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Week 1

Classes & Teachers - 2016

Class Levels

1. Beginner

2. Advanced Beginner

3. Intermediate

4. Advanced

5. Expert

WEEK 1: July 10-16

Russ Barenberg

Grammy nominated acoustic guitarist Russ Barenberg is known for his melodic playing, beautiful tone, and memorable instrumental compositions. Long at the creative forefront of the acoustic music scene, Russ has collaborated with many of its finest artists, including Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck, Alison Krauss, Tony Trischka, Mark O’Connor, Jesse Winchester and legendary jazz bassist, Charlie Haden. His playing has graced numerous film soundtracks, most notably Ken Burns’ documentary, The Civil War and the 2010 release, Get Low, starring Robert Duvall and Bill Murray. Television audiences have gotten to know Russ over the past 19 years for his work on the acclaimed BBC music programs, The Transatlantic Sessions. His most recent album, When at Last, adds to an “exquisitely original” body of work with more vibrant new melodies and rich ensemble interplay. The CD earned Russ a Grammy nomination for Best Country Instrumental Performance and was nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association Instrumental Album of the Year.

Flatpicking (level 2–3) Explore the fundamentals of flatpicking, including basic yet interesting rhythm guitar, and an introduction to melodic playing, including Carter Family style and simple fiddle tunes.

More Flatpicking (level 4–5) Russ will teach a couple of his own tunes, including melodies, harmonies, and accompaniment parts. Improve tone and timing, play with more sustain, fluidity, pulse, and dynamics. Learn melodies and use them to generate strong solos.

Mark Bosnian

Mark Bosnian is an award-winning songwriter (Grand Prize-Portland Music Assoc. Songwriter’s Contest) and was voted into The Oregon Music Hall Of Fame in 2001. His CD “Shed My Skin” was chosen by Performing Songwriter Magazine as one of the top independent releases. As a member of national acts Nu Shooz and Body & Soul, he toured the U.S. and played on The Pat Sajack Show and The NBC Today Show. He has taught singing nationally and internationally (his voice seminars are very popular in Brazil) for over 20 years and is the author of Sing Free Now! 3 Steps to Power, Passion and Confidence.

How to Sing with Confidence (level 1–3) Discover how to breathe, project, sing high and low notes efficiently, and control your tone. Experience your confident voice through exercises, songs, and performance opportunities.

How to Sing Harmony (level 2–4) Learn the nuts and bolts of creating harmony from scratch—singing close harmony, and singing the parts above and below the melody, in major and minor keys.

Tim Connell


A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and a virtuoso mandolinist with over twenty years professional performing experience, Tim Connell has created a sophisticated and original global style on the mandolin. Widely regarded as one of the top North American interpreters of the Brazilian choro style on the mandolin, Tim has also developed his own unique voice for the instrument, described in a Mandolin Magazine cover story as “fiery and energetic, soulful and evocative.”

Beautiful and Fun Beginner Mandolin (level 1–2) We’ll go from holding the pick and instrument to basic strumming and picking. Take a three-note song on the A-string, embellish it with double-stops, slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs, move it to other strings, and more.

Beyond Bluegrass Mandolin Chords (level 3–4) Learn easy three-finger chords for rhythm and blues changes in G major—chords that reappear throughout the jazz repertoire. Handouts provided.

William Coulter


William Coulter is an internationally acclaimed master of the guitar. His most recent recording, “Toward the Sun,” with Irish flutist Brian Finnegan, is an eclectic collection of traditional and new music. Upcoming projects include “A Celtic Journey,” with the Omaha Symphony featuring full orchestra and traditional Irish band, singers, and dancers, and a tour and recording with the Canadian violin virtuoso Edwin Huizinga.

Beginning Fingerstyle (level 2) Explore basic right- and left-hand technique, including picking patterns and how to use them with basic chord progressions. Adventure out of standard tuning into the wonderful world of DADGAD.

Intermediate Celtic Guitar in DADGAD (level 3) Learn how to come up with a basic accompaniment for an Irish jig, reel, or song using fingerstyle and strumming techniques.

Chuck Ervin


Bassist Chuck Ervin performs swing music with the Sylvia Herold Ensemble, American roots music with Euphonia, classic country with the Mike Stadler & Mary Gibbons Band, jazz and pop with guitarist Chris Grampp, and has worked with a score of other CCMC alums. He studied jazz bass with Glenn Richman, bassist for famed vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, and teaches bass at Berkeley’s venerable Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, at music camps, and at his Oakland home.

