Afternoon Workshops

Our workshop offerings for the 2024 Festival will be announced in the coming months. You can join our mailing list to stay updated, and in the meantime, check out our 2023 workshops below for an idea of what to look forward to in June 2024!

We are delighted to present a wealth of topics and opportunities to dive into music, dance and singing traditions from the styles we host at AFTMD: Acadian, Cape Breton, Irish, Québécois, and Scottish. Hone your skills, learn about the history of these traditions, add tunes to your repertoire – and then share them in jam sessions with your fellow students and our world-class faculty!

If you have already signed up to the festival as a full-time student, you will have access to all of these electives and jams as part of your tuition!

If you are not registered, you can check out the listing below, and then head over to our store to buy workshop tickets (full-week and daily passes are both available).

Jump to workshop type: Faculty-led Jam Sessions | Faculty-led Community Singing Sessions | Faculty-led Ensembles | Enrichment Workshops

Faculty-led Jam Sessions

Every day, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)

What could be more “trad” than a good, old-fashion, rip-roarin’ jam session?!  Come jam under the expert and welcoming guidance of some of your favorite players!  Faculty leaders will help you get the good session energy going, suggesting tunes and helping you tap into your best jamming self.  In addition to simply having a blast playing together, you’re almost certain to pick up or hone some life-long jamming skills, such as how to create maximal spontaneous groove, tastefully try out playing parts that aren’t the core melody (ie. variations, harmonies, ‘comping parts, etc,), promote positive session etiquette, and much more.  Bring your favorite tunes – you’ll probably be invited to share them! 

▸ Click to see jam schedule

Fast-paced session with Troy MacGillivray & Mari Black
Laid-back session with Anastasia DesRoches & Owen Marshall

“Fun for All” session with Ellen Gawler & Jeremiah McLane

Fast-paced session with Colin Farrell & Patrick Egan
Laid-back session with Nicholas Williams & Matt Heaton

“Fun for All” session with Laurel Martin & Josh Dukes

“Fun for All” session with Maeve Gilchrist & Neil Pearlman

Faculty-led Community Singing Sessions

Every day, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)

Singing is a joyous and integral part of so many different folk traditions, and we celebrate that in these community singing sessions!  Faculty leaders will bring some of their favorite songs to teach and sing together as a group, exploring points of style, history and culture, and a bit of vocal skills along the way.  All are welcome to join in the fun, regardless of previous vocal experience!

▸ Click to read individual workshop descriptions

Tuesday: Québécois and Beyond (Nicholas Williams)
Come and raise your voices together in glorious harmony, with rousing sea shanties, chansons à répondre, and songs from other harmony singing traditions.

Wednesday: Old Time Harmony Singing (Evie Ladin) 
Using Carter Family-style harmonies as a jumping off place, we will enjoy three part harmonies from the Appalachian tradition. Finding harmony lines that sometimes weave around the melody, sometimes cross or create unisons, you’ll develop a better ability to hear and find parts, as well as learn what gives these harmonies their particular old-time country sound, and power. Reminder: no singing experience necessary!

Thursday: Friendly Folk Songs (Shannon Heaton)
Come along for a song (or two). We’ll sing trad and folk favorites with simple choruses and refrains. All are welcome, especially instrumentalists whose arms and hands could probably use a break!

Friday: Sad Songs of Ireland (Patrick Egan)
Let’s raise our voices and drown our sorrows together!  The Irish have mastered the art of sorrowful songs that somehow make us feel better. Pat Egan will guide us in a selection of slow, sad songs in minor keys. Tissues recommended!

Saturday: Songs of New England and the World (Ellen Gawler)
Come take part in making a joyful noise, singing well traveled and beloved songs, complete with harmonies, taught by call and response, and brought to life in an atmosphere of support and fun.

Faculty-led Ensembles

Every day, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)

Ever wanted to be in a band with one of your musical heroes?  Well, here’s your chance!  These fun faculty-led ensembles will give you a chance to experience what it’s like working together as a trad music band.  While learning fun tunes and generally having a blast under the guidance of your awesome faculty band leader, you’ll explore core ensemble skills like arranging, blending sounds, non-verbal musical communication, creating groove and rhythmic synchronicity, and more!

Ensembles will be progressive, building skills and repertoire over the course of the week and culminating in a group performance at the student concert on Saturday night.  Therefore, students are strongly encouraged to attend each band meeting throughout the week.

This year’s ensemble leaders are:
Katie McNally – Scottish/Cape Breton ensemble
Jimmy Keane – Irish ensemble
Don & Cindy Roy – Franco-American ensemble

Enrichment Workshops

Every day, Periods 3 & 4 (1:15 – 2:30  &  2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)

   Dance and Movement Electives

▸ Click to read individual workshop descriptions

Foot Percussion for All (Cindy Roy)
Tuesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Learn how to supply the rhythms that drive the tunes – with your own two feet!  We’ll explore some fun basic and varied foot percussion while sitting down.  Open to all, dancers AND musicians of any instrument!

Cape Breton Step Dance for All (Neil Pearlman)
Tuesday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
Learn the basic steps for the three main dance tunes in the Cape Breton tradition– Jigs, Reels and Strathspeys. You’ll come away from this workshop with a deeper understanding of the rhythm behind the tunes and with all the tools you need to jump into a square set the next time you visit the island. No dance experience necessary, wear closed toe shoes if possible.

Yoga/Stretches (Marie Hamilton)
Tuesday, Period 5 (4:00 –  5:00 p.m.)
In this session we’ll take some time away from the activity of the week to refresh our bodies and minds. Open to all movement abilities.

MoToR/method Body Music (Evie Ladin)
Wednesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Using only your human instrument, explore rhythmic music in hands, feet and body, melody and harmony, moving in space. Fun and challenging on expression, precision and musicality, the style allows for levels of participation everyone can enjoy. Explore and better understand syncopation, develop ensemble and personal rhythmic/harmonic strengths while literally incorporating music into the body. 

Acadian Step Dance for All (Anastasia DesRoches)
Wednesday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
In this workshop, we’ll explore basic dance steps from the Acadian tradition on PEI, including “la danse assise” (sitting down dance) and the first steps most dancers learn. There will be a little storytelling and history to explain why dancing is integral to Acadian culture. No dance experience necessary; everyone is welcome!

Beginner Waltz-Clog for All (Pierre Chartrand)
Thursday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
The clog waltz was passed on to a whole generation of dancers through the famous Quebec fiddler Jean Carignan. It will be my pleasure to introduce you to Jean’s steps, and, who knows, to some others, just as pleasant and adapted to the waltz.  A good pair of shoes and a love of the three beat music are the only prerequisites!

Mindful Movement: Breathe and Stretch (Kieran Jordan)
Friday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Breathe, dance, reboot! This is a gentle movement class that offers an opportunity to pause, get grounded, stretch, and reset. The class draws from energy healing, somatic practices, yoga and dance, and is fluidly paced to slow airs, waltzes, and mid-tempo selections of Celtic music. All are welcome — no experience needed. Please wear soft comfortable clothing and bring a mat or towel.

Sean-Nós Dance for Musicians (Kieran Jordan)
Friday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
Sean-nós (“old style”) Irish dance features footwork danced close-to-the-floor, a relaxed upper body, and a playful dialogue between the dance and the tunes. Students in this class will gain comfort and confidence in making percussive music with their feet — while learning a sequence of basic steps, as well as tools for improvising and creating steps of their own. If possible, please wear shoes with a smooth hard sole.

Yoga/Stretches (Marie Hamilton)
Friday, Period 5 (4:00 –  5:00 p.m.)
In this session we’ll take some time away from the activity of the week to refresh our bodies and minds. Open to all movement abilities.

Québécois Social Dance (Pierre Chartrand)
Saturday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
This traditional dance workshop will cover the different genres of the Quebec tradition: quadrille, cotillion, square set and contredanse (not contradance). We will see some steps specific to these dances and, especially, the figures, sequences and music that characterize them. Pis swing-la pas trop fort/fais-y pas mal dans l’corps!

   Melody: Skill development

▸ Click to read individual workshop descriptions

Cracking the Code: Traditional Irish Ornamentation (Laurel Martin)
Tuesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Ornaments in traditional Irish dance tunes add detail, nuance and rhythmic lift to the music. They are among the techniques fiddle players use to give tunes their uniquely Irish flavor! In this workshop we’ll explore the mechanics of rolls, grace notes and triplets, and will unlock the secret of where they do (or do not) belong in a tune.

