Staff members perform for you on Friday and Saturday evenings. Concert admission is included in the festival fee. Additional tickets will be available at the door for each concert.
A key part of the weekend is the Folk Band, where you'll have a chance to work with a small group in a band setting. Each band will be coached by a professional staff member. Once you arrive, you'll fill out a form indicating your interests, and then bands will be made up by genre. Styles in past years have included old time, Scottish, blues, bluegrass, jazz, contradance tunes, French Canadian, beginners' band, and more. Most groups choose to perform in the Sunday afternoon Student Concert, though there will also be an option to be in a non-performing band. We'll also have a Beginners' Band for a slow-paced group playing experience.
Seven workshop slots with a choice of 60+ workshops are offered, with two slots on Friday, three on Saturday, and two on Sunday. A description of each workshop is available, as well as the overall schedule.
Workshops for Instrumentalists
Most of the workshops are for all instruments playing together, and they are divided by level into beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate, and advanced so that you can pick ones that are appropriate for you. There are also workshops for specific instruments, but please don't think that just because your instrument isn't listed, the weekend isn't for you. There's plenty to do with mixed-instrument workshops and jams.
Workshops for Singers and Dancers
Each workshop slot has at least one choice for singers, and we have several dance workshops as well.
Special Track for Beginners
Back by popular demand is the beginners' track. Absolute beginners are welcome. There will be a variety of instruments (dulcimer, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo) for you to try.
There's nothing like a jam session for learning new tunes and sharing the joy of making music. Plenty of jamming (led by professional staff) is offered throughout the weekend, both during workshop slots and after the evening concerts. For those who haven't had enough, we'll also jam back at the dorm into the wee hours!
Contradance with Open Band
Saturday night after the staff concert, we'll hold a contradance, with caller Bob Nicholson. All are welcome to dance, of course (even if you've never tried it before) and all instrumentalists are welcome to play in an open band. Sheet music will be provided. We'll have a rehearsal in one of the workshop slots, but it's fine to play with the band even if you skip the rehearsal.
Professional Development for Teachers
Act 48 credit is available for Pennsylvania school teachers.
If all of these activities aren't enough for you, there's always plenty of just plain hanging out with like-minded musicians and sharing some tunes.
The 2011 Folk College group photo, celebrating 12 years of great music, great fellowship, and great learning.