2015 Instructors

We're excited to announce the beginning of the 2015 Academy faculty, including 3 stellar bands-in-residence. Unfortunately, we're still waiting for several instructors to confirm. We'll announce these additional instructors as soon as they are official -- hopefully in the next few weeks.

Guitar | Mandolin | Banjo | Fiddle | Dobro | Bass | Songwriting | Vocals |
Bands-in-Residence | Kids Camp | Instrument Building

Please note: instructors are subject to change.

Guitar Instructors
Andy Falco
Thanks to his amazing ear, diverse musical background, and funky sense of rhythm, Andy Falco has become one of the hottest young guitarists in Nashville. Andy performed for several years with an American Roots Rock band Waterstreet as the band’s lead guitarist / lead singer / songwriter. From there, he spent four years as lead guitar player and baritone vocalist in the Northeast-based bluegrass band Buddy Merriam and Back Roads. After relocating to Nashville in 2004, Andy became a full-time member of Alecia Nugent’s band, [more...] and occasional touring member of The Greencards. He has shared billings with Buckwheat Zydeco, Del McCoury, Richie Havens, Steve Howe, Andy Summers (the Police), Old and in the Way (reunion), and many more. Andy’s debut solo CD, Sentenced To Life With The Blues, was released in 2007 on Flatpicking Guitar Records [less...] Top
Uwe Kruger
Uwe (Oo-vay) Kruger, lead vocalist and guitarist for the Kruger Brothers, has been playing music since early childhood. When they were very young, Uwe and younger brother Jens placed a guitar on the floor between them and played it together, one brother taking the upper three strings and the other the lower three. Uwe was introduced to American folk music through the brothers’ father, who would return to Switzerland from business trips to the United States with folk music records. [more...]

For more than twenty-five years Uwe has been playing guitar and singing as a professional musician. Performing in Switzerland’s relatively limited music market required Uwe to develop versatility, and he became proficient on other instruments including the electric guitar and the banjo.

Today, Uwe astonishes audiences with his blend of guitar styles. His rich, resonant, and mellow baritone voice has an uplifting affect on all who hear him sing. Diverse influences range from Doc Watson, Jerry Garcia, and Eric Clapton, to Beethoven, Bach, and Brahms. Uwe’s unique style, a blend of flat picking and finger picking, is an experience to behold. [less...]
Chris Luquette
Chris is one of the hardest working musicians from the Seattle music scene. You'd be hard pressed to find another twenty-something year old seamlessly switching from International Music to Jazz and from Rock to Bluegrass so comfortably. He has even studied Brazilian Jazz with Seattle based Brazil music legend, Jovino Santos Neto. Chris' musicianship reflects the multitude of musical influences he turns to for inspiration. His acoustic guitar playing really stands out, but this virtuosic, multi-instrumentalist is equally at home [more...] playing mandolin, drums, bass, electric guitar, banjo, and Greek bouzouki! In addition, Chris was a founding member of Seattle based, Northern Departure, and has found himself sitting in with Jerry Douglas, Emmylou Harris, Rob Ickes and many others. Don't miss an opportunity to hear him shred his Martin guitar in half! [less...] Top
Sandy Munro
Sandy has been a long-time instructor at the Academy and helped shape its programming since its inception. He has been teaching music classes at Colorado Mountain College and at his music store Great Divide Music in Aspen, since 1976. Sandy is a multi-instrumentalist and currently performs with the Flying Dog Bluegrass Band and the Crowlin' Ferlies both from Aspen. Sandy is one of only two instructors that have taught at every Academy since 1992. Having created a loyal student following both in Aspen and Lyons, he will once again be serving as a guitar instructor this year. Top

Mandolin Instructors
Frank Solivan
At the highest levels of acoustic musicianship exists a mystery — the mystery of tone, taste and timing… It can best be illustrated by giving a good musician a good instrument and asking him to briefly strum, pick, bow, — whatever is required to produce the best sound. Then, by way of comparison, hand that very same instrument to a GREAT musician and ask for the same. It is a phenomenon that manifests itself every time that Frank Solivan picks up a mandolin, guitar or violin. What you see may be the same pick or bow, [more...] on the same strings, on the same fretboard that the good player demonstrated, but the sound… Ah… there’s the difference!

In Frank’s hands, these instruments take on a life of their own. You hear power. You hear volume. You hear crispness, clarity, timing and taste. All combined with passion and drive. A physicist might slow it down to analyze the strum against string — but he wouldn’t find the answer. For that, you have to know Frank Solivan, a man who has a powerful life force that’s as raw, natural and pure as the place he spend much of his youth, Alaska. Frank is a hunter, a fisherman, a gourmet chef, a beautiful singer, a poet and songwriter of tasteful ballads and of blazing instrumentals. A man of sturdy build who is known to holler out out a powerful, “Son!” whether it be in response to a hot solo, or some hot sauce he concocted in kitchen. It’s as if all these things for him are an affirmation of life. An awareness that all five senses are humming along on overdrive. That life is short and all these gifts are not to be wasted.

