Cory and fellow Tinsmithing student play music in the Community Room after Show and Tell
In the spring, the Berea College Bluegrass Band comes down from Kentucky to charm the Folk School Community with a Friday night concert and a jumpin’ Saturday night dance. I had the opportunity to have a good porch sit with Cory Shenk, a former Work/Study, Sticks in the Mud Dancer, and former man-about-Brasstown. Cory left Brasstown to pursue his undergraduate degree at Berea College. He is a member of the Berea Bluegrass Ensemble who will be playing at the Folk School April 4.
Laying on the hay in the Folk School field
CP:When were you a Work/Study?
CS: March 14 – May 15, 2010. I remember the date clearly because I recall being mesmerized by the St. Patrick’s Day Party at the Murphy L & N Train Depot. Dale’s imitation of a leprechaun trapped in a brown paper bag – I thought that was brilliant!
CP:What have you been up to since your W/S session?
CS:I am currently a student at Berea College. I have been there for three years pursuing my undergraduate degree. I’ve also done a bit of working and traveling. I went to Ireland and Japan with the Berea Bluegrass Band. For a while before I went to Berea, I was working with Meredith Dahle (former host) at Sugarboo Farms in Blairsville. That was great because I could still be involved at the Folk School. [click to continue…]
Leah and Aubrey Atwater play “Red Rocking Chair” on the Music Studio Porch.
CP:Welcome back to the Folk School. What’s it like to be back as a second-time host?
LD: It has been so incredible to be back in this community. It’s a bit like coming back to folk-craft-musical-dance wonderland. Some of the cast of characters has changed, but the heart of the matter is the same.
Karen Mueller and Leah Dolgoy
CP:How is the Folk School different than your regular life?
LD: I think the best way to illustrate this is by telling you about what I’ve been up to between my last host term and my return to the Folk School. I finished my last host term in August 2011 and went back to school that September. Conventional school. Graduate school in Occupational Therapy. I remember the first day I went to get my ID card. I went to a computer and used a touch screen to print out a number. And then proceeded to wait in line for hours while cranky people all around me played on their iPhones. I remember thinking to myself, “when you register at the Folk School, a work study greets you, hands you a map, tells you how to find your housing through the woods, and directs you to the room with the freshly baked cookies.” Having just finished conventional school, it is so nice to return to a Danish Folk School model of learning.
I arrived at the Folk School for my current host term on Christmas Day. I walked into Keith House, and was just struck by the comforting familiarity of everything around me. The smell of the wood, the creaky floors, the feeling of the Jr. host room at the top of the stairs. Then Winter Dance Week started. Suddenly I was in a literal embrace with all of these dear lovely folks I hadn’t seen in two years. I would run into friends in the contra dance line. I very quickly became re-acclimatized to the rhythm of how things are around here – morning song, ringing the bell, the exact time it takes to walk from any point on campus to the dining hall and not be late.
Look what friend of the Folk School, Liz Dahmen, found at an estate sale in Beacon, NY this past weekend:
It’s a beautiful painting of Mill House by the Blacksmith Shop! We don’t know the back-story, but the signature reads “F Caplan 1999.” Liz has a good eye and found a treasure in an unexpected place. You never know when and where the Folk School will turn up. We love hearing about her discovery of this charming Folk School landscape.
Join NC-based musician, percussionist, educator and storyteller, Jubal Creech for a week of drumming your heart out in Ground Yourself with Rhythm April 20-26 (Earth Week).
Drumming is as old as the first heartbeat of human kind. It is a universal, percussive language for communities around the world in celebration of everything from moon cycles and the turning of the seasons to dance! Play all sorts of drums and drumming rhythms from places such as West Africa (djembe, dundun), East Africa (mbira), Cuba (conga, bongo), and America (snare drum, tambourine). We may try some low-impact, African-influenced movement and make simple percussive instruments to take home. All levels welcome! Register for Jubal’s class at the Folk School on our website.
Did you know that… • Drumming is for everyone no matter their musical level. It does not require participants to read music or understand music theory. • Drumming reduces stress, boosts the immune system and lowers blood pressure. • Drumming activates both sides of the brain and can help the mind achieve hemispheric coordination. • Drumming is fun! It releases endorphins in the human brain that cause feelings of happiness and euphoria. It’s a great reason to gather with other people and to share in a common experience.
Along with teaching, recording and performing, Jubal has founded the community-based drum circle network, an exciting place to experience the spirit of collaboration through rhythm. A well-traveled, well-studied, energetic and encouraging facilitator, Jubal has had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people while sharing his love of the drum.
Be inspired by a great video of a performance led by Jubal at Little/Middle: