September 6-8, 2019

A Fun, Friendly Weekend of Music

2019 Schedule



2018 Schedule

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

Below is the current schedule.*


The workshop grid is available here.


Friday, September 7, 2018


Friday 3:00 pm Pre-Event Intensive Classes (separate registration required)

A pre-event intensive is a great way to get a jump-start on the weekend. Separate registration is required for these classes.


Choice of:

Folk Band with Simple Gifts

Learn how to play well together in a folk band, including how to lock in rhythmically, how to vary your sound, and how to arrange music to be interesting to an audience. Together we'll arrange a piece of music to perform at the start of the Friday night concert! For all instruments and voices, all levels.


Vocal Techniques with Dede Wyland

A clearer understanding of some basic vocal principles can transform your singing experience. In this workshop, you will learn techniques that improve breath support, tone quality, range, projection, freedom from vocal fatigue and more. Please join us for an afternoon of illuminating instruction and fun! For all level of singers.


Scandinavian Fiddle with Carl Rahkonen

Learn the wonderful lyrical sounds of Scandinavian fiddling!  We will study tunes in several Scandinavian genres, some with harmony parts. 
For intermediate/advanced fiddlers.


Backup Guitar with Richard Sleigh

The focus will be on being a strong, solid backup player. We'll look at rhythm, chords, and right-hand techniques in old time, blues, folk, and country styles.

For advanced beginner to intermediate level.


Old Time Banjo with Jay Best

Learn the frailing stroke, explore drop-thumb styles, and experiment with different banjo tunings. Learn to accompany traditional dance tunes and songs and pick out melodies and solos.
For all levels beyond beginner.


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.

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Friday 4:00 pm Jamming – Fiddling Thomsons & Don Wisniewski

This will be a fun, relaxed jam for all levels, also a good way to meet other attendees before things get going.


7:00 pm Staff Concert

You'll meet and hear all of the faculty.


After the Concert

Beginners' Jam - Jay Best &  Don Wisniewski

Instrumental Jam - Simple Gifts

Singing Jam - Dede Wyland & Henry Koretzky



Saturday, September 8, 2018


8:00 to 8:30 am Breakfast

Meals are provided for those who pre-paid. If you've brought your own food, you're welcome to bring it to the food pavilion so you can sit with the group. Mealtime tends to be a prime time for socializing.


8:30 am Greetings & Introduction



9:00 to 10:00 am

Beginning Harmonica – Richard Sleigh

Learn the boundless music you can make with this small instrument. You’ll work on how to breathe and then progress to other techniques. Bring a harmonica in the key of A, or you can buy an inexpensive one at the workshop.


Protest Songs– Jerry Zolten

Throughout the ages, many musicians have written songs that address political issues. Jerry will present an overview of protest songs and lead a lively discussion. Although this will be mostly a presentation and discussion, we'll do a little singing and playing too.


Singing for Beginners – Dede Wyland

So you think you can't sing? Come to this workshop to learn basics that will help you get started. Be brave!


Learning to Play by Ear – Brett Ridgeway

Free yourself of the dependency of reading music or tab to learn a tune. Using simple ear training exercises and traditional Celtic techniques, you can learn to play any instrument by ear. For all instruments, advanced beginner level.


Old Time Tunes – Jay Best

Learn some cool tunes from the old time repertoire. We'll work by ear with music available if needed. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Cajun Rhythms – Brennish Thomson

You'll learn about rhythms that are used in Cajun music and how to use them to give tunes a danceable quality. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Rhythm Guitar Techniques – Henry Koretzky

Learn how to be a solid and creative rhythm guitar player.


10:15 to 11:15 am

Try a Ukulele – Jay Best

Discover why these little instruments have captured the heart of people everywhere. It's so much fun and easy to do. Learn a few chords and songs. The session is targeted to total beginners, and instruments will be available for you to use.


Fiddling Across America – Carl Rahkonen

Carl is an ethnomusicologist who has studied American fiddling styles.  In this presentation, he will give an overview of various fiddle styles across America, with examples from field recordings as well as some live playing.


Harmony Singing – Dede Wyland

Learn to create and sing harmonies. We'll look at common pitfalls and strategies to finding harmony parts and work on blending and listening.


