2016 June Music & Dance Week

(formerly Wheatland Music Camp)

2nd Annual June Music & Dance Week

2016 Information:
Day Schedule
Evening Schedule
Evening Event Descriptions 
Class Descriptions
Attendee Welcome & Arrival Letter
**Click here to download the Wheatland Music Camp Newsletter**

2016 Classes

FiddleGuitarBanjoMandolinDanceHarmonicaWritingBand ClassesMisc.

Fiddle from Scratch (with Bruce Bauman): For students who would like to learn the basics needed to start right from scratch.

Old Time Fiddle I (with Rafe Stefanini) Participants should have a basic ability to play and tune their instrument.  The teaching will be slow and methodical with attention given to a good melody and bowing.  Audio and video recording devices are highly recommended.

Old Time Fiddle II (with Rafe Stefanini) The music will be learned by ear, with emphasis on listening and repetition.  We will explore tunes and styles from Appalachia and the deep south. This is an intermediate/advanced class so an appropriate knowledge of the genre and a certain level of skill is required for the participants.  A recording device is also highly recommended. Video is also ok.

Cajun Fiddle I (with Bo Ledet): Using some basic tunes, learn the unique slides and syncopations that make Cajun music so recognizable. Also learn the basic Cajun seconding style.

Cajun Fiddle II (with Jonno Frishberg): Explore various techniques and theory to develop a versatile, recognizably Cajun style, which can be adapted for different situations- (twin fiddle, accordion trio, full band, etc.)

Bluegrass Fiddle I (with Dan Seabolt): Left and right hand technique, basic theory, bowing patterns, drones, simple tunes.

Bluegrass Fiddle II (with Dan Seabolt): Advanced bowing, theory, shifting, tunes, posture, what to do while playing with others

Celtic Fiddle I (with Patrick Ourceau):  This class will focus on the basic technical aspects of playing traditional Irish music on the fiddle.  These will include bowing/phrasing, left-hand and bow-hand ornamentations, tips on developing or improving tone and on how to practice more efficiently.  I only teach by ear and strongly recommend students to bring some type of audio recording device.  The emphasis of this class will be on listening and I will discuss the importance of simplicity and melodic integrity in interpretation of the music.  I will also stress the importance of finding and learning good settings of tunes in developing repertoire and will present examples to illustrate the great variety of individual and regional styles in the music.  The various tools acquired during the week will give students the ability to better differentiate various styles of playing and the confidence and skills to learn music more easily on their own.

Celtic Fiddle II (with Patrick Ourceau):  In this class, the focus will be more on repertoire.  I will show students various settings of better-known tunes and more unfamiliar ones.  Technical aspects such as bowing/phrasing, left-hand and bow-hand ornamentations and tone production will be covered as well.  The emphasis of this class will be more on finding expression in the music, on exploring possibilities in variations in tunes while maintaining great melodic integrity rather than on speed and technical display.  Listening will also be a focus of this class.

Guitar from Scratch (with Banjo-Jim Foerch): For students who would like to learn the basics needed to start right from scratch.

Old Time Guitar I (with Mark Palms): Learn the principal guitar backup techniques commonly used in old-time music including strum patterns and bass runs.

Old Time Guitar II (with Mark Palms): Learn a variety of rhythmic patterns and develop melodic lines common in old time country and gospel music.

Bluegrass Guitar I (with Jim Hurst):  This class will revisit the fundamentals of playing Bluegrass guitar, focusing on the tools that allow us to grow at a general good pace, to gain understanding and confidence to be able to play with others including jams.  Importance of timing, scales, chord switching, hand positions, melody, rhythm, and single-note picking.  Note-taking supplies, lists of questions, etc. are recommended.

Bluegrass Guitar II (with Jim Hurst):  This class will focus on the importance of melody and timing, scales, chord shapes and position including introduction into the CAGED system.  Revisiting fundamentals and building tools that allow us to grow and gain understanding of the fretboard, and ultimately confidence.  Note-taking supplies, lists of questions, etc. are recommended.

Dobro (with Drew Howard): Open G tuning.  This class will start from the ground up; tuning, bar technique, right hand rolls, vibrato, repertoire.

Pedal & Lap Steel (with Drew Howard): E9 and C6/A6 tunings, technique, players, repertoire from country to western swing and beyond, demonstrations, tone, gear, history and time-line of instruments.

Bottleneck Slide (with Drew Howard): Using a standard guitar, we’ll explore tunings, styles, tone, players and repertoire.  Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Duane Allman.

Celtic Guitar Accompaniment (with David Bowen):  Intermediate-advanced level.  Rhythmic patterns and right hand methods.  Chord progressions beyond 1-4-5; Theory; Styles; Non-standard tunings.

Banjo from Scratch (with Banjo-Jim Foerch): For students who would like to learn the basics needed to start right from scratch.

Old Time Banjo I (with Travis Stuart): We will work on some basic well known  Clawhammer banjo tunes in standard G tuning. Will learn a few basic tricks and tips for improving timing and tone for getting a better banjo sound. Also , toward the end of the week we will explore a few different tunings to expand you knowledge of different keys.

Old Time Banjo II (with Travis Stuart): In this class we will explore some alternative tunings used in solo banjo playing from some of the late masters from the mountains.  Also will cover topics such as playing with a fiddler, getting better tone , styles of regions in Appalachia . Will cover left and right hand techniques, basic chord structures, and general tips for improving your banjo playing.

Bluegrass Banjo I (with Paul Pope) In this class we’ll focus on good solid basics, helping you get off to a great start. We’ll tackle effective practice techniques, working with tablature, use of finger picks, tuning basics, the use of capos, timing and rhythm, tips and tricks for tackling tough chords, and learning how to build speed. We’ll learn many of the common rolls that most banjo pickers use. We’ll also begin a focus of learning our banjo necks well, and we’ll tackle a beginner-level song together.