Those who are privileged enough to be around it, are richer for it. Musicians, especially, in his presence step up their game, but I suppose you could say the same about gourmands, or fishermen. People sense that life force around Frank and they want a piece of it.

The physicist curious about the mysteries of tone, timing and taste would do well to spend some time around Frank. He would find no definition, no explanation of how it happens but he would see it right there. And you should, too. [less...]
More mandolin instructors to be announced soon.

Banjo Instructors
Jens Kruger
At age six, when Jens (Yens) heard the banjo on one of his dad’s American records, he yearned to play it. But having no access to one, Jens played their mother’s accordion, accompanying Uwe, who played their father’s guitar. When Jens turned ten he acquired a tenor banjo and started to play Dixieland jazz, hoping that one-day ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’ would somehow flow from the instrument. A year later, Jens and Uwe made their first public appearance, and two years later Uwe bought Jens his first five-string banjo. [more...]

At age 16, Jens and Uwe left home and traveled throughout Europe calling themselves the Rocky Road Band, attempting a living as street musicians. Their adventure paid off in the form of a record contract with CBS. In 1982, at the age of 20, Jens crossed the Atlantic, heading for the Bean Blossom Festival and Bill Monroe. Monroe introduced Jens to the Grand Ole Opry, as the first known European banjo player. After living with Bill for the summer and following his advice, Jens returned to Switzerland to develop his own musical style and repertoire. For four years, Jens spent days and nights learning tunes from all the records he could find.

In 1986, Jens and Uwe reunited to form the Appalachian Barn Orchestra, the forerunner of today’s Kruger Brothers. Since MerleFest 1997, the event that launched the Kruger Brothers’ career in America, Jens has performed with Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, John McEwen, Willie Nelson, and Ricky Skaggs, to name only a few. Like Uwe, Jens can play many stringed instruments with proficiency, and like the Kruger Brothers, Jens’ style and virtuosity cannot be characterized with a word or phrase. But those who have heard Jens play banjo know that he is truly a master of his art. As a composer, Jens’ comprehension of music in all of its forms is becoming well known among his peers, colleagues, and the Kruger Brothers’ growing audience. [less...]
Mike Munford
Mike is one of the hidden treasures of the five string banjo world. Mike grew up in the sixties and seventies in the bluegrass hotbed of Baltimore and D.C. and assimilated just about everything that all the great players in that area could offer. Then he took off on his own. How best to describe him? Imagine this conversation among banjo players huddled around a fire at some pickin’ party or festival. "How did J.D. do that lick?" "I dunno, but Munford’s over there, ask him." [more...] "I just got a '37 Granada but it ain’t sounding like it should…" “Have you taken it to Munford? Best set-up guy around." "Damn! Why can’t I get that tone?" "I dunno… go watch Munford, He’s right over there."

Now well past forty years old -- the age at which, they say, life begins, Mike Munford retains a child like enthusiasm and curiosity for all things banjo. He has no qualms about driving hours through rush hour traffic to go see J.D. Crowe play at some obscure club… then rave about the performance even though he might have seen it or heard it dozens, maybe hundreds or times. He has imbibed everything that J.D., or Earl, or Bela, has thrown his way -- and can mimic those players with uncanny accuracy, but has found his own style, too.

It can best be described as hard-driving melodic… but such a description diminishes what’s actually going on. When Mike Munford plays you hear all things that great banjo player strive to achieve. Power, drive, impeccable timing, exquisite tone and jaw-dropping technique.

Mike is also, indeed, about the finest set-up or fret job guy around, and is a walking encyclopedia of banjo trivia. He is an inspiration to countless players in the mid – Atlantic region.

Most of the country hasn’t really seen all that much of Mike’s playing. He, throughout most of his career, has preferred the comforts of home to the road. It is testament to Frank Solivan’s powers of persuasion ( i.e. talent) that Mike is hitting the road as a part of this fine ensemble. [less...]
Chris Pandolfi
My grandparents, Frank and Carmela Pandolfi, started the Connecticut Opera Association in 1942. I never met my grandfather, but my grandmother lived next door as we grew up (my brothers and I slept under her grand piano–it took up half the house). She got us started with music at a young age. Ultimately inspired by my older brother Jono’s musical tastes and exploits, I got my first banjo in the summer of 1997. The next ten or so years flew by. During that time I got my undergrad degree at Dartmouth College [more...] and then went on to be the first ever banjo principal at the Berklee College of Music before moving to Nashville, TN in 2004. Along the way I was lucky to work with many amazing people, but ultimately I started a band with great musicians who are also my great friends–The Infamous Stringdusters. We have been touring for 7 years, have 5 albums, a Grammy nomination and our own festival. We strive to make good original music, explore the world and enjoy life.