Building Speed for Melody Players (Shannon Heaton)
Wednesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
How do you play faster?  Bring a sense of adventure (and if you like, also come in with a tune you want to workshop), and find out how to ramp things up with comfort and ease.

Creating Snazzy Variations on Your Favorite Tune Melodies (Colin Farrell)
Wednesday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
In this workshop, we’ll look at how to create fun and ear-catching variations on traditional tunes.  We’ll take tunes in your repertoire and look at different ways of playing them to add color and texture, making them more interesting both for you to play them and for your listeners to follow along.

Playing for Dance (Anastasia DesRoches)
Thursday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
In this workshop, we’ll learn and play some of the more popular tunes that dancers ask for on PEI. We’ll throw in some music for PEI-style set dances and talk about the basics when choosing tunes to play for dancers.  Bring your instruments and be ready to learn how to garner an enthusiastic “hup” from your dancers!

Playing Harmony Lines & More for Melody Players (Ellen Gawler)
Thursday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
How do we find those things called harmonies? What are some other ways to enhance/augment the melody through listening for chord structures, finding unique drones, alternative melodic enhancements, chops and groves? Come share and explore!

Rhythm Development for Melody Players (Nicholas Williams)
Friday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Try some fun exercises that can help add more rhythmic awareness and subtlety to your playing.  All instruments welcome!

Constructing Groovin’ Tune Sets (Troy MacGillvray)
Friday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
In this class, we’ll learn strategies for how to put together fun, engaging tune sets, AND explore how to make each tune in the set really groove on its own.  Bring your instruments and hang onto your hats!  All melody players (and backers who want to learn some melodies) are welcome.

   Backing: Skill development

▸ Click to read individual workshop descriptions

Driving the Bus: Maximizing Groove while Backing Irish Tunes (Matt Heaton)
Tuesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Sure, chords are great and all, but what about the right hand? What is it that makes some backing so exciting, and other backing so…blah? We’ll explore rhythmic concepts both concrete and abstract: lift, feel, groove, syncopation, muting, and more to try and take your backing to the next level. Open to all plucked string instruments.

Accompanying Songs as an Instrumentalist (Patrick Egan)
Tuesday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
In this class, we’ll learn how to accompany songs in a tasteful, sensitive, and creative way.  Ideas that will be explored include linking chords using simple musical lines, working outside regular chord shapes, creating color through open tunings and fingerpicking vs. flat picking, and considering space and timing, so as not to overwhelm the lyrics.  This workshop will be taught from the guitar, but open to any backing instruments.

Innovative and Intuitive Accompaniment (Owen Marshall)
Wednesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Over the course of this workshop, we will strengthen our chordal knowledge while building rhythmic possibilities. Using counter melodies, syncopation, and reharmonization, we will explore ways to be an invaluable addition to any musical setting. Explore new techniques to accompany tunes on the fly, and give new life to the music you already play.

Rules of the Road: Great Session Playing for Backers (Josh Dukes)
Wednesday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
You never know quite what to expect in a session, but regardless of what situation you find yourself in, YOU can be the person who helps everyone else sound — and feel — great!  Together, we will think about concrete tools we can use to unify a session sound and bring out the best in the group, including effective use of foundational rhythmic patterns, hearing and leading harmonic movement within traditional tunes, and other practical approaches for session playing.  Open to all backers.

Spice Up Your Chords (Neil Pearlman)
Thursday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
So you’re comfortable playing the basic core chords to a fiddle tune. What now? There are a lot of ways to develop your accompaniment style after learning the basics. In this workshop we’ll explore some ways to add more harmonic flavor to your chord playing and expand the variety of musical spices in your pantry. We’ll touch on substitution chords, alternate progressions, inversions, adding notes to your chord voicings and anything else we have time for! Bring your questions and a notebook might come in handy too. Players of all instruments are welcome.

How to Contribute in a Rhythm Section (Owen Marshall)
Thursday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
A good rhythm section is a thing of beauty!  Learn tips and tricks on how to communicate within a rhythm section and explore the full and rich world of accompaniment.  Open to any backing instruments.

