Mandolin

with Caleb Klauder
ABOUT THE CLASS

My goal in this class is to look into the early styles of old time and bluegrass mandolin as related to the fiddle. We will find a clear melody for a tune or a song and give it lift with the right hand, focusing on the pick and shuffle technique. I will teach a selection of fiddle tunes and focus on the nuances of picking, as related to old time fiddle bowing. Verlin Clifton played mandolin with the Camp Creek Boys and we will talk a bit about his rhythm playing, and I will demonstrate some other options for backup and rhythm playing. We will talk about getting great tone from both the right hand and the left hand.

Students should have a good feel for scales and arpeggios and have put some time into using the pinky finger on the 7th fret. Class will be taught aurally and there will be no sheet music or tab so please bring a recording device.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Caleb Klauder is known to the mandolin community for developing a unique style to follow the old time fiddle. He will teach fiddle tune melodies and how to get tight with the fiddle, focusing on the rhythm of the fiddle bowing. Mandolin double stops, tremolo, and chord variations will also be demonstrated as methods to backing up old time tunes. He will also spend time talking about and demonstrating old time bluegrass solo styles in the manner of Bill Monroe, Ira Louvin and Joe Val focusing on the lyrical and melodic direction. Caleb is a founding member of Foghorn Stringband, which has defined a hard-driving Pacific Northwest ensemble style, anchored in the mantras of old-time but unafraid to bend the rules. Klauder, who plays fiddle and guitar in addition to mandolin, has a unique eight-string style that is thoughtful and robust, and, tellingly, built heavily on fiddle and banjo styles as much as on classic mandolin technique.

Caleb Klauder

Vocals

with Reeb Willms
ABOUT THE CLASS

Have you ever experienced the magic of singing harmony with others? Do you like old time and country duets? Do you simply like to sing? Through a wonderful repertoire of songs we’ll spend our class times practicing concepts of lead and harmony singing: building confidence by first spending time learning the melody, then finding the tonic and building a chord, and adding baritone and tenor parts. We will give special attention to lyrical and melodic phrasing, listening to each other and practicing to learn more about what makes a song or singer stand out and pull at our heart strings. Bring a song notebook, a writing utensil, and a recording device if you like. Let’s sing!

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Reeb Willms hails from the wind swept eastern farmlands of Washington. Her musical family and rural upbringing are are on display with every note she sings. If you can’t resist the high lonesome sound of classic old time and country-bluegrass singing, this is the class for you! Reeb will handpick a couple of her favorite songs and the melody and harmony parts, talk about the sweet nature of duet and ensemble singing, give some tips for finding harmony parts, and maybe even a few technique tips about getting better tone and projection out of your voice.

Fiddle

with Sammy Lind
ABOUT THE CLASS

I like to teach fiddle by jumping right in and teaching tunes. In this hour workshop I’ll teach four of my favorite tunes the old fashioned way, by ear. With old time fiddling, the bowing is an incredibly important factor. There is a lot of syncopation in old time fiddling, so I’ll be clearly pointing out the important nuances of each tune. I’ll start by teaching a tune that has a repetitive phrase-by-phrase bowing pattern throughout both the A and B parts and we’ll move on to other tunes that just vary slightly in their patterns. This workshop will also be full of pointers for practicing as well as some fun historical tidbits of fiddlers who have inspired me over the years.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Born in Minnesota, Stephen “Sammy” Lind has established himself as one of the most critically acclaimed old time fiddle players in the country. Co-founder of the Oregon based Foghorn Stringband, Sammy has traveled the world playing and teaching a vast repertoire of tunes from Appalachia and the Midwest.  His playing reflects tremendous respect and passion for all the fiddle players and old recordings he has spent countless hours learning from.

Sammy Lind

Bass

with Nadine Landry
ABOUT THE CLASS

This upright bass workshop will emphasize providing a solid rhythm for jams and band settings. Participants will get to practice good left and right hand techniques while familiarizing themselves with the finger board. Sure there’s gonna be lots of 1-5 but we’ll work on incorporating and understanding bass runs too!

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Nadine Landry’s roots lie in the rural backroads of Acadian Québec and her high lonesome vocals have delighted audiences the world over. Born and raised in a musical family on the Gaspe Peninsula on the east coast of Quebec, Nadine’s earth-shaking bass playing is the rumbling backbone of the Foghorn sound. Equally comfortable on guitar and upright bass, she has lent her talents to various bands ranging from old time to honky tonk to swing and Cajun. Described as deeply passionate and powerful, her voice has been capturing the hearts of fans across North America, Ireland, England, Scandinavia and Australia.

