Folk College 2023 Schedule
*Schedule subject to change
Folk College is full of great workshops, concerts, singing and dancing.
Check back for updates.
E=taught by ear
M=sheet music provided
D=discussion, no playing
Workshops are for all instruments unless otherwise indicated.
The 2023 Schedule has not been announced yet.
Please check back for updates.
Friday, May 26, 2023
(SEPARATE REGISTRATION REQUIRED)
See Intensive page for Intensive descriptions
Choice of Intensive Classes:
Taught by Jay Best & Henry Koretzky (Level 1-2, IS)
Taught by members of Buffalo Rose (Level 1-5, S)
Taught by Benedict & Valerie Turner of Piedmont Bluz (Level 2-5)
Taught by Byrce Rabideau of Buffalo Rose (Level 2-5)
Taught by Jeff Berman of Appalasia (Level 2-5)
Taught by Sparrow of Resonant Rogues (Level 3-5)
Taught by Keith Josiah Smith of Resonant Rogues (Level 3-5)
Taught by Maura Shawn Scanlin of Rakish (Level 3-5)
Shelley Kelley (Level 1, P)
What else costs so little, does so much and is so easy to carry? Learn the basics of playing this fun and easy instrument, including fingering, breathing and techniques for good tone quality. You will come away with a few simple tunes and a basic understanding of how to work the instrument. Bring a penny whistle in the key of D, or you may purchase one at the workshop.
Henry Koretzky & LeAnna Kline (Level 1-5, SI)
We'll sing and play songs from the early days of country music. Lyrics and chords will be provided. For singers and all instruments.
Sue Powers (Level 1-5, IS)
Learn songs about the labor movement in Western PA. Lyrics and chords will be provided. The focus will be singing, but you're welcome to play along on your instrument.
Linda Littleton & Karen Hirshon (Level 2, IE)
Learn some jam skills that will help you join in the jams over the weekend. How do you figure out what to play, and what do you do if you don’t know the tune being played? What if you're used to playing from sheet music? How do you cope?
Nathan Bishop & Tim Ball (Level 2-3, IM)
The waltz is one of the oldest and most romantic dance forms. In this class, we’ll explain the rhythm and basic sound of waltzes and then, with sheet music and chords provided, we'll play a few easy waltzes. There will be tips for both melody and backup players.
Judy Minot (Level 3-4, IM)
Are you tired of some of the tunes you used to love? Learn how to add variations to make your playing more interesting and fun. We'll use sheet music, and the focus will be on varying melodies, not chords or backup.
Rachel Hall (Level 4-5, IE)
We’ll work by ear to learn some enchanting tunes from the Balkan lands of Eastern Europe, including some in asymmetrical rhythms such as 7/8 and 11/8.
Benedict Turner (Level 1-2, P)
For people with little or no percussion background, this is your opportunity to explore percussion instruments in a fun environment, and hear tips on how to be a good percussionist. Instruments will be provided, but feel free to bring your own.
Valerie Turner (Level 1-5, SIE)
Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten (1893-1987) was an African-American Folk and Blues musician. She was self-taught, left-handed and played a right-hand-strung guitar upside down, giving her playing a distinctive sound. Best known for composing "Freight Train," Elizabeth Cotten wrote many other wonderful songs. Come learn a few! Lyrics and chords will be provided.
Eric Ian Farmer (Level 2-5, SE)
Let's sing, and let's add body percussion, instrument percussion (like tapping on your instrument), changes in time signature, and scat!
Judy Minot & Nathan Bishop (Level 2, IE)
Learning melodies by ear is difficult for a lot of people. We'll look at various approaches to figuring out how to play back what you hear, and also approaches to remembering what you just played.
Steve Buckalew & Tim Ball (Level 2-3, IM)
Come learn a few fun and easy tunes played at contradances. Sheet music and chords will be provided. There will be tips for both melody and backup players.