Easy Bass (level 1–2) Study basic theory and technique. Play bluegrass, country, folk, and blues. Learn the root-fifth approach, plus bass runs. All basses welcome.

Taking Your First Bass Solos (level 3–4) If you break into a sweat when your bandmates turn and shout “Bass solo!” this class is for you. Learn to use melody, melody, melody (oh, and some chords and scales) to improvise your solos. All basses welcome.

Topher Gayle


Topher Gayle writes funny songs and pretty instrumentals, and he likes to lay down grooves to get dancers moving. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s a popular teacher and accompanist, and also makes resonator instruments. He plays lots of stringed instruments and some percussion. He wants to jam with you! Pretty nearly any style, any time. Let’s do it!

Which End Is Up? Beginning Guitar (level 1) Want to play the world’s most popular instrument? Brush up on the very basics? We’ll start at the beginning, and move SLOWLY. By the end of the week, you’ll be strumming a song or two.

Songwriting Is Fun! (level 1–3) Creativity is the key in this fun, non-judgmental, inclusive, relaxed, supportive class. We’ll discuss lyrics, melody, and chord structures; we’ll write some songs, and sing them for each other. Lots of fun and laughs!

Nina Gerber


Nina Gerber has been playing guitar for over 30 years. She toured and recorded with singer-songwriter Kate Wolf from 1978 until Kate’s death in 1986. Since then, Nina has performed and/or recorded with Nanci Griffith, Greg Brown, Ferron, Tom Paxton, Karla Bonoff and Kenny Edwards, Lucy Kaplansky, Mollie O’Brien, and many others. Nina attended the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, where she learned how to torture her students with scales and arpeggios.

Theory Applied to Guitar (level 2–5) Play lead and backup guitar. This class uses the C-A-G-E-D method to provide an overview of the fretboard. Learn to build major scales and then to alter them to give you the sounds you are looking for. We’ll go slowly and thoroughly.

Play Well with Others (level 3–5) An ensemble class that focuses on finding the groove, and coming up with musical ideas that enhance the song arrangement. BYOR (bring your own repertoire). All instruments welcome.

Evie Ladin


The polyrhythmic heat of Evie Ladin’s clawhammer banjo, resonant voice, real stories and rhythmic dance have been heard from A Prairie Home Companion to Celtic Connections, Lincoln Center to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Known as a driving force behind San Francisco’s Stairwell Sisters, and three CDs into her solo career, she is a banjo player, step-dancer, singer, songwriter and square-dance caller with a lifetime of experience in traditional American cultural arts. Evie started playing banjo at the age of 8, clogging since 5, and is fluid in these traditional Appalachian arts, even as she brings an urban edge and contemporary vision to her own stories, and deep interpretations of old songs. Based in Oakland, CA, Evie tours solo, duo with Keith Terry, or with her neo-trad kinetic folk Evie Ladin Band. Evie also tours with Keith Terry & Crosspulse, performing rhythm-based multi-cultural music & dance works. She teaches banjo, harmony singing and dance and calls rowdy square dances in the San Francisco Bay Area when you can find her there.

Dancing with Others (level 2–3) Sharing weight, swinging your partner, leading, following—dancing with others is hugely satisfying and easily learned. Dance in step with any partner. Learn the two-step in different styles from swing to square dance and more.

Clawhammer Banjo (level 2–4) What is that rhythmic whomp that makes clawhammer banjo so funky? Use ear training to help you accompany songs and make the leap from learning tunes by rote to picking them up at jam sessions

Peter Langston


Peter Langston has been playing acoustic music since he was 11 years old and seems to play every instrument in every style. He has performed with such diverse artists as Doc Watson, Clark Terry, Roland White, Johnny Gimble, Mike Seeger, Chill Wills, and Reverend Gary Davis. He’s active in recording and is a popular teacher at music and dance camps (Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Sierra Swing, American Banjo Camp, Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop, CBA Music Camp—and, of course, CCMC).

Instigator As Instigator, Peter helps students find the right classes, helps connect people with similar interests, helps newcomers find their way around, helps start jams, and generally serves as a sociomusical tour guide and source of encouragement. If you’ve got a question, worry, or idea, talk to Peter!

Casey MacGill


Casey MacGill performs music that swings. He plays boogie-woogie, swing, and stride piano, blows lyrical cornet, but his unique instrumental voice is a 6-string tenor ukulele.

