Artists on the faculty of Folk College lead workshops, coach student bands, perform concerts and lead jam sessions. Some artists lead 3-hour intensive workshops on Friday: check out Intensives.
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Folk College's host band, Simple Gifts, is three women (Linda Littleton, Karen Hirshon & Rachel Hall) playing twelve instruments, with styles that range from old time to Celtic to Klezmer and beyond. Karen Hirshon plays fiddle, mandolin, guitar, 6-string banjo, bowed psaltery, doumbek, and spoons. Linda Littleton plays fiddle, hammered dulcimer, banjo, recorders, and bowed psaltery. Rachel Hall is recognized as one of the leading English concertina players in the U.S., and she also performs on piano, accordion, and tabla. Based in State College and Philadelphia, PA, Simple Gifts members designed Folk College and work with the Huntingdon County Arts Council to make it a reality. They have a strong philosophy that everyone can play music, that music is best when shared, and that above all, music is about communication, not competition.
Henry Koretzky is a mandolinist, guitarist, and singer from Harrisburg, PA, who has performed in a wide variety of styles and groups, from bluegrass with Cornerstone, Sweetwater Reunion, and High Strung; klezmer with The Old World Folk Band; old-time with the duo Rootbound; as well as swing, celtic, contemporary folk, and contradance music. He has taught at Folk College in previous years as part of The Keystone Rebels and as part of a duo with singer-songwriter- guitarist Kevin Neidig, and has also been a staff regular at Greenwood Furnace Folk Gathering.
Mark Twain said, “When you want genuine music -- music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse your system like strychnine whisky, go right through you like Brandreth's pills, ramify your whole constitution like the measles, and break out on your hide like the pin-feather pimples on a picked goose, -- when you want all this, just smash your piano, and invoke the glory-beaming banjo!”
Jay Best has invoked the “glory-beaming banjo” for decades and has explored a wide variety of “genuine music” including old-time, folk, and blues. Jay leads a fiddle-mentoring group at the Confluence Creative Arts Center and performed on and produced the community CD Confluence: Coming Together. He loves playing banjo, guitar, and fiddle with friends and family, but his magnum opus was a recording made with a steel guitar tuned like a banjo and performed with cicadas at twilight.
Shelley Kelley was named “The 2019 Folk Musician of the Year” for The State of Delaware. A versatile musician, she plays hurdy-gurdy, pennywhistle, French chalumeau (clarinet), Irish bodhran, spoons, guitar, percussion instruments, and more. Michele writes original compositions on more recognizable instruments including Guitar, Whistle, Spoons, and more.
The genres are endless and span Americana, Celtic, French, Folk, and Cajun-Zydeco.
Shelley has performed at the Philly Folk Festival, the Hawaiian Scottish Festival, the Cincinnati Celtic Festival, and many solo/duet/trio/band performances at major venues and festivals coast to coast. She has performed concerts with national recording artists including Maggie Sansone, John Spillane, Ken Kolodner, Robin Bullock, and John Skelton. She performs with other musicians who play bagpipes, electric fiddle, viola, mandolin, banjo, harp, keyboards, bass, and drums to round out the sound.
Contact her at www.ShelleyKelleyBand.com
She is an On-Air Radio DJ at WVUD 91.3FM and www.wvud.org since 2000.
Bob Nicholson is a Folk College tradition, making our annual Saturday night contradance truly special. Bob is in demand as a contra and square dance caller who is known for his relaxed teaching style, patience, energy, and ability to make the dance fun!