Maura Scanlin & Conor Hearn (Level 3-5, IE)
You'll learn tunes in the Irish tradition. We'll work by ear, with music provided at the end of the session. There will be tips for both melody and backup players.
Mimi Jong (Level 3-5, IE)
This is your chance to learn something really different and exotic!
(Level 1-2, SIE)
A slow-paced, supportive jam especially for beginners, also a good setting for more advanced musicians to experiment with improvisation.
(Level 1-5, SI)
Bring a song to share, or come to listen, and get feedback on your original songs.
(Level 1-5, SIE)
This is your chance to meet and jam with members of Buffalo Rose. They're an incredible band!
(Level 3-5, IE)
All Celtic tunes and songs are welcome.
(Level 3-5, IM)
If you have a copy of "Portland Collection Volume I," please bring it along, and we'll play tunes that are in the book. We'll have a few extra copies for those who don't have one.
Jay Best, Sue Powers & Jeff Berman (1-5, SIE)
Stop by the dorm lounge for informal jamming before you roll into bed. Anything you want to play or sing is welcome!
Saturday, May 27, 2023
Meet the staff, sign up for a folk band, and get oriented as to what’s happening for the rest of the weekend.
Jeff Berman (Level 1, P)
This will be a basic intro to an easy and fun instrument. Instruments will be provided, or bring your own.
Benedict Turner (Level 1, P)
The washboard is a fun percussion instrument that’s full of complexities but easy to get started playing. Using rhythmic fundamentals and varying textures of the instrument, explore the unique and versatile world of washboard!
Eric Ian Farmer (Level 1-3, SE)
A gentle introduction to singing, especially for people who think they can't sing or feel shy about singing.
Jay Best & Richard Sleigh (Level 2, IE)
Learn some jam skills that will help you join in jams this weekend. How do you figure out what to play, and what do you do if you don't know the tune being played?
Tim Ball (Level 2-3, IE)
Come learn easy-to-play Irish tunes. We'll work by ear with music provided at the end of the workshop.
Rachel Hall (Level 3-5, IM)
Learn some wonderful tunes from Sweden! Sheet music and chords will be provided.
Rakish (Level 4-5, IE)
Scottish tunes taught by a two-time U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion. We'll work by ear with music provided at the end of the workshop.
Resonant Rogues (Level 4-5, IM)
Learn to play jazz in the style of Django Reinhardt, with tips for both melody and backup players. Sheet music and chords will be provided.
Judy Minot (Level 2-4)
For pianists who are beyond beginner, or for intermediate/advanced on other instruments who may be piano beginners. You'll learn the basics of backing up melody players on traditional tunes. Those who get the hang of it are encouraged to play piano during the contradance band practice that follows this workshop.
Henry Koretzky (Level 1-5, SI)
Sign up for a short one-on-one session with Henry on the instruments indicated or for feedback on general musicianship. Signup sheets will be available during orientation, Saturday 8:45am. Please have a question or issue ready to discuss.
Sue Powers & Jay Best (Level 1, P)
Starting at the very beginning, learn the basics of clawhammer style banjo. Banjos will be provided.
Rachel Hall (Level 1-5, D)
A look at interesting connections between music and math from someone who's an expert at both.
Scott Krug & Henry Koretzky (Level 2-5, S)
We'll talk about what makes bluegrass different from similar genres, such as old time and country, and we'll do some bluegrass playing as a group.
Members of Buffalo Rose (Level 2-5, S)
Learn how to hear and create vocal harmonies.
Karen Hirshon & Richard Sleigh (Level 2, IE)
What’s backup? Everything that isn’t the melody! Even if you don’t think of your instrument as a backup instrument, there will be something here for you, including tips for making your backup playing strong, supportive, and interesting.
Jeff Berman (Level 3-4, IE)
Learn techniques to open the door to creating spontaneous variations, or improvisations, based on the melodic structure unique to each tune.