Bluegrass Banjo II (with Paul Pope) In this class we’ll assume that the students can play a few songs from beginning to end. We’ll focus on playing those songs in a group setting, including some jam session tips and tricks. We’ll discuss how to build a lead to a song from scratch. We’ll learn about the Nashville Numbering System and how this can help us play in several keys without the capo. We’ll focus on learning our banjo necks well, and we’ll learn a song together in class. We’ll also tackle many prominent Scruggs licks that you hear so many pickers use when they perform.

Mando from Scratch (with Bruce Gartner) For students who would like to learn the basics needed to start right from scratch.

Beginner Mandolin (with Don Julin)
Monday: Getting Started
Tuesday: 5 Chords & 4 Strumming Patterns
Wednesday: Playing Your First Melodies
Thursday: Counting & Subdividing Beats
Friday: What Goes Up Must Come Down

Intermediate Mandolin (with Don Julin):
Monday: EZ Fiddle Tunes (Old-Time Style)
Tuesday: Tremolo
Wednesday: Jigs, Reels & Hornpipes (Irish Style)
Thursday: The Sound of Silence (Timing exercise)
Friday: Long Journey Home (Bluegrass Style)

Advanced Mandolin (with Don Julin)
Monday: Mastering the Fingerboard
Tuesday: Improvisation 101: Jamming for Dummies
Wednesday: Triplets, Hammer-ons, Pull-offs & Slides
Thursday: Blues Mandolin
Friday: Intro to Chord Melody (Solo Arrangements)

Clogging I (with Becky Hill): We will look at the clogging basics, working with drills, and choreography in order to become ready to dance to any fiddle tune, anytime – anywhere. No prior experience necessary.

Clogging II (with Becky Hill): We will work on percussive dance drills, technique, musicality, improvisation and choreography. We will work in teams and individually. Plan to construct and deconstruct traditional clogging steps. Previous percussive dance experience required.

Flatfooting (with Becky Hill): We will start for step one and explore the Tennessee Walking and numerous other flatfooting styles. We will explore improvisation and musicality in order to create our own style of flatfooting.  No prior experience necessary.

Cajun & Zydeco Dance (with Mark Stoltz)  Learn the fundamentals of Cajun dancing with dancer, teacher Mark Stoltz as he guides you through the Cajun Waltz and Cajun Two-Step .The jitterbug and Zydeco.  These lessons will teach you basic steps and enable you to dance to any Louisiana music. For those who have mastered the basic steps, learn more complex moves and variations you can use to build variety and develop a personal style.  Focus will be on the Cajun waltz, jitterbug, two-step and an introduction to Zydeco.

Dancing is the highest honor one can pay a Cajun or Zydeco band.  It is the applause.

Harmonica from Scratch (with Banjo-Jim Foerch): For students who would like to learn the basics needed to start right from scratch.

Harmonica I (with Peter Madcat Ruth) BRING A 10-HOLE HARMONICA IN THE KEY OF C (no chromatic harmonicas; no echo, double reed harmonicas).  The basics – How to hold it.  How to find the notes.  How to play chords.  How to play single notes.

Harmonica II (with Peter Madcat Ruth)  BRING A 10-HOLE HARMONICA IN THE KEY OF C (no chromatic harmonicas; no echo, double reed harmonicas).  Playing simple melodies in first position.  Playing bluesy stuff in second position.  How to be a better harmonica player.

Songwriting I: The Real Sound of Silence
(with Josh Rose & Drew Nelson)

  • Getting Started
  • Overcoming Writer’s Block
  • Writing Exercises
  • Taking back the art of songwriting
  • Constructing a Framework
  • “The Hook”
  • Turnarounds
  • Assignment: Pre-writing Excercise

Songwriting II: Bridge Over Troubled Lyrics
(with Josh Rose & Drew Nelson)

  • “The Hook”
  • Turnarounds
  • Rhyming Schemes
  • Melodies
  • Metaphors
  • Alternative Modifiers
  • Avoiding Cliché
  • Appealing to the Senses
  • Assignment: Song Assignment

Tune Writing (with Bruce Gartner & Mark Palms) 

This class will emphasize the basic elements of a tune, including building a melody around a simple musical phrase or “hook” and enhancing that melody with choice of chords.

The class, as a whole will compose a tune with accompanying chords.

It is also recommended that the student be able to play a melody or accompaniment instrument.

Learn from the best about how to play well with others and form your own band with fellow campers!

Cajun Band (with Cajun Staff) Form your own Cajun Band with guidance from our Cajun Music Staff!

Old Time Band (with Old Time Staff) Form your own Old Time Band with guidance from our Old Time Staff!

Bluegrass Band (with Bluegrass Staff) Form your own Bluegrass Band with guidance from our Bluegrass Staff!

Cajun Singing (with David Greely) Group call and response, lyric sheets provided, learn by imitation, stories and linguistic insights galore.

Harmony Singing (with David Greely, Sabra Guzmán & Frank Youngman): Learn to find that harmony part that’s right for you. Ear training and other essentials that make singing more fun.

Beginner Accordion (with Roger Little) The beginning accordion class will include an introduction to the instrument, simple playing techniques such as fingering, scales, and octaves, basic Cajun stylings, and some Cajun tunes as well.

Cajun/Zydeco Accordion (with Corey Ledet): Simple tunes to teach basic fingering, scales and octaves, and building on that to show how to utilize the right and left sides simultaneously.

Percussion (with Kevin Aucoin): We will be going through the basic grooves and beats for Cajun/Zydeco two steps, waltzes and shuffles,
using the T’fer (Cajun Triangle), the Frottoir (Zydeco Rubboard) and Full Drum Kit.   This class will also cover other styles per student request – all percussionists are welcome!

Ukulele I (with Frank Youngman) This class will be geared toward the “I know nothing,” to the “Help, I just got started, but don’t know where to go.”  The more familiar you are with basic chords the better.

Ukulele II (with Peter Madcat Ruth) Learn to play folk songs, blues songs, and old country songs in 5 keys, plus many tips to make your uke playing more musical.