Casey grew up in Southern California and has pursued his musical passion well over 40 years. He studied music at Pasadena City College with Gary Foster, lessons with Warne Marsh, further studies at Cal State LA with Buddy Collette in addition to the classical music curriculum.

MacGill has performed on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show, the movie Frances, and was in the original cast of the Broadway show Swing!, opening the show playing the uke and contributing five tunes to the score.

He and his bands have toured in Australia, Japan, played swing camps in England, France, Italy, Sweden, and North Korea. He teaches at ukulele camps; for Centrum in Port Townsend, the Wine Country Ukulele Festival in St. Helena, CA, and others. You can find his music on CD Baby and lots of clips on YouTube.

My Three Strums (level 1–2) Learn strums used all the time in ukulele playing: swing, shuffle, and rumba. All have a strong rhythm and can make you an invaluable part of a jam or a rhythm section for dancing.

Connective Tissue (level 3–4) We’ll look at old standards with similar chord changes and learn how to play them on the uke. When you learn one, you’re actually learning several. Handouts provided.

Tony Marcus


Since realizing at age 16 that people could make music themselves, Tony Marcus has pursued that goal with joy and abandon. Learning to play most acoustic stringed instruments, he has found himself playing many styles of music. He has played bluegrass with Frank Wakefield, jug band music and blues with Geoff Muldaur, string swing with Cats & Jammers, big band jazz with the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, weird old Hawaiian and hokum with R. Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders, and western swing with Lost Weekend. He also has a career in theatre, appearing in shows all over the United States for the last 24 years. He currently performs with Patrice Haan in the vocal duo Leftover Dreams.

Ears to Chord Progressions (level 2–3) Identify common chord progressions by their distinctive sounds. Much the same as you can recognize the taste of garlic in food, you can learn to hear those spicy chords as well!

The One-Person Swing Rhythm Section (level 4–5) If you’re not lucky enough to have a swinging bass player and drummer accompanying you, learn how to combine a moving bass line, well-voiced chords, and the feel of a Basie drummer’s hi-hat—all with one guitar.

Greg Schochet


Greg Schochet is a full-time performer, teacher and producer in Boulder, Colorado. Equally adept on guitar and mandolin, he is fluent in many acoustic and electric styles, including bluegrass, swing, new acoustic and country. He currently is the lead guitarist for Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams, Colorado’s beloved honky-tonk band, who have played everywhere from flatbed trucks to Red Rocks and Prairie Home Companion. Greg is an integral part of Colorado’s thriving roots music scene, and is a sought after instructor, session player, producer, and collaborator.

Cabins, Trains, and the Old Home Place—Bluegrass Repertoire (level 1–3) We’ll cover jam standards by the giants of bluegrass, with all of the common chord progressions. Open to all voices and instruments using open chords and a capo.

It Don’t Mean a Thing—Your First Swing Lead (level 3) What makes a lead sound swingy? Well, there are the notes, and how you play them. We’ll talk about simple arpeggios, cool chord tones, and how to get your right hand swinging.

Alan Senauke


Alan Senauke has been involved in roots music as a performer, student, and writer for more than fifty years, with a particular love for Southern folk styles. Alan was a founding member of the Fiction Brothers, Blue Flame String Band, and the Bluegrass Intentions. He has also been a member of Country Cooking, High Country, the Midnight Rambers (Cajun). In the 1970s Alan was editor of Sing Out! Magazine, and he is known to have an encyclopedic memory for great old songs. He is a masterful guitarist, with numerous recordings and a wealth of skills to share.

Beginning Flatpicking (level 2) Playing country and bluegrass songs, we’ll learn how to accompany ourselves and others simply. We’ll move from the basics of holding a flatpick to nuanced approaches for supporting songs with your guitar.

First Flatpick Solos (level 3) The path to effective soloing lies just under our fingers, often in the simple chord positions we all know. Ornamentation and improvisation can unfold from there. We’ll work on one song per day, building a language of positions and licks.

Cosy Sheridan


Cosy Sheridan first caught the attention of national folk audiences when she won the songwriting contests at both the Kerrville Folk Festival and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 1992. She has been performing, writing and recording ever since. West Side Folk called her “one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful songwriters.” Her latest CD, Pretty Bird, was included in Sing Out Magazine’s “Great CDs of 2014.”

