Traditional Song Week realizes a dream of a comprehensive program completely devoted to traditional styles of singing. Unlike programs where singing takes a back seat to the instrumentalists, it is the main focus of this week, which aims to help restore the power of songs within the larger traditional music scene. Here, finally, is a place where you can develop and grow in confidence about your singing, and have lots of fun with other folks devoted to their own song journeys. Come gather with us to explore various traditional song genres under the guidance of experienced, top-notch instructors. When singers gather together, magical moments are bound to happen!
For our eleventh year, Traditional Song Week is proud to present a gathering of highly influential singers and musicians who have remained devoted over the years to preserving and promoting traditional song. Back by popular demand will be our big night for students to have the rare opportunity to be backed by our stellar staff band. Tuesday evening will be our big Hoedown for a Traditional Country, Bluegrass, Honky-Tonk and Blues Song and Dance Night. Imagine singing to a house band of Ranger Doug, Suzy Bogguss, Josh Goforth, Joe Newberry, Tim May, Matt Watroba or Mark Weems. So wear your boots and hats, bring your voices and instruments, and get ready to bring on the fun… with solos, duets, trios. Our Community Gathering Time affords us the opportunity to experience together, as one group, diverse topics concerning our shared love of traditional song. After the past few years’ special programs with such national treasures as Jean Ritchie, Peter Yarrow, Tom Paxton, Charlie Louvin, David Holt, Robin & Linda Williams and Tim O’Brien, to name just a few, we will carry on the tradition of gathering each day directly after lunch from 1:15-2:15 for our Community Gathering and Special Events time. This year’s spotlight will feature interviews with beloved Thistle & Shamrock radio host, Fiona Ritchie, direct from beautiful Scotland. Fiona will air the interviews on her show during the year, so it’s always a special treat watching her in action! We will have some extra special visits with Grammy Award-winning Country music star Suzy Bogguss, roots music songwriter Carl Jones, Don Flemons, co-founder of the famed Carolina Chocolate Drops, Scottish songster Ed Miller, Irish singer Nuala Kennedy and others. This summer will feature classes in gospel, bluegrass, Carter Family songs, songs from Ireland, England, Scotland, North Carolina mountain ballads, Ozark Songs, old country and folk songs, traditional song singing styles, songwriting in the tradition, African Songs, finding your voice and own style, choosing your songs, performance, shape-note, duet harmony, music theory, community singing, singing with instruments, children’s songs and more! The week will also feature nightly concerts and singing sessions, the Old Farmers Ball dance, a wonderful Children’s Program and ample opportunities to mix with other singers. Bring a friend and come join us for a week you will never forget!