Pick Your Tune(ing): Alternate Tunings for Guitar (Matt Heaton)
Friday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
All tunings have some advantages and some disadvantages. We’ll explore some of the pros and cons of a handful of common tunings (standard, dropped D, DADGAD, open G) and perhaps a few less common ones as well. We’ll be doing some retuning, a clip on tuner could be handy but not required. 

Zen and the Art of Crooked Tune Accompaniment (Owen Marshall)
Friday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
Accompanying Crooked tunes can be a fight, if you make it one!  Don’t fight, go with the flow, ride the wave, be the tune.  Open to all rhythm players.


▸ Click to read individual workshop descriptions

The Rhythm Machine (Maeve Gilchrist)
Tuesday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
Open to all musicians, foot percussionists and vocalists (bring your instruments!) We’ll start this class using some basic clapping and stomping exercises, outlining basic subdivisions and ‘feeling’ the pulse in different ways. As we move on to our instruments (feet or voices) we will use simple polyrhythms to create a world of texture while sharing the same pulse. The key to a better sense of time is having confidence in one’s own pulse and understanding of subdivision. Start building that confidence today!

Ear Training for Folk Music (Neil Pearlman) 
Wednesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Ever tried out an “ear training app” on your phone or a workshop on ear training offered by your local university? There are a bunch of exercises out there for training your ear to identify intervals, chord qualities and chord progressions. These are skills that we use all the time in the “play by ear” environment of traditional folk music, but most of the time these exercises are only encountered in the context of other styles of music. In this workshop we’ll do some of these exercises together and apply them to the genres of music that we’re all playing this week. No instrument necessary, just bring your ears!

“What Key Is This In?”: (Just Enough) Music Theory for Trad Musicians (Matt Heaton)
Wednesday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
Ever feel lost when people start talking about keys? Chords? Modes? Matt Heaton breaks it all down into nice bite sized pieces. We’ll take a look at what all the jargon really means, and how it can actually be useful. For this workshop, we will not be reading music, but we will be playing instruments, so come ready to play. Open to all instruments, melody and chordal. 

Active Listening Session (Maeve Gilchrist)
Thursday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Active listening is very different to the passive listening that we, as a society, are so conditioned to experiencing on a daily basis. Come spend a quality musical session with Maeve as she shares some of her favorite pieces of music as a vehicle to analyze groove, harmony, space and texture. Hone in on the tiny sounds, the textural landscape and the sheer joy of music through listening!

Energy Infusion!  Maximizing Life, Lift, and Character in Your Playing (Mari Black)
Friday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Let’s get right to the essence of what traditional dance music is all about: the energy, the character, the “magic” that makes this kind of music feel irresistible to anyone who hears it!  Come get INSPIRED as we explore how to infuse your playing with the lift and sparkle that’s at the heart of all dance styles.  We’ll discover how to maximize character, flow, and groove in any kind of tune (from driving reels to lucious airs), and practice concrete skills that will help you create the kind of sound to make your listeners forget their worries, move their bodies, tap their toes, and holler “WOO!” along with the tune!  ALL instruments welcome, melody and backers.

Music for Healing (Anastasia DesRoches)
Saturday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
We’ve all experienced loss and grief; in this workshop, we’ll explore the relationship between music and healing. The workshop will be in the form of a healing circle. Participants will be invited to share music if they choose. It is a session where you can listen, play, or share a story. A quiet time for reflection in a busy week!


▸ Click to read individual workshop descriptions

“Licking it off a Stone”, a.k.a. Composing ain’t Just Magic! (Shannon Heaton) 
Tuesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Composing tunes in the traditional style doesn’t come out of thin air… there are forms and rules to know, esPECially if you’re interested in breaking the rules!  Learn the foundational guidelines with Shannon Heaton, and explore some creative prompts to write your next hit tune this week.  Perfect for experienced composers looking to deepen their voice in the trad style AND folks who are ready to write their very first tune.

Motivic Development and the Art of Following a Phrase (Maeve Gilchrist)
Wednesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Let’s write some tunes! In this workshop open to all prospective composers/arrangers, we deconstruct the idea of what melody is. By taking it out of the measure and studying the intervallic relations and use of motivic development – we can start to understand what creates that Earworm-melody that sounds unique yet accessible. 

