Click on each class title to read the full class description.

PLEASE NOTE that if you register for any of the classes above, you have already paid for the optional afternoon activities (activities scheduled after 2 PM each day such as the flatfooting dance class, the square dance basics class, the instrument petting zoo, etc. ).  There is no separate registration or additional charge for these afternoon activities.   Please see the schedule page for more information. 


Carla Gover (teaching clawhammer banjo and flatfooting)

Born and raised in Eastern Kentucky, Carla Gover was exposed to all the ingredients that go into making a true Appalachian musician of the first order. The Old-Time Herald says, “Carla’s music contains the best elements of traditional Appalachian Music, including purity, intensity, integrity, and vivid imagery.” She is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, with wins at the Kerrville Newfolk Festival, Merlefest’s Christ Austin Song Contest, and the Flatrock Festival Songwriting Contest. In addition to her performing career, she has over twenty years of experience as a teaching artist in Appalachian music and dance. Her ventures include educational performances, residencies and workshops, a variety of music and arts camps, and music festivals. Carla performs solo on banjo and guitar, and collaborates regularly with some of Kentucky's best pickers, including Brett Ratliff and Jesse Wells. She frequently adds some lively flatfoot dancing to the set, and gives audiences a sense that they have had a trip to the Appalachian Mountains. Carla also performs with the acclaimed trio Zoe Speaks, touring all over the country.

Sam Gleaves (teaching beginning guitar)

Sam Gleaves is a singer and multi-instrumentalist originally from Wytheville, Virginia who now makes his home in Berea, Kentucky. Sam began playing Appalachian music as a teenager with the help of mentors Jim Lloyd and Sheila Kay Adams. During his time as a Berea College student, Sam performed with the Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble directed by Al White.  Sam travels often to perform with musical collaborators Tyler Hughes, Deborah Payne, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer and he teaches stringed instrument lessons in Berea and Lexington. Sam has taught at the Augusta Heritage Center Vocal Week, Common Ground on the Hill Tradition Week, Mountain Music School at Mountain Empire Community College, and he has served as an assistant instructor at the Swannanoa Gathering and the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School. 

Deborah Payne (teaching beginning fiddle)

Deborah Payne is a fiddler and singer from Berea, Kentucky.  Deborah’s music is strongly infused by some of the region’s most beloved musicians with mentorship by artists such as Jean Ritchie, the McLain Family Band, and Michael Cleveland.  Deborah has maintained the traditions of the region playing for folk dances, teaching children’s dance, and providing lessons for area students.  Deborah has played and toured both locally and internationally with numerous bluegrass and old time bands including the Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble, CaneBreak, Sugar Tree, and Sam Gleaves. She has provided music for touring folk dance groups in Italy, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, England, and supported the Berea College Country Dancers on a tour of China in 2017.  

Lucian Parker (teaching beginning fiddle)

Lucian Parker grew up in Franklin County on a tobacco and cattle farm and began fiddle lessons at the age of 38 with Wanda Barnett, a member of The New Coon Creek Girls. Mr. Parker's other violin instructors include Raymond McLain, John Harrod, Jimmy McCown, Jamie Wells and Jesse Wells. His CD, "Rambo,” includes a variety of tunes; old time, bluegrass, folk, and Americana. For the last few years, Mr. Parker has taught the beginning fiddle class at the Festival of the Bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky. Mr. Parker says that all beginning fiddle students need to know only one thing and that is: all fiddle players are good look'n!

Michael Parks (teaching intermediate / advanced guitar)

Michael Parks has over forty years experience playing guitar. Since his first band formed in 1973, he has played at a number of festivals, clubs and events in the midwest region. He enjoys playing country, blues, rock, jazz and bluegrass guitar styles. After retiring from his career in aviation maintenance, Michael returned to Berea in 2017. He builds and repairs stringed instruments professionally and as a pastime. 

Pam Gadd (teaching beginning clawhammer banjo)

Pam Gadd is an accomplished banjo player and vocalist who has worked with a number of legendary musicians and bands including Wild Rose, the New Coon Creek Girls, Patty Loveless, Johnny Russell, Stella Parton, and Porter Wagoner. Pam feels equally at home playing clawhammer or Scruggs-style banjo and she has collaborated on recordings with Dolly Parton, the Daughters of Bluegrass, Vince Gill, Terri Clark and many other artists. Pam’s original songs have been nominated for “Song of the Year” and “Songwriter of the Year” by SPBGMA (the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America) and have been recorded by Carl Jackson, The Rarely Herd, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Terri Clark. Pam has an Associate of Science degree in Psychology and plays banjo as part of music therapy for individuals with mental disabilities.  Pam is regularly invited as a guest performer, lecturer and banjo instructor at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. 

John Harrod (teaching Madison County fiddle tunes, intermediate / advanced)

John Harrod has been documenting, playing, and teaching Kentucky music for 45 years.  He has produced field recordings that are available from Rounder Records and the Field Recorders' Collective.  He has taught fiddle at the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School,  the American Festival of Fiddle Tunes, the Augusta Heritage Center, Centre College, and Berea College.  He performs with Kentucky Wild Horse, a band that brings together many strands of Kentucky music including old time songs and fiddle tunes, bluegrass, original songs, and hillbilly swing. 

Lovester Wilkinson (Master Artist)

Lovester Wilkinson is a lifelong resident of Lincoln County, Kentucky, who will present about the use of quilts in the Underground Railroad and talk about her own work as a quilter and her life growing up in Appalachia. Lovester grew up in Booneyville, Kentucky and she currently resides in Stanford. A masterful storyteller, Lovester has written a book about her community and her memories of growing up there. Spirituals and church songs are a part of Lovester’s identity and she will sing as part of her program. Lovester and members of her family have presented programs at a number of institutions, including the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center at Berea College. 

Lewis Lamb (Master Artist)

Lewis Lamb comes from Paint Lick in Garrard County, Kentucky.  Lewis is a farmer who grew up in a family with a rich tradition of old time music.  He is known as one of Kentucky’s finest old time fiddlers.  Lewis has played in numerous regional string bands and when band members gathered to practice at his house, his daughter Donna took an interest in the music. After a few months of playing guitar, Donna performed for the first time with Lewis at the Mountain Folk Festival at Berea College in 1968. Since then, Lewis and Donna have traveled many times overseas performing with the Berea College Country Dancers to England, Czechoslovakia, Mexico, Scotland, Denmark, Canada and other countries. Lewis and Donna have performed at the 1982 World’s Fair, at Berea’s outdoor drama Wilderness Road, and at many festivals and dances throughout the region. Lewis also composes fine fiddle tunes and the Lambs have made many recordings, including their newest CD "A Family Tradition" and the influential "Dances from Appalachia" LPs produced by Berea College.  Lewis and Donna were the 2006-2007 winners of the Kentucky Governor’s Award in the Arts. They also host an open jam session, Jammin’ on the Porch, on Thursday nights in Berea.

Hear a recording of Lewis Lamb fiddling "Denver Belle" via this Berea College Special Collections & Archives link.

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