Vocals

with Alice Gerrard
ABOUT THE CLASS

Traditional Southern Singing – could be sung to a fiddle tune, could be a country song, could be an old unaccompaied ballad, or a “new” one like Porter Wagoner’s” Carroll County Accident”—but always based in the rich mixture of Black and white music with some German, French,
Native thrown in. This will be an in-depth class on traditional southern singing styles—both accompanied and unaccompanied. It will focus on repertoire and will also explore ways to become a stronger singer—how to find and use your voice. We will be listening to recordings of other singers as well as ourselves. We can explore harmony if the class is interested in this, but that will not be the primary focus. You will need some kind of recording device to bring to class.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

ALICE GERRARD is a singer and songwriter who has performed and advocated for old-time and bluegrass music for over 40 years. She plays old-time fiddle, banjo, and guitar. Her recordings with Hazel Dickens during the 1960s and ’70s influenced a generation of women musicians from Laurie Lewis to the Judds. Besides the Harmony Sisters, she has also recorded and performed with Tommy Jarrell, Mike Seeger, Enoch Rutherford, Matokie Slaughter, the Strange Creek
Singers, Otis Burris, 4 CDs with Tom Sauber and Brad Leftwich. Her solo recordings on Copper Creek Records, Pieces of My Heart and Calling Me Home garnered rave reviews in Billboard and Country Music, among other publications. Alice’s song, “Agate Hill,” was an inspiration for novelist Lee Smith as she was writing her latest novel, On Agate Hill. Her album Follow the Music was nominated for a Grammy in 2015 and she was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame along with Hazel Dickens in 2017. Her songs have been recorded by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Rhianon Giddens, Kathy Mattea, Eli West and Cahalen Morrison, Tatiana Hargreaves and Allison DeGroot, among others. Alice was the Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke Univesity and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. “You Gave Me a Song” a film about Alice and her music by filmmaker Kenny Dalsheimer was included in the Durham Full Frame Film Festival in March, 2019. She is founder of the Old-Time Herald old-time
music magazine, and makes her home in Durham, NC.

Intermediate Fiddle

with Bruce Molsky
ABOUT THE CLASS

If you can just play a few simple old time fiddle tunes, or if you’re an experienced player, this workshop will be useful and fun! We’ll take a few different classic tunes apart to understand what makes them sound unique and ‘old timey.’ Starting first with short melodic phrases which we’ll play them into our muscle memory, we’ll add advice about bowing, then double stops, ornamentation and build it from there. You can stay simple or go as far as you like. I want to push you to challenge your limits!

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Grammy-nominated, described as “an absolute master” (No Depression), Molsky transports audiences to another time and place, with his authentic and personal interpretations of rarities from the Southern Appalachian songbook and other musical traditions from around the globe. Best known for his work on the fiddle, Bruce’s banjo, guitar and his distinctive, powerful vocals also resonate with listeners. His combination of technical virtuosity and relaxed conversational wit makes a concert hall feel like an intimate front porch gathering.

Bruce’s take on tradition has landed him in collaborations with some of the world’s most highly respected players from roots to rock. He is a special guest on legend rocker Mark Knopfler’s recent CD, “Tracker.” His 1865 Songs of Hope & Home with Anonymous 4, was on Billboard’s top 10 for weeks. Along with Andy Irvine & Donal Lunny, Bruce is a founding member of the supergroup Mozaik, with three recordings. You can see Bruce on the BBC TV “Transatlantic Sessions” with Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas, and on “David Holt’s State of Music” on PBS. He stays active touring and recording with longtime collaborators Darol Anger, Tony Trischka and Mountain Drifters’ Allison de Groot.

February 2022 marked the long-anticipated release of Bruce’s solo guitar CD: “Everywhere You Go,” a coming-together of new interpretations and arrangements of a wide swath of styles.

Bruce holds the title of “Visiting Scholar in the American Roots Music Program” at Berklee College of Music, where he is the go-to guy for the next generation of roots musicians.

“Performing and teaching traditional music are the biggest things in my world. For me, being a musician isn’t a standalone thing; it informs everything I do in my life. It’s always been about being creative and being a part of something much bigger than myself, a link in the musical chain and part of the community of people who play it and love it.” — Bruce

Bruce Molksy

Advanced Banjo

with Allison de Groot
ABOUT THE CLASS

Class description coming soon.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

On clawhammer banjo, Allison de Groot has become a significant voice in the North American traditional and Americana music scenes. Her style is adventurous and grounded, and No Depression writes it “transports the listener to a different plane”. Starting out on banjo in her hometown of Winnipeg, MB, Allison’s grown into a career of exciting collaborations and continued musical exploration. She has performed and recorded alongside some of the most renowned traditional musicians in North American and Europe. Allison was nominated by the Americana Music Association for 2023 ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’.

