News Updates

July 31, 2020

This summer’s staff videos were a huge hit, so we thought we’d give everyone else an opportunity to express their appreciation to the staff in short videos of their own on a Community Thanks Videos page.  If you’d like to contribute, make a short 2-3 minute video thanking the staff and send it directly to Director Jim Magill.


June 26, 2020

Many of this summer’s staff have made short video greetings for their students, which you can find here at the Staff Videos page. Each program’s videos will only be available during their week, so be sure to check the page daily to see whose video will appear next!!


April 24, 2020

Find out how by going to the top of the ‘About Us’ tab or just click here.


April 17, 2020


All of us are saddened by the cancellation of this summer’s Gathering, and some have expressed disappointment at learning about it from social media rather than directly from us. 

In these times when information can be posted, passed on, commented upon, tweeted and re-tweeted around the world in a matter of hours or even minutes, it is very difficult for us to stay out in front with the timing of our messaging, so let me briefly describe what was our plan for informing people of the cancellation.

First of all, we are a program of Warren Wilson College, and the college’s administration decides whether or not to run the event. It’s not our place to say anything until the college makes an official decision about it, which happened when President Morton posted the cancellation announcement on the college’s website late on Wednesday. I wasn’t aware of the exact time that she had done so. 

Once a decision had been made, our plan was to notify the Program Coordinators first, as a courtesy, so they could begin informing their instructor staff. Next to be notified would be our Admin Team, vendors and other support staff, while Kimberly Ann prepared the announcement to be sent to all current registrants regarding refunds. Meanwhile, we would announce the cancellation on our website.

Yesterday morning, I learned from a Coordinator that the news was already out. This was a bit of a surprise, but I was able to personally contact each Program Coordinator by phone within a few hours. Since the cancellation was now public, we then posted the statement we had prepared about it here (the little ‘latest news’ box in the lower right of the homepage has bold, red text to draw the eye, with two links in the text to this page, where the complete and rather lengthy announcement is printed below).

The Admin Team, vendors and other support staff were notified by email this morning. The instructor staff in our various programs are being notified by their Coordinators.

While the loss of this year’s Gathering is tremendously disappointing to our loyal attendees, it’s an even greater blow to our instructors, most of whom are full-time performing artists who have seen their incomes decimated by this event, and we have tried to be sensitive to their needs first. We are in the process of exploring ways we can help to support our artists, so please keep checking our website periodically for more information. 

I apologize to those who feel they should have been notified earlier or in a more personal way, but the web has taken away our ability to control the dissemination of information, and we have tried to be as thoughtful and efficient as we can in letting folks know.

I hope you all have a great summer and Kimberly Ann and I will hope to see you in 2021.

Keep safe and well,
Jim Magill, Director


April 16, 2020

It is our sad duty to inform you all that Warren Wilson College has CANCELLED the 2020 Swannanoa Gathering due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

We don’t imagine this comes as much of a surprise to any of you, and while it is disappointing that so much hard work by our Coordinators, instructors, office staff and volunteers in preparation for the event will not be rewarded by another magical summer of music, the health and safety of the Gathering community is, and should be, paramount.

Here is the official announcement from the college’s President, Dr. Lynn Morton:

After much discussion and careful consideration of the impact on attendees and guests at our wonderful, traditional summer programming and events, Warren Wilson College has determined that we must cancel ALL on-campus programs and events from mid-May through August. Typically, our campus is alive in the summer with music from the Swannanoa Gathering and the Carolina Chamber Music Festival and bustling with activity from summer camps, low residency Warren Wilson master’s programs, and other groups meeting in our beautiful mountain setting in the valley. It is hard to imagine a summer at Warren Wilson without music, writing, craft and friends on campus. However, the uncertainty about the trajectory of COVID-19 in the coming months and the likelihood of an extended stay-at-home order, along with concern about the health and safety of all who visit here, has led to the difficult realization that canceling events and taking our summer masters programs online is the responsible thing to do. Our campus will remain closed to the public until the beginning of our Fall term in late August. We eagerly look forward to resuming our summer activities in 2021.

After nearly three decades, it will be very strange for us not to be welcoming another eager, happy bunch of musicians to our mountains this summer. But the Gathering will be back.

2021 will be the 30th Anniversary of the Swannanoa Gathering and we’re planning on celebrating!

Here are the 2021 dates:

June 27-July 3, Fiddle Week/
Mando & Banjo Week

July 4-10, Traditional Song Week
July 11-17, Celtic Week
July 18-24, Old-Time Week
July 25-31, Guitar Week/
Contemporary Folk Week

Look for more information in the fall, and we hope all of you can join us in the summer of 2021 as we reaffirm our commitment to celebrate the priceless folk heritage we share as a community, through smiles and laughter, timeless music, dance and song.

