June 8-11, 2023
The Stuart’s Opera House Arts Education Department has reimagined Old Time Music Week into a 4 day camp-out at Snow Fork Event Center in Nelsonville teaching and celebrating the music, art, and cultural traditions of Central Appalachia!
Workshops in Old Time Music, dancing and calling, traditional crafts and more will be offered all weekend long.
Workshops + Primitive Camping are now FREE thanks to the generous support of the Ohio Arts Council!
Here’s what a typical day will look like:
- 10 am-12pm: Instrument-Specific Classes
- 1-2 pm: FREE Afternoon Concert
- 2-3 pm: Open Jam
- 3 – 4:30 pm: Workshops (3 options)
- 7-9 pm: Evening Concert
All tickets include the option to camp primitively and/or park.
- If you want to camp in an RV, Motorhome, or Vehicle with large camper, please purchase the add-on RV camping option at checkout.
- Snow Fork Event Center will open the evening of Wednesday, June 7th at 7pm to allow accommodations for campers. Campsite will close at 3 pm on Sunday, June 11th.
- BYOB is welcomed and encouraged, as long as its not glassware! We also recommend bringing your own food for the weekend, as accommodations are limited.
The Novice level clawhammer banjo class is designed for students who are becoming comfortable with the basic “bum ditty” stroke, and already play a few simple tunes. We will build on that foundation to polish up the mechanics of your hand movements, including such helpful strokes as the hammer-on, pull-off, and drop-thumb, as well as learn some new tunes in some tunings you might not yet have worked with. My teaching style is supportive and relaxed, and I’m looking forward to this “camping” format as I believe it will facilitate jamming with others. Please bring an electronic tuner and a capo with you to class. You’re welcome to do as much recording as you like, but I will also be sure to supply video lessons for the tunes and techniques we work on.
High on the Mountain: The Songs of Ola Belle Reed
In this intermediate class we’ll delve into the repertoire of clawhammer banjo player and songwriter Ola Wave Campbell, better known as Ola Belle Reed. Born in Lansing, North Carolina, Ola Belle lived most of her life in Rising Sun, Maryland, near the Mason-Dixon line. In 1986 she received recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts. Many of her songs describe a modern migrant woman’s perspective of heartache, loss and exile. We’ll explore different aspects of singing and playing the banjo, and learn songs like “High on a Mountain,” “I’ve Endured” and lesser known gems. A banjo capo will come in handy.
In this class, we’ll explore fiddle basics, learn a couple of tunes and talk about how to continue learning after the weekend ends. Taking your fiddle to a music store for a general check-up is a good way to be prepared for class, but I’ll have a small collection of items (strings, shoulder rests) that will be available for purchase. Bringing a recording device (smartphone is perfect!) will allow you to take home and practice what we work on in class. Feel free to reach out with any questions: email@example.com.
Fiddle Cross Tunings
In this class we will explore some of the more common cross-tunings that were once as important as the so-called standard tuning used today. The harmonics and overtones that occur in different places in each of these tunings open up different worlds of sound and feeling in the keys of A, D, and G. We will learn a representative sample of tunes in at least three of these tunings.
Beginner Guitar entails foundational instruction in how to hold the instrument, formulate open chord shapes, execute bass lines, and serve as solid accompaniment to a fiddle tune or song. Not only will students walk away with old-time guitar knowledge and musical sensibility, but also, a better understanding of the facets of old time music tradition.
Pre War Country Guitar Styles
The turn of the 20th century saw a blossoming of music on the newly available instrument circulating amongst the rural areas of Appalachia, the guitar. In this class we will explore some of the unique ways this instrument was approached by old time musicians. Finger picking styles, alternative tunings and rare flat picking patterns will all be explored as we cherry pick some of the very best historic approaches to the instrument and repertoire of early American guitar.
Zekes Mandolin Class will be exploring the playing of old time/early Bluegrass mandolinist Red Rector. We will be discussing some of Reds early influences, favored instrument, style, recordings, career as well as learning a handful of choice tunes from the well-known County Record that Red recorded with Norman Blake.