Judy Minot & Nathan Bishop (Level 3-4, IM)
We’ll play through the music planned for this evening’s contradance and learn arrangements and approaches that make them come alive! Music and chords will be provided. [Note: It’s ok to skip this workshop and play for the dance anyhow or to come to this workshop but not play for the dance.]
Shelley Kelley (Level 3-5, IM)
Working from sheet music, you'll learn some cool French tunes.
Mimi Jong (Level 4-5, IE)
Learn Asian tunes by ear and then learn how to play them on your non-Asian instrument.
Steve Buckalew (1-5)
Sign up for a short one-on-one session with Steve. Signup sheets will be available during orientation, Saturday 8:45am. Please have a question or issue ready to discuss. You may also come to discuss general musicianship on any instrument.
Henry Koretzky (Level 1, P)
Learn the very basics of playing mandolin. We'll have a few available for you to borrow during the workshop, or bring your own.
Members of Buffalo Rose (Level 1-5, D)
Hear tips for how to plan and carry out an excellent live concert.
Valerie Turner (Level 1-5, SE)
Mississippi John Hurt (1893-1966) was a Country Blues singer and guitarist who often played in the Piedmont style, a kind of fingerpicking from the foothills of the Appalachians. You'll learn about John Hurt and learn several of his songs. Lyrics and chords will be provided.
Steve Buckalew & Nathan Bishop (Level 2, IE)
We'll work by ear on super easy tunes that are great for beginners.
Simple Gifts (Level 2-3, IM)
Klezmer is the exotic music of the Eastern European Jewish culture. With sheet music and chords provided, learn easy-to-play Klezmer tunes.
Resonant Rogues (Level 3-5, IE)
Resonant Rogues resides in the heart of old time music country, and they'll share some tunes with you. We'll work by ear with music provided at the end of the workshop. There will be tips for both melody and backup players.
Members of Buffalo Rose (Level 4-5, I)
You've figured out a song you just love. Now what? Take a thorough look at what the band's instruments can do to make the song more interesting.
Conor Hearn (Level 2-4, Guitar)
Learn how to best use your guitar as a backup instrument.
Maura Scanlin (Level 3-5, Fiddle)
Fiddles only, looking at how to be a better fiddle player.
Jay Best (Level 1-5)
Sign up for a short one-on-one session with Jay on the instruments indicated or for general musicianship. Signup sheets will be available during orientation, Saturday 8:45am. Please have a question or issue ready to discuss.
Faculty coaches (1-5, EIMS)
Based on the form you filled out during orientation (Saturday 8:45 am), you’ll be assigned to a band that will rehearse with the help of a staff coach and then perform at Sunday’s Student Concert. There will also be an option to join a non-performing band. Band lists and locations will be posted in Von Leibig Lobby. If you haven’t filled out a folk band form, go to the lobby and we’ll figure out where to fit you in.
Judy Minot, Bob Nicholson, Rachel Hall, Nathan Bishop, Tim Ball, & Steve Buckalew (Instruments 3-5, IM)
Play along with the contradance band and watch with amazement as the dancers are in sync with what you're playing! Sheet music and chords will be provided.
(Level 1-5 SIE)
You just heard Buffalo Rose perform. This is your chance to ask them to repeat a song you want to sing/play along with and to bring other songs to sing and play with the group.
Scott Krug, Karen Hirshon, & Leanna Kline (Level 2-5, SIE)
Bring your favorite bluegrass songs and tunes.
Piedmont Bluz (Level 3-5, SIE)
Sing and play blues along with Piedmont Bluz!
Tim Ball, Nathan Bishop, & Shelley Kelley (Singers 1-5, instruments 3-5)
Stop by the dorm lounge for informal jamming before you roll into bed. Anything you want to play or sing is welcome!
Sunday, May 28, 2023
Benedict Turner (Level 1, P)
Hambone, also known as Pattin' Juba, is an African drum technique that uses the entire body to produce different sounds, similar to a drum set. Learn more about this interesting percussion technique and have fun trying it out!
