learn from keepers of the tradition... the music, the technique, the lore, the joy
Our teachers are extraordinary musicians who either grew up within their musical traditions or have devoted a major portion of their lives to learning and understanding its subtleties. They are highly gifted teachers - personable, approachable, attentive - who are eager to pass on their technical skills and lore to students.
Teaching Staff for 2017
Riley Baugus - Appalachian Banjo and Ballads
Riley Baugus represents the best of old time American banjo and song. His powerful singing voice and his expert musicianship place him squarely in the next generation of the quality American roots tradition. Riley first came to music through his family. His father had a love of old time music which touched the young Riley on a molecular level. His family’s attendance at Regular Baptist church gave him early exposure to the unaccompanied singing that is a time-honored tradition for ballad singers throughout the Appalachians. Starting on the fiddle, Riley quickly moved on to the banjo, building his first instrument from scrap wood with his father. With a friend, Riley visited elder traditional musicians throughout North Carolina and Virginia. When not teaching or building banjos, Riley can be found out on the road performing. He plays with the Dirk Powell Band and with Kirk Sutphin. He is a frequent guest of Polecat Creek and of Tim O’Brien with Dirk Powell. With Ira Bernstein, he presents the show "Appalachian Roots", a unique showcase of Appalachian music and dance. Riley makes his home near Winston-Salem, North Carolina see riley here
Andrea Beaton - Cape Breton Fiddle
One of Cape Breton's most promising young fiddlers, Andrea Beaton’s music is at once her own and deeply rooted in the tradition associated with the Mabou region of Cape Breton. She is the product of a long line of Cape Breton fiddlers and piano players -- her father Kinnon is one of today's most influential Cape Breton fiddlers, her mother Betty is one of the great piano accompanists of her generation; her paternal grandfather, Donald Angus Beaton, was a renowned player and composer in his own right, who in the mid-1930s was one of the very first few Cape Breton fiddlers to record. She is also closely related to two other Cape Breton fiddling icons: Buddy MacMaster and Natalie MacMaster. Andrea’s first two CDs, License to Drive 'Er and Cuts, were nominated for major prizes at the East Coast Music Awards, a prestigious event devoted to emerging artists from Atlantic Canada. Andrea recorded her latest release, The Tap Session, live at a pub during a tour of Scotland. As one reviewer commented, “There's something indefinable about music's power to make people move, but you know it when you hear it; and Andrea Beaton has it!” see andrea here
Yann Falquet - Guitar
Yann Falquet is a truly active and creative acoustic guitar player on the Québécois music scene. He has explored many styles of music and completed a Bachelors degree in Jazz. Since then, he has developed a personal guitar style for Québec folk music, inspired by the playing of the accompanists of different cultures (Brittany, Scandinavia, Ireland, North America, etc). His involvement in traditional music scene brought Yann to perform on numerous recordings, and to regularly tour throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. He also toured for three years with the award winning celtic/world group The McDades. Yann had the opportunity to teach at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick, at the Goderich Celtic College as well as at the Alasdair Fraser's Fiddle Train and Sierra Fiddle Camp. see yann here
Sarah Hotchkiss - Fiddle, Banjo
A native Vermonter, Sarah teaches to all ages at her private studio, Woodbury Strings, in Montpelier, Vermont. She was the Musical Director of The Vermont Fiddle Orchestra for many years, and plays fiddle and banjo with the Damn Yankee String Band as well as the fiddle/banjo duo, High-Low-Jack. She has also taught at numerous fiddle camps, workshops, and weekly fiddle groups in Northern Vermont and New Hampshire, as well as thirteen years of teaching strings in public and private schools around Vermont. Because of her varied musical and teaching background, along with exposure to a wide range of fiddle styles, she has developed a special expertise in teaching technique to beginning and intermediate level musicians of all ages and backgrounds. see sarah here
David Kaynor - Dance Calling, Swedish Fiddle and more
David Kaynor began playing fiddle in 1974, and started calling local contra dances in Western Massacussetts around 1980. Over the last two decades, he has become increasingly involved as both fiddler and caller in the New England and national contra dance scenes. He has been on staff at Northern Week at Ashokan 32 years, and at Contra Dance Musicians' Week at the John C. Campbell Folk School 20 years. He has also played for and taught dancing at Pinewoods, Buffalo Gap, Mendocino, the Lady of the Lake, Ogontz, Summer Acoustic Music Week, Suttle Lake, Wannadance Uptown and a myriad of other camps, workshops and music events around the country. In addition, he has worked with and for a lot of really wonderful people in a lot of great places such as The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Wintergreen dance weekend, Upper Potomac Fiddlers' Retreat, and more. Most recently he became the music director of the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra, VFO. He is also involved in playing and teaching Swedish fiddle music and folk dancing.
see david here
see david here
Stéphanie Lépine - Québécois Fiddle
Stéphanie Lépine was born into a family of musicians and started her musical journey at a young age. She refined her training with the help of Irish violinist Kevin Burke and musician/ethnomusicologist Lisa Ornstein. Stéphanie has recorded three albums with the band La Galvaude and two with the band Norouet. She can be also heard on several other recordings including those of Genticorum, Nicolas Pellerin et les Grands Hurleurs, Éric et Simon Beaudry and OJNAB. Her latest album project, Excès de Trad, features Stéphanie in collaboration with guitarist Simon Marion. Stéphanie is one of the founders and organizers of the Camp Violon Trad Québec. Her compositions and playing style pay homage to the traditional heritage of Quebec and also deeply reflect her love of Irish music.