Easy Contradance Tunes – Judy Minot

Come learn a few fun and easy melodies played at contradances. Sheet music and chords will be provided. For all instruments, advanced beginner level.


Klezmer Tunes – Henry Koretzky

Learn the traditional music of the Eastern European Jewish culture, as well as characteristic accompaniment styles and ornamentation. We'll try to work by ear, but music will be available if needed. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Backing Up Celtic Jigs, Reels & Hornpipes – Beth & Stephen Folkemer

You'll learn how to tell whether a tune is a jig, reel, or hornpipe, and what backup rhythms to use once you know. For all backup instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Harmonia Beyond the Basics – Richard Sleigh

For those beyond the beginner level, we'll look at techniques to take your playing to the next level, including tongue blocking, pucker style playing, note bending, breath control, volume projection, and tone control.


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 12:45 pm


1:15 to 2:15 pm

Honoring Pennsylvania Heritage Musician Denny Ricker

An important initiative of the festival is to examine the musical traditions of 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 are lucky to have Denny Ricker as a representative of the amazingly influential folk revival of the 1960s. Denny, an almost-octogenarian, was active with Penn State's Folklore Club in the early 1960s, helping to shape an organization that influenced so many young musicians.


Instrumental Jam - Don Wisniewski

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


Singing Jam – Jay Best

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


Hiking – Ginny Mutti

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


2:30 to 3:30 pm

Try an Autoharp – Larry Mutti

What other instrument can you cradle in your arms and strum next to your ear? Autoharp is a wonderful, versatile and not too difficult instrument, so come give it a try! Instruments will be provided.


Country Songs – Henry Koretzky

Sing some well-known and some lesser known country songs. Lyrics and chords will be provided. For all levels of singers, instruments beyond beginner level.


Civil War Songs – Beth & Stephen Folkemer

There’s a wonderful repertoire of songs from the Civil War era, and we’ll sing a variety of them. If you play an instrument, bring it along.


Practice Smarter, Not Harder – Brett Ridgeway

Why waste hours practicing harder when you can productively practice smarter? This workshop will teach you some proven techniques and tested guidelines, showing you how to practice for the most efficient and effective results.


Understanding & Playing the Blues – Richard Sleigh

You don’t have to be blue to love the blues! We’ll look at elements such as phrasing, rhythm, chord choice and improvising over those chords in a blues style. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Jamming with PA Heritage Musician Denny Ricker – Simple Gifts, Jerry Zolten

A fun jam featuring Pennsylvania Heritage Musician Denny Ricker. This will be mostly jamming, but also some chatting and hearing more of the Denny's stories.



3:45 to 4:45 pm

Try a Fiddle – Ryan & Brennish Thomson

In a session designed for people who've never touched a fiddle, we'll look at the very basics. Instruments will be provided.


Vocal Techniques – Dede Wyland

A clearer understanding of some basic vocal principles can transform your singing experience. In this workshop you will learn techniques that improve breath support, tone quality, range, projection, freedom from vocal fatigue and more. For all levels of singers.


Pennsylvania Songs – Beth & Stephen Folkemer

Beth Folkemer and Dearest Home have been studying, performing and recording ballads collected by Samuel Bayard in Pennsylvania. She and Stephen will teach you a few of their favorite ballads, love songs, spirituals and funny songs. You’ll also learn a bit about about Bayard and his wonderful singers. Chords, melodies. and some dulcimer tab provided.


How to Jam – Richard Sleigh

Learn some jam skills that will help you join in the jams over the weekend. How do you figure out what to play, and what do you do if you don't know the tune being played? For all instruments, advanced beginner level.


Contradance Band Practice – Judy Minot, Bob Nicholson

We’ll look over the music that the open band will play at the evening dance. 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.