Collaboration is at the centre of Allison’s music. Her duo with fiddler Tatiana Hargreaves has been described by Bandcamp Daily as “one living, breathing organism”. Allison and Tatiana create a sound that is adventurous, masterful, and original. They expand on the eccentricities of old songs, while never losing sight of what makes them endure. Their latest release ‘Hurricane Clarice’ won two Canadian Folk Music Awards and was nominated for ‘Traditional Album of the Year’ at the Juno Awards.

Alongside bandmates Tatiana Hargreaves, percussive dancer Nic Gareiss and legendary fiddler Bruce Molsky, Allison has performed at festivals such as Newport Folk Festival, Pickathon, Red Wing Roots, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Hardly Strictly and Celtic Connections. For a second year in a row, Allison and Tatiana are working in with the Celtic Connections Transatlantic Sessions house band led by Jerry Douglas.

Allison De Groot

Mandolin

with Reed Stutz
ABOUT THE CLASS

Class description coming soon.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Multi instrumentalist and singer Reed Stutz is recognized for his soulful delivery of stringband music and powerful rhythmic sensibility. Reed weaves timeless, old sounds into a distinctive, fresh style, fueled by a love for traditional American music and an inclination to explore its limits. Close attention to the music’s early recordings anchor Reed’s sound, through which he relays essential qualities of stringband music that blur the distinction between old time and bluegrass. “I love the fact that Reed deep dives into his music, searching for the secrets that might reveal its soul.” – Alice Gerrard

Reed brings music to audiences as a member of Molsky’s Mountain Drifters (Bruce Molsky, Allison de Groot), the Nokosee Fields Trio, the Alice Gerrard Band, and has collaborated with musicians including Tatiana Hargreaves, Bella White, David Peterson, Joseph Decosimo, Joe Troop, Andrew Marlin, and Laura Orshaw. His playing and singing can be heard on Bella White’s album “Just Like Leaving,” Alice Gerrard’s “Sun to Sun,” Joe Troop’s “Borrowed Time,” and Laura Orshaw’s “Solitary Diamond.”

Reed is an experienced teacher and enjoys the opportunity to share his approach, regularly teaching private lessons and at camps around the country. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2022 and performs regularly in the area with a variety of bluegrass and old time groups.

Reed Stutz

Guitar

with Chance McCoy
ABOUT THE CLASS

It’s all about the groove! In this class we will explore how to develop rock solid timing, stylistic approaches and unique techniques for playing old time guitar. Learn fluid bass runs, try your hand at some pre war mountain style finger picking or learn how a few simple altered tunings can radically change the creative approach to playing old time guitar.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Chance McCoy is a Grammy winning Indie Folk musician, music producer and film composer from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Chance grew up in a musical family, as a baby he spent hours strapped to his fathers back while his father recorded synth music in the families home studio. As a young man he took an unlikely musical direction, studying the obscure traditional folk music of Appalachia with old master musicians from West Virginia under a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. After many years steeping himself in the lost traditions of American string band music he went on to win Fiddle, Banjo and Dulcimer championships as well as first place honors in the International String Band contest known as ‘Clifftop’. In 2008 he released ‘Chance McCoy and The Appalachian Stringband’ a collection of traditional music recorded live around one mic that slowly gained a cult following among Old Time Music enthusiasts.

His commitment to folk music and deep love for the traditional ways of the mountaineer soon landed him in an unintentional situation though, abject poverty.  Chance was living with his young son in a run down cabin near Floyd, VA surviving on food stamps and scratching out a meager living teaching local fiddle lessons when a cold call from Old Crow Medicine Show landed him an invite to join the legendary Americana band of ‘Wagon Wheel’ fame.  He moved to Nashville to join the band in 2012 and toured extensively with OCMS, recording multiple albums with the band before parting ways in 2019 to pursue new musical projects and return to his farm in WV. His first album with Old Crow, where he debuted his talents as song writer, singer and instrumentalist, earned the band a Grammy for best folk album in 2014.