see stéphanie here
see stéphanie here
Jeremiah McLane - Piano, Accordion
Accordionist Jeremiah McLane plays a wide variety of ethnic musical styles from Northern and Eastern Europe as well as American idioms such as jazz, swing, blues, and Zydeco. At this year’s Accordions Now Festival he is delighted to offer selections from the classical repertoire including works by composers Astor Piazzolla, Bela Bartok, Antonin Dvorak, Francis Poulenc and Alan Hovhaness as well as several of his own compositions. Jeremiah has taught and performed throughout the United States and Europe, including such venues as the Royal Festival Hall in London, and the Picolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. He holds a Master’s in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music and teaches at St. Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont. He has been on staff at numerous music programs throughout the country including The Augusta Heritage Arts Center, The Swanannoa Gathering, Ashokan Fiddle & Dance, The John C. Campbell Folk School, and Centrum’s American Festival of Fiddle Tunes. He has composed numerous pieces for film and theatre and has received National Public Radio's “favorite picks” award for his second solo recording, Smile When You’re Ready, and French music magazine Trad Mag’s “BRAVO” award for his fifth release, Hummingbird. see jeremiah here
Will Patton - Mandolin
A multi-instrumentalist and composer. Will has been playing all kinds of music for over 30 years now, including celtic, jazz, rock and roll, bluegrass and Brazilian choro. In demand as a jazz bass player and session mandolinist, he has traveled to Rio, Paris and the Caribbean as well as all over the U.S. and Canada. During the last 20 years he has been leading his own quintet, focusing on Gypsy jazz and Brazilian styles as well as straight up bebop and perform many original compositions in their repertoire and on their 6 CDs. His bands have opened for Van Morrison, Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, Earl Scruggs, Maynard Ferguson, John McLaughlin and Toots Thielemans. During the last twenty years he has been visiting and playing in Paris, and his collaborations with legendary gypsy guitarist Ninine Garcia as documented on his recordings have received critical acclaim both in the U.S. and abroad. He is an enthusiastic and focused teacher, having given workshops at Ashokan, Pinewoods, Django in June, Classical Mandolin Society and many other camps and festivals in the U.S. and Canada. see will here
David Surette - Guitar, Mandolin
Widely acclaimed as one of New England’s premiere instrumentalists, David Surette is highly regarded for his work on the guitar (both flatpick and fingerstyle), mandolin, and bouzouki, in a wide variety of settings. As a soloist, he is nationally known as a top player of Celtic fingerstyle guitar. Yet his diverse repertoire also includes original compositions, blues and ragtime, traditional American roots music, and folk music from a variety of traditions, all played with finesse, taste, and virtuosity. David is an accomplished and gifted teacher who has taught at workshops and camps throughout the US, Canada, and the UK, including Swannanoa Gathering, Folkworks Summer School, Pinewoods Music Camp, Maine Fiddle Camp, and the Augusta Heritage Festival. He is folk music co-ordinator at the Concord (NH) Community Music School, and artistic director of their March Mandolin Festival. He has authored a book of Celtic fingerstyle guitar arrangements for Mel Bay Publications, and is a regular contributor to Acoustic Guitar and Strings Magazine. In 1994, Surette was awarded a travel grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to study the traditional music of Brittany, and has published a collection of Breton folk tunes. His most recent solo release is Northern Roots.
Pete Sutherland - Appalachian Fiddle, Shape Note and more
A warm-voiced singer, songsmith and accomplished multi-instrumentalist known equally for his potent originals and his intense recreations of age-old ballads and fiery fiddle tunes, veteran Vermont-based musician Pete has been on staff at dance and music camps and workshops coast-to-coast and is a widely-known year-round teacher and performer in the Champlain Valley. A Renaissance man of the folk arts, he is also a record producer, concert promoter, collage artist and author. His recent recordings include Streak o' Lean and The Wilderness Road. see pete here
Becky Tracy - Irish and Contradance Fiddle and more
There is nothing Becky Tracy likes better than to take a room full of fiddle players and fashion them into harmonious bowing beauties. Becky has certainly played around, being the longest surviving fiddle player with Wild Asparagus (20 years!) and the only fiddle player in the soulful but now defunct band Nightingale. She has a driving yet sweet sound to her playing and her awareness of what makes that happen has led her to be a popular teacher at music camps. Her playing has been shaped by the influence of teachers Brendan Mulvihill and Eugene O'Donnell and Lisa Ornstein as well as her many years of playing for dancing. Her solo CD, Evergreen, is an album of haunting beauty, intimacy and exuberance. see becky here
Nicholas Williams - Flute, Accordion
Nicholas Williams graduated from York University in Toronto where he studied world music, contemporary improvisation, and composition. Since then he has immersed himself in the world of traditional music, where he is most known for his distinctive and rhythmic style of flute playing. Drawing mainly from Irish and North Indian flute playing techniques, he is also influenced by the musical traditions of Quebec, Brittany, Sweden, and the US. A member of the group Crowfoot, Nicholas has toured extensively in the US, Canada, and the UK, playing for concerts, contra, and English dance events. He plays piano for Scottish country dance with fiddler Laura Risk and 'Les Joueuers de bon accord'. Nicholas currently lives in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. see nicholas here