Keep Well,
Jim Magill, Director
Kimberly Ann Clark, Operations Manager


March 13, 2020

Warren Wilson College and The Swannanoa Gathering team are continuing to monitor information from the CDC and state and local health departments to determine the best course of action, in regards to this summer’s Gathering. We currently expect restrictions and concerns regarding COVID-19 to have subsided, with no outstanding risk, by the time of the Gathering this July. We will continue to monitor this situation and will alert all registrants to any change to the workshops.

We recommended all those booking flights to be mindful of airline cancellation policies and consider flight insurance. We advise staying up-to-date with, and following, any CDC and health department guidelines and directives.

Warm regards,
The Swannanoa Gathering


March 11, 2020

The 2020 Catalog is now online. General Registration opens March 16, 11am EDT.

February 17, 2020

Online Pre-registration is now closed. General Registration opens March 16.

December 2, 2019

Welcome to our new Operations Manager, Kimberly Ann Clark. While new to the Gathering, Kimberly Ann is a seasoned pro in operations and events. She is looking forward to being surrounded by the passion, heart, and talent of the Gathering family this summer.

December 1, 2019

Online Pre-registration is now open. Find the link to ‘2020 Pre-Registration‘ under the ‘Register‘ tab in the top navbar, or simply click here. Pre-registration closes at 5pm on Friday, Feb. 7.

September 15, 2019

Here are the dates for the 2020 Swannanoa Gathering:

June 28-July 4: Mando & Banjo Week
June 28-July 4: Fiddle Week
July 5-11: Traditional Song Week
July 12-18: Celtic Week
July 19-25: Old-Time Week
July 26-August 1: Guitar Week
July 26-August 1: Contemp. Folk Week


December 1, 2019

Here’s a list, in alphabetical order, of the staff confirmations we’ve received so far for the 2020 workshops.

Joe Craven
Casey Driessen
Colin Farrell
Kenny Jackson
Kevin Kehrberg
Bronwyn Keith-Hynes
Jenna Moynihan
Evan Price
Greg Ruby
Tricia Spencer
April Verch
Julia Weatherford
Natalya Weinstein

Mando & Banjo
Alan Bibey
Paul Brown
Ed Dodson
Lynn Dudenbostel
Bill Evans
Matt Flinner
Conor Hearn
Steve James
Caterina Lichtenberg
Mike Marshall
Terri McMurray
John Reischman
Don Stiernberg
Tony Trischka
Joe K. Walsh
Radim Zenkl

Traditional Song
Sheila Kay Adams
Kathy Bullock
Josh Goforth
Reggie Harris
Cathy Jordan
Tim May
Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh
Joe Newberry
Ranger Doug
Fiona Ritchie
Karl Scully
Dáithí Sproule
Matt Watroba
Julee Glaub Weems
Mark Weems

Mari Black
Robin Bullock
Siobhan Butler
Liz Carroll
Anna Colliton
Dave Cory
Kevin Crawford
Dave Curley
John Doyle
Len Graham
Grainne Hambly
Brian Holleran
Winifred Horan
Billy Jackson
Nuala Kennedy
Liz Knowles
Will MacMorran
Andrew Finn Magill
Katie McNally
Ed Miller
Gerry O’Connor
Kieran O’Hare
Eamon O’Leary
Laura Risk
John Skelton
Dáithí Sproule
Cillian Vallely
Caitlin Warbelow
John Whelan

Eddie Bond
Bob Carlin
Jeff Claus
M.J. Epps
Nokosee Fields
Kevin Fore
Cary Fridley
Ellie Grace
Rick Good
Charlie Hartness
Nancy Hartness
John Herrmann
Becky Hill
Gordy Hinners
Judy Hyman
Rhys Jones
Trish Kilby-Fore
Paul Kovac
Sharon Leahy-Good
Erynn Marshall
Karen Mueller
Ben Nelson
Ron Pen
Emily Schaad
Beverly Smith
Kirk Sutphin
Rodney Sutton
Lloyd Wright

Contemporary Folk
Joe Craven
Cliff Eberhardt
Vance Gilbert
John Gorka
Don Henry
Janis Ian
Laurie MacAllister
Kathy Mattea
Ellis Paul
Tom Paxton
Kim Richardson
Nora Jane Struthers
Jon Vezner
Camela Widad
David Wilcox

Scott Ainslie
Steve Baughman
Gonzalo Bergara
Robin Bullock
Clive Carroll
Ed Dodson
Mike Dowling
Grant Gordy
David Jacobs-Strain
Steve James
Sean McGowan
Tony McManus
Al Petteway
Gerald Ross
Greg Ruby
Cory Seznec
Jamie Stillway
Yasmin Williams