Chance has worked with artists such as Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, Brandi Carlile, Willie Nelson, Sturgil Simpson, Margo Price, Yelawolf, Kesha and many others. During Chance’s time in Nashville he built up a reputation as a session player and music producer. In 2018 Chance began developing his rural farm in an idyllic valley in Appalachia into a destination recording studio experience while focusing his creative talents on producing new artists, scoring for films and releasing singles as an independent artist. His first projects from the rural studio were writing music for the film ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ starring Shia Labeouf and The showtime series ‘The Good Lord Bird’ starring Ethan Hawke.

Chance McCoy

Advanced Fiddle

with Tessa McCoy
ABOUT THE CLASS

Taking it to the next level… and beyond! This class will focus on getting a full, complex and driving sound out of your fiddle. Through a few carefully selected tunes taught by ear, we’ll work on concepts like bowing attack and choices of rhythmic phrasing that you can then take and apply to any tune. Bring your fiddles in standard tuning, bring a recording device and be ready for a great weekend!

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Originally from Saint Albans, West Virginia, Tessa Dillon McCoy has been playing fiddle since she was six years old. As a regular blue ribbon recipient in fiddle contests around the region, she’s a 3 time WV State Fiddle champion (Vandalia) and also won the Appalachian Stringband Festival (Clifftop) in 2022. Tessa toured the US and Australia with her former band, Big Possum Stringband, which won first place at Clifftop in 2018 and released a self-titled album in 2019. She now fiddles in her new band, The State Birds, and in The Jesse Milnes Band (electric country). She is Program Coordinator for the Augusta Heritage Center, directs Augusta’s after school old-time program, teaches fiddle for West Virginia University, and has many private students.

Tessa McCoy

Intermediate Banjo

with Mac Traynham
ABOUT THE CLASS
This class will be for intermediate/advanced level players who are comfortable with the basic lefthand techniques of hammer-on, pull-offs, and slides as well as the drop-thumb technique for right hand. Mac will be teaching banjo tunes in alternate tunings found in the repertoire of the ‘clawhammer style’ masters from the ‘local’ Blue Ridge area. The basic techniques will be employed for emphasizing melody while blending the fundamental right-hand clawhammer ‘lick’. Mac will show students how to ‘tastefully’ emphasize non melodic aspects such as drones and off-beat chops as the tune flows through time. More advanced techniques such as double thumb, rakes, and combination licks will be shown for variation and enhancement of one’s overall performance of a tune.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

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. Mac is also a renowned luthier building sought-after banjos and guitars and a beloved teacher dedicated to sharing his extensive knowledge of Southwest Virginia musical traditions.

Handmade Music School Teacher Mac Traynham

Appalachian Dance

with Gina Dilg
ABOUT THE CLASS

Take a deep dive into Appalachian Percussive Dance styles, gaining new steps and vocabulary, as well knowledge of dance styles and traditions with Southwest Virginia dance legends. Each class will include a combination of dissecting and learning flatfooting, clogging, and buckdancing steps from Sophie Moeckel and Gina Dilg in a small group setting with live music. We will also get an inside look into the history and tradition of dance from some of our favorite dancers in the region, with one or more guest dancers joining each day to pass along their unique regional styles and steps and share what this dance means to them.

All levels are welcome in this class, but a familiarity with the foundations of Appalachian dance is encouraged so that you can take your dancing to the next level.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Gina Dilg:

Gina Dilg is a passionate and dedicated musician and dancer with a deep love for preserving and sharing the rich traditions of old-time music. Her journey through the diverse landscape of American folk music and dance has taken her across the country, but it was in the rolling hills of Southwest Virginia that she truly found her musical and rhythmic home.

Gina’s musical roots run deep, nurtured by her parents’ dedication to the music in New Mexico. She grew up attending events like the Mt. Airy Fiddlers Convention in North Carolina and Clifftop in West Virginia, where her appreciation for the cultural tapestry woven by the melodies and rhythms of American folk music took root.

The Colorado years brought a new dimension to Gina’s musical journey when she met her husband, Jason Dilg, and invited him to her project Firing Line Stringband. Their shared passion for traditional string band music led them to Southwest Virginia in 2016, where they fully immersed themselves in the vibrant music scene, playing with the Earl White String Band, Joe Thrift & The Yeehaw Ramblers, and as their duo The Lovely Mountaineers. Gina also formed the high-energy string band The Mustard Cutters with Trish Fore, Ashlee Watkins and Brett Morris.