Stand Up Bass (with Sabra Guzmán): Learn how to keep the beat with upright bass. Covering old-time/bluegrass/honky-tonk stylings.

Music Theory (with Frank Youngman) In this class we will be learning the basic structures of how music works.  Scales, chords, melodies and harmony will all be addressed, geared to the participates needs and level.  Bring your instrument.

Yoga (with Kathleen Bracken) Begin your day than with an empowering yoga session on Wheatland’s Main Stage!

2016 Instructors

Kevin AuCoinBruce BaumanDavid BowenKathleen BrackenBanjo-Jim FoerchJonno FrishbergBruce GartnerDavid GreelySabra GuzmánBecky HillDrew HowardJim HurstDon JulinBo LedetCorey LedetDrew NelsonPatrick OurceauMark PalmsPaul PopeJosh RosePeter Madcat RuthDan SeaboltRafe StefaniniMark StoltzTravis StuartFrank Youngman

*Evening Cajun Dances with Bayou DeVille*

KAucoin (492x428)

Kevin has had a prolific career playing the drums for over 35 years, playing all styles of music including rock, blues, funk, cajun and zydeco. He has performed across the US and overseas with many artists such as New Orleans Blues artists Marva Wright, Henry Butler and John Mooney; Cajun artists Bayou Deville, Bruce Daigrepont and Amanda Shaw; as well as Zydeco artist Terrance Simien.

Kevin has also been involved in other aspects of the music business. He was general manager of Tower Records in New Orleans for many years and toured the world as production manager with Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

For the last 15 years, Kevin has devoted himself to playing and preserving the music of his Cajun ancestors. He performs 6 nights a week in New Orleans and still tours the US.


bruce bauman (500x333)

Since his Plymouth, Michigan, childhood Bruce has had an interest in fiddling and square dancing.  An elder cousin spun 78 RPM fiddle records by “the Henry Ford Orchestra” while he called dances in his barn.  Hearing broadcasts of the Renfro Valley (KY) Barn Dance on WJR Detroit was an asset, too.  In 1976 Bruce took up the fiddle in earnest and with his exposure to the fiddlers at the Wheatland Music Festivals, and a growing collection of recordings, he determined to learn to play.  Twenty years later the opportunity came along to teach fiddling and the students have been coming ever since.

Bauman along with Wheatland alumni Nic Gareiss, co-founded the Earful of Fiddle Music & Dance Camp in 2009 which provides four days of classes in all levels of percussive dance, traditional fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele and group singing classes.

There are four instructional recordings available from the Earful of Fiddle Tune Library, and Bruce fiddles on two string band recordings of the Rhythm Billies from 2004 and 2008.


WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Celtic Guitar Accompaniment

David Bowen (500x500)

David Bowen is a multi-instrumental musician and balladeer whose performances have been heard from coast to coast across the United States, Canada, and Ireland. He is a two-time medalist for his guitar accompaniment in the prestigious Fleadh Cheoill All-Ireland World Music Championship competitions.  David is also an experienced piano accompanist for ceili band and contra dance ensembles, and is an award-winning old time banjo player.


Kathleen Bracken (500x500)

Kathleen Bracken received her 200hr yoga certification at OmBodies Yoga Studio and School in Mt pleasant MI, where she now has been teaching for several years. Kathleen continues her yoga education every chance she gets by attending workshops, reading old texts and new info, growing her own practice, and spending time learning from a variety of other teachers. She has a passion for helping others and uses her knowledge of yoga as tool to do that. Kathleen believes that yoga is a great way to support the rest of your life and all of your endeavors. She also loves to sing, spend time in nature, hang out with her family, and travel whenever possible. She resides in Mt Pleasant MI with her 16 year old son and her husband Ryan Johnroe.

WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Guitar from Scratch, Banjo from Scratch, Harmonica from Scratch

Jim Foerch (488x349)

Banjo-Jim Foerch picked up his first banjo in 1965 and hasn’t put it down since. As a founding member of the regional touring band Blue Water Ramblers Banjo-Jim has been pickin’ and singin’ all over the Midwest professionally since 1973. He says writing and singing songs of Michigan, America and our lives to all the people we meet on tour is the best thing he’s ever done. “Everyone I ever met around the Midwest is proud of our home state and our country. Our songs express that pride the best way we know how- by getting us all singing together!” When he isn’t picking he teaches astronomy at the Chaffee Planetarium in Grand Rapids and at the Veen Observatory in Lowell TWP. Ask for a sky tour on clear nights.

*Evening Cajun Dances with Bayou DeVille*

jonno 1

Jonno Frishberg is currently living in Breaux Bridge, and is employed by the St. Martin Parish School Board to teach music in the Gifted and Talented Program. He is also the weekend bandleader (Bayou Deville) at Mulates Restaurant and Dancehall in New Orleans, which is run by the man who created the original Mulates in Breaux Bridge during the 80s. Jonno was a local back then, and had the pleasure of listening to, and sitting in with, the bands who played there weekly: Octa Clark and Hector Duhon, D.L. Menard, Dewey Balfa, Steve Reiley, Wayne Toups, Beausoleil, Pat Breax, Jimmy Breaux, Faren Serrete, File, and others.

Jonno was the psychedelic Cajun-rock fiddler for the short-lived, but cutting edge “Cajun Rock” band, Mamou, and recorded on their first two CDs- Jungle/MCA, and Rounder. Before this, Jonno’s first Rounder record was with Richard Thompson, Sonny Landreth, Michael Doucet, Pat and Jimmy Breaux-“Cajun Brew”.   Jonno has recorded with Danny Collet (Flying Fish), Charivari (Rounder), and many others, but also has his own label: New Range Records. Bayou Deville’s frist record (See Sharp and Be Natural) is on New Range, as is Jonno- South to Louisiana, and Eva Frishberg’s first CD, Waking Up.

Jonno is not a Cajun. Jonno came to South Louisiana from Maryland in 1979, not yet twenty years old, to work offshore in the oilfield service industry. There he discovered Community Coffee, rice and gravy, and the people. He has resided in either Acadiana, New Orleans, or both, since.

