September 11-13, 2020

A Fun, Friendly Weekend of Music

2019 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 6, 2019


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:

Singing with Hasee Ciaccio

An intensive class on how to sing, how to sing better, how to harmonize, and how to arrange songs. Depending on class interest, we can also touch on songwriting.

For all levels of singers.


Old Time Fiddle with Sam Gleaves

Exciting tunes from the southern Appalachian region will be taught by ear, breaking the tunes down phrase-by-phrase. Some time will be given to the stories of the fiddlers and their communities to place the music in its cultural context. No written music will be used, but the progression will be paced according to the group so we can all enjoy learning together.

For all levels beyond beginner, but before taking this class, students should be able to play a few fiddle tunes from memory.


Guitar Backup with Brennish Thomson

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, Irish, folk, and country styles.

For all levels beyond beginner.


Old Time Banjo with Brett Ridgeway

We'll review the frailing stroke, explore drop-thumb styles, with special focus on double and triple thumbing. Learn to accompany traditional dance tunes and songs and pick out melodies and solos.

For all levels beyond beginner.


West African Drumming with Kelly Parker

A thorough look at the rhythms and techniques of traditional West African drumming, exploring the role of each drum and then putting it all together. Drums will be provided or bring your own.

For all levels of drummers, including total beginners.


TLC for Beginners with Jay Best

In this special workshop designed for beginners, we'll take a gentle approach to how to be musicians, with emphasis on skills that will help you get more out of the weekend. We'll particularly look at how to learn tunes by ear, how to jam, and how to play well with other musicians.

For all instruments, beginner to advanced beginner level.


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Friday 4:00 pm Jamming –  Henry Koretzky & Kate Spry

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

Instrumental Jam - Simple Gifts

Singing - Sam Gleaves & Hasee Ciaccio

Drumming - Kelly Parker



Saturday, September 7, 2019


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

Try a Mandolin - Henry Koretzky

Learn the very basics of playing mandolin. We'll have a few available for you to borrow during the workshop, or bring your own.


West African Drumming - Kelly Parker

Explore the rhythms of traditional West African drumming, especially the basic rhythms of the djembe. Drums will be provided or bring your own.


Singing for Beginners - Scott Elkins

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


Learn 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.


How to Backup a Singer - Hasee Ciaccio & Sam Gleaves

Learn how to use your instrument to accompany a singer. The goal is to interject varied and interesting playing but to also (and especially) give the singer room to be heard and featured. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


New England Tunes - Ryan & Brennish Thomson

We’ll learn a few jigs and reels from the New England repertoire, with attention to both melody players and rhythm players. Tunes will be taught by ear with music available if needed. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


10:15 to 11:15 am

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.


Playing Anything on Anything - Ryan & Brennish Thomson

The prerequisite for this class is an open mind and sense of fun. Bring any item that can make a sound (keys, tent pegs, water bottle, etc.), and we'll make fun and interesting music! For all levels.


Harmony Singing - Sam Gleaves & Hasee Ciaccio

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 - Jay Best & Holly Foy

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


Twelve-Bar Blues - Richard Sleigh

We'll look at songs and improvisation within a 12-bar blues structure. For all instruments and voices, all levels beyond beginner.


Swedish Tunes - Kate Spry

We will learn a few Swedish tunes, with harmony parts. Sheet music with chords and harmony parts will be provided. 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 12:45 pm


1:15 to 2:15 pm

Honoring Pennsylvania Heritage Musician Patsy Hollobaugh – Simple Gifts

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 honor octogenarian Patsy Hollobaugh, a Centre County native who taught herself to play piano by watching a player piano and began playing professionally at age 15.


Instrumental Jam - Kate Spry

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


Singing Jam - Scott Elkins & Richard Sleigh

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 a Ukulele - Holly Foy

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.


Fear of Failure - Brett Ridgeway

Are you afraid to play in public? Terrified to jam? Does the thought of performing in front of people make your heart pound and hands shake? This workshop will help you break the debilitating, paralyzing grip of fear, using simple principles and ideas. For all instruments, voices, and levels.


Train Songs - Richard Sleigh

We'll sing and play songs about trains. For all levels of singers; instruments are welcome to play along.


How to Jam – Jay Best

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.


Bass Runs - Hasee Ciaccio (for all chording instruments)

For all instruments that play chords, we'll look at the notes you can play to connect one chord to the next.


Jamming with PA Heritage Musician Patsy Hollobaugh – Simple Gifts

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


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.


