Our 5th annual 2020 Rollick celebration with exciting new staff and workshops. Debra Clifford hosts this Old Time immersion weekend for all levels. Classes in beginner, intermediate and advanced fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, flatfooting, singing and special one-off presentations. Plus a staff concert and Saturday night gender free square dance. Deepen your playing, build your repertoire, make new friends and jam until the wee hours. Open to all folks, all ages, all orientations. Come join the OT Rollick family at Ashokan!
See more information below about the staff, schedule, tuition, work-exchange positions, lodging, and more. Children and teens are welcome to attend with a guardian. Youth discounts and scholarships are available.
DEBRA CLIFFORD, Totnes, Devon, England : Guitar, Rhythm, Singing and more
2020 Old Time Rollick Camp Coordinator
This is Debra’s 5th year as an Old Time Rollick host. She plays guitar, banjo, mandolin and sings lead & harmony. Debra plays in The Farwells, a duo with Becca Wintle, and is a member of the Lonesome Sisters with Sarah Hawker. They have recorded 7 CDs and were voted best acoustic duo of 2006 by Gibson Guitars. She has toured extensively with Ginny Hawker & Tracy Schwarz, as well as singing workshops with Val Mindel. She has recorded an Old Buck CD with Emily Schaad, Riley Baugus & Sabra Guzman. Debra has taught at Ashokan Southern Week for years, as well as US, Scotland and England camps. In Summer 2019, she placed 2nd with the Mother Cluckers (with Becca, Susie Goehring and Tricia Spencer) in the Trad Contest at the Clifftop Appalachian String Band Festival, her 4th Clifftop contest win. She and Becca also play in The Waggonhoppers, a UK band with Jock Tyldesley & Vera Van Heeringen.
Debra on guitar, Becca Wintle & Jake Blount, fiddles at
UK Friends of American Old Time Fest last January:
EMILY SCHAAD, Asheville NC: Intermediate & Advanced Fiddle
Emily Schaad is known for a complex and powerful fiddling style, and has taken first place in numerous stringband and fiddle contests, including the Appalachian Stringband Music Festival in Clifftop, WV. Emily came to the music of the southern Appalachians as a classical violist, teacher, and conductor, and once the archaic and driving sound of the fiddle and banjo found her, she never looked back.
Here’s Emily & Debra at the Clifftop Fiddle Contest 2012. PS Emily WON!
RACHEL EDDY, Washington DC: Intermediate & Advanced Banjo, Singing with the Banjo and more
Rachel Eddy is a native of West Virginia growing up in a musical family steeped in the traditions of Appalachian music and dance. Now based in Washington DC, she is a dynamic, emotionally powerful performer and an engaging, thoughtful teacher. Rachel’s singing and fiddle, banjo, guitar, and mandolin work may be heard on many recordings, as well as at dances and jam sessions. She is dedicated to fostering community and sharing a love of music with others. She has played in the Ken and Brad Kolodner Quartet, the Early Mays, and a European tour with Uncle Earl. She has taught at the Alabama Folk School, Augusta Heritage Center, Common Ground, Kauffman Kamp, Nashville Fiddle and Banjo Camp, Sore Fingers and more. She lived in Sweden 2008-14, inspiring many to take up the music. She has four full-length albums: The Morgantown Rounders; Hand on the Plough; Chilly Winds; and Nothin’ But Corn.
Here’s Rachel Eddy singing and on banjo
at Grenna Bluegrass Festival, Sweden, August 2019:
VAL MINDEL, Elkins WV: Old Time Singing, Harmony, Gospel Sing & more
Val Mindel is a longtime musician, teacher and workshop leader, known for helping singers achieve that close, buzzy harmony that is a pillar of American old-time and early country harmony. Val also addresses such indefinables as tone (that high lonesome sound), ornamentation, lead singing and more. She has taught at numerous music camps in the U.S. and abroad, including: the Ashokan Center (Southern Week and the Old-Time Rollick), the Augusta Heritage Center (Vocal and Old-Time weeks), Centrum (Voice Works and Fiddle Tunes), Allegheny Echoes and more. She is a founding member of the California-based Any Old Time string band (check out the band’s compilation album, I Bid You Goodnight on Arhoolie), and has two CDs with daughter and old-time country musician Emily Miller (In the Valley and Close to Home).
