September 15-17, 2017

A Fun, Friendly Weekend of Music

2016 Schedule

Greenwood Furnace Folk Gathering is full of great workshops, concerts, singing and dancing.

Below is the current schedule.*


Friday, September 9, 2016


Friday 3:00 pm Master Classes (separate registration required)

Start your weekend off with an exciting intensive workshop held just before the rest of the festival gets going. Class size is limited and separate registration required.


Choice of:

Fiddle Techniques with Simple Gifts

We'll focus on bowing, left hand techniques, how to get a good sound, and how to play backup on your fiddle.

For advanced beginner to intermediate level.


Guitar Techniques with Rachel Eddy

How to be a solid and creative rhythm guitar player.  We'll work on bass runs, flat-picking and cross-picking techniques, and how to provide a solid rhythm back-up for fiddle tunes.

For advanced beginner to intermediate level.


Mandolin Techniques with Henry Koretzky

Learn how to get the most out of this versatile instrument with tips and techniques to take your mandolin playing to the next level.

For all levels beyond beginner.


Vocal Techniques with Scott Elkins

We all have voices, and they are all a little different, but there are similar things we can get them to do.  We'll look at vocal volume, when to over enunciate, when to slur, how to sing through your nose, and when not to, and how to make it sound right; how to growl, crack, dip, do vocal hammer-ons, or pull offs, double dips, triple dips, etc. Anyone can sing a song, but what is more important is to learn the building blocks to make any song sound unique.

For all levels.


Playing in a Band with Aubrey Atwater & Elwood Donnelly

This workshop is for all instruments, with a focus on how to play well together in a band setting. We’ll look at rhythm, groove, blend, dynamics, tempo issues, and other elements that give a band a strong, cohesive sound.

For intermediate to advanced level.


Building a Crankie!  with Ellen Gozion

A crankie is home-made moving illustration that accompanies a folk song or story, and last year we saw how magical this performance art is! Learn the basics of constructing a crankie scroll and frame, get hands-on experience with various media, and collaborate on a fun project we can complete in class. Materials included.

For all levels.


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Friday 4:00 pm Jamming – Ryan Thomson

This will be a fun, relaxed jam for all levels.


7:00 pm Staff Concert

You'll get to hear each faculty member perform.


After the Concert

Mixed Styles Jam – Simple Gifts

Old Time Jam – Early Mays

Singing and Slow Jamming  – Scott Elkins & Jerry Trusty


Saturday, September 10, 2016


8:00 to 9:00 am Breakfast (all meals for those who bought meal package)


8:30 am Greetings & Introductions



9:00 to 10:00 am

Try a Banjo – Ellen Gozion

Starting at the very beginning, learn the basics of clawhammer style banjo. Instruments will be available for you to borrow during the workshop, or bring your own.


What is Pennsylvania Music – Carl Rahkonen

This session will give an overview of Pennsylvania folk music, including the work of Samuel Bayard, Pennsylvania’s most prolific tune collector. Carl Rahkonen is an ethnomusicologist at Indiana University of PA and is one of the foremost experts on Pennsylvania music. This will be a presentation, not a play-along workshop.


Singing for Beginners – Diana Wagner

A little attention to posture, breathing, and enunciation can turn you from someone who thinks they aren't a singer to someone who's singing quite well. Give it a try!


How to Jam – Ryan Thomson

Jamming is a wonderful social activity that you can participate in no matter what your skill level. Learn the basics so you'll be ready to jam all weekend! For all instruments, advanced beginner level.


Southern Tunes – Henry Koretzky

We'll look at some tunes from the southern Appalachians. There will be tips for both melody and backup players. We'll work by ear with music provided at the end of the workshop. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Modal Tunes – Jerry Trusty

Modal tunes are tunes that don't follow the common major and minor scales used in most western music, and as a result they sound wonderfully exotic and fresh. Come to this workshop to learn a few modal tunes, and break free of the straight and narrow! Sheet music and chords will be provided. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.



10:15 to 11:15 am

Try a Fiddle – Rachel Eddy

Have you ever wanted to try a fiddle but never had the opportunity? Now is your chance to try this versatile instrument. Fiddles will be provided, or bring your own.


Fun and Easy Percussion – Elwood Donnelly

Learn to play or hone your skills on bodhrán (Irish frame drum), bones, limberjack, spoons, monkey pods and more. You’ll learn some basic percussion skills and etiquette for playing with other musicians.


Vocal Power and Range – Aubrey Atwater

We'll look at posture, stance, and techniques to get the most power from your voice and to increase your range, especially looking at how to hit high notes. We will also touch on mic techniques.


