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Banjo Weekend 2024

Fri, Nov 15 - Sun, Nov 17

Enjoy a weekend of banjo-centric bliss with a stellar lineup of teachers in a warm and supportive environment. Our world-class teaching staff Hilary Hawke, Maggie Shar, BB Bowness, Keith Billik, Scott Hopkins will show you new tunes & techniques, help tackle your banjo questions, and inspire loads of musical fun!

Scott Hopkins assembled this special group of teacher/performers for the second year of a new an annual tradition. If you love the banjo you won’t want to miss this good-time get together with friends old and new at Ashokan, a stunningly beautiful location!

Click here for LAST YEAR’S schedule & class descriptions


“Her music is entirely irony-free, joyously authentic, and refreshingly marked with her own creative chops”
- The New Yorker

Based out of NYC for the past 12 years, and originally from upstate, NY, Hilary has been composing, writing, teaching and performing music she loves in solo and collaborative projects as a multi-instrumentalist/vocalist including her creative and versatile banjo playing. Hilary performed in the Tony award winning revival production of Oklahoma! on Broadway, and Steve Martin’s production of Bright Star on Broadway. She’s devoted herself to performing and teaching old-time, and american traditional music but also brings her love of all types of music into creating a unique sound to her own music making.

 “She demonstrates a command of the instrument, and plays with great rhythmic clarity both in the traditional and progressive realms. J.D. Crowe co-mingles with the future."
- Tony Trischka.

BB Bowness hails from New Zealand and has made a home in Boston for the past decade. She co-founded the band Mile Twelve who have toured intentionally and won numerous awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association. BB was awarded the 2020 Steve Martin banjo prize. She loves teaching and stays busy with a full roster of students in Boston and online. Her euphoric energy and love of the banjo are readily apparent in any of her live performances.

Keith Billik is best known as the creator and host of The Picky Fingers Banjo Podcast, a show listened to by banjo enthusiasts worldwide, and which earned Keith a 2022 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) award nomination for his involvement in the bluegrass industry. As a player, Keith has performed and recorded professionally for nearly twenty years, including stints with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, Mark Lavengood’s Bluegrass Bonanza, and his current project, Wilson Thicket. In addition to private banjo students, Keith has been a faculty banjo instructor at both Great Lakes Music Camp and Midwest Banjo Camp, and is thrilled to be a part of the Ashokan Banjo Weekend

"Ephemeral banjo player Maggie Shar can more than hold her own with Tatiana (Hargreaves) and their interplay, the core of any old-time stringband, is a delight."
- Devon Leger, Kithfolk Magazine

Born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and now living in western Massachusetts, Maggie teaches private and group banjo classes to people of all ages. She has offered banjo workshops at Ashokan Music and Dance Camps, Augusta Heritage Center, Banjo Camp North, Suwannee Banjo Camp, and Midwest Banjo Camp. She won 1st place at the 2018 Northeast Fiddler’s Convention Banjo Contest and the 2018 Oldtone Roots Festival Banjo Contest, and received 3rd place in the 2022 Online Oldtime Banjo Competition. In 2023 she was a finalist in the Appalachian Stringband Competition (Clifftop), as well as The Fresh Grass Awards. Maggie plays banjo in two bands: The Moon Shells and The Ephemeral Stringband; she is also co-creator of Little Roots, an early childhood music program.
SCOTT HOPKINS, camp organizer

“Scott Hopkins has certainly proven he deserves to stand with the best instrumentalists in progressive bluegrass”
- Bluegrass Unlimited

With overlapping public school music teaching and banjo performing careers spanning over 25 years, Scott Hopkins brings a unique perspective to music and to banjo education. He performs on banjo with The McKrells and with his own trio, teaches at various banjo camps, and has a number of private banjo students. Scott is thrilled to be back offering the second annual Ashokan Banjo Camp with an amazing lineup of great banjo pickers, teachers and jambassador friend

Additional Info:

Payment/Cancellation/Refund Policy

You may pay in full or hold your place with a deposit of 25% per person if registering 4 or more weeks before camp. Full payment is due 4 weeks before camp begins. To cancel your camp registration, email events@ashokancenter.org

• We retain $50 per person for cancellations requested up to 4 weeks before camp begins, and for COVID-related cancellations made at any date.

