Fall Newsletter 2024 – Coming Next Summer

Dates for the 2024 workshops:

Mando & Banjo Week, June 30-July 6
Fiddle Week, June 30-July 6
Traditional Song Week, July 7-13
Celtic Week, July 14-20
Old-Time Week, July 21-27
Contemporary Folk Week, July 28-August 3
Guitar Week, July 28-August 3

We’re pleased to announce that our workshops next summer will again be held in-person, for what we hope will be a permanent return to our usual event. Next year we will not require vaccination against Covid, although we strongly recommend that all participants get the latest booster shot. as always, we will be guided by the recommendations of the CDC, and the Health departments of the state of North Carolina and Buncombe County. Look for more information in our spring catalog.

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. Classes usually have a maximum of 15 students. 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.

Many of our workshops fill up early 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. 6. If your contact info has changed, please send us your updated info. 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 May 31 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 May 31, we may release that space to another student.

Warren Wilson summer adult learning classes are back after a great inaugural season in 2023! World-wide trips in May will include a Civil Rights tour of the South, Performing Arts and Rituals in Bali, and Traditional Music and Dance in Ireland with our own Phil Jamison.

On-campus classes plan to include crafts such as fiber arts, fine woodworking and blacksmithing, as well as Appalachian and natural history. Classes will be offered in the last two weeks in May as well as many running concurrently with Traditional Song, Celtic and Old-Time Weeks.

For more information, please sign up for the Mountain Term newsletter on the website: www.wwcmountainterm.com

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.

Fiddle Week, June 30-July 6, explores such fiddle styles as bluegrass, old-time, progressive, swing, blues/improv, Irish, western swing and more and will continue its integration with several features of Mando & Banjo Week. Coordinator Andrew Finn Magill’s staff currently includes our Master Music Maker and improv wildman Joe Craven, swing fiddler Evan Price, Irish fiddling great Liz Knowles, jazz fiddler Sara Caswell, six-time National Fiddle Champion Katie Glassman, old-time fiddlers Libby Weitnauer and Emma McDowell, and progressive fiddler Natalya Weinstein. The program also includes bassist Kevin Kehrberg, and gypsy jazz guitarist Greg Ruby. The program’s Luthiers Exhibit will include bowmaker Sarah Bystrom Andal and violin maker Gordon Gross.

Mando & Banjo Week, June 30-July 6, features classes in bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, swing/jazz, newgrass & more, as well as a few classes in guitar accompaniment. The program continues to be integrated with Fiddle Week and there’s a lot of collaboration between the two programs throughout the week. Mike Marshall heads up the mandolin staff, which also includes new staff member David Benedict, a founding member of the IBMA-winning group, Mile Twelve, bluegrass players John Reischman, Emory Lester, Casey Campbell and Alan Bibey, progressive mandolinist Matt Flinner, classical master Caterina Lichtenberg, and guitarist Ed Dodson. This year Joe K. Walsh will be teaching swing and Celtic musician Alan Murray does double duty on Irish guitar and bouzouki. Bill Evans will be instructing the bluegrass banjo players, and old-time pickers Matt Brown and Rachel Eddy will teach clawhammer-style banjo. Famed luthier Lynn Dudenbostel will once again be on hand to offer repair services.

Traditional Song Week, July 7-13, promotes a wide variety of traditional singing styles. For next year, Coordinator Matt Watroba welcomes Irish singer Cathie Ryan, ballad singers Saro Lynch Thomason, Sam Gleaves and National Heritage Award winner Sheila Kay Adams, Americana singer Susan Cattaneo, Reggie Harris, with songs from the African American experience, American roots artist Kay Justice, maritime and sea shandy specialist Chris Koldeway, multi-talented Appalachian musician Josh Goforth, and gospel singers Rev. Robert Jones, Pamela English and Shirley Smith.

For Celtic Week, July 14-20, returning staff include fiddlers Liz Knowles, Colin Farrell, Brian Conway, Mari Black, Andrew Finn Magill, Jenna Moynihan and Caitlin Warbelow. New to Celtic Week are Scottish singer Allan Carr, flute player Josh Dukes, dancer Shannon Dunne, and mandolin and tenor banjo player Shane Farrell. Other staff include whistle players Sean Gavin and Kathleen Conneely, Chieftains guitarist Will MacMorran, bodhran player Anna Colliton, Irish singers Cathie Ryan and Dave Curley, Irish guitarist and singer John Doyle, Lúnasa’s Cillian Vallely and Kevin Crawford, guitarist Eamon O’Leary, Irish singer and flute player Nuala Kennedy, Celtic Week Host John Skelton, harper/concertina player Gráinne Hambly, harper Billy Jackson and fret wizard Robin Bullock.

Old-Time Music & Dance Week, July 21-27, is one of the Gathering’s original programs and its oldest. For 2024, Coordinator Erynn Marshall has recruited another fine group of old-time players, featuring Phil Jamison, Ron Pen, Rhys Jones, Rodney Sutton, John Hollandsworth, Tessa McCoy, Chance McCoy, AJ Scrubas, Rina Rossi, Earl White, Gordy Hinners, Ellie Grace, Reed Stutz, Kelli Jones, Chas Justice, Ben Nelson, Gina Dilg, Meredith McIntosh, John Herrmann, Cary Moskovitz, Mark Olitsky, Cary Fridley, Aaron O’Rourke and Carl Jones. Guest Master Artists include Bruce Greene & Don Pedi, Thomas Maupin & Daniel Rothwell. Classes will include fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, autoharp, bass, clogging, dance calling, harmony singing, string band, shaped-note singing and more.

Contemporary Folk Week, July 28- August 3, 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 Tyler Ramsey  and Crys Matthews. We welcome back Grammy-winning songwriter Don Henry, singer/songwriters John Gorka, Nora Jane Struthers, Cliff Eberhardt, Ellis Paul, David Wilcox, Greg Greenway and Vance Gilbert. Singers Laurie MacAllister of Red Molly and Elise Witt will serve as the vocal coaching staff, and Joe Craven will inspire your creativity.

Guitar Week, July 28- August 3, offers classes in fingerstyle and flatpicking guitar in a wide variety of styles. This summer’s program will be dedicated to the memory of Al Petteway, who was our first Guitar Week Coordinator and served in that role for more than two decdes. New this year is versatile guitarist Josh Turner, and Coordinator Greg Ruby brings back a number of old friends including Master Music Maker Robin Bullock, slack-key guitarist Patrick Landeza, and Ray Chesna, multi-genre virtuoso Clive Carroll, Celtic guitarist Tony McManus, jazz guitarist Sean McGowan, bluegrass player Ed Dodson, blues guitarists Toby Walker and Scott Ainslie, percussive innovator Vicki Genfan, multi-instrumentalist Danny Knicely and Brazilian choro player Cesar Garabini. This year’s Luthier’s Exhibit will feature the guitars of master luthiers John Slobod (www.circaguitars.com), Judson Riviere (www.riviereguitars.com/) and more.