Here’s our wonderful Rollick singing teacher Val
tearing it up at Ashokan Southern week!
JOSEPH “JOEBASS” DEJARNETTE, Floyd VA: String Bass, Sound & Recording classes
Bassist and audio engineer Joseph “joebass” DeJarnette was raised in the foothills of the blue ridge mountains on a hodgepodge of strange 78 rpm records, local rock bands, static filled folk and world music from the distant public radio station and a smattering of community concerts. He later made his way north and spent many years living in Brooklyn, NY touring the world with The WIYOS and making occasional appearances with Curtis Eller, New York’s angriest yodeling acrobatic banjo player. After 29 dates with Bob Dylan and WIllie Nelson in 2009, he returned to Virginia and founded STudio808A in historic Floyd, Virginia, a “band and breakfast” recording studio where he has worked with the top names in Old Time and acoustic music.
Here’s Joebass kickin’ it with the mules!
SARAH HAWKER, Shelburne Falls MA: Singing One Offs, Gospel Sing & more
Sarah has been a member of the singing duo The Lonesome Sisters with Debra Clifford since 2002. She sings lead, plays guitar and clawhammer banjo. She was awarded first place in the 2006 Merlefest Chris Austin Songwriting Competition for her song Forgiveness. She was awarded first place at the 2008 Clifftop Fiddlers Convention in the Neo Trad Competition for her song Follow Me Down. The Lonesome Sisters have toured extensively in the US, and were named Best Acoustic Duo of 2006 by Gibson Guitars. They have recorded 6 CDs of both traditional and original music as a duo and with Riley Baugus and Rayna Gellert. Steeped in the musical tradition of the Hawker family, Sarah was raised listening to the sounds and stories of her loved ones including her aunt, Appalachian singer Ginny Hawker, uncle Tracy Schwarz of The New Lost City Ramblers, and grandfather, Primitive Baptist singer Ben Hawker.
Here’s Lonesome Sisters Sarah & Debra in 2011 singing some old gospel
JAKE BLOUNT, Washington DC: Banjo, fiddle, talks, presentations, Jams
Jake Blount is an award-winning old-time banjoist, fiddler, singer and scholar based in Washington, DC. Blount specializes in the music of Black and Native American communities in the southeastern United States, and in the regional style of Ithaca, New York. His teachers include Rhiannon Giddens, Bruce Molsky and Judy Hyman. He has claimed first place in both the Banjo and the Traditional Band categories at the prestigious Appalachian String Band Music Festival in Clifftop, WV. He has shared his music and research at the Smithsonian Institution, the Old Songs Folk Festival, and Berklee School of Music, as well as numerous other venues and institutions. Blount tours domestically and internationally as a solo performer, with his duo Tui, and with his band The Moose Whisperers.
Here’s Jake Blount winning the 2019 Clifftop Banjo Contest! Go Jake!
BECCA WINTLE, Totnes, Devon, England: Fiddle, Rhythm, Jams, Gospel Sing & more
Becca plays fiddle, guitar and sings lead in The Farwells with Debra Clifford. From the UK, she has been playing fiddle since a young age, first learning classical and then folk fiddle, playing in an English Country dance band for many years. She later became interested in bluegrass and ultimately old time music. She lived for 3 years in the US with Debra, and has gained a reputation for her patient and clear teaching style and her emphasis on bowing technique and pulse. She sings and plays lead fiddle with The Waggonhoppers, a UK band, and with the Mother Cluckers in the US, a pop-up clifftop band with Debra Clifford, Susie Goehring and Tricia Spencer who together placed 2nd in the Traditional Band Contest at the Clifftop Appalachian String Band Festival 2019. She and Debra now live in Totnes, Devon, England.
Becca tearing it up with the Mother Cluckers
(w/ Debra Clifford, Tricia Spencer & Susie Goehring)
at Clifftop Trad Contest WV 2019, 2nd place winners!