Fiddle

with Eddie Bond
ABOUT THE CLASS

This class is for advanced fiddlers. We will learn some of Eddie’s favorite tunes, especially tunes he would consider good fiddlers’ convention tunes (tunes with a lot of drive). Emphasis will be placed on bowing and expanding your repertoire. We will try to learn at least two tunes a day if possible. Students are encouraged to bring recording devices to this class. Come prepared to have a good time as well! We will talk about different regional styles of southern Appalachia, and the different influences they have had on Eddie’s personal style. He will be teaching tunes in standard tuning as well as cross-key, and we may even cross the border of Virginia into the West Virginia repertoire! Eddie tries to show up at least 20 minutes early each day and go over what we have learned so far that week, a sort of warm-up session before the class.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Since 2001, Bond has been the lead singer and fiddler for the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, among the most respected of Virginia’s old-time string bands. The Bogtrotters are staples at Galax-area community dances and gatherings and frequent first-place winners at the Old Fiddlers’ Convention, where Bond himself has won countless fiddle contests and twice been named Best All Around Performer—arguably the highest honor in old-time music. Bond has performed across the country and overseas, including the “Music From the Crooked Road” tours produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts. He regularly performs at festivals from Australia to Ireland, where he trades familiar tunes with local masters.

Bond also remains deeply committed to his local community—performing locally as a solo artist and with others, and teaching a string band course at a high school in Grayson County. Much as the great old-time fiddling masters did for him, Bond never hesitates to take the time to teach, assist, and encourage the next generation of fiddlers.

Eddie Bond

Banjo

with Joseph Decosimo
ABOUT THE CLASS

In this class, we’ll consider older, traditional techniques and toolkits for playing banjo as both a solo instrument and in ensembles with fiddles/bands. We’ll consider the range of techniques that have historically been a part of Old-time banjo in SW VA and further afield—from clawhammer to up-picking and fingerpicking techniques that defined the approaches of players like Wade Ward. We’ll listen to some of my favorite older players and consider what makes their playing tick, exploring how we might incorporate their ideas into our own playing. I’ll have my fiddle on hand and allow folks an opportunity to try things out with a fiddle (and get some feedback). This will not be a class on pristine contemporary melodic clawhammer player—please check out my album “”the aluminum wonder”” if you’re curious about the kind of banjo stuff I do. I’m on a campaign to let banjos be banjoey, and will be pushing folks in that direction.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

A leading interpreter of the fiddle, banjo, and song traditions from the Appalachian South, Joseph Decosimo has introduced audiences to the beauty and vitality of the region’s music—from Tennessee’s homey Mountain Opry to the National Endowment for the Humanities Heritage Award ceremony to venues and festival and workshop stages around the US, Canada, UK, Spain, and Australia. Having studied under and performed alongside some of the last master traditional musicians in his home region of Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau—a western finger of the Appalachian region, Joseph draws on a well of profound creativity and repertoire even as he carves fresh paths.

His knowledge of the people, places, and stories behind the music guide his project, allowing him to integrate his own creative impulse into something rooted, substantial, and community-based. A PhD holding ethnomusicologist, Joseph approaches the music thoughtfully, with a sense of responsibility to the communities that have nurtured it. While traditional techniques and repertoire underpin his performances, they are supremely accessible and nourishing, offering audiences a connection to transcendent beauty. A national old-time banjo champion and winner of the prestigious Appalachian String Band Festival (aka Clifftop) fiddle contest.

Joseph Decosimo

Banjo

with Hannah Johnson
ABOUT THE CLASS

Hannah plays old-time clawhammer banjo on both a fretted and a fretless banjo. In this intermediate level banjo class we will add some new tunes to your repertoire, work on technique such as drop thumb and tone, practice following a fiddle and picking up a tune on the fly, and maybe even do some singing. Plus, if you’re curious about trying out a fretless banjo you’ll have an opportunity to mess around on Hannah’s homemade fretless.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Hannah hails from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She got interested in old time music as a teenager attending fiddlers’ conventions in the region, and promptly took up the fiddle, banjo, and guitar, learning from local old timers and musicians near and far. Though she still lives in her same old home town and remains dedicated to her local traditions, Hannah has traveled the world playing in old time bands, swapping tunes, dances, and songs along the way.

Hannah Johnson with Banjo (portrait)

Guitar

with Vivian Leva
ABOUT THE CLASS

The stuff that matters: boom, chuck, driving the jam, and cracking the code on tunes you’ve never heard. We will explore the power of the right hand, how to follow new tunes and songs, and what it takes to be the grounding and driving force of any jam or performance. Come, have some fun, and improve your rhythm guitar skills!

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Raised by parents who absorbed ancient tunes and ballads during visits to legendary old-time musicians, Leva grew up steeped in the Appalachian and country music of her Lexington, VA home. Though just out of college, Leva’s musical roots run deep. She grew up going to fiddle festivals with her parents, both acclaimed roots musicians themselves who perform as the duo Jones and Leva. Her father, James, is a respected multi-instrumentalist who learned knee-to-knee from old-time legends like Tommy Jarrell and Doug Wallin, while her mother, Carol Elizabeth, picked up bygone songs from a now lost generation of singers and recorded with the pioneering bluegrass duo Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard. Leva soaked up this influence at a young age, and, at age 9, began penning songs and performing with her father at venues like the prestigious Carter Family Fold.

