time and blues songs. We'll be packing a lot into this; bring your uke, buckle up, and let's have some fun!


Taught by Jeremiah McLane

(all levels beyond beginner)


We’ll focus extensively on bellows technique, especially as it relates to the achieving the ‘swing’ or ‘groove' of different styles of music. We’ll be examining the left hand Stradella bass system in depth, finding alternative positions for common chords, and finding unusual chords that can be played in 2 and 3 finger positions. We’ll also learn some tunes by ear and talk about ways to ornament, harmonize and otherwise augment a basic melody.


Taught by Richard Sleigh

(all levels beyond beginner)


Richard Sleigh, described as a harmonica wizard, will show you how to get the most out of this small but powerful instrument. He has been exploring American Roots Music and the harmonica from the inside out for over 40 years. His latest adventures include being a featured soloist with the Wooster Symphony Orchestra and Paquito D’Rivera; playing and teaching Blues harmonica in Clarkesdale, Mississippi; and opening as a solo act for the Marshall Tucker Band and Nancy Griffith. Over the years he has also appeared with Taj Mahal, Bo Diddley, Maria Muldaur, and many others, and he has performed and given harmonica workshops here and abroad.


Taught by The Early Mays

(all levels)


Dive into lead and harmony singing with The Early Mays. We will explore two and three part harmony singing, focusing on some of The Early Mays' arrangements as a launching pad for both traditional and not-so-traditional harmonies. We'll break into smaller groups as need and interest arise.


Taught by Simple Gifts

(all instruments, beginner to advanced beginner)


In this special workshop designed for beginners, we'll address skills that will help you get more out of the weekend. We'll particularly look at how to learn tunes by ear, how to jam, how to play backup, how to play melody, and how to play well with other musicians.