How to Play Tunes You Don't Know – Henry Koretzky

If you’ve sat quietly at jam sessions wishing you knew how to jump into the music, this session is for you. We’ll start from the beginning and show you step by step how to join in on tunes you don’t know. For all instruments, advanced beginner level.


Contradance Band Practice – Peggy Shutes Kaiser & Ryck Kaiser

We’ll look over the music that the open band will play at the afternoon and evening dances. Music and chords will be provided. For all instruments; intermediate/advanced level. Note: If you miss this session, it’s still ok to play for the dance.


Tunes from Peru and Chile – Emily Pinkerton

This is the first time in almost 20 years of the Folk Gathering that we've offered a workshop on tunes from Peru or Chile. Don't miss it! For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


11:30 am Group Photo

Meet at the furnace. Bring your instrument and a smile! If it's raining, we'll postpone until Sunday right before lunch.


12:00 to 1:00 pm


1:15 to 2:15 pm

Honoring Pennsylvania Heritage Musician George Putt

An important initiative of the festival is to examine the traditional music of rural Pennsylvania–to gain a better understanding of what Pennsylvania music is and to preserve and perpetuate this musical heritage. Each year we identify a musician with a unique musical background and perspective, invite them to the festival so that all can learn from them, and honor them as a Pennsylvania Heritage Musician. This year, we honor George Putt, who plays fiddle, guitar, and bass, and hosts frequent music gatherings at his home in Huntingdon County.


Singing - Diana Wagner & Scott Elkins

This will be a relaxed, fun time of singing old favorites and perhaps some new favorites as well. For all voices and instruments.


Jamming – Jerry Trusty

An easy-going jam where we'll play a variety of tunes–anything goes!


Dancing – Joyce Rossbach, Ryck Kaiser, Peggy Shutes Kaiser

Joyce will teach accessible contra, square, and circle dances. Peggy and Ryck will lead an open band. Come to dance, to play, or both.


Hiking – Ginny Mutti

What an incredibly beautiful park this is! Meet at the blacksmith shop for a hike that will help you get to know it better.



2:30 to 3:30 pm

Try a Penny Whistle – Ryan Thomson

What else costs so little, does so much and is so easy to carry? Learn the basics of playing this fun and easy instrument, including fingering, breathing and techniques for good tone quality. You will come away with a few simple tunes and a better understanding of how to work the instrument. Penny whistles will be available for purchase ($10) at the workshop.



Clogging & Flatfooting – Aubrey Atwater & Emily Pinkerton

Three good reasons to clog and flatfoot: you become the rhythm section on the dance floor, it’s great exercise, and you can’t help but smile while dancing! Please wear leather, smooth-soled shoes with a good "slide", if possible!


Finding Your Inner Twang – Scott Elkins

Learn to sing in an old fashioned way, finding your "inner twang."  We'll model the sound after hard core twang folks like Hazel Dickens, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Anna and Elizabeth, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.


How to Learn Tunes by Ear – Rachel Eddy & Ellen Gozion

Trying to learn tunes by ear can be tough. Rachel and Ellen will share tips and shortcuts to make it easier. For all instruments, advanced beginner level.


Grandpa's Finnish Tunes – Carl Rahkonen

Learn primary source material that Carl collected from his Finnish grandfather. Sheet music and chords will be provided. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Jamming with PA Heritage Musician George Putt

A mix of singing and instrumentals, especially featuring Pennsylvania Heritage Musician George Putt. This will be mostly jamming, but also some chatting and hearing more of the George's stories.


3:45 to 4:45 pm

Try a Ukulele – Diana Wagner

Come try a ukulele and see why people are so excited about this little instrument! This session is targeted to people with no experience playing fretted string instruments. Ukuleles will be provided.


West African Drumming – Kelly Parker

You’ll learn the basics of playing West African djembe as well as traditional West African rhythms. Bring a drum or use one of Kelly’s.


Harmony Singing – Aubrey Atwater & Elwood Donnelly

Learn to make your voices blend in beautiful harmony! For all levels of singers.


Backup Basics – Henry Koretzky

What’s backup? Everything that isn’t the melody! Even if you don’t think of your instrument as a backup instrument, there will be something here for you, including tips for making your backup playing strong, supportive, and interesting. For all instruments, advanced beginner level.


Swedish Tunes  – Carl Rahkonen

Come join a “Gammeldans Band,” which plays music for Scandinavian dancing. We will learn some basic Swedish tunes, with harmony parts. Sheet music will be provided, with chords and harmony parts, for a march, waltz, and slow polska. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Making a Song Your Own – Early Mays

Learn how to customize a song to take advantage of your strengths and present your own interesting version.