One of Gina’s defining moments was the discovery of flatfoot dance while living in this region. She was deeply inspired by the generations of dancers at the Floyd Country Store and honed her dance skills at the first Floyd Get Together camp organized by the Handmade Music School and taught by Becky Hill. Gina realized that flatfoot dance could be a powerful instrument for musical conversation, enhancing the energy and spirit of any jam or performance. She also found that percussive dance offered an incredible cardio workout—a welcome counterbalance to sitting for days at a fiddlers’ convention.

Gina has shared her love for dance and music by organizing numerous dance workshops in the area, earning recognition with ribbons at some of the most well-known conventions such as Galax, Clifftop String Band Festival, and Mt. Airy. What she loves most is sharing the sheer joy of dance with others, making old-time music accessible and engaging for people of all ages and abilities. Gina believes that old-time music is made for dancing, and she is passionate about giving her community as much joy through music and dance as possible.

Gina Dilg with Fiddle

Staff Musician

Haseldon Ciacco

Haselden (Hasee / “HAY-zee”) Ciaccio (“see-AH-ko”) [she/they] is a performer, maker, and educator residing in Cove Creek, NC. Born and raised on the Low Country coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, she made her way to the Mountain South in 2010 to study traditional Appalachian music and culture at East Tennessee State University. Hasee drives the upright bass with honed skill and conviction well beyond her years, moving listeners at festivals, intimate venues, and concert halls alike. In recent years, she has been touring with the timeless and legendary act Laurie Lewis and The Right Hands since 2018, as well as the all star bluegrass band Sister Sadie, since 2019. During Hasee’s time with Sister Sadie, the band has regularly appeared on Nashville’s own “The Grand Ole Opry”, and has taken home various International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, including “Entertainer of the Year” in 2020, the industry’s highest honor, which had never previously been awarded to an all female group. Throughout Hasee’s years as a performer, she has shared the stage with artists among the likes of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, Molly Tuttle, Dale Ann Bradley, and David Grisman, playing at such notable venues as New York City’s Lincoln Center, PBS’s Song of the Mountains, and San Francisco’s “Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.” Her debut album “HAY” was released in Fall of 2018, featuring traditional stringband music and top performers of the Old-Time realm. While off tour, you might find her caning chairs, canning preserves, teaching lessons online, or sitting on the porch at her home in Western North Carolina. Haselden enjoys teaching at roots music camps, and works with folks in all age groups. She has previously taught at Targhee Music Camp, Bluegrass Camps for Kids, Folk College, and serves as a faculty instructor at Mountain Music School in Big Stone Gap, VA.

Haseldon Ciaccio

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 is also the general manager of County Sales in Floyd, VA, and a member of several esteemed dance bands!

Corbin Hayslett with Banjo

Staff Musician

Hanna Traynham

Although Hanna grew up with old-time music in the family home, she only came to appreciate it after she left the Blue Ridge Mountains. As a child, singing in church congregations established Hanna’s early affinity for multi-part harmonies and old gospel music. Later, she learned to play clawhammer banjo from her Dad, Mac Traynham, and backup guitar from her Mom, Jenny Traynham, when home visiting. Living in the Pacific Northwest, Hanna’s connection to home was deepened through playing music and singing with others. For five years she toured with the Seattle-based all-female band The Barn Owls. When in Portland, she established the annual Gospel Event for Sinners and Saints. Hanna considers the Old Time Music community part of her extended family. Now Hanna lives in Western North Carolina teaching Art at Appalachian State University, giving banjo lessons, playing music gigs, and making ceramic art. She is so glad to be back home in Appalachia.

Hanna Traynham

Staff Musician

Jared Boyd

Jared Boyd grew up in the small community of Laurel Fork in Carroll County, Virginia and spent the early years of his life surrounded by old-time music on both sides of his family. He learned clawhammer banjo from Ray Chatfield through the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program as well as from his grandfather Jimmy Boyd, co-founder of the Franklin County, VA old-time dance band, The Dry Hill Draggers. His playing has also been influenced by local players of past and present such as Kyle Creed, Tommy Jarrell, Brien Fain, Emily Spencer, and Eddie Bond to name a few.  Jared has won 1st place in clawhammer banjo competitions at all of the fiddlers conventions around the Galax and surrounding areas, including winning the blue ribbon four times at the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention and Best All Around Performer at the 2022 and 2023 Galax conventions.  Jared currently plays with the Twin Creeks Stringband, 1st place winners of the Old-Time Band competition at the 2022 and 2023 Galax Old Fiddlers Convention.