Diana Wagner & LeAnna Kline (Level 1-5, SI)
A good old-fashioned hymn sing with focus on old-time hymns. Bring your instrument if you play. Song sheets with chords will be provided. This workshop is free and open to the public. (Ends 9:45am)
Judy Minot (Level 2-5)
Are you getting the most out of your practice time? Are you frustrated that you're not improving faster? Are you having fun when you practice? Learn ideas about practicing from the author of the award-winning book "Best Practice: Inspiration and Ideas for Traditional Musicians."
Rachel Hall & Steve Buckalew (Level 2-5)
This is an open mic where you can go to perform for the group or to listen, but there's the added benefit of having staff members give feedback on each performance.
Conor Hearn (Level 2-3, IE)
Everyone loves Irish tunes. Come learn some easy ones, working by ear with music provided at the end of the workshop.
Shelley Kelley (Level 2-3, IM)
Working from sheet music, you'll learn a few easy French tunes.
Tim Ball (Level 3-4, IE)
Tim has been collecting traditional tunes from New York State. He'll teach you a few of his favorites, working by ear but providing sheet music at the end of the workshop.
Valerie Turner (Level 4-5, IM)
Ragtime evolved from African American musicians' playing in the 1890s and is characterized by a syncopated melodic line and regularly accented accompaniment. Although commonly played on piano or guitar, this session is for all instruments. Sheet music and chords will be provided.
Sparrow Smith (Level 3-5, Banjo)
Tips and techniques for taking your clawhammer style banjo playing to the next level.
Jay Best & Nathan Bishop (Level 1, P)
In a session designed for people who've never touched a fiddle, we'll look at the very basics. Instruments will be provided or bring your own.
Sue Powers & Jeff Berman (Level 1-5, SI)
Songs from the coal mining tradition of western Pennsylvania. For voices and instruments. Lyrics and chords will be provided.
Shelley Kelley, Mimi Jong, & Rachel Hall (Level 1-5, D)
An erhu, hurdy gurdy, and concertina will all be in the same room at the same time. Hear about each, hear them played, and (perhaps) get to try them.
Members of Buffalo Rose (Level 2-5)
This is an open mic where you can go to perform for the group or to listen, but there's the added benefit of having members of Buffalo Rose give you feedback on your performance.
Henry Koretzky & Steve Buckalew (Level 2-3, SI)
Learn to hear and identify common chords and chord changes and to understand where and when they occur. This vital skill will help you at jams, even those playing unfamiliar tunes.
Simple Gifts (Level 3-4, IM)
Working from sheet music with tips for both melody and backup players, we’ll look at a variety of tunes collected in southwestern and south-central Pennsylvania during the 1930s and published by Samuel Bayard in his important collection, "Dance the Fiddle, March to the Fife".
Maura Scanlin (Level 4-5, IE)
We'll explore methods for creating your own harmony parts.
Resonant Rogues (Level 4-5, IE)
This is sure to be exotic and fun! We'll work by ear, with tips for both melody and backup players.
Valerie Turner (Level 3-5, E, Guitar)
Piedmont style fingerpicking is a guitar style where the thumb plays an alternating bass while the other fingers add a syncopated melody. The overall effect is two guitars being played at once! This workshop will be taught by ear but sheet music and chords will be provided at the end.
Bring your instrument and smile!
Another rehearsal with the same band as yesterday
2:30-4:30 pm Student Concert
20 minutes after the concert ends
Henry Koretzky, Nathan Bishop & LeAnna Kline (1-5, EIS)
Stick around after the concert and jam one last time until we see each other again at Greenwood Furnace Folk Gathering September 8-10. This will be a mix of singing and instrumentals, whatever tunes or songs you want to suggest.
Celtic & More
Asia Meets Appalachia
And Your Hosts