Also in the mid 80’s, Jonno began teaching youths and adults in Breaux Bridge and around Lafayette to play fiddle and guitar. He played in a variety of bands, including the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra. Later, he taught himself to play the Cajun accordion, and eventually ended up as the accordion player in Charivari (also a songwriter, singer and fiddler). During his 6 years with Mitch Reed, Randy Vidrine and Bo Ledet, Jonno and the other band members were the staff band at Ashokan Fiddle and Dance, both for Southern Week, and for the New Years Camps. He has also been on staff for ten years at the Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week. Jonno has given numerous workshops, and taught numerous classes at many levels, both on fiddle and accordion, and has used guitar and triangle extensively while teaching. Jonno is also on staff at the Louisiana Folk Roots Cajun for Kids camp, along with David Greeley, Brazos Huval, Yvette Landry, Gina Forsyth, and others.

WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Tune-writing, Mandolin from Scratch

Bruce Gartner

Bruce Gartner has been playing music for over 50 years beginning with clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon in public school. As a child, Bruce’s father played mandolin and keyboard with a country band and those memories sparked a lifelong interest in playing traditional music.

Bruce is adept with both mandolin and fiddle playing in the genre most commonly referred to as Old Time music. Bruce currently gives lessons through B’s Music in Mount Pleasant. Additionally, Bruce plays traditional Irish music and has competed in all Ireland competitions in 2002 and 2003. Bruce is a member of the Old Time string bands “Rhythm Billies,” and the “Palooka Brothers.” He has played at festivals and taught workshops at Wheatland, Bliss, Alaska Folk Festival, and Hiawatha. The Rhythm Billies completed a tour of Ireland in the summer of 2011 playing American Old Time music.

In addition to teaching and performing, Bruce is a composer. His composition portfolio contains dozens of original pieces. He is currently working on a CD project of all original tunes.


WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Cajun Singing, Harmony Singing, Cajun Band
*Evening Cajun Dances with Bayou DeVille*

David Greely (500x479)

David was born in Baton Rouge of Cajun and Irish ancestry, and learned Cajun music on dance hall stages throughout South Louisiana, in the archives of Cajun and Creole music at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, and from his apprenticeship to Cajun fiddle master and National Heritage Fellow Dewey Balfa.  As a founding member of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, David toured Folk Festivals worldwide for 23 years, and was nominated for four Grammy Awards. He has received the Louisiana Artist Fellowship Award for Folklife Performance, and is an adjunct instructor of Cajun fiddle at the University of Louisiana.  davidgreely.com

WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Stand Up Bass, Harmony Singing, Old Time Band

sabra (500x500)

Sabra Guzmán, recently transplanted to Lafayette LA, has been a resident of the Virginia hills since 2007, where she had become a fully entrenched member of the burgeoning old-time and country music scene of the Appalachians and beyond. A founding member of the award winning old-time band Old Sledge and Old Buck, Sabra is well known for her solid guitar and bass skills, her unique vocal stylings, and her captivating stage presence. She has been seen on stage at many prestigious venues and festivals – Freight and Salvage, Club Passim, The Los Angeles Old Time Social, The Ark, Floydfest, Bristol Rhythm and Roots – and received a coveted first place Traditional Old Time band at the Clifftop Appalachian Stringband Festival. Sabra brings a musicianship and her unique approach to all projects, regardless of genre or instrumentation.

First honing her musical chops in the musical era of the 1990’s post-punk era (Pixies, Violent Femmes, Minutemen, Palace), Guzmán was first drawn to the rawness and DIY stylings of old time music while living in Portland Oregon in 1999/2000, and the San Francisco Bay Area during the early and mid-2000’s, during the dawning days of both areas’ now fully-realized traditional music scene. Learning equally from her peers and from old recordings, she specialized in rhythm guitar and bass, working to develop a style that drives a band without overpowering the melody instruments. She takes her instrumental and vocal cues from Mother Maybelle Carter, Alice Gerrard, The Louvin Brothers and many others, and has spent time working on traditional ballad singing with Tracy Schwarz and Ginny Hawker.

While much of her time has been spent in the world of traditional and neo-traditional old time music (the Mercury Dimes, the Crooked Jades , the Flat Iron String Band, Old Sledge, Old Buck), Sabra is currently performing in the SW Louisiana area with her honky tonk band, Sabra & The Get Rights, her new old-time group, Get Up Rounder, or also on bass with the Cat Head Biscuit Boys, The Mad Minstrels with Cedric Watson, or The 20¢ Blues Band with Charles Vincent.


WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Clogging I, Clogging II, Flatfooting

Becky Hill (402x500)

Becky Hill grew up in Michigan and currently calls West Virginia home. She apprenticed with both Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble and Rhythm in Shoes and has studied with an array of percussive dance luminaries such as Eileen Carson, Sharon Leahy, Sandy Silva and Ira Bernstein. She’s won flatfoot competitions at several festivals, including the Appalachian String Band Festival, and teaches at traditional music camps and festivals throughout Appalachia and the Midwest.  Together with noted folklorist Gerry Milnes, she produced a documentary film on West Virginia dance traditions entitled “Reel ‘Em Boys, Reel ‘Em.”
In 2013, she was involved in Wheatland Music Organization’s Carry It On… Project where she was commissioned to choreograph two dance pieces under the mentorship of Sharon Leahy in honor of the festival’s 40th anniversary.During the summer of 2014, she traveled to India to study Hatha Yoga at Rishikesh Yog Peeth and returned home to teach at the Jivaka Wellness Center in Elkins, WV. In 2014 – 2016 she co-directed the Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble, a touring student performance ensemble made up of a string band and percussive dance group. In  2014 & 2016, she was awarded a West Virginia Division of Culture and History Professional Development Grant to further her study of percussive dance.
Becky currently works part-time as an Assistant Events Coordinator for Augusta Heritage Center where she organizes the Mountain Dance Trail. She is often seen performing with Good Foot Dance Company along Matthew Olwell and Emily Oleson. 
She believes there is always more to learn and is dedicated to creating innovative choreography rooted in tradition. She hopes her work will bring people together and honor those that have inspired her. 

WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Pedal & Lap Steel Guitar, Bottleneck Slide Guitar, Dobro
*Wednesday Evening Performance with Madcat Midnight Blues Journey*

drew-wheatland-music-camp (434x500)

Performance : 35 + years of experience around the country: from New Orleans, New York and Moab UT to venues like Wheatland, Great Lakes Folk Fest, to CBGB’s and Cobo Arena.
Also performances around the world, from Berlin, Copenhagen to Amsterdam and Alaska.

Genres : include folk, country and western, blues, vaudeville, klezmer, swing, dixieland, rock, and more.

Instruction : Drew’s teaching experience spans 30+ years, including Herb David’s Guitar Studio in Ann Arbor and now at Michigan State University’s Community Music School.


WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Bluegrass Guitar I, Bluegrass Guitar II, Bluegrass Band

Jim Hurst (311x500)

Jim Hurst’s unique picking style and mastery of bluegrass guitar wows audiences and is revered by both novice guitar players and his musical peers.  His eclectic career has made him a remarkable performer, an experienced instructor and a highly sought after session musician.  His affability and gregariousness make him one of the most approachable musicians of his caliber.

The product of a musical family, Jim honed his musical style after being influenced by the likes of Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Clarence White, and Tony Rice.  He got national exposure with Holly Dunn’s Rio Band playing acoustic and electric guitar and also singing harmonies.  Several high profile television and radio appearances led to performing and recording with Sara Evans.

Itching to play more bluegrass, Jim joined the Grammy-nominated Clair Lynch and her Front Porch String Band in 1995 where he teamed up with kindred spirit bassist Missy Raines.  While with Claire Lynch, Missy and Jim formed a duet, creating ground-breaking arrangements.  They earned IBMA Guitar and Bass Player of the Year for 2001 and 2002.

Wanting to pursue greater artistic musical freedom, Jim left the Clair Lynch Band in 2010 to embark on a solo career.  With five solo works to his credit, Open Window, Second Son, A Box of Chocolates, Intrepid, and his latest 2015 release Looking Glass, Jim’s virtuosity shines as he consistently sways audiences with his deft finger work and smooth vocals.

Jim performs his show full time and teaches at guitar workshops and music camps in North America and Europe.  While he occasionally collaborates with other Bluegrass, his solo performance is what keeps audiences mesmerized.


WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Mandolin

Don Julin (498x500)

Don Julin, author of the best-selling Mandolin For Dummies(Wiley 2012), is regarded as one of the most eclectic mandolin players and top mandolin instructors on the scene today. Don’s patient, detailed teaching style is appreciated by students of all levels; his YouTube mandolin instructional videos have garnered more than three-quarters of a million views. Don has previously taught at the Mandolin Symposium (Santa Cruz, Calif.), Elderly Instruments (Lansing, Mich.), Dusty Strings (Seattle, Wash.), Classical Mandolin Society of America conventions, National Oldtime Fiddlers Festival (Weiser, Idaho), Richter Mandolin Camp (Bloomington, Ind.), Cesare Pollini Conservatory of Music (Padua, Italy), Midwest Mandolin Festival (Indianapolis, Ind.), and others. His hands-on workshops focus on developing good left- and right-hand skills, along with a dose of ear training and music theory.


*Evening Cajun Dances with Bayou DeVille*

Bo Ledet (500x333)

Bo Ledet is descended from French speaking parents who migrated from the “River Parishes” north west of New Orleans, to the “West Bank”, across the river from the Crescent City. Bo grew up playing whatever he could get his hands on- piano, guitar, anything available. Electric bass became his mainstay, and he played any music he heard: Swamp pop, rock, New Orleans R&B, country, you name it. But his dad always had a soft spot for his roots and played guitar and sang French music while they worked together in the family business.

Like many in his generation, Bo came to appreciate the music of his ancestors a little later in life, and the variety and wedding bands of his youth gave way to Cajun bands. He was part of the Cajun renaissance in New Orleans that began in the mid-eighties. He was full time with Don Douet for a time, a group Gina Forsyth also played in. Soon he was hired to record a CD with Vin Bruce, a legendary recording artist from Golden Meadow, Louisiana. Tony Thibodeaux, Blake Mouton, and Jr. Martin also did that CD, titled: Les Cadjins Du Bayou.

In the early 90’s, Bo began collaborating with Jonno Frishberg (fiddle) and Kermit Venable (vocals and accordion), both recently moved to New Orleans from the Lafayette area, and recorded a CD with them as the Beaubassin Cajun Dance Band. They were very busy for years in New Orleans playing traditional Cajun music. This led to Be being drafted into Charivari, a Lafayette based Cajun band on Rounder Records, with Frishberg on accordion and fiddle, Mitch Reed on fiddle, and Randy Vidrine on guitar and vocals. Charivari played and taught at Ashokan Fiddle and Dance for six years between 2000 and 2006, both for Southern Week and New Years almost every year. Bo was beginning to play fiddle more and more by then, and led many a late night jam on fiddle there. Bo recorded on Charivari’s “A trip to the Holiday Lounge” CD.

As Charivari was winding down post Katrina, Bayou Deville was gaining momentum in New Orleans, playing regularly at Mulates, as Charivari had done, but also Jazz Fest, French Quarter Fest and countless others over the last 10 years. Bo has often been the only fiddle or a twin fiddle in the band, as well as lead guitar, but currently plays bass most often. Bo played fiddle and guitar on the group’s only CD so far, “See Sharp and Be Natural”, released on the New Range Records label out of New Orleans.

Bo is a regular performer in Lee Benoit’s band as well, playing every week in New Orleans and doing overseas work as well with Lee on fiddle.

