Traditional Song Week – July 3-9, 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.


Traditional Song Week realizes the 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! This year, Traditional Song Week is proud to present a staff of highly influential singers and musicians who have remained devoted over the years to preserving and promoting traditional song. Our Community Gathering Time each day just after lunch affords us the opportunity to experience together, as one group, diverse topics concerning our shared love of traditional song. In the past, these special programs have featured such national treasures as Jean Ritchie, Peter Yarrow, Tom Paxton, John Cohen, Charlie Louvin, Fiona Ritchie, David Holt, Tim O’Brien, Josh Goforth, Betty Smith, Dáithí Sproule, Aidan O’Hara, Freddy LaBour, Cathie Ryan, Bobby McMillon, Brian Peters, Doug and Darcy Orr, Cathy Jordan, Robin & Linda Williams, Sheila Kay Adams, Beth Magill, Alan Reid, Len Graham, Tony Ellis, Laura Boosinger and others. This year’s spotlight will feature interviews conducted by our beloved Thistle and Shamrock radio host, Scotland’s own Fiona Ritchie. Fiona will air the programs on her show during the year, and it is always a special treat watching her in action! We will have some extra special visits with John McCutcheon, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Aoife Clancy, Anne Hills, and Gathering Director Jim Magill.

This summer will feature classes in gospel, bluegrass, Carter Family songs, songs from Ireland, England, Scotland, North Carolina mountain ballads, old-country, folk songs, arranging for a band, songwriting in the tradition, African songs, finding your own voice and style, choosing your songs, performance, shape-note, duet harmony, music theory, community singing, singing with instruments, and more! We will include numerous opportunities for students to perform in addition to the student showcase on Friday. There will be opportunities to apply what you’ve learned to the delight of other students and staff throughout the week. We will feature nightly concerts and singing sessions, ample opportunities to mix with other singers, as well as our midday Community Gatherings. Bring a friend and come join us for a week you will never forget!