Jared Boyd

Staff Musician

Raistlin Brabson

Raistlin Brabson is old time musician from Franklin County, Virginia. He began by playing percussion and guitar in local bands until picking up his great-great grandfather, Grey Craig’s fiddle 2 years ago. Inspired by local masters such as Chris Prillaman, and the likes of legendary fiddler Clark Kessinger, Raistlin has won numerous contests and is no stranger to fiddling for a dance!

Raistlin Brabson

Handmade Music School Staff

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

Handmade Music School/Floyd Country Store Staff

Dylan Locke

Dylan Locke has been producing music, performing arts and educational outreach programs for the last 30 years. His work over the years has focused on presenting culturally-diverse arts programs to Western Virginia communities. He has worked in close collaboration with community groups
and artists to facilitate grass roots cultural aspirations. Dylan is also a musician and has performed and recorded with a large variety of music ensembles over the past 30 years and his work as an arts presenter has been prolific, presenting thousands of shows and community events over his career
in Southwest Virginia.

Dylan is the co-owner of the Floyd Country Store in Floyd, VA, along with his wife, Heather Krantz. Together they both work tirelessly to promote and celebrate the traditional music, dance and lifestyle of the Blue Ridge Plateau region of Virginia. In addition, Dylan serves as executive director of The Handmade Music School and has taken over County Sales, the world’s largest selection of old time and bluegrass music in the world, a business that has served a large community of music lovers since 1965. Both the Floyd Country Store and County Sales are major venues on Virginia’s Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail (which Dylan is currently the board president).

Dylan was the Artistic Director at Jefferson Center in Roanoke for 13 years before landing at The Floyd Country Store. Dylan did all of the programming in Roanoke and was a big part of Roanoke renaissance back in the early 2000’s. Dylan was responsible for the Music Lab moving to Jefferson Center in 2009 and created a unique model of music education that attracted many teaching artists, musicians and creative collaborators. Dylan has produced many projects that have received high acclaim regionally and nationally. Since leaving Jefferson Center in 2015, Dylan and Heather are bringing all of their experiences as performers, performing arts administrators and community-building advocates to the small town of Floyd where they are building on the incredible foundation that existed at The Floyd Country Store, a place that has been the center of a small community for over 100 years and still provides a warm, inviting space to enjoy the better things in life.

Dylan Locke

Handmade Music School/Floyd Country Store Staff

Heather Krantz

Heather Krantz is one of the co-owners of the Floyd Country Store in Floyd, VA. Together with her husband, Dylan Locke, they both work tirelessly to promote and celebrate the traditional music, dance and lifestyle of the Blue Ridge Plateau region of Virginia. Heather is an accomplished banjo player, guitarist and vocalist who performs with Larry Sigmon & The Virginia Girls, Up Jumped Trouble and other Southwest Virginia string band musicians.

Heather has immersed herself in caretaking the Floyd Country Store and the vibrant community that surrounds the Store. Heather has been leader within this community for years and brings all of her experiences as a performer, a performing arts administrator and a community-building advocate to the small town of Floyd where she is building on the incredible foundation that existed at The Floyd Country Store, a place that has been the center of a small community for over 100 years and still provides a warm, inviting space to enjoy the better things in life.

Handmade Music School Staff

Jamie Collins

Born and raised encircled by the rich history of mountain music traditions of the Blue Ridge, Jamie Collins carries tradition forward with her own fresh take on bluegrass, old-time, country music, and dance.

“My teaching philosophy is centered around the student. I believe that we as teachers have a responsibility to teach students how to build their self esteem and feel ready to enjoy their learning process. Through teaching music, I have the gift of teaching self confidence, self expression, team building, perseverance, and appreciation for the arts and cultural diversity. Music is a universal language that bridges gaps of diversity.

Jamie teaches guitar, bass, and beginner to intermediate fiddle with The Handmade Music School and Junior Appalachian Musicians. She has worked with children of all ages since graduating from East Tennessee State University in 2012; receiving a Bachelors Degree in Education, and a minor from the Bluegrass Old Time and Country Music Studies.

“I grew up in a musical family and my early memories include spending time with my family and enjoying music. I still very much enjoy that same experience, and through teaching I experience that with other families. Our rich musical culture here in the Appalachian mountains builds community and it is something that I feel is worth celebrating and persevering for our future generations.”

Jamie Collins