Cajun/Zydeco Accordion

corey ledet (333x500)

Corey Ledet was born and raised in Houston, Texas, but spent his summers with family in small-town  Parks, Louisiana. The Creole culture has its roots in Louisiana, but spread across the country, including neighboring Texas. Because of this, he was able to be immersed at all times in the Creole culture he loved so much. The summers in the family home molded and shaped Corey’s world in a profound way.

He learned everything he could so that he could incorporate the culture in all areas of his life – the traditions, the food, and most importantly, the music.

His love for the Creole/Zydeco music was instant and hard for him to ignore. He studied the originators of the music such as Clifton Chenier, John Delafose, and Boozoo Chavis. He branched out to include studying any (and all) artists of Zydeco.  At the early age of 10, he picked up shows playing drums for Houston-based band Wilbert Thibodeaux and the Zydeco Rascals and slowly learned the main instrument of the music – the accordion. He came to truly love any type of accordion – the single-note, triple-note and piano key accordions – and any others. He worked at building his skills until he knew each one fluently.

By the time he graduated from high school, he was certain that music was the focal point of his future. Corey eventually moved to Louisiana in order to be surrounded by this beautiful culture at all times. He remains true to his roots and earnestly searches for ways to include them in his music. He keeps one foot firmly in the tradition while exploring surrounding influences in order to create the best of both worlds. He is able to infuse old and new styles of Zydeco into his own unique sound from all of the people he studied and was influenced by.

He also appreciates the other traditional sound indigenous to Louisiana in Cajun music and has been able to expand his repertoire to include these influences as well. Corey’s versatile sound enables him to please any audience. Whether he is playing a solo acoustical set or he is backed up by a full band, you as a listener will always be thoroughly entertained. He finds joy in giving his listeners a true dance/music experience in the ways of old-time house parties. So, come and enjoy the music of old presented in a new way but still very tied to tradition.  He looks forward to entertaining you!


Songwriting I (with Josh Rose), Songwriting II (with Josh Rose)

Michigan-born Navy veteran Drew Nelson is a storytelling songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. A fly fisherman and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way, mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles.

Drew has toured across North America and Europe, performing solo and opening for popular rock artists like Melissa Etheridge and Edwin McCain as well as esteemed folk singers like Josh White Jr. and John Gorka.

He first met John Gorka in 2006, when Drew performed as part of Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s prestigious songwriting contest. John found him backstage after his performance and told him how much his songs moved him. Since then, Drew has shared the stage with John several times, including at such big events as the Kerrville Folk Festival. “Drew Nelson is one of my favorite new artists,” John Gorka says. “His songs sound like the rest of us feel….dazed, angry, amazed and climbing.”

Drew garnered further attention in 2009, when he released Dusty Road to Beulah Land (Waterbug Records), and it topped the folk radio charts. It also caught the attention of the Grammy-winning indie label Red House
Records, which just signed him. “I love that Drew can rock out as well as write sensitive ballads,” Red House president Eric Peltoniemi says. “I admire his down-to-earth songwriting which portrays our world and ordinary people with such deep feeling and unflinching clarity. He has worked hard in life and hasn’t been afraid to get his hands dirty. He has 100% credibility in the subject matter he writes about, and I’m excited to get the chance to work with him.”

Drew’s Red House debut Tilt-A-Whirl comes out in early 2012. He can also be heard on the new album Dark River: Songs of the Civil War Era, along with Jon Dee Graham, Slaid Cleaves, James McMurtry and new label-mate Eliza Gilkyson.

Drew Nelson has showcased at the 2012 International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis and has toured across North America and Europe.

When Drew is not on the road, he enjoys reading, rooting for the Detroit Tigers, doing hot yoga and working as an amateur luthier, building guitars and octave mandolins. He is also working on putting together a photography show.



Patrick Ourceau2 (333x500)

Fiddle player Patrick Ourceau has been playing Irish Music since his early teens. Born and raised in France, Patrick moved to the U.S. in 1989, settled in New York City where he lived for seventeen years, and is now based in Toronto, Canada.

Mostly self taught, Patrick’s taste for Clare and East Galway music developed early in his playing after being introduced to recordings of the legendary fiddle players Paddy Canny, Paddy Fahey and Bobby Casey. Patrick regularly visits Ireland and especially county Clare. Over the years, he has during those trips, been able to play with and learn from Paddy Canny, as well as from many other local musicians including flute and fiddle player Peadar O’Loughlin. During the many years he lived in New York, Patrick often played with such great musicians as fiddle players Andy McGann and Paddy Reynolds among many others, but was particularly influenced by the style and repertoire of Woodford, Co. Galway flute player Jack Coen.

He is a member since 2003 of the band Chulrua, along with accordion player Paddy O’Brien and guitarist and singer Pat Egan. The trio released last year, on Shanachie Records, The Singing Kettle, their first recording together. When not touring with the band, Patrick performs with guitarist Eamon O’Leary. In 2004, Patrick and Eamon Released Live at Mona’s, a live recording project praised by critics and fans alike as one of the best recent releases of Irish traditional music.

Since the mid nineties, Patrick has performed with many Irish and Irish American musicians and bands. Most notably in duets with Ennis, Co. Clare concertina player Gearoid O’hAllmhurain with whom he recorded Tracin‘ in 1999; with Tulla, Co. Clare accordion player Andrew McNamara, and with the legendary Tulla Ceili band, on the band’s last American tour.

Patrick is featured on flute player Cathal McConnell’s last solo release Long Expectant Comes at Last, on Compass Records; on accordion player John Whelan’s Celtic Roots, on Narada Records and more recently on the TG4’CD and DVD release Geantrai, a compilation celebrating the first ten years of the popular traditional Irish music television program. 

In the last fifteen years, Patrick has been in great demand as a teacher and regularly teaches both privately and at various festivals and summer schools across North America and Ireland. He has been part, since 1999, of the teaching staff at Irish Arts Week in East Durham, New York and at Celtic College in Goderich, Canada. He has been teaching for the past several years at Friday Harbor Irish Music Camp in San Juan Island, Washington and at the Chris Langan Weekend in Toronto. Patrick taught several years at Augusta’s Irish Week in Elkins, West Virginia. He has also taught at the Alaska Fiddle Camp in Chugiak, Alaska; at the St. Louis Tionol in St. Louis, Missouri; at the East Coast Tionol in East Durham, New York; at the O’Flaherty’s Retreat in Dallas, Texas; at the Armagh Piper’s Club in County Armagh, Northern Ireland; and at the Fleadh Nua in Ennis, County Clare, Ireland.  patrickourceau.com

“…Soulful, stylish fiddling.”

Sally K. Sommers Smith – Irish Music Magazine

“Ourceau’s belly-deep tone bespeaks of a musician with a gloriously original voice”

Siobhan Long – The Irish Times

He is a really marvellous fiddler, wonderful. He has such a deep knowledge of the music …  He really is extraordinary, how he deals with the sensitivity he has with the heart of a great tune”

Paddy O’Brien

“Patrick Ourceau, a Frenchman now living in New York City, is among the most accomplished members of traditional Irish music’s Foreign Legion. A fiddler of rare talent and sophistication, his music has all the hallmarks of great Irish fiddling – beautiful tone, pulsing rhythmic lift, deft bow work and crisply executed ornamentation.” Don Meade — Irish Voice 

“Patrick Ourceau is one of the finest fiddlers in the ranks of foreign-born musicians playing traditional Irish music.” Brendan Taaffee — Fiddler Magazine

WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Old Time Guitar I, Old Time Guitar II, Old Time Band, Tune Writing with Bruce Gartner

Mark Palms (447x500)

Mark Palms – a musician who chases the heritage of traditional music by studying knee-to-knee with cultural giants from West Virginia  to West Africa and sharing what he’s learned at festivals and camps.  He performs with the award winning string band The Raisin Pickers and founded the cajun band Creole du Nord.  As a member of a group or a solo artist, Mark continues to honor the legacy of traditional masters.  frugerecords.com

Bluegrass Banjo I, Bluegrass Banjo II, Bluegrass Band

Paul Pope (351x500)

Paul is a 30+ year veteran of the bluegrass banjo and has appeared with several prominent Michigan bands including Steam Powered Bluegrass, Calabogie Road, Apple Blossom Bluegrass, and Lare Williams & New Direction. Paul plays and teaches banjo in the Scruggs’ style, with shades of pickers such as J.D. Crowe, Sammy Shelor, and Peter Wernick thrown in. He uses just a touch of melodics and chromatics for flavor, and he specializes in helping new pickers get up and running as quickly as they can.


Songwriting I (with Drew Nelson), Songwriting II (with Drew Nelson)

Josh Rose (500x333)

Songs now originate in factory-like conditions with a glossy coating shaped by a countless number of “pros.”  The writers upon engineers upon co-writers upon writers upon stylists pass these song-objects down a huge manufacturing line and then watch the dollar signs flash.  The song (that you’ve heard before) enters the public consciousness, launches a career or two, and then vanishes into oblivion.

The throw-away culture strikes again.

There are other songs, though, that come from those who craft.  These songs are plucked from the air, like lightning bugs destined for an old Mason jar.  These songs are polished like ancient stones in the Flat River.  These songs come wrapped in brown paper with an old twine ribbon.  Songs like these come from the soul and etch themselves into your being.

Josh Rose is one of those craftsmen.

Studio Album Discography:

  • Firework Letdown (2004)
  • Slow Bloom (2008)
  • Old Laminate (2014)


  • FARM Conference Songwriter Instructor (2013)
  • C3 Music Teacher (2014)
  • FARMette Showcase Performer (2015)
  • Wheatland Music Camp Songwriter Instructor (2016)
  • Above the Bridge Songwriter’s Retreat (2016)





WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Harmonica I, Harmonica II, Ukulele II
*Wednesday Evening performance by the Madcat Midnight Blues Journey*

Madcat (500x375)

Peter Madcat Ruth has established an international reputation through his exhilarating, riveting virtuosity on the harmonica. His expertise on this instrument has amazed audiences world-wide. He is equally at home playing blues, folk music, jazz, country, or rock and roll. Performance Magazine refers to him as “A harmonica virtuoso who is rapidly approaching legend status.”

Madcat’s music has been evolving for over 50 years. It started in the Chicago area in the early 1960’s, with Madcat playing folk/blues on ukulele, guitar, and harmonica. By the late 60’s he had immersed himself in the Chicago Blues and was studying harmonica with Big Walter Horton. In the early 70’s Madcat moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where he was a key presence in two of Ann Arbor’s finest progressive rock bands: New Heavenly Blue and Sky King. By the mid 70’s Madcat was touring the world with jazz pianist Dave Brubeck. In the 80’s, Madcat went solo infusing the folk/blues tradition with elements of rock and jazz. In 1990, Madcat teamed up with guitarist/singer Shari Kane to form the duo Madcat & Kane. For nearly twenty five years they toured nationally and internationally. And In 1998 Madcat teamed up with Chris Brubeck to form Triple Play and also started performing with Big Joe Manfra in Brazil.  Finally, in 2012, teamed up with Drew Howard, Mark Schrock and Michael Shimmin to form the Roots/blues quartet called the Madcat Midnight Blues Journey.

Madcat’s experience is extensive. He has been an invited guest performer at many harmonica festivals in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. His harmonica playing is heard on over 100 CDs and LPs. National television and radio appearances, symphony orchestra performances, radio and television advertisements, and harmonica workshops all attest to Madcat’s reputation as one of the best and most versatile harmonica players in the world.

Madcat is more than an expert musician. He is also performer who has such a good time playing music that audiences, ranging from pre-schoolers to senior citizens, delight in his performances. His enthusiasm is unpretentious and contagious.  madcatmusic.net

WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Bluegrass Fiddle I, Bluegrass Fiddle II, Bluegrass Band

daniel seabolt (375x500)

If it has a string on it, he can play it…if you like the way he plays and you’d like to learn, he’ll teach you…if you’d like a custom built instrument to play, he’ll make one for you.

Daniel Seabolt is a consummate musician, instructor, and luthier all wrapped up in a bundle of boundless energy and enthusiasm who has been pleasing audiences in the United States and Europe for more than thirty years.

Starting at the age of 12, Daniel, “Danny”, began studying guitar and music theory with master guitarist John King.  At 14, he developed what would become a lifelong love affair with the violin.  He studied classical violin with the Westshore Symphony’s concert mistress, Jean Manning, and then played violin in the symphony.  His formal training completed, he made the move from violinist to fiddler and focused his attention on traditional bluegrass, irish, and jazz music.  As his exceptional talent became recognized, Dan had opportunities to open concerts for well-known performers like Riders in the sky, Doc Watson, Vasser Clements, Porter Wagoner, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Jeff Carson among others. He has done studio recording on albums/CD’s for numerous groups.  In addition, his music has been featured on a variety of radio and television advertisements.  His first love, however, is live performance with groups like The Oat Bran Boys, Free Wheelin’, and as featured fiddler for well-known singer/song writer,award winning,Ruth Bloomquist.  He has played for audiences around the United States, England, Belgium and France with Ruth, her husband Max, and John King.  His reputation in Europe has grown steadily as he has developed friendships, and performed, with a number of international musicians.

Danny is a natural teacher who attracts students of all ages and ability levels.  He provides excellent instruction on violin/fiddle, guitar, mandolin, ukulele. His patient and supportive approach to teaching music has won praise from students, parents, musicians and the general public.  In addition to private lessons, Danny also conducts three and five day music workshops in his home state of Michigan, and in the Lanquedoc region of southern France.

Complimenting his talent and skill as a musician, Danny is also an experienced and creative luthier.  His interest in creating instruments began when he learned the violin bow making trade. His bows have attained world-wide recognition, and are being played by professional musicians in many countries.  He subsequently discovered that he had a talent, and love, for designing and making custom violins, violas, mandolins and double bass’.  The demand for his uniquely styled, and beautiful sounding, instruments has grown steadily over the years.  He is a well respected master craftsman.

Creativity, exceptional talent, and unbridled enthusiasm have earned Danny a reputation that keeps him in demand wherever he goes.

WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Old Time Fiddle I, Old Time Fiddle II, Old Time Band

rafe stefanini (433x500)

Rafe Stefanini is an Italian old-time banjo player, fiddler, guitarist, singer, teacher, violin maker, and restorer.

He was born in Italy and grew up in Bologna. He first visited the United States in the late 1970s and came to live in the U.S. in 1983. He is a permanent resident of the U.S. and lives in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. In addition to playing music, he is also trained in violin making and restores violins.

He has performed with the Wildcats (along with Carol Elizabeth Jones and Stefan Senders). Along with Dirk Powell and Bruce Molsky he has performed with a trio called the L-7s. He has also performed with Molsky and guitarist Beverly Smith in a group called Big Hoedown, a group that disbanded in 2000. Along with Meredith McIntosh, John Hermann, and Bev Smith, he has performed in the Rockinghams. He has also recorded with Bob Herring. He performs with his wife Nikki and daughter Clelia (who plays fiddle, guitar, double bass, and ukulele) as “Nine Pound Hammer.”

He has recorded for the Rounder, County, Marimac, Heritage, Yodel-ay-hee, 5-String Productions, and World Music Network labels.

Stefanini has performed on A Prairie Home Companion and at the Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention. He has performed throughout the United States as well as in Finland, Germany, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.

His brothers Gianni and Bruno also play old-time music and the three performed in The Moonshine Brothers, which formed in the late 1970s and remained together until Rafe Stefanini moved to the U.S. in 1983.



Mark_Stoltz (200x300)

Mark fell in love with Louisiana dance and music at Wheatland 23 years ago.  He has extensive dance experience and has been teaching for the last 16 years.  Mark has studied with master dancers and world champions and has traveled to festivals and dances all over the country.  In 2006 Mark instructed at the prestigious Australian National Folk Festival where he taught Zydeco dance. Mark spends half the year in Louisiana This keeps, Mark current on the latest trends in this special dancing style.  His greatest pleasure is to introduce others to these wonderfully exciting and energized forms of dance.  For further information on Mark and the Cajun/Zydeco experience in general, visit his website at www.cajunsmile.com. Or contact him on Facebook .

WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Old Time Banjo I, Old Time Banjo II, Old Time Band

tstuart (417x500)

Travis Stuart began playing the banjo as a boy in Haywood County North Carolina. He is a respected banjo player and multi-instrumentalist known for his rich style and solid accompaniment. Travis has toured the US and internationally with The Stuart Brothers, Dirk Powell Band, Riley Baugus, the Reeltime Travelers, Martha Scanlan and step dancer Ira Bernstein. Travis learned from old-time masters such Red Wilson, the Smathers Family, and Byard Ray.

Besides being a renowned performer, Travis is also dedicated to teaching old-time music. He has taught the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program in Haywood County, NC since 2000.   Travis has taught at music camps around the country and abroad.  He currently teaches Old-Time music with East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies.

Travis has performed on many recordings and films and has recordings with The Stuart Brothers.


WHEATLAND MUSIC CAMP CLASSES: Ukulele I, Harmony Singing, Music Theory

Wheatland 2013 Festival, Frank Youngman between sets main stage

Photo by Peggy Brisbane

Frank has been playing all types of music his whole life.  A multi-instrumentalist, he has performed in places as diverse as The Improv Comedy Club in New York City to A Prairie Home Companion.  A founding member of The Lost World Stringband, The Pets, and Jive at Five, he continues to keep a busy recording and performing schedule.  He has just finished up his 35th year of teaching, the last seventeen years as the Director of Instrumental Music for the Lake City Area Schools.  The Uke was his first instrument.

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