Traditional American music was an early influence on her songwriting. Her time at music festivals (she’s never missed a Clifftop) regularly landed her in jams with peers and heroes alike. “The biggest part of traditional music has always been the community,” she says. “It’s really special that you can travel almost anywhere and share tunes with a group of people that you’ve never met.” In this spirit, she joined The Onlies, a young stringband that won the coveted traditional band competition at the 2017 Clifftop festival in West Virginia. Add to this performance resumé teaching stints at The Swannanoa Gathering, Nimble Fingers, The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, The Big Sur Fiddle Camp, and Centrum’s “Voice Works” and her roots music bonafides are obvious.

Vivian Leva

Afternoon Enrichment

with Mac Traynham & Andy Buckman

Mac Traynham is an accomplished fiddler and banjo player as well as a fine guitar player and singer. Influenced by well known and obscure musicians of the past, Mac has developed a hard-driving style of playing which keeps the rhythm going strongly and delights dancers! He teaches at numerous music camps and has won many ribbons from various Fiddler’s Conventions.

Andy Buckman has played clawhammer banjo and sung in church since childhood. He has performed and recorded with Mac and Jenny Traynham, the Reed Island Rounders, and the Wolfe Brothers, and has taught at numerous workshops. His music is rooted in the playing of Wade Ward, Abe Horton, and Harold Hausenfluck. Andy teaches both fretted and fretless banjo in traditional Blue Ridge clawhammer and thumb lead styles.

Staff Musician

Riley Calcagno

Riley Calcagno, one of the brightest talents in American roots music today, has been immersed in traditional music from an early age. Originally from Seattle, he grew up at festivals around the Pacific Northwest learning fiddle directly from old masters of the style. He now feels at home on banjo, guitar, mandolin, and voice as well and is a founding member of The Onlies, a band described as “masterful” and “deliciously well-crafted” (Kithfolk) on the forefront of a new generation of traditional acoustic string music.

Riley Calcagno

Staff Musician

Corbin Hayslett

Traditional music has been the mainstay of my from my earliest memories. My Dad taught me to love and sing like The Stanley Brothers while I was in a car seat and my mom sat me on the front-row pew during choir rehearsals. The music of Virginia’s mountains has been passed down in my family for nine generations. I’ve had the honor of playing mountain music in three hemispheres and on stages ranging from the Floyd Country Store to the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium. It is my honor to share my love of our music through the Handmade Music School. Lessons offered in banjo (clawhammer, old-time finger styles, bluegrass), old-time fiddle, guitar (lead and rhythm), mandolin, voice, hambone, jaw harp, general shenanigans and tomfoolery.

Corbin Hayslett with Banjo

Staff Musician

Sophie Moeckel

Sophie Moeckel grew up surrounded by music in the Blue Ridge mountains. She fell in love with the community aspect of old time music as a Floyd JAMs (Junior Appalachian Musicians) student, where she later taught fiddle and dance and served as assistant director. She’s been a part of the Handmade Music School team since its beginning, serving in many roles throughout the years including Director of Operations and fiddle teacher and is passionate about passing along Appalachian music and dance traditions. She loves sharing the joy of music by playing for dancers at the Friday Night Jamboree at The Floyd Country Store, jamming and dancing with friends, and most of all teaching and inspiring young people. Sophie has extensive experience teaching music and working with children both in classroom and after-school settings. Sophie is currently pursuing studies in Environmental Education, Craft, and Traditional Music at Warren Wilson College and plays with the Southeastern Western North Carolina Ramblers.

Handmade Music School Teacher Sophie Moeckel

Staff Musician

Gina Dilg

Gina has been steeped in the traditions of the music from the southern Appalachians and the Southwest since she was a young child. Raised in a family of musicians, she developed an affection for the bright, energetic music of these traditions. She is a strong fiddler, and plays with her husband Jason Dilg as a duo, and with the band Joe Thrift & The Yeehaw Ramblers. Gina also loves flatfoot dancing, and can be found giving workshops and dancing with the regulars at The Floyd Country Store.

Gina Dilg

Staff Musician

Joseph DeJarnette

Originally from Madison, Virginia, Joebass discovered old-time music through 78 rpm records which he began collecting at age 6. Eventually he traveled to Brooklyn, NY, and spent a decade playing music full-time throughout the US and internationally, concluding with over two dozen shows on the 2009 Bob Dylan/Willie Nelson tour. He now lives back in Virginia where he runs Studio 808A, a “band and breakfast” recording studio that specializes in traditional music. He has taught in the JAM program (Junior Appalachian Musicians), Music Lab Floyd, The Carnegie Hall Neighborhood concert series as well as festival workshops around the world. He runs sound at the Swannanoa Gathering, CROMA and Rockbridge old-time music weeks and in 2015 he was selected to become coordinator of the Old-Time Music Week at the Augusta Heritage Center. At Studio 808A, DeJarnette has worked with many master Appalachian musicians in the studio such as Alice Gerrard, Bruce Greene, Eddie Bond, and Gerry Milnes, up and coming young traditional musicians such as Anna and Elizabeth, as well as more mainstream acts such as Lake Street Dive, Sxip Shirey, Curtis Eller and Rhiannon Giddens.

Joe DeJarnette