I have a few solo albums that I wrote and produced (Looking Glass and the Handoff), that feature some of my absolute favorite acoustic players. I also work as a producer for other artists/bands, helping them craft their music, a job I absolutely love to do. While my solo side of things focused on the banjo for a long time, lately I have been working on a newer sound: TRAD+. It’s a landscape of sounds–electronic, acoustic, vinyl sampling, live drums, and more. I’m working on my first album now. Some of those sounds can also be found in Falco and my side project, Founding Fathers.

Music has always been my passion, but I also love to write and create short motion pictures. I started working on video around 2007, filming the ‘Dusters hijinx, documentary style. Since then I have enjoyed finding more and more creative ways to use the camera/editing software, from stop-motion to performance to ski vids. My writing focuses mostly on our adventures and our musical scene, a subject that’s always interested me along my journey from the Northeast to Nashville, Virginia and now Colorado. Bluegrass is its own world, filled with incredible musicianship and a short but vibrant history of crazy characters, trends and changes. A few of my pieces about the current state of the bluegrass world reached a big audience. In the wake of that attention the International Bluegrass Music Association asked me to deliver a keynote address at the 2011 World of Bluegrass in Nashville, TN (their annual business conference), giving some real recognition to a new vision of a bigger, more connected acoustic world. We are excited to be a part of whatever comes next for bluegrass.

I moved to CO in 2013, a place that has always been an unofficial home for the Stringdusters. Before I played banjo I was a fly fishing guide and a skiing addict. After years away from mountains and rivers, the ‘Dusters have made a connection with the world of outdoor brands and non-profits, giving a voice to some important issues/organizations and getting us back to the great outdoors. Colorado has endless outlets for quality music, interesting people and outdoor recreation. Denver is my new home base. [less...]

Fiddle Instructors
Jeremy Garrett
Since moving to Nashville a few years ago, Jeremy Garrett has turned heads with his soulful lead and tenor vocals, dynamic fiddle playing, and intense stage presence. Raised in Idaho, he began fiddling as a child, cementing his skills with a stint in the Bluegrass and Country Music degree program at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, where he was named Bluegrass Male Vocalist of the Year in 1996. From Texas, he returned to Idaho, joining his father Glen and other area musicians to form The Grasshoppers. [more...] Upon his arrival in Nashville, Jeremy collaborated with the Chris Jones Coalition, touring nationally and immersing himself in songwriting and additional stage and studio work. Jeremy teamed up with Ronnie Bowman and The Committee in the fall of 2004, and with Bowman and other members of The Committee, was part of a small acoustic ensemble backing Grammy-winning country singer Lee Ann Womack on her year-end tour. Jeremy has also played and toured with such artists as J.D. Crowe, Bobby Osborne, The Waybacks and many others. In addition to working with The Infamous Stringdusters, Jeremy recorded a bluegrass gospel album with his father titled Jeremy Garrett and Glen Garrett. [less...] Top
More fiddle instructors to be announced soon.

Dobro Instructor
Andy Hall
Andy Hall plays and sings with excitement, passion, precision and a dynamic that is quickly establishing him as one of the top players in acoustic music today. Based in Nashville, he plays resophonic guitar, guitar and sings lead, tenor and baritone vocal harmony parts. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA with a degree in Music Production and Engineering, Andy's credentials include a long list of live performances and recordings with various artists. He has recently been featured on projects by Dolly Parton, Ronnie Bowman, [more...] Charlie Daniels, Moody Bluegrass, Dale Ann Bradley, Matt Flinner and others. Andy is currently a member of the new acoustic band The Infamous Stringdusters. Andy's first solo recording Red Wing features some of Andy's original bluegrass and new acoustic music. Instrumentally, look to Andy for driving instrumental breaks, tasteful instrumental backup, and sensitivity to the groove. Vocally, Andy provides a blend that enhances the harmony structure of the artist and song with equal finesse.[less...] Top
More dobro instructors to be announced soon.

Bass Instructors
Danny Booth
Hailing from the Chugach mountains near Anchorage, Alaska, Danny Booth grew up in a thriving bluegrass and country music family and community. His first “gig” was at age 12 with Doug Dillard and Ginger Boatwright at a bluegrass camp concert. Heavily influenced by his father Greg, a master of pedal steel, dobro and banjo, Danny soon graduated to join his dad in the seminal Alaskan bluegrass band, Rank Strangers. There he met an 18 year old fiddler/mandolinist named Frank Solivan. To most people, growing up in Alaska [more...] doesn’t suggest a strong musical background, but they haven’t heard Dan or Frank!

Danny’s own style and sound has been influenced by some of the greatest bassists of acoustic music: Todd Phillips, Mike Bub, Mark Shatz, Barry Bales, Byron House and Edgar Meyer. His supportive bass lines are laden with excellent timing, feel, powerful tone and fluid technique. Danny recalls, “My dad was never shy about telling me when something didn’t work… that gave me the perfectionist attitude I have today.”

In addition to Danny’s impeccable bass playing, he is a remarkable singer. He’s known for his powerful lead and seamlessly blended harmony vocals. “Working with Kathