Fall Newsletter 2017 - Coming Next Summer
Dates for the 2018 workshops:
Traditional Song Week, July 1-7
Celtic Week, July 8-14
Old-Time Music & Dance Week, July 15-21
Contemporary Folk Week, July 22-28
Guitar Week, July 22-28
Fiddle Week, July 29-August 4
Mando & Banjo Week, July 29-August 4
Next year, there’s a lot of news involving facilities. The new academic building will be completed, with 6 new air-conditioned classrooms. The western half of Sunderland will be getting new bathrooms and we’ll be using the newly-renovated Dorland dorm while Sunderland gets its makeover. Finally, the swimming pool will be getting a new roof and should be reopening in time for our workshops.
We will again offer a full Children’s Program during our Traditional Song, Celtic and Old-Time Weeks. For those families bringing small children, we will continue to provide evening childcare at no additional cost.
The Swannanoa Gathering is structured around what we call an ‘open format’, which allows students to create their own curriculum and take as many classes as there are periods in the day. We require that students register for specific classes, but allow them to switch after the first day into another, open class if they find they have made an inappropriate choice. After this ‘settling-in’ period, we expect that students will remain in those classes, and we discourage dropping in and out of classes during the week. This structure allows students considerable flexibility, and is an essential element of our program’s character and appeal. Many of our classes may include musical notation or tablature, though in general, we emphasize learning by ear.
Classes generally have a maximum of 15 students. Some may have more or less than this figure due to the nature of the subject or the discretion of the instructor, and limits for each class will be indicated in our catalog. Several of the 2017 workshops filled up early last year and we expect that trend to continue as more of our programs approach their limits, and although our schedule of classes is not currently complete, pre-registrations are strongly encouraged. While it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get all the classes you want, pre-registration definitely gives you the best chance at doing so. Folks may register with a tuition deposit of $100 and may reserve housing without a deposit. The deadline for pre-registration is Feb. 9. Pre-registrants will be sent a class schedule as soon as it is ready and given priority in class assignments. Full payment is required by June 1 to guarantee a space. After that date, class reservations will be unconfirmed until we receive the balance. If we are holding a space for a student in a class that is full, and their balance is unpaid after June 1, we may release that space to another student.
At present, we are completing our staff selections for next year, but many of our instructors have already confirmed. The online version of this newsletter will be continually updated with the most current staff roster. Here’s a peek at the 2018 lineup....
Traditional Song Week, July 1-7, promotes a wide variety of traditional singing styles. For next year, Coordinator Julee Glaub Weems and husband Mark Weems have invited Kingston Trio frontman George Grove, Dervish vocalist Cathy Jordan, Karl Scully from the Four Irish Tenors, gospel choir leader Kathy Bullock, Irish singer Len Graham, Master Music Maker and host of NPR’s Thistle & Shamrock Fiona Ritchie, multi-talented Appalachian musician Josh Goforth, seventh-generation Appalachian ballad singer Sheila Kay Adams, Nashville guitarist Tim May, folk songwriter Joe Newberry, folk veteran Ed Trickett, and Sing Out! Radio founder Matt Watroba. with guest artists Laura Boosinger and Tony Ellis.
Celtic Week, July 8-14, welcomes several new faces as well as a few we haven’t seen for a while. New next summer are Scottish fiddlers Alasdair White and Mari Black, guitarist Owen Marshall, singer & mandolinist Dave Curley and bodhran player Anna Colliton. Back after a brief hiatus are fiddler Manus McGuire and accordionist Damien Connolly who join whistle player Kathleen Conneely, fiddlers Liz Carroll, Martin Hayes, Katie McNally, Liz Knowles, and Andrew Finn Magill, Irish guitarist and singer John Doyle, Lúnasa’s Cillian Vallely & Kevin Crawford, guitarist Eamon O’Leary, Irish singer and flute player Nuala Kennedy, Celtic Week Host John Skelton, Dervish vocalist Cathy Jordan, ballad singer Len Graham, harper/concertina player Gráinne Hambly, piper Kieran O’Hare, harper Billy Jackson, sean nós dancer Siobhan Butler, Scottish singer Ed Miller, fret wizard Robin Bullock and more.
Old-Time Music & Dance Week, July 15-21, is one of the Gathering’s original programs and its oldest. Coordinator Erynn Marshall begins her second year with a killer staff of old-time greats, including Eddie Bond, Carl Jones, Ben Nelson,Travis Stuart, Ron Pen, Ellie Grace, Don Pedi, Carol Elizabeth Jones, Jared Boyd, Bob Carlin, Joe Decosimo, Karen Celia Heil, Luke Richardson, Cliff Hale, Tricia Spencer, Howard Rains, John Harrod, Sheila Kay Adams, John Hollandsworth, Kevin Kehrberg and Master Music Makers Phil Jamison and Alice Gerrard. We will continue our tradition of visits by special Guest Master Artists from the senior generation of local traditional performers throughout the week. Classes will include fiddle, clawhammer banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass, clogging, square dance, dance calling, southern harmony singing, string band, shaped-note singing and more.
Contemporary Folk Week, July 22-28, offers an inspiring week of artist development for all acoustic performers. Classes include songwriting, performance, vocal coaching and more, taught by an outstanding lineup of seasoned professionals passionate about their art and equally passionate about inspiring others to develop their own unique gifts. New to the staff this year are singer/songwriters John Gorka, Nora Jane Struthers and Master Music Maker and creative dynamo Joe Craven. We welcome back Grammy-winners Kathy Mattea, Tom Paxton, and Jon Vezner, folk veterans Ellis Paul, Vance Gilbert , Don Henry, Amy Speace and Peter Mulvey, the irrepressible Cliff Eberhardt, and vocal coaches Camela Widad and Siobhan Quinn.
Guitar Week, July 22-28, offers classes in fingerstyle and flatpicking guitar in a wide variety of styles as well as ukulele. Coordinator Al Petteway welcomes new staff, flatpickers Russ Barenberg and Tim May. They join fingerstylists Clive Carroll, Jamie Stillway and Mike Dowling, blues players Toby Walker, David Jacobs-Strain and Scott Ainslie, gypsy jazz player Greg Ruby, Celtic guitarist Robin Bullock and jazz guitarist Sean McGowan. Returning to Guitar Week after a hiatus are fingerstylists Bill Cooley, Adam Rafferty, Celtic guitarist Tony McManus and percussive fingerstylist Preston Reed. Patrick Landeza returns to teach Hawaiian slack-key guitar and orchestrate the end-of-week luau. Guitar tech Randy Hughes will offer maintenance tips, and this year’s Luthier’s Exhibit will again feature the guitars of master luthiers John Slobod, Michael Bashkin, John Kinnaird, and others, as well as a selection of amazing instruments from the inventory of Dream Guitars located in nearby Weaverville, NC.
Fiddle Week, July 29-August 4, will continue to explore a variety of fiddle styles and continue its integration with several features of Mando & Banjo Week. Coordinator Julia Weatherford is still recruiting a staff that currently includes bluegrass legend Byron Berline, the versatile, beyond-classical fiddlers Darol Anger, Jeremy Kittel, Evan Price and John Mailander, cajun master David Greely, Canadian fiddler Adrianna Ciccone, Swedish fiddler Andrea Hoag, old-time fiddlers Kilby Spencer and Kenny Jackson, gypsy jazz guitarist Greg Ruby, Irish fiddling great Liz Knowles and Brazilian choro fiddler Andrew Finn Magill, with Abby Newton on cello, Ethan Jodziewicz on bass and Nora Garver teaching beginners.
Mando & Banjo Week, July 29-August 4, features classes in bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, swing/jazz, newgrass & more for both instruments as well as a few classes in guitar accompaniment. The program continues to be integrated with Fiddle Week through common jams and Band Sessions that encourage players in both programs to form bands that will work up a few tunes throughout the week. Bluegrass greats Alan Munde and Bill Evans head up the banjo players, and Old-time pickers Paul Brown and Terri McMurray complete the banjo staff. The dazzling Mike Marshall leads the mandolin staff, which also features bluegrass greats Emory Lester, John Reischman and Alan Bibey, swing mandolinist Don Stiernberg, classical mandolinist Caterina Lichtenberg, and guitarist Ed Dodson. New this year are Steve James, who brings his blues chops to the mandolin, jazz & choro mandolinist Tim Connell and Mandolin for Dummies author Don Julin. The multi-talented David Surette also returns to teach classes in Irish mandolin/tenor banjo and guitar. We will again feature a Luthier’s Exhibit with several of the country’s best builders in the world of mandolin, violin and bowmaking. Lynn Dudenbostel will once again be onhand to offer repair services.