MAGGIE SHAR, Easthampton MA: Beginner Clawhammer Banjo, Gospel Sing, Jams & more
Trained as an educator, and in love with the power of music to generate joy and community, Maggie is known as an accessible and intuitive teacher. Born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Maggie has a particular passion for clawhammer banjo, and brings this passion into her teaching. She is a faculty member at The Community Music School of Springfield, MA where she teaches private and group banjo, guitar, and ukulele lessons. She is also a member of The Moon Shells, The Ephemeral Stringband, and is co-creator of Little Roots, an early childhood music program. Maggie has seven albums between the three bands.
Here’s our amazing Maggie groovin’ out on banjo on Old Bunch of Keys.
MARK WHOLLEY, Boston MA: Singing w/ Val, Guitar, Jambassador, Gospel Sing
A singer and guitar player, Mark discovered an interest in American old-time and early country music at his first Ashokan Southern week many years ago, which has become a passion for traditional music, both sound and sense of community. Mark is a member of several old-time and Cajun bands that play regularly for dances and house concerts throughout the Northeast. He has taught harmony singing with Val and Debra at camps and workshops in the US and UK.
Here’s our Mark singing great harmony and fiddlin’ with the Hoot Owls!
NANCY SPERO, Ithaca NY Gender Free Saturday Night Caller, Calling Class, Camp Nurse
Nancy Spero lives in Ithaca NY. She has been calling contra dances, square dances and community/family dances in the Northeast since 1988. She also loves traveling to southwest Louisiana annually to call at the Blackpot Festival. Her dances provide high energy fun for all participants, whether they are newcomers or seasoned dancers. One of her passions is calling rip roaring old-time square dances to the irresistible rhythms of Southern Appalachian old-time music. If you can walk, she will have you moving to the music in no time! You can also find Nancy thumping away on the bass to traditional style New England, Cajun and old-time tunes.
Here’s a great ol’ square dance with Nancy Spero calling!
MONICA-LISA MILLS, Brooklyn NY: Singing, Admin & Jambassador
Monica-Lisa Mills sings traditional songs from Ireland and the American south -including Appalachian, early country, old time, sacred harp, primitive Baptist, and related styles. She has taught singing at the Jalopy Theater and School of Music, in Brooklyn, NY and regularly hosts singing gatherings and old time jams.
A’YEN TRAN, Brooklyn NY: Presentations, Jambassador & much more
Guitarist and vocalist A’yen Tran is a lover of the old-time string band music. She sings and plays guitar in the group Ginny’s Kitchen. A’yen finds inspiration in the vibrant tradition of women in American string band and traditional music. Alice Gerrard, Hazel Dickens, The Coon Creek Girls, Ginny Hawker, and Val Mindel are among her greatest inspirations. A’yen was raised in New York where she grew into an artist and community organizer. She spent years building boats with the artist Swoon and brought singers together on her ‘Boat for Singing Together’ project in New York City. Her background in activism and intersectional feminism permeate her mission in the old time community: to honor the roots of old time music while helping the community become more inclusive. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Jalopy Theatre in NY and the Youth Traditional Song Weekend board.
Here’s A’yen singing harmony and playing guitar
with her NYC band Ginny’s Kitchen!
MAX RAINWATER, Saugerties NY: Mandolin, Fiddle Jambassador & More
Max Rainwater grew up coming to Ashokan since the early 2000s. Over the years, he has taken Ashokan fiddle classes from Paul Anastasio, Junior Daugherty, Matt Glaser, Kevin Wimmer, Bruce Molsky, Jay & Molly, and so many others. Max emulates the styles of Ralph Blizard and Kenny Baker, and enjoys transcribing their recordings. He has studied Alexander Technique and can help fiddlers bolster their sound and play pain-free. Max is a past New England Fiddle Champion and most recently won the contest at the 5th Annual Oldtone Festival and finished twelfth at the National OldTime Fiddler’s Contest in Wieser, Idaho. He performs with his partner Nicole Ball (teaching flatfoot at Rollick) in The Rolling OldTime Band.
Here’s Max and Nicole, whooo! (and see Nicole’s Bio below too)
NICOLE BALL, Saugerties, NY: Flatfoot Dancing, Jambassador & more
Originally from the west coast, Nicole has spent the last ten years living in Brooklyn NY. She has been an integral member of the City Stompers clogging troupe, performing around New York City and beyond. She has studied with dance masters such as Megan Downes, Nic Gareiss, Ira Bernstein and Thomas Maupin. She believes that everyone can learn to flatfoot in some capacity, and enjoys working with people to discover low impact steps that work for their bodies, and helping musicians to flatfoot while playing. Nicole also plays guitar with her partner Max Rainwater as the Rolling Oldtime Band.
