Singing Workshop Weekend with Windborne | Ashfield, MA

Singing Workshop Weekend with Windborne
Jan 3-4, 2015
Hosted by Ricki Carroll in Ashfield, MA
For full details, prices, and registration, visit: or call Ricki at 413-628-4568

Join Windborne for two days of lively singing, good food, and delightful company in the beautiful home of Ricki Carroll in Ashfield, MA. Workshop participants will learn traditional and original folk songs from around the world, featuring music from Windborne’s recent American Music Abroad tour as well as old favorites. The weekend includes a concert on Saturday night (Jan 3, 7:30pm)–also open to the public!

Windborne is Lynn Rowan, Will Rowan, Lauren Breunig, and Jeremy Carter-Gordon. Specializing in close harmony singing, Windborne has sought out masters of traditional singing styles worldwide to study a large variety of vocal music, all the while remaining deeply rooted in American folk traditions. A quartet of seasoned teachers and performers, their repertoire includes songs from the US, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, Central Asia, and southern Africa. In January 2014, Windborne was one of 10 groups selected by American Music Abroad, a program run by the US State Department that sends bands on month-long tours as cultural ambassadors through music. Their tour took them to Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Angola, where they gave concerts and workshops in theaters, schools, and community centers, and they are pleased to have added songs from those travels to their ever-expanding repertoire.

Ricki Carroll is an acclaimed cheese-maker who lives in Ashfield, MA. She regularly hosts musical concerts and workshops, creating a haven of beauty–visually, musically and culinarily. This weekend workshop will be a rejuvenating retreat from daily life in Ricki’s unique work-of-art home.

Workshop prices include meals and the concert, and lodging is available onsite.
Space is limited so register now–treat yourself to a weekend of musical adventure!

For more details, prices, and registration, go to or call Ricki at 413-628-4568.
For more info about Windborne, go to or

Northern Roots Festival | Brattleboro

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Brattleboro Music Center’s 7th annual Northern Roots Traditional Music Festival will take place on Saturday, January 25th.  This day-long celebration brings together local and regional musicians representing various northern musical traditions including Irish, Scottish, Scandinavian, English and French Canadian.The Northern Roots Festival begins with a full slate of daytime participation and performance activities, including workshops, panels, mini-concerts, pub sessions, dance band prep, and a family dance.

The festival concludes with an evening  performance featuring musicians representing the best of the northern musical traditions.

Workshops for all instruments, Panels, Concerts

Sessions, Dance Band, Family Dance
12:00-5:30 pm

Featuring the best of Northern Musical Traditions

7:30 pm


New England Youth Theater, 100 Flat Street
Afternoon Sessions at McNeill’s Brewery

TICKETS: Day $20, Eve. $20, Both $35
Youth(under 12): Day $10, Eve. $10, Both $15
3pm family concert & dance admission $5 at door
Limited evening seating – advance ticket purchase recommended



Bringing Songs to Life: A workshop with Jeff Davis, Sally Rogers, and Howie Bursen

Bringing Songs to Life: A workshop with Jeff Davis, Sally Rogers, and Howie Bursen

Saturday, November 9th from 1:00 – 3:00 PM at the Nelson Town Hall, 7 Nelson Common Road, Nelson NH 03457

$25 in advance, $30 at the door, send email to to register.

This participatory workshop is for anyone who loves traditional songs and singing styles and who would like to learn more about song origins and ways to use your voice and instrumental accompaniments to bring out the story of the song. Songs will be shared for group singing. Solo and harmony arrangements of songs will be demonstrated and discussed as well.

Jeff Davis is one of America’s most respected collectors and interpreters of traditional music. He has traveled far to visit “source singers”–farmers and miners who remembered the old songs and tunes–and closer at hand to libraries and archives, always look for the best of the music that was once common in out towns and villages. Sally Rogers is known for her clear, sweet voice and her fine interpretations of both traditional and contemporary songs. Howie Bursen is best known for his amazing banjo wizardry, but is also a fine interpreter of traditional ballads, blues and old-time songs. These three together bring different perspectives to the art of singing traditional songs.

Tune up your vocal chords and join these three respected and well-loved singers for an afternoon of singing to ring in the rafters!

Singing Workshop | Putney VT

Singing Workshop with Brendan Taaffe and Margery McCrum
Sun. May 27 at the Putney Cares Barn, Kimball Hill, Putney, VT
1:00-5:00 p.m. * $30/ $20 low income
e-mail to register

New Works/ Healthy Voices

Join us for an afternoon of singing newly composed pieces by Brendan Taaffe and working with Margery McCrum on healthy vocal technique to discover new resonance in your singing voice. The workshop is open to singers of all experience levels: pre-registration is necessary.