Her concerts are wide-ranging explorations: love songs for adults and practical philosophy for a complicated world. She has written about the stock market crash of 2008 and fall-out from uranium mining in the American southwest. She has re-written Greek myths: Persephone runs away with Hades the biker. And then there are her signature parodies on aging and women. Her lyrical dexterity is backed by her distinctive percussive guitar style.

For the past 20 years she has taught classes in songwriting, performance and guitar at workshops and adult music camps across the country at such camps as The Swannanoa Gathering, California Coast Music Camp, and WUMB radio’s Summer Acoustic Music Week. In 2008 she founded the Moab Folk Camp in Moab, Utah.

Performance and Stagecraft (level 2–4) Each of us has a distinctive performer within—and this week we will help you find it. How can we be in our song, and in our body and in the moment on stage? And what about the microphone...?

Write a Song This Week! (level 3–5) We’ll look at where to find inspiration, and then how to build a song with it, what tools can help, and how to know when it’s done. We’ll use games, exercises, and the group to help us along.

Julian Smedley


Violinist/guitarist Julian Smedley lives in the Pacific Northwest drawing on his nuanced and varied musical skills to produce CDs, perform with vintage jazz combos, play in an acoustic country band, a jazz chamber orchestra and teach music at the Waldorf high school. He also directs fiddlekids camp in Berkeley and is a consultant/instructor for Centrum’s 2016 Vintage Jazz workshop.

Camp Instrumentalist As Camp Instrumentalist, Julian will be on call to provide leads and backup for classes and performances. All you need do is ask!

BowFinger (level 3–5) Want to bond with your fiddle? Come armed with a tune and learn some targeted ways to help you play and practice. Useful tips will help you improve your performance, leaving you stirred but not shaken.

Suze Spencer


Suze Spencer was raised in the family fold of The Sons Of The Pioneers, singing complex harmonies with her great aunties and chunking chords with her Grandpa Jack. Her childhood was enriched with songs and stories of their youth in Missouri, Texas and high prairies of northeastern New Mexico. Suze has received critical acclaim as a rhythm guitarist, has been teaching and mentoring music for over 30 years, works in the music publishing industry, and is actively involved worldwide in the preservation of music as cultural heritage.

Western Swing Repertoire (level 2–4) Visit the early days of Milton Brown, Bob Wills, Tex Williams, Pee Wee King, Fred Rose, Cindy Walker, and more. Great fun!

Introduction to Swing Rhythm Guitar (level 3) Welcome to the miracle world of movable four-note chords. Glide up and down the neck in any key with confidence.

Jamie Stillway


Ever since bursting onto the scene in the early 2000s, Jamie Stillway has been a fixture at guitar festivals and camps, as well as her local Portland, Oregon acoustic music scene. As her recordings demonstrate, she is equally at home in solo and band settings, and her quirky original style is heavily influenced by early jazz and ragtime styles. Jazz Times aptly described her approach to the guitar by saying that, “Stillway moves freely and with wit and creative restlessness, between the worlds of, say, Leo Kottke and Django Reinhardt.”

Picks Well with Others (level 3) As it turns out, fingerstyle guitar is not just for solo musicians. With just a few basic patterns under your fingers, you can add surprising new elements to your playing and dazzle your friends.

Fingerstyle and Beyond: Expanding Your Repertoire (level 3–5) It’s time to get geeky, and learn some fingerpicking standards—the “Smoke on the Water” and “Stairway to Heaven” of fingerpicking, as it were. The exception being that you’ll learn the whole tune, not just the intro.

Week 2

Class Levels

1. Beginner

2. Advanced Beginner

3. Intermediate

4. Advanced

5. Expert

WEEK 2: July 17-23
Lissy Abraham


Lissy Abraham is a Bay Area singer/songwriter and a CCMC founder. She’s the lead vocalist and bass player in the Ballistic Cats, a roots rock band.

Instigator As Instigator, Lissy helps set the friendly, supportive tone that pervades the CCMC experience. She helps people with similar musical interests find each other, gets jams rolling, helps students find classes that fit their needs, and provides both information and encouragement.

Roger Ferguson


Roger Ferguson is a national flatpicking guitar champion and has been teaching music since 1978. A patient teacher, Roger will go over and over a passage, lick or concept until students are confident they know it. He teaches guitar, mandolin and fiddle from many styles and encourages students to become musically independent by teaching them HOW to learn music. Roger’s instructional columns have been published in Guitar Player Magazine, and many on his students have gone on to become professional musicians, audio engineers, and/or music educators.