Music, Art, and Culture Workshops
Songs of Joe Thompson
Taught by Hubby Jenkins
Fiddler Joe Thompson was the last survivor of a tradition that once flourished throughout much of the rural American South: the music of the black string band.
Intro to Harmony
Lead by The Local Honeys
Learn to sing in harmony with Linda and Montana from the Local Honeys! Vocal harmonies run deep through the traditional music of Appalachia and these two know the ins and outs.
Plant Hike: Regional Woods Lore, Food, and Wisdom
Lead by Talcon Quinn
Athens County native Talcon Quinn will lead a plant hike identifying and discussing regional plants, their lore, food and wisdom. Discussion will include proper harvesting techniques, preservation, and an array of practical/historical uses for numerous Appalachian medicinal plants. Talcon ancestors have long been in the Ohio River Valley, her earliest interaction with wild foods was sent to collect herbs for her Great Grandmother, Gladys.
Banjo Blues 101
Lead by Hubby Jenkins
This workshop will focus on the basics of blues banjo picking through the music of Gus Cannon. Hubby will break down a few rolls, patterns, and techniques to get you started on your blues journey.
Lead by Bobby Taylor
This fiddle workshop will focus on fiddle styles of West Virginia fiddlers.Bobby Taylor will share some history of the tunes and the fiddlers who played them.He will teach a couple of tunes and show various bowing styles. Also, we will explore techniques in pulling good tone.
Lead by Tessa Evanosky and Frankie Coppola
Join Tessa and Frankie in a basic hand quilting workshop. Participants will learn to piece together and hand stitch a simple maple leaf quilt square layer batting and fabric under it and then hand quilt a potholder to take home with them. All supplies provided.
Playing the Bones
Lead by Hubby Jenkins
Since the dawn of man, the rhythm bones have passed from hand to hand becoming one of the most widely played instruments in the world. After many travels, the bones made their way to America and became an integral part of American popular music. Come learn a bit more about the history and playing of this unique instrument. Hubby will demonstrate how to hold the bones and also how to play simple rhythms that’ll get you playing in no time.
WV Fiddle Tunes
Lead by Dave Bing
Description coming soon
Lead by Jesse Milnes
Description coming soon
Learn the basics of the Appalachian Turkey Wing Brooms with Curt Cable
Brooms are a passion for Curt who began making brooms around 20 years ago after meeting a broom maker at the Backwoods festival in Thornville, OH. He makes all shapes and sizes and styles in his Log cabin studio near Amesville, OH. He has attended many festivals in the Tri State area over the years peddling his wares and currently for 2023 is slated to be at the Local Lilly festival in Rockbridge in July, the Penns Colony Festival in Pennsylvania in September and the prestigious “Christmas in the Woods” festival in Columbiana, Ohio in October.
Join Curt for a laid-back session and put together your own Turkey Wing broom while learning some broom lore and history as well. Moderate hand and arm strength required.
Beginner Guitar Instructor
Blakeley is a multi-instrumentalist from Lexington, Kentucky who seeks out versatile styles on fiddle and guitar. She received a Bachelor’s of Music in violin performance from the University of Louisville and teaches traditional music regionally. She was selected to be a Mentor Artist of Traditional Music by the Kentucky Arts Council (2022-2023). As a fiddle player who deeply respects Appalachian music tradition, she has spent much time learning the oldtime style of guitar accompaniment.
Beginner Banjo Instructor
Hilarie Burhans been playing and teaching my driving clawhammer banjo style for more than 45 years. I’m the co-founder of the nationally-touring Hotpoint Stringband, with whom she has recorded five albums, and has collaborated on too many other musical projects to count. A track from her solo CD was featured on an episode of the acclaimed HBO series Deadwood. Well over 5000 subscribers enjoy her YouTube banjo channel, and her banjo instructional Patreon has more than 500 paid subscribers. In her younger days, I won the Ohio State Banjo Contest nine times, and is very proud to have placed in the contests at the Appalachian Stringband Festival (Clifftop) a number of times (3rd in Banjo, and First Place in both the Traditional Band and NeoTraditional Band contests.) She loves teaching banjo, and especially loves working with beginners and with folks making the transition from learning note-by-note from an instructor or tablature to learning tunes from recordings or “on the fly” at jams.
Beginner Fiddle Instructor
Originally from Saint Albans, West Virginia, Tessa Dillon 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.
Advanced Fiddle Instructor
John Harrod has documented, recorded, and performed traditional music for more than 45 years. Born and raised in Shelby County, Kentucky, he has a B.A. from Centre College (1967) and an M.A. from Oxford University (1969) which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. Recently retired, he taught history and English at Owen County High School and Frankfort High School. In the 1970s and ’80s, he played with a number of bands including the Progress Red Hot String Band, the Bill Livers String Ensemble, and the Gray Eagle Band that re-introduced traditional musicians such as Bill Livers and Lily May Ledford to Kentucky audiences. During this time he also worked for three years as a Kentucky Arts Council folk artist-in-residence in Wolfe, Estill, and Trimble Counties. Along with Mark Wilson and Guthrie Meade, he produced a series of field recordings of Kentucky fiddle and banjo players that is still available on Rounder Records. In 2015 the Field Recorders Collective issued his recordings of Carlton Rawlings and Darley Fulks, two exceptional and heretofore unknown fiddlers who have had a great impact on his life. John’s field recordings are housed at both Berea College and the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music at Morehead. He has taught fiddle and conducted workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center, the American Festival of Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington, the Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music, and the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School. He continues to perform with Kentucky Wild Horse, a band that draws on a wide variety of Kentucky music past and present. In 2004 John received the Folk Heritage Award of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts for his work in traditional music.
Zeke grew up with music all around, both his grandfathers played the fiddle and his father and uncle performed nationally as the Hutchison Brothers. Zeke recently recorded with Tim O’Brien on his Short Order Sessions.
Advanced Guitar Instructor
Chance McCoy is a Grammy winning artist, music producer and film composer from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. He has recorded and performed with a diverse roster of artists including, Willie Nelson, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford and Sons, Kesha, The Lumineers, NEEDTOBREATHE, Tyler Childers, Yelawolf, Margo Price, Rhiannon Giddens and more. His solo recordings have been met with critical acclaim and span from traditional Appalachian string band music to genre bending Americana. Chance was raised in a musical family and was exposed to music from birth, he was strapped to his fathers back as an infant while his father spent long hours composing in their home studio. Chance taught himself to play by ear and was regarded as a phenom among his teen-age friends who would bring records to the shed he lived in behind the family home and watch in amazement as he would learn to play an album in its entirety by ear.
In his twenties he delved deeply into the traditional music of the Appalachian region he grew up in, traveling to fiddlers conventions, summer camps and apprenticing with master artists. He became a well regarded multi-instrumentalist and singer during these formative years, learning to play a multitude of styles on multiple instruments. He also captured top honors in many of the regions most prestigious contests, sometimes winning multiple blue ribbons on different instruments at the same contest.
Chance currently resides in the isolated area of Monroe County, West Virginia where he has built a world class residential recording studio to produce music in. He alsocontinues to performs as a solo artist and collaborate with other musicians, score films, teach at music camps and travel to regional fiddlers conventions during the summer.
Advanced Banjo Instructor
Nadia spent much of her twenties traveling through West Virginia and East Tennessee, where she first heard and began playing old-time music. She has played banjo in the High Tops (Brett Ratliff, Stephanie Jeter, and Andy Duckworth) and more currently with the Possum Queens (Anna Harrod, Jodie Koch, and Julia Purcell). Living in Kentucky for the past several years, she’s delved deep into the Kentucky repertoire and met many talented players and a wonderful community. Nadia is based in Louisville.