Carter Family Songs - Sam Gleaves

We’ll sing songs by this famous family and discuss their history and influence.


Hearing Chord Changes - Brett Ridgeway

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.


Contradance Band Practice – Holly Foy, Jay Best, 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.


Mixed Styles Jam - Henry Koretzky

Celtic, old time, Klezmer, country, singing, instrumental, etc. - any style you want to play is welcome! For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


5:15 to 6:00 pm Dinner


7:00 pm Concert:

Simple Gifts, Sam Gleaves & Hasee Ciaccio


After the Concert

Contradance with Open Band– Bob Nicholson, Jay Best, Holly Foy

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


Jam and Sing (during the dance) – Sam Gleaves & Hasee Ciaccio

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



Midnight Hymn Sing – Scott Elkins

In minimal light and amazing acoustics at the church, we'll sing hymns. Don't worry about not knowing the word, as Scott will line the hymns. Leave your instruments at the tent, this is a voices only event. Be very careful crossing the road in the dark. Cars go faster than you'd expect.


Sunday, September 8, 2019


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.


West African Drumming - Kelly Parker

Explore the rhythms of traditional West African drumming, especially the basic rhythms of the djembe. Drums will be provided or bring your own.


Hymn Singing - Hasee Ciaccio & Sam Gleaves

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.


Understanding Chords, Scales, & Keys - Henry Koretzky

We’ll cover the basics of music theory that will help you understand how folk music is put together. We’ll define building blocks like scales, chords and keys and then see how they can be combined to express a wide variety of music.


Metronome Games - Richard Sleigh

Strengthen your sense of rhythm while having fun with your metronome! For all instruments, voices, and levels.


Acadian Tunes - Ryan & Brennish Thomson

We'll explore the repertoire of French music from Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Louisiana. We'll work by ear, with music provided if needed. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


10:15 to 11:15 am

Try a Mountain Dulcimer - Brett Ridgeway

This will be a basic intro to an easy and fun instrument. Instruments will be provided, or bring your own.


Fun & Easy Percussion - Ryan & Brennish Thomson

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.


Making a Song Your Own - Sam Gleaves & Hasee Ciaccio

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


How to Backup Old Time Tunes - Jay Best

For all instruments that play chords, we'll look at rhythms and techniques needed to accompany old time tunes.


Pennsylvania Tunes - Henry Koretzky

We’ll look a collection of wonderful but virtually unknown tunes collected in Pennsylvania. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Going Beyond the Melody - Simple Gifts

Learn how to take a simple tune and do more with it to make it your own! For instruments that play melody, all levels beyond beginner.


11:30 am to 12:30 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. Please bring a penny whistle in the key of D or you can buy one at the workshop for $10.


Appalachian Clogging - Hasee Ciaccio

Three good reasons to clog: 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 if possible.


Far Out Acoustic Pop - Scott Elkins

Sing and play pop songs from the 70's including John Denver, Cat Stevens, Gordon Lightfoot, and more. Some of the chords are tricky, so this workshop is best for intermediate/advanced instruments, but all levels of singers are welcome.


Making a Melody Musical - Kate Spry

What's the difference between playing a series of notes in rhythm and playing music? The answer is that music needs to be played in a musical way, invoking emotion, interpretation, and phrasing. For all instruments, advanced beginner level.


Southern Tunes - Sam Gleaves

We'll look at some tunes from the southern Appalachians. We will work by ear and there will be tips for both melody and backup players. Think of this as a jam session to experience some new tunes, ask questions, and break down a few tunes phrase-by-phrase.  For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


Klezmer Tunes - Simple Gifts

Klezmer is the traditional music of the Eastern European Jewish culture. Learn traditional Klezmer dance tunes, as well as characteristic accompaniment styles and ornamentation. Sheet music and chords will be provided. For all instruments, all levels beyond beginner.


12:45 to 1:30 pm Lunch


1:30 pm

One More Jam - Henry Koretzky & Jay Best

Don't be in a hurry to leave. Stick around and jam some more! For all instruments, voices, and levels.




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.


2019 Faculty

Hasee Ciaccio


Sam Gleaves



Henry Koretzky

Richard Sleigh

Fiddling Thomsons

Scott Ellkins

Jay Best

Brett Ridgeway

Kelly Parker

Bob Nicholson

Larry Mutti

Holly Foy

Kate Spry

Paul Fagley



Heritage Musician

Patsy Hollobaugh




Contact us: (814) 643-6220 •