5:00 to 6:00 pm Dinner


7:00 pm Concert:

Simple Gifts, Atwater-Donnelly


After the Concert

Contradance – Joyce Rossbach, Peggy Shutes Kaiser & Ryck Kaiser

Joyce will teach and call the dances. Live music will be provided by an open band led by Ryck and Peggy, with music and chords provided. Come to dance, play, or both!


Jamming – Ryan Thomson

Anything goes in this jam - songs, instrumentals, old time, Celtic, blues, and whatever songs/tunes you want to suggest.




Sunday, September 11, 2016


8:00 to 9:00 am Breakfast



9:00 to 10:00 am

West African Drumming – Kelly Parker

You’ll learn the basics of playing West African djembe as well as traditional West African rhythms. Bring a drum or use one of Kelly’s.


Hymn Singing – Diana Wagner & Scott Elkins

We'll sing well-known and lesser-known gospel songs. Bring your instrument if you play. Lyrics and chords will be provided. This workshop is free and open to the public.


Beginners' Jam – Jerry Trusty

A slow-paced, supportive jam especially for beginners, also a good setting for more advanced musicians to experiment with improvisation.


Tunes from Michigan's Upper Peninsula – Carl Rahkonen

These tunes were composed by old time Finnish-American musicians from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and collected by Carl during a trip to the area. Sheet music and chords will be provided for a waltz, schottische and polka. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Old Time Tunes – Peggy Shutes Kaiser & Ryck Kaiser

Learn some cool tunes from the old time repertoire. We'll work by ear with music provided at the end of the workshop. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Mountain Dulcimer– Aubrey Atwater & Elwood Donnelly

Tips and techniques for getting the most out of your dulcimer playing, including left-hand techniques to make your playing more fluid, approaches to chord playing, and a solid look at rhythm, phrasing, timing, and expression.



10:15 to 11:15 am

Clogging at a Jam – Aubrey Atwater & Elwood Donnelly

You'll learn a few clogging steps, then we'll clog along to the music of a jam session.


Favorite Songs – Early Mays

Sing along with The Early Mays. They'll share songs that inspire them, both well-known and lesser-known favorites. Lyrics and chords will be provided. Instruments are welcome.


Super Cool, Super Easy Tunes – Peggy Shutes Kaiser & Ryck Kaiser

Come learn a few tunes that are super cool and not so hard to play. We’ll work by ear but music will be available if needed. For all instruments, advanced beginner level.


Irish Tunes – Ryan Thomson

Learn a few tunes from Ireland. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner. Sheet music and chords will be provided. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Jamming with Cloggers – Simple Gifts

This will be an informal, fun jam session. We'll be joined by the dancers from the clogging workshop! For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Intro to Flatpicking Guitar – Henry Koretzky

Learn to play fiddle tune melodies on your guitar using alternating picking and other techniques.


11:30 am to 12:30 pm

All Things Banjo – Aubrey Atwater, Ellen Gozion, Emily Pinkerton & Jerry Trusty

All of the banjo staff will be in the same room at the same time, and magical things are bound to happen! This session will be discussion, demonstration, and a little bit of performance, not a play-along workshop. For everyone, not just banjo players.


Merle Haggard Songs – Scott Elkins

Pay tribute to the late great Merle Haggard by learning a bit about him and learning to sing some of his songs. Instruments are welcome. Lyrics and chords will be provided.


Playing Musically – Henry Koretzky

We’ll take a look at how to play more musically by exploring phrasing, shaping, dynamics, and accenting. For all instruments, advanced beginner level.


Pennsylvania Tunes – Simple Gifts

We’ll look at eight wonderful but virtually unknown tunes collected in Pennsylvania. Sheet music and chords will be provided. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Improvisation in Folk Music – Ryan Thomson

Improvisation makes music SO MUCH FUN! Ryan will share tips about how to improvise and then we’ll give it a try. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Fiddle Techniques – Rachel Eddy

We’ll look at a broad range of bowing and left-hand techniques that can improve your sound and ease of playing.


12:45 pm Lunch


If you have time, come by the Blacksmith Shop to help clean up. We also need volunteers with laptops to help enter the data from the evaluations.



Act 48 credits issued through the Intermediate Unit 11.


* Schedule subject to change





Simple Gifts









Two woman, lots of instruments, with the sound of the world in their hearts.


2016 Faculty




Early Mays

Henry Koretzky

Ryan Thomson

Jerry Trusty

Diana Wagner

Carl Rahkonen

Kelly Parker

Peggy Shutes Kaiser

Ryck Kaiser

Scott Elkins

Joyce Rossbach



Heritage Musician

George Putt