Rooted in American traditions, Brendan’s compositions have been performed by the River Singers, the Onion River Chorus, Northern Harmony, and the Amidon family as well as by choirs throughout the UK and New Zealand. About Wester Caputh, performed recently by the River Singers in Grafton, one person wrote, “I might need to listen to that song daily. There is so much hope and joy and certainty in that tune.” You can listen to a sample of it here:

His recent work is exploring new territory, bringing in more modern (and some original) texts and incorporating musical ideas from a recent sojourn in Zimbabwe. This workshop will be a chance to participate in bringing these new songs to life.

Margery McCrum teaches voice at the Brattleboro Music Center and runs a private studio locally. Grounded in the bel canto tradition, Margery combines a thorough technical understanding of vocal production with an interest in discovering the full potential of each voice. She works with a holistic approach to integrate all aspects of health – physical, emotional and spiritual – in freeing one’s voice.

To register, you can send your fee (checks to “Turtle Dove”) to Turtle Dove at 118 Prospect St. #2, Brattleboro, VT 05301. For more information, please e-mail or call Brendan at (802) 770-0857.

Northern Roots Weekend | Dummerston VT


Traditional Music 3-Day Workshop
for adults & teens (high school age teens)

Hosted by Keith Murphy & Becky Tracy
With Shanon Heaton, Irish Flute and
Tina Lech, Irish Fiddle

July 6-8, 2012
5 pm Friday through 2 pm Sunday
Green Mountain Camp, Dummerston, VT

The Northern Roots Weekend features a series of intensive teaching workshops in traditional music for all instruments, with a focus on fiddle, flute, whistle, guitar and song. Some experience in traditional music required and a recording device is recommended.

A dance band workshop will review the basics of playing for contra dancing but will also be an opportunity to form mini ensembles and experiment with arranging. Evening dancing will be a chance for musicians to play for dancing and to enjoy a good romp on the floor.

The Northern Roots Weekend will will also feature pub and ballad style singing and is a wonderful chance to enjoy informal jam sessions in a lovely country setting (with swimming) in Dummerston, Vermont at Green Mountain Camp, located just 10 minutes from downtown Brattleboro.

Camp begins Friday at 5pm through Sunday at 1pm with wonderful meals provided beginning with Friday supper through Sunday brunch. Rustic cabin accommodation available and also good camping.

Cost: $240 / Includes all workshops, 5 meals and 2 nights cabin lodging (if desired) / $60 deposit
Register now by calling the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523 or visit:

Workshop with Lissa Schneckenburger | Concord NH

Workshops at the Concord Community Music School, (23 Wall St in Concord NH).

Performance Craft Master Class:
Three workshops on May 17th, June 14th, and July 19th

This class is for musicians who are interested in becoming better performers, and is open to all levels, instruments, and musical styles. Whether you are a beginning musician who has never played in front of other people before, or an accomplished professional with years of experience, there is always a way to find new satisfaction in sharing music with others. In the course of three sessions we will look at what makes a good performance, and how to improve your own. The class will include performance tips, exercises, examples, and a chance to perform in front of the class with group feedback. Please bring a recording device to each session, and come with a short piece of music prepared to play in class.

Register on line at

☼ ☼ ☼ Troy MacGillivray & Kimberley Fraser – Evening Concert & Afternoon Workshops| Nelson Town Hall

Troy MacGillivray returns to the Nelson Town Hall on Sunday, May 13 for a 7:00 PM show. Admission is $15/$12 (Sr/Jr). On this visit Troy will be accompanied by Kimberley Fraser, a master at the trio of fiddling, step dancing and piano. Troy and Kimberley will be offering afternoon workshops starting at 1:30 PM. Cost is $50, Register for piano or fiddle at

Troy MacGillivray was raised in Lanark, Nova Scotia; his musical prowess can be attributed to an especially rare combination of commitment and bloodline. By the age of six, Troy was already impressing audiences with his step dancing skills. By 13 he was teaching piano at the renowned Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St. Anne’s, Cape Breton. He has completed grade seven of the Toronto Conservatory of Music for classical piano, has spent four years in a stringed orchestra and has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music from St. Francis Xavier University.

Whether playing piano or fiddle, or showcasing his stepdancing capabilities, Troy MacGillivray  displays a unique sense of pride and commitment to his Celtic heritage and his music continues to add to the history and development of the traditional music that is the epitome of the Maritimes, the place he calls home!

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Playing with Drama – Music Workshop with Gordon Peery

The Strathspey and Reel Society of New Hampshire has regular “gatherings” of it’s members, and occasional offers workshops which are open to the public.  This workshop is in the Community Room of the Concord Community Music School, Concord, NH.  Address is 23 Wall St., but use the Fayette St. entrance. This workshop runs until about 2:30.