Northern Waltzes – Carl Rahkonen

What do waltzes from northern countries have in common?  We’ll learn a few lesser known waltzes in northern styles.  Sheet music and chords will be provided.  For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


5:15 to 6:00 pm Dinner


7:00 pm Concert:

Simple Gifts, Dede Wyland & Henry Koretzky


After the Concert

Square and Contradance – Bob Nicholson, Judy Minot

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


Mixed Styles Jamming and Singing (during the dance) – Richard Sleigh

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


Sunday, September 9, 2018


8:00 to 8:30 am Breakfast


9:00 to 10:00 am

Try a Banjo – Jay Best

Starting at the very beginning, you'll learn the basics of clawhammer style banjo. Instruments will be available for you to borrow during the workshop.


Hymn Singing – Beth & Stephen Folkemer

A good old-fashioned hymn sing held at the historic Greenwood Furnace Church. Bring your instrument if you play. Song sheets with chords will be provided. This workshop is free and open to the public.


Easy Old Time Tunes – Henry Koretzky

There are some easy but wonderful tunes in the old time string band repertoire, and we'll take a look at several. We'll work by ear, with sheet music available if needed. For all instruments, advanced beginner level.


Playing & Singing Rounds – Judy Minot

The round is a familiar format from childhood, but rounds can be so much more! Working from sheet music as needed, we'll play and sing some familiar and not-so-familiar rounds. In the process, we'll develop our ear for harmony and try out some different ways to begin and end a round. For all voices, instruments, and levels.


Irish Tunes – Ryan & Brennish Thomson

We'll learn a few Irish tunes and talk about how to make them sound Irish. Music and chords will be provided. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Old Time Banjo Beyond the Basics – Brett Ridgeway

Tips and techniques for playing clawhammer style banjo.



10:15 to 11:15 am

Park History Tour – Paul Fagley

Learn from the park's Cultural Interpreter about the community that grew up around the iron making industry and flourished here between 1834 and 1904. Tour the grounds and learn about the people, industry, and history of the area.


How to Yodel – Dede Wyland

Anyone can yodel (well, almost anyone!). This basic-level workshop will get you started unlocking your inner yodeler and will teach you some simple, useful yodels to add to nearly any song.


Hearing Chord Changes – Judy Minot

Wouldn't you love to be able to find the chords to tunes, even when you've never heard the tune before? We'll learn some simple tips that will demystify chord changes, and you'll walk away with some ideas to help you practice back home. For all instruments, advanced beginner level.


Pennsylvania Tunes – Henry Koretzky

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


Rhythmic Backup – Jay Best

Learn to be a solid, sensitive, creative backup player. For all backup instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Fiddle Bowing – Ryan & Brennish Thomson

While notes make the tune, bowing makes the fiddler! Ryan and Brennish will show you various bow patterns used in old time, Celtic, and Cajun styles.


11:30 am to 12:30 pm

Beginning Jaw Harp – Ryan & Brennish Thomson

Jawharp is one of the world's oldest musical instruments, having been traced back to the 4th century BC. You can buy a $10 jaw harp at this workshop and learn the beginning techniques, as well as a little about overtone music.


1960s Folk Revival – Jerry Zolten

The period of unrest during the 1960s spawned a revival of folk music and some wonderful songs. We'll sing and play a collection of these.  Lyrics and chords will be provided.


Playing with Emotion – Brett Ridgeway

Emotion makes the difference between playing notes and making music. In this workshop, we'll discuss concepts and also learn practical techniques for how to phrase and shape your music. Your music is an expression of you . . . learn to emote and share that inner you!


Bluegrass Band – Dede Wyland & Henry Koretzky

Learn how to play and sing together in a bluegrass band. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Finnish American Tunes – Carl Rahkonen

We’ll learn some tunes played and composed by Finnish-American musicians.  Sheet music and chords will be provided for a song, waltz, polka and polska. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Fiddle Backup – Simple Gifts

We usually think of fiddle as a melody instrument, but there's a whole world of sounds and rhythms available when you use your fiddle for backup.


12:45 to 1:30 pm Lunch




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.


2018 Faculty

Dede Wyland



Henry Koretzky

Carl Rahkonen

Fiddling Thomsons

Judy Minot

Jerry Zolten

Richard Sleigh

Jay Best

Brett Ridgeway

Bob Nicholson

Beth & Stephen

Larry Mutti

Paul Fagley

Don Wisniewski



Heritage Musician

Denny Ricker




Contact us: (814) 643-6220 •