Interaction of Melody and Chords as a Compositional Device (Jeremiah McLane)
Thursday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Ever wondered: when composers write a piece of music which comes first, the melody or the chords? Instead of treating these two things as separate and distinct elements, we’ll take an in depth look at the interaction between a melodic line and its harmonic accompaniment, or we could say the interaction between a harmonic progression and its accompanying melody. Students are encouraged to bring pieces they’ve written or are working on, and if time allows we’ll look at them through this ‘harmolodic’ lens.

How to KEEP Writing: Composition as a Process (Colin Farrell)
Friday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
No matter how much you know about composition, original tunes don’t just appear out of nowhere!  While some tunes can be born in a flash of inspiration, most folks find that writing tunes is a process, involving time, effort, and a clear method or system to help get (and keep!) the creative juices flowing.  In this workshop, Colin – the man who famously wrote and recorded a new tune every day for over a year! – will show you his personal process for composing tunes and give you some concrete tools that you can use to start fueling your own tune-writing journey.

   Additional Instruments

▸ Click to read individual workshop descriptions

Emulating Masters of the Tin Whistle (Colin Farrell)
Tuesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
This workshop will look at a handful of Colin’s favorite whistle players and their styles.  Colin will point out his favorite elements of master players’ individual and regional style of playing, and show you how you might start capturing those aspects in your own playing.  Whistle players, aspiring whistle players, and non-whistle players who want to emulate the sound and style of this fun instrument are all welcome!

Rhythmic Explorations on the Bodhran (Josh Dukes)
Thursday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Learn and improve your skills for accompanying jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas, and more on the Bodhran, the traditional frame drum in Irish music.  We will also discuss how to practice and continue improving, and how to fit in, hold your own, and positively contribute to a session or performance. Please bring your bodhran and tipper to class (or borrow one from a friend if you’re new to this instrument!).

Articulation for Whistle Players (Shannon Heaton)
Friday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Bring style and rhythmic flair to your jigs and reels via tasteful tonguing!  Whistle players of all levels are welcome, as these are skills needed for ANYONE to sound great on this fun instrument!

   Singing Workshops

▸ Click to read individual workshop descriptions

Harmony Singing: Learning How to Blend (Nicholas Williams)
Wednesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
We’ll explore some different ways to go beyond the ‘notes’, and travel the path towards achieving total harmonic fusion bliss!  All are welcome, regardless of previous vocal experience.

Putting Your Own Spin on an Old Song (Patrick Egan)
Saturday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
There are many ways to hear and find songs, but how do we make a song our own when we find one we really love?  In this workshop we’ll explore the ways that we can use our voice to create phrasing and dynamics that communicate the personal connection and meaning we feel from the song.  We’ll also discuss how to choose a song that suits you; both in terms of your connection to the song and your vocal range and current abilities.


▸ Click to read individual workshop descriptions

Gems of the D.C. Irish Repertoire (Josh Dukes)
Tuesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Come learn some of Josh’s favorite (and unusual!) Irish tunes that are particular to the repertoire in the D.C. area.  We’ll play around with these cool melodies, exploring how to incorporate stylistic ornamentation, beautiful phrasing, and great feel in each!  Josh will teach on the flute, but this workshop is open to all melody players.

French Couple-Dance Repertoire (Jeremiah McLane)  
Tuesday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.) 
This class will cover a couple dance tunes which make up a large part of the contemporary bal folk scene in Western Europe that has become more and more popular in North America. Balfolk is not exactly a style of music but rather an umbrella term for the tunes that get played during a typical dance. From central and southern France these dances include: 3 count & 2 count bourrée, schottishe, 3/4 & 5/4 waltz, polka, chapelloise, branle and mazurka. Although they’re sometimes part of the bal folk experience, we’ll cover tunes from Brittany in a separate class called Breton Fest-Noz repertoire.

East Clare Sweetness (Laurel Martin)
Wednesday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
In this workshop we will learn tunes that are characteristic of the traditional musical repertoire of East Clare, Ireland. East Clare music is known for its gentle, rolling rhythm and for its sweet, lonesome sound.