In all genres of music, there is an opportunity for what might be called theatrical expression – the conveyance of emotion that goes beyond the mere notes. This can be suggested in written music by dynamic indicators, and arrangements of harmonies and voicing. But truly dramatic playing comes from spontaneous execution, and spontaneous response to such execution, which leaves listeners feeling that the piece has never quite been rendered that way before, and never will be again.

Traditional music, which in many cases was created without specific musical notation detail, and without specifically designated instrumentation, lends itself to exploration of dramatic playing. In this workshop we will spend the first half playing pieces which the attendees are likely to be familiar with, experimenting with various rhythmic devices ranging from tapping instruments to create a percussive background, to playing just the opening notes of each measure, and more. The second half of the workshop will be an experiment in finding harmonies.

Music readers will be encouraged not to rely on written harmonies, but to listen to the melody and use instincts to make note choices. Possible a short third half (as it were) of the workshop will combine the rhythm and harmony explorations.

The tunes which we will be working with will be drawn from the following (we cannot guarantee that we will get to every tune).

February 2012 Workshop Tunes (PDF)

Flowers of Edinburgh

De’il Among the Tailors

Scotland the Brave

Campbell’s Return

Glencoe (Cape Breton)

The Marquis of Huntly’s Highland Fling

Lady Madeline Sinclair

Niel Gow’s Lament on the Death of His 2nd Wife

Amelia’s Waltz


Pianist Gordon Peery has been playing traditional NewEngland contra dance music since the mid-1970s.  Of course, his early mentoring came from Bob McQuillen, who remains a source of inspiration.  Another early (and continuing) influence is fiddler Harvey Tolman, a former SRSNH member and one of New England’s great Cape Breton-style players . Gordon’s interests run the full gamut of New England music: Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, French Canadian, and the recent repertoire of contemporary tunes.  He was the piano player for the band Fresh Fish, which featured the fiddling of the late Kerry Elkin: that band toured throughout the United States and was one of the most popular contra dance bands in the country between 1985 and 1995.  Also during that time he played with the New Hampshire Fiddlers Union, comprised of fiddlers Rodney Miller, Randy Miller, and Skip Gorman. That group performed at the 10th annual Shetland Folk Festival. He continues to play with all three of those fiddlers individually. Current bands include Celticladda, with Randy Miller on fiddle and Bill Thomas on Uilleann pipes and flute, and Trip to Nelson – a group of young musicians featuring Perin Ellsworth-Heller, Matt Garland, Lizza Backes, andRichard Backes. Gordon lives in Nelson, NH, contra dance capital of the world.

Fiddle Camp North, April in Mass.

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to have fun and learn more on your fiddle?

If you did, I’d like to invite you to attend Fiddle Camp North, April 13-15, Charleton, MA. Even if you didn’t, join us anyway! We’ll have an enjoyable variety of workshops and jams at multiple levels and in different styles to keep you happy for the weekend.

Fiddle Camp North is a weekend-long celebration of the Fiddle in Bluegrass, Old Time, Irish, Cape Breton, and New England styles! Our goal is learning — and having a great time doing so!

I’m the Fiddle Coordinator and will be teaching quite a few workshops.  Our staff will include Alan Kaufman, Skip Gorman, Martin Grosswendt, and possibly more instructors.  All are traditional players with excellent teaching and performing experience. We generally teach by ear, but many classes will have handouts also.

Fiddle Camp North is held in conjunction with Mandolin Camp North. The two Camps will be held at Prindle Pond Conference Center, a beautiful wooded setting in Charlton, Massachusetts.  Buildings are heated, and meals (including vegetarian option) are provided as part of the tuition package. Thursday night lodging is available for those traveling a long way, whether driving or flying to FCN.

The Camps will open Friday at 12:30 PM for registration, jamming, and instruction. We’ll have hands-on workshops, round robin demonstrations and guided jam sessions (at multiple levels) for three days, a Friday night “meet the faculty concert,” a formal concert Saturday night, and lots of time for jamming and getting to know each other. If you’re there for Fiddle Camp, it’s fine to attend any of the Mandolin Camp sessions as well that pique your interest. Fiddle and mandolin are tuned the same.

Most of the classes are hands on, practical learning situations, covering different styles and repertoire, bowing techniques, improvising, chords, and many more topics. A few are demonstrations or mini-concerts, but even in these classes the intention is for you to take something away that you may want to learn or speak with the instructors about later. You are encouraged to bring a recording device (such as an MP3 recorder).

Details and registration are at .  Please register through that website, although we’ll have a Facebook event up soon for Fiddle Camp North.

If this is your first time at Fiddle Camp North or Mandolin Camp North, Mike Holmes (our esteemed Camp Director) has generously offered a $100 discount if you register by February 19th.

Dave Reiner