• We retain your 25% deposit between 4 and 2 weeks before camp.

• We retain the full registration amount within 2 weeks of camp.

Schedule Overview


  • 3-5pm: Arrival and check in.
  • 5pm: TBA
  • 6pm: Dinner
  • 7:30pm: Staff Concert


  • 8:30am: Breakfast
  • 9am – Noon: Morning classes
  • 12:30pm: Lunch
  • 2-5pm: Afternoon classes
  • 6pm: Dinner
  • 7:30pm: Performances, Jamming


  • 8:30am: Breakfast
  • 9:30am-noon: Morning classes
  • 12:30: Lunch
Pricing & What's Included!

You may choose to pay up front or pay a deposit and balance. Balance payment is due 4 weeks before the event.

Registration includes all activities and meals. Lodging is optional and camping is free.

Children under 5 attend for free (under 3 for Family Camp). Campers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Food & Drink

All meals are included. You may indicate your dietary restrictions when registering. 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.


LONGHOUSE BUNKS: Rooms hold up to 24 people and are designated women, men, or all 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 towelsThere are light quilts in each private room.

CAMPSITES: Camping is available with access to bathrooms and outdoor showers. Please park by your campsite only if you plan to leave your car in place for the duration of the camp.

What To Bring

If you’re lodging with us please remember to bring a blanket and linens (or sleeping bag), towel, toiletries, soap, flashlight, earplugs (for light sleepers). There are light quilts in each private room and we have a small number of light blankets for bunkhouse residents who can’t bring one of their own. Let us know well in advance if you’ll need one.

Flashlight, recording device, camera (or maybe those are all your phone!)

Comfortable informal clothing for wet and dry weather. Some may also bring dressy, wild or fun clothing as well but that is up to you! There’s no laundry on site so bring enough clothes for the camp.

What Not To Bring
Please, no pets or drop-in guests.

Incoming mail

Your Name c/o Ashokan Music & Dance 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461

Outgoing mail leaves each weekday at 4pm.

Music & Dance Camp Phone (845) 657-8333 x 3

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.

Directions & Transportation

Physical Address: Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461

DRIVING DIRECTIONS   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.

Covid Safety Policy

We recommend but no longer require everyone test for COVID-19 in the 24 hours before arrival. 

All refund requests due to a positive test, COVID exposure, or COVID-related concerns will be honored (less a $50 administrative fee).

We will provide onsite rapid testing upon request.

Additional FAQ's
CAMP WAITLIST & PRIVATE LODGING WAITLIST (only join if ADD CAMPER button at top of page is disabled or your preferred lodging choice is greyed out in that form.)

If there are no camp spots or private rooms available above, you may add your name to this waitlist. If space opens up we will contact you.

The Ashokan Center builds community through shared experiences in nature, history, music and art. We have hosted traditional Music & Dance Camps at our 385 acre nature preserve for over 40 years. In 2020 we learned how to host them online and in 2021 we began to reimagine how to gather in person once again.

Come join the Ashokan family to celebrate, learn, connect, deepen your music, make new friends, and brighten your day. Our events are open to all folks, all ages and all orientations.

M&D Need-Based “Pay it Forward” SCHOLARSHIPS We are holding 5 deeply discounted spots (includes tuition, meals & bunk) to provide a learning opportunity to gigging musicians and music, vocal, and dance teachers who will be sharing out their newly learned skills with a wider community. We prioritize new applicants each year and notify all applicants within 1 month before camp begins.


EMAIL: events@ashokancenter.org
CALL 845-657-8333 x3

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about camp!

Thank you to the Martin Foundation for supporting Ashokan Music & Dance Camps.