…Watch Nicole tear it up with some fine flatfoot dancing here!
KAREN LOVING, Culpeper VA: Alexander Technique for Musicians
Musicians, are you playing with shoulder, neck and back pain? Karen Loving has been teaching the Alexander Technique since 1998, and believes that we all have a choice to change and play without pain. The Alexander Technique is an approach to movement that helps you reduce or eliminate tension, nervousness or pain. It is taught in many institutions such as the Juilliard School, and in major orchestras, and has helped millions of musicians and singers worldwide. Karen teaches both privately, and at music festivals. She is well known and well loved at Ashokan as the Alexander Technique teacher for many years.
Here’s our wonderful Karen Loving’s Alexander Technique FB page:
JAY UNGAR AND MOLLY MASON West Hurley, NY
Jay Ungar & Molly Mason are masters of music and storytelling who generously share their lives and their music with audiences. There are so many moments and strands to savor in the course of an evening of their music.
Jay’s fiddling is brimming with playfulness, drama, soulfulness and technical verve, as he explores the many musical styles and idioms that he has internalized and made his own. Molly’s total mastery and inventiveness on piano and guitar is always spot-on, as she supports the tunes and follows the flow of the melody. Her rich and expressive vocals along with the resonant strains of Jay’s violin, reveal the deep emotions that flow in the duos veins.
Millions were entranced by the music they did for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary The Civil War. Their performance of the series’ signature tune, Jay’s haunting composition, Ashokan Farewell, earned the couple international acclaim. The soundtrack won a Grammy and Ashokan Farewell was nominated for an Emmy.
This simple, but powerful melody was originally inspired by the week-long Ashokan Music & Dance Camps that Jay & Molly run for adults and families at The Ashokan Center in the Catskill Mountains. People attend the camps to become better fiddlers, guitarists, mandolin players, percussionists, dancers, dance callers and instructors—and in doing so they become links in the chain that helps pass our folk heritage from the people who came before us, to those who will follow.
Class Schedule TBA
Tuition includes all classes and activities, dances, concerts, and meals. Lodging is additional, see below. Work exchange and youth scholarships are available.
Youth 13-25: $285
Child 5-12: $245
Children under 5 attend for free. Campers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. We offer a limited number of Parent/Spouse registrations (for those accompanying a full participant) at a rate of $245 which includes meals, and evening dances/concerts, but no classes.
We recommend online registration. If someone else registered you and paid for you, only that person may view and edit your registration.
If you prefer to pay by check or with a credit card by phone, please call (845) 246-2121 to register.
You may pay in full, or hold your place with a tuition deposit of $150 per person when you register. If making a deposit, full payment is due no later than Friday, Mar 27, 2020 (4 weeks before camp begins). A $25 charge will be added to any remaining balance after this date to cover additional administrative costs, and full payment, rather than a deposit, will be required for any new registrations after this date.
Partial refunds are available until 2 weeks before camp begins. We retain $50 per person for cancellations up to Friday, Mar 27, 2020 (4 weeks before camp begins). We retain $150 per person for cancellations made between Friday, Mar 27, 2020 and Friday, Apr 10, 2020. We retain the full registration amount for cancellations after Friday, Apr 10, 2020 (2 weeks before camp begins).
All meals are included in the camp price. You may select omnivore, no red meat, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free meals. We make every effort to include a range of allergen-free dishes and to inform diners of meal ingredients.
The Ashokan Center is licensed to serve beer and wine in Esopus Lodge (the main building). The bar is generally open from late afternoon to early evening. Sorry, by law, guests are prohibited from bringing their own alcoholic beverages into this licensed building.
Enjoy the full Ashokan experience and choose comfortable onsite lodging during registration.
LONGHOUSE BUNKS: Rooms hold up to 24 people and are designated women, men, or mixed gender. Place your belongings on a top or bottom bunk after you check in to claim it. Pillows are available, please bring your own blankets, sheets, pillowcases, and towels. There are a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance.