In 1979 Roger took first place in the Winfield National Flatpick Guitar Championship, and placed in the semi-finals on mandolin. He toured nationally in the 80’s with “The Shoppe,” playing electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. They would regularly open for country-western acts such as Merle Haggard, Doug Kershaw, and Emmylou Harris. He spent 20 years in the Northwest duo Double Stop, and continues to share his tricks of the trade on guitar and bass at Olympic College in Poulsbo. Roger has been using SKYPE software for teaching for several years and maintains a number of private students at his home studio in Poulsbo.

Roger grew up in the Pacific Northwest with music in his blood, as both grandfathers were fiddlers, and his Midwestern parents were also musicians. When Roger was twelve, he started learning mandolin from his father and was soon performing with local acts in the area. He cut his teeth on old Bill Monroe records, and cites Bob Wills, Don Reno, Doc Watson, and Django Reinhardt as major influences.

Beginning Flatpick (level 2) Explore all the basics of flatpick guitar: technique, scales, runs, licks, basic repertoire, etc. We’ll start here and move into other territory as the class evolves.

Lick-Stringing 101 (level 4–5) We’ll take a couple of standard flatpick hot licks and really look at what’s involved in stringing them together to form hot flatpick solos. They are great tools for jamming!

Cathy Fink


Cathy Fink is a two-time GRAMMY Award winner with her partner, Marcy Marxer. Her musical specialties include old-time country, bluegrass, swing and other roots styles. Cathy is a master of the five-string clawhammer banjo style and also plays guitar, ukulele and fiddle. She writes original songs and instrumental tunes and has won the John Lennon Songwriting contest, USA Songwriting Contest, and has had her songs recorded by artists worldwide. Her forty year career includes tours of the US, Canada, Japan, China, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, The British Isles, Israel and South Africa.

Nat Hentoff of The Progressive and Village Voice stated, “Her sound, phrasing, and resilient time combine with a compelling presence.”


Songwriter’s Toolkit (level 1–3) Whether you’re writing your first song or looking for ways to expand and improve, you will learn tools of the trade, practice techniques, and devices that can further your efforts.

Join the Band (level 2–4) More than a jam session, we’ll create band arrangements of songs and “play well with others” in a fun, supportive, multi-genre environment. All instruments and voices welcome.

Mary Gibbons


Mary Gibbons has played and sung bluegrass and country music with the Fog City Ramblers, The All Girl Boys, Laurie Lewis and Her Bluegrass Pals, Michael Stadler, and others. Her playing and singing are in evidence on a number of recordings by some of the above bands and various other artists.

Described as a “…strong, stylish singer” in Bluegrass Unlimited, Mary is a member of a short list of soulful California-bred, female bluegrass vocalists. Her powerful voice adapts easily to any style, be it emotive country, gutsy blues or straight-ahead bluegrass. Her highly regarded dynamic rhythm guitar playing has earned her teaching slots at major music camps and a feature article in Flatpicking Guitar Magazine. When the Muse cooperates, Mary is also an accomplished songwriter.

Country Repertoire (level 1–3) Sing songs from the 1930s to the 1950s: from brother acts, Carter Family, bluegrass bands, honky-tonk stars, country swing bands, and notable recent writers.

Country Rhythm Guitar (level 2–3) We’ll cover techniques for backing singers—including you—and different lead instruments. We’ll also cover a few songs with classic guitar riffs that must be played or the song ain’t right.


Paul Hemmings


Viewing music through a wide-angle lens, Paul Hemmings utilizes the unassuming ukulele to fuse together elements of modern jazz, free improvisation, and American roots music. With performances across the country and around the world, his proclivity for crossing musical boundaries led All About Jazz to write, “Hemmings’ mixture of cultures, influences, and genres, exploring the edges of harmony and rhythm, is remarkably fresh and a complete success.” Paul has released six albums on Leading Tone Records, including critically acclaimed recordings with saxophonists John Tchicai and Eric Alexander. His latest album, “The Blues And The Abstract Uke” features Paul along with Gaku Takanashi, Rudy Royston, Greg Tardy, and Curtis Fowlkes. The album earned a prestigious four-star review from DownBeat and landed in the CMJ Jazz Charts’ Top 100 with widespread airplay on jazz and public radio stations from coast to coast. Paul lives in New York City where he has been a faculty member at the Third Street Music School Settlement, the nation’s oldest community music school, since 2001.

The Blues and the Abstract Uke (level 1–3) Explore rhythms, harmonies, and the iconic 12-bar blues chord progression that is essential for playing jazz, swing, rock, and just about any other genre.

Complete Uke Chord Melody (level 3–5) This class is a comprehensive approach to playing chord melodies on the ukelele, using a progressive repertoire of folk songs, spirituals, and early jazz standards

Wayne Henderson


Wayne Henderson is a National Heritage Award recipient honored for his craftsmanship as a luthier and his renowned finger-style Appalachian guitar playing. His instruments are coveted worldwide and he sports a long waiting list for his guitars, mandolins, and banjos. Sponsored through the National Council for Traditional Arts, the Smithsonian Institute, Office of Arts America, European World of Bluegrass, Chet Atkins International Appreciation Society and numerous individual venues, Wayne has toured broadly in the U.S., Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. His lightning-fast, articulate playing style was influenced by Doc Watson and E.C. Ball, both close friends and neighbors in this musically rich corner where Southwest Virginia meets Northwest North Carolina. His repertoire includes Appalachian fiddle tunes, Carter Family melodies and a few swing and rockabilly standards. He has won more awards at the Galax Fiddlers Convention than any other competitor in its 80-year history.

Mountain Tunes (level 2–4) We’ll work on standard fiddle tunes played in the Blue Ridge Mountains area. Wayne uses a “pinch picking” style that sounds just like flatpicking, but either a flatpick or fingerpicks will work for this class. Bring an audio recorder.

More Mountain Tunes (level 3–4) A little repetition will teach you fiddle tunes from western Virginia pickers like Doc Watson. We’ll work on endings and three-note chord shapes that can be played up the neck. Bring an audio recorder.

Ed Johnson


As a vocalist, Ed Johnson is frequently compared to Ivan Lins, Milton Nascimento, Kenny Rankin, and Michael Franks. As a guitarist and bandleader, critics often cite the lushly exotic, accessible sounds of Airto and Flora Purim. Ed has seven recording projects to his credit, numerous producer credits, and is a founding member of CCMC as well as a perennial fixture on the teaching staff at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop.

Brazilian Ensemble for Everyone! (level 2–5) All instruments are welcome in this class as we cover the basic rhythms of samba, bossa nova, choro, baião, and other styles. Using popular Brazilian repertoire, we’ll learn to play together as one grooving ensemble.

Brazilian Repertoire (level 4–5) Learn some timeless, beloved songs by Brazilian masters, including Jobim, Dorival Cayimmi, Chico Buarque, Pixinguinha, and more. Prepare to be challenged and thrilled by lively melodies and dazzling chord changes!

Paul Kotapish


Paul Kotapish is known for his inventive rhythmic accompaniment and incisive melody playing on mandolin and guitar with Wake the Dead, Euphonia, Hillbillies from Mars, and with noted fiddlers such as Kevin Burke and Rodney Miller. Paul’s background is in dance music, and his playing is rooted in the rural fiddle traditions of Appalachia, Ireland and beyond, but it also embraces pop idioms like rock and country. For four decades Paul has performed on concert stages and in dance halls throughout the United States and Canada, from remote fishing villages in Alaska to Lincoln Center in New York City. Foreign travel has included concert and dance tours in Europe, Great Britain, Latin America and the former Soviet Union—Russia, Georgia and Ukraine. He has performed numerous times on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion and Sedge Thompson’s West Coast Live radio programs. Paul has recorded a dozen albums with his various bands, and has appeared as a guest on dozens more.

Emerging Mandolin (level 1–2) Have fun working up a few choice melodies and fiddle tunes in easy keys, learning a bunch of chords and backup ideas, and tackling basic fingerboard theory. Along the way, we’ll discuss setup, care and feeding, tone production, and technique.

Evolving Mandolin (level 3–4) We’ll push the envelope a little and learn more complex tunes in a range of idioms, keys, modes, and rhythms. We’ll also explore a variety of accompaniment ideas and strategies for backing up other instrumentalists and singers.

Joel Mabus


“Joel Mabus is a free-ranging fretboard genius and funny, deep songwriter whose warm voice, sly humor, and musicianship sweep audiences along for the ride.” — Cornell Folk Song Society.