The Best of Cape Breton Dance Tunes (Troy MacGillvray)
Wednesday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
Come learn some rockin’ Cape Breton tunes that are often played for square dances and particularly raucous jam sessions.  Troy will share some of his all-time favorites, and show you how to play them in a way that will get dancers cheering for more!

Great Strathspey Playing (Troy MacGillvray)
Thursday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
In this class, we’ll get “under the hood” of the signature tune type of Cape Breton and Scotland: the mighty strathspey!  Come explore the characteristic rhythms, ornaments, and DRIVE that make these distinctive tunes so fun to play and dance to.  

Tunes of Sliabh Luachra (Laurel Martin)
Thursday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
The Sliabh Luachra region of Ireland comprises parts of County Cork and County Kerry. The traditional music of the region has an atmospheric flavor that seems to emerge from the wild nature of the landscape. We’ll learn some tunes of the Sliabh Luachra region and will explore the bowing techniques that create its characteristic sound. 

Shetland Tunes (Ellen Gawler)
Friday, Period 3 (1:15 – 2:30 p.m.)
Come find out about the rich musical tradition of the Shetland Islands.  Learn about its origins, descriptive tunes, da fairies, and much more.  We will learn a tune or two to put in your pocket.   (PS the spelling of fairies is how they spell it in Shetland).  All melody players welcome!

Breton Fest-Noz: Dance Tunes from Northwest France (Jeremiah McLane)
Friday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
This class will cover some of the vast repertoire of the Breton Fest-Noz, or night party. These social occasions are one of main ways that Breton cultural identity is expressed, and they can include songs and instrumental tunes for dancing, poetry and of course good food and drink; we’ll have to see about these last two items! There are many more circle and line dances than in the more couple-oriented dances of the Bal folk scene (even though the term Bal folk can include some Breton dances). Breton dances are usually accompanied by a suite of tunes, played multiple times through. These include gavotte, gavotte de l’aven, plinn, andro, hanter-dro, laridés, rond de Loudeac, and rond de St Vincent.  

   Artists in Residence Demos

▸ Click to read individual demo descriptions

The Art of Violin Making (Jon Cooper)
Wednesday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
Maine luthier Jonathan Cooper has been making violins, violas, and cellos for more than 25 years. In this enrichment class, Jon will share some of his background and demonstrate some of his instrument-making techniques. All are welcome.

The Blank Canvas (Vincent Crotty)
Thursday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
This will be a quick painting demonstration in which I will explain how I translate the visual world onto canvas. The subject will be a live musician. Participants are welcome to ask questions and to watch the process unfold.


▸ Click to read more

Otter Point Sunrise Walk (Ellen Mahoney & Michael Marion)
Tuesday morning before breakfast
Let’s kick off a great week by welcoming the sun on the eastern shores of MDI. Otter Cliff and Otter Point is an easy 1.1 mile out and back trail near Seal Harbor. We will meet at 4am to carpool to the park. We’ll return in time for breakfast. 

Abbe Museum Excursion (Ellen Mahoney & Michael Marion)
Thursday, Period 4 (2:45 – 4:00 p.m.)
In our efforts to acknowledge and respect that we are gathered on unceded Wabanaki Confederacy lands, we will pay tribute to the indigenous “People of the Dawn” by spending an afternoon reflecting on Wabanaki history and culture with a visit to the Abbe Museum.

Walking Excursion (Ellen Mahoney & Michael Marion)
Saturday, Periods 3 and 4 (1:15 p.m. – approx. 4:15 p.m.)
After lunch we will gather for a walk into the park and along the carriage roads. The route will leave on foot from campus through the forest and into the park. The trail will be a 6 mile loop trail across Duck Brook Bridge and along flat terrain around Witch Hole and Beaver Ponds. Estimated time of the outing is 3 hours.

Every visitor to the park should have a pass. If folks are planning to enjoy this National treasure we suggest you purchase your pass in person at the park or online here before you arrive at camp.

The Acadia Festival of Traditional Music & Dance is governed by Friends of the Acadia Trad Festival, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) Maine nonprofit corporation. Website art by Anabelle Keimach and Annelise Papinsick.