PRIVATE ROOMS: There are a limited number of private rooms that must be reserved in advance at extra charge. Pillows are available, please bring your own sheets, pillowcases, and towels. There are light quilts in each private room.
CAMPSITES: Camping is available with access to Longhouse bathrooms and showers. Please park by your campsite only if you plan to leave your car in place for the duration of the camp.
A limited number of work exchange positions are available to partially defray the cost of the camp.
Indicate your top 3 choices of work exchange positions during registration. If registering before the full payment deadline, make a deposit of $150 to hold your registration. If you receive a work exchange position, your balance will be adjusted before your final payment is due. When registering after the full payment deadline, pay in full at checkout and your award will be in the form of a refund. Contact us by phone (845) 246-2121, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Saturday and Sunday 7:30-8:30am and 11:30am-12:30pm. Shift may include dining hall set up & kitchen cleanup.
Saturday and Sunday 9:30-10:30am and 1:30-2:30pm.
Friday and Saturday 5-6pm and 7-8pm.
Friday 7-8pm. Saturday 9:30-10:30am, 1:30-2:30pm & 7-8pm. Sunday 9:30-10:30am & 1:30-2:30pm.
Friday and Saturday at end of evening program, or 10pm, whichever is later. Set out snack, replenish as needed and clean up when folks are finished roughly two hours later.
Daily, as needed: Sweep, mop, move tables, benches and chairs, pick up trash. Final clean up on the last day, Sunday, 1-3pm.
We believe in fostering a love for traditional music and dancing among young people. The future is in their hands! In addition to our child and youth pricing, anyone 25 or younger may also apply for a Youth Scholarship. Please apply during registration.
PERSONAL ITEMS: Sleeping bag or blanket and linens, towel, soap, flashlight, earplugs (for light sleepers). There are light quilts in each private room and a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance and we’ll do our best. Hand-held recorders are welcome. We don’t supply musical instruments but some can be borrowed.
CLOTHING: Prepare for wet and dry weather. Most people wear comfortable, informal clothing. You are encouraged to bring dressy, wild or fun clothing for dances and dinner, but that is up to you! Soft-soled shoes are best for most dancing. Hard smooth-soled shoes are best for clogging and step-dancing. There’s no laundry on site so bring enough clothes for the week.
Please, no pets or drop-in guests.
Your Name c/o Ashokan Music & Dance
477 Beaverkill Rd,
Olivebridge, NY 12461
Outgoing mail leaves each weekday at 4pm.
Music & Dance (845) 246-2121 Wed & Thurs noon-8pm
Ashokan Center (845) 657-8333 standard business hours
Cell phone reception is available but spotty. Calls may be dropped but texts are reliably received.
High speed Wi-Fi is available in all buildings.
Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461
Take NY State Thruway (1-87) to Kingston exit #19.
From traffic circle take Route 28 West (toward Pine Hill).
In 12 miles (shortly after Mobil & Citgo) turn left onto Reservoir Rd.
Cross the Ashokan Reservoir, turn left at the Tee.
Head down the hill, pass the first left (Rt 28A East) and merge onto 28A West.
Take next left onto Beaverkill Rd.
Follow Beaverkill for about one mile, then turn right into the Ashokan Center driveway and follow the signs.
AIRPORT Albany, NY (ALB) is the closest major airport (about 1.5 hours away). Public transportation is available from the airport to the Kingston bus station, where you can take a taxi to Ashokan. Or contact us at least one month before your program begins for a list of people driving from the Albany area who may be able to give you a ride.
BUS Trailways (800)858-8555 runs buses from Port Authority terminal in Manhattan to Kingston, NY (2 hours).
TAXI We provide one taxi pick up at the Kingston bus station at 2:40pm on the first day of camp. Contact us at least three weeks in advance for a seat in the taxi (if still available). If you arrive at a different time, or do not reserve in time you’ll need to hire your own cab. We recommend Kingston Kabs 845-331-8200. (About $45.)
RIDES AND CARPOOLING If you’d like to carpool, or offer a ride, please contact our office at least one month before the program begins and we’ll help coordinate a ride.
< Join the Old Time Rollick at Ashokan Facebook Group to connect with people who plan to attend and share photos and memories afterwards!