Guitar Week – July 24-30, 2022



The Covid-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges to the safe presentation of in-person gatherings of all types. For next summer, our safety protocols will be guided by the recommendations of the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Buncombe County Health Department and those of Warren Wilson College. We anticipate that these measures will continue to evolve in response to the progress of the virus, but as of this writing:
All participants, including children, must provide documentation, verified with a photo ID, that they have been fully vaccinated. Following the recommendations of both the NC Department of Health & Human Services and the Buncombe County Health Department, this includes a booster shot.
All participants must be masked and practice physical distancing while indoors.
Social dancing such as contra-, square- and ceili dancing will not be possible next summer due to physical distancing requirements.
Since we will attempt to create a ‘bubble of the vaccinated’ on our campus during the workshops, there will be no events open to the public, and we suggest that Gathering participants remain on campus throughout the week.
Participants will be updated throughout the spring of any changes or additions to these safety measures.


This year celebrates two significant events for the Swannanoa Gathering – a return to being ‘in-person’ and its 30th Anniversary. The combination of these will undoubtedly merit a joyful celebration through community and music. Since 1996, Guitar Week has celebrated acoustic guitar music with world-class players and instructors in the bucolic setting of the Warren Wilson College campus, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. As one of the finest programs of its kind in the world, Guitar Week has received both the Bronze and Silver Medal Player’s Choice Award for Music Camps by the readers of Acoustic Guitar magazine. Each year, Guitar Week attracts award-winning faculty, including this year’s Vicki Genfan (Guitar Player magazine’s 2008 “Guitar Superstar,”) Christie Lenée (2017 International Fingerstyle Guitar Champion),  and two of the Swannanoa Gathering’s Master Music Maker Award recipients – Al Petteway and Robin Bullock. We provide quality guitar instruction at every level and in multiple genres and traditions. Whether you are a beginner just learning your first chords, an intermediate player exploring a new genre or a gigging musician hoping to bring your playing to a new level, we can help you grow as a musician in a supportive community of acoustic guitar lovers. With classes in blues, slide guitar, bluegrass, jazz, Hot Club swing, Celtic, African fingerpicking, clawhammer guitar, composition, technique, beginning guitar, songwriting, singing, flatpicking, percussive and fingerstyle, we make an extra effort to have something for everyone at every class period. This year, we are delighted to welcome back some of our all-time favorite instructors from years past including Al Petteway, Mike Dowling and Vicki Genfan along with veteran staff Robin Bullock, Steve James, Sean McGowen, Scott Ainslie, Ed Dodson, Tony McManus, Christee Lenée, Steve Buaghman and Greg Ruby. Cory Ceznik made his “virtual” debut last year and we are excited to have him join us in-person for the first time as well as newcomers Paul Mehling and Danny Knicely. Our beginning level classes are for those students who aren’t quite ready for the intermediate-to-advanced levels, but we’ll still have plenty of choices for more advanced players, so please read the descriptions carefully before you decide where you belong – we want everyone to get the most out of their week. For the majority of our classes it is recommended that students play at an intermediate level: students should have mastered beginning skills, be able to tune their instruments, keep time, play scales cleanly, and know how to play a few tunes with confidence. Ed Dodson will be facilitating regular “slow jams” in the Pavilion where participants can learn easy songs at a slow pace. Our Luthiers Exhibit will feature guitars from a selection of the world’s most respected builders including John Slobod, Gage Halland and John Kinnaird. Guitar Week runs concurrently with Contemporary Folk Week, and students may take classes from either program.