Joel has taught guitar & songwriting at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Summersongs at Ashokan, Summer Acoustic Music Week in New Hampshire, Folk College in Pennsylvania, Augusta Heritage in West Virginia, and Lamb’s Retreat For Songwriters in his home state of Michigan. In his recording career, each of Joel’s 24 CDs is a unique project, reflecting his varied interests and talents, from old-time banjo and storytelling to blues guitar and politics.

Swing It with Confidence—First Swing Guitar Solo (level 3) Taking some great songs with standard chord progressions, we’ll get you to step out on a limb and have fun improvising your first leads over rhythms.

From Bedroom to Stage—Performance and Songwriting (level 3–5) There is a creative continuum from writing a song, arranging it for your own talents, and then getting up on stage and singing it into a microphone. Expect tips, tricks, and in-class practice.

Marcy Marxer

Marcy Marxer is a multi-instrumentalist, studio musician, performer, songwriter and producer with 35 years of experience and a shelf of impressive awards. She has played acoustic music on Emmy Award winning National Geographic specials, platinum shipping Eva Cassidy CDs and on over 50 recordings and instructional materials created with her partner, Cathy Fink. Marcy is a two-time GRAMMY Award winner and fourteen-time GRAMMY nominee who specializes in folk, swing, children’s and roots music. Marcy’s guitar playing spans a variety of styles: swing rhythm and lead, bluegrass, old time, Celtic fingerpicking, folk fingerpicking and some of the most tasteful backup you can hear. She plays a signature Martin guitar, signature National Steel Tenor guitar and signature KALA tenor ukulele.

“It is the power of her playing that keeps listeners coming back.” — the alternate route

Beginning Fingerpicking (level 2) Learn basic fingerpicking patterns and start using them to accompany songs right away.

Your First Flatpick Solo (level 3) You know your chords and flatpick a little, but you need to know how to start a solo and where to take your fingers. Learn how to get started, then how to continue crafting a solo.

John Miller


John Miller has over 40 years’ experience as a performing/recording musician, music teacher, composer, and record producer. He started out playing country blues and has played jazz, Brazilian, and old-time. John has been in demand as a teacher at music camps, and has taught at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Port Townsend Country Blues Workshop, BC Swing Camp, Guitar Intensives, CCMC, and others. In recent years, John has been making instructional DVDs for Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop (John currently has 18 instructional DVDs to his credit) and wrote the book John Miller’s Country Blues Guitar Collection.

Using Hearing and Theory to Create Fingerstyle Melody Arrangements (level 2–3) Working with familiar melodies, we’ll see how combining a bit of theory with your hearing will enable you to select the easiest key/position in which to play a melody arrangement of a song.

Country Blues by Ear in Class (level 4) Working from source recordings, we’ll figure out one song per day in a variety of different playing positions and tunings.

Rick Ruskin


A native of Detroit, Michigan, Rick Ruskin first picked up guitar at age 14. Two years later he was tapped to be the opening act for the Reverend Gary Davis at the city’s legendary Retort Coffee House. A fast and permanent friendship with the master blues, ragtime, and gospel guitarist began and Rev. Davis invited Rick to spend that summer with him at his Long Island home. During this time, Rev. Davis began and continued to push Ruskin into development of his own style. Few would argue with the results of the Reverend’s suggestion.

Ruskin has recorded 3 albums for John Fahey’s Takoma Records label, 6 CDs for Lion Dog Music, and a variety of session/backup work. He has written articles for Frets, Acoustic Guitar, and Fingerstyle Guitar magazines. His music is featured in several Mel Bay publications and is currently being used in a variety of television productions airing on PBS, ABC, MTV, NBC, and A&E, among others.

Currently residing in Seattle, Washington, Rick divides his professional time between composing, recording, performing, and teaching.

Enhanced Fingerstyle Accompaniments (level 2–3) Improve your ability to back up yourself and others. Prerequisites: Solid basic chording and fingerpicking/alternating bass skills.

Blues—Basics and Beyond (level 3–5) Learn a little Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, R&B, and funk. We’ll start simple and slow, then accelerate as abilities progress. Prerequisites: Solid basic chording (first position) and fingerpicking/alternating bass skills.

Jennifer Scott

Considered the finest jazz vocal improviser in Canada by her peers, her fans, and the musicians who work with her, Jennifer Scott is an important jazz voice. She has sung with such jazz greats as Gene Bertoncini, Clark Terry, Tommy Banks, Paul Horn, and Kenny Wheeler, to name a few. She has been nominated for Juno and Jessie Awards with Mythos and the theatre production War of the Worlds, and frequently teaches at music camps on the west coast.

The Singer’s Workout (level 3–4) What does it take to get to that next level as a singer? The answer includes expansion of the breath, exploring the parameters of the voice, and finding new ways to create a healthy, personalized, and expressive sound.

Jazz and Swing Vocal Explorations (level 3–4) Explore vocal techniques, including grooving on the swing feel, scat singing, back phrasing, ballad feel, and more!

Cyd Smith


Cyd Smith is a guitarist and singer/songwriter of unusual versatility and skill. An inspiring purveyor of swing, rags, and various Americana styles, she has been an in-demand instructor for years at prestigious music camps nationwide, including the Augusta Heritage Festival, Centrum Blues Workshop, Colorado Roots Music Camp, the California Coast Music Camp, and WinterSongs West.

Very Beginning Guitar (level 1) This class is for those absolutely new to guitar, or for those who want a fresh start. This gentle, welcoming class will ease you into basic chords and get you strumming and singing along before you know it. We’ll also have fun demystifying some of the mysteries of music.

Intro to Swinging Guitar (level 3) We’ll get you familiar with swing feel, a few movable 6th, 7th, 9th, and minor 7th chords, and some great swing tunes, and before you know it, you’ll be swinging. To take this class, you should be comfortable changing chords in whatever style of music you already play.

Sue Thompson


Sue Thompson is a noted bluegrass and roots-Americana vocalist, and a dedicated teacher whose Sing Harmony Now! method has won praise on three continents. Sue performs and teaches at festivals and workshops in Europe as well as in the U.S., Canada, and Japan. “Singing harmony by ear, on-the-fly, is one of the greatest joys of making music,” she says. “It’s rewarding to see my students sharing that joy.” Sue is an accomplished flatpicker, and her recordings include the late Mike Seeger’s Grammy-nominated Third Annual Farewell Reunion and the western music extravaganza Tall Boots. Sue performs with Field and Thompson, a bi-continental band that specializes in rare gems of bluegrass, country, and Americana.

Singing from the Ground Up (level 1–2) Art, science, mind, body—use these to sing with greater relaxation, power, passion, and fun. These techniques will help you boost projection and control, cut excess tension, hit high and low notes without strain, and sound great.

Sing Harmony the Natural Way! (level 2–4) Learn to harmonize by ear, naturally and intuitively. Learn tricks for a great vocal blend, even with people whose voices and ranges are very different from yours.

Helen White


A singer, fiddler, guitarist and tunesmith, Helen White has won more than her share of ribbons at local and regional fiddlers conventions and has toured extensively with Wayne Henderson in the U.S. and Europe. Her compositions include works for theater and video projects as well as a Booklist honored recording of original songs for children. Helen is the founder and served as Executive Director of the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program from program inception in February of 2000 to July of 2014. This important program currently serves students in 30 mountain counties in Virginia, North and South Carolina and Tennessee, introducing them to their musical heritage through small group instruction in the instruments and music common to the region.

Camp Instrumentalist As Camp Instrumentalist, Helen is available to provide leads on fiddle for classes/students working on back up and/or performance skills. Alternately, she can play back up guitar for those working on developing their “lead” playing. She can sing harmonies, too!

Fast-Track Fiddle (level 1–3) Take your fiddling to the next level. Working in standard and alternate tunings, we’ll add life to tunes with bowing patterns typical in Appalachian fiddling, going for good tone and groove.

Rene Worst


Rene Worst has been performing, recording, and producing music since 1973. He has been teaching in colleges, as a clinician and at music workshops/camps for just as long. Rene has worked with many artists: Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Chet Baker, David Bowie, Freddie Hubbard, Jennifer Scott, Paul Horn, among many others. As a producer, he has worked with many singers and musicians such as Skywalk and Rita McNeil. He and music and life partner, Jennifer Scott, have just released their tenth CD. Rene is in demand as a session and live performance bassist and clinician.

Bass 1 (level 1–2) We’ll do a tune a day, playing along with recordings of the actual artists. Ideal for beginners and folks who play other instruments who want to learn a bit about the bass. All bass instruments are welcome.

Bass 2 (level 3–5) Investigate walking bass lines, different grooves, classic lines, and some soloing, all with examples to play along with! I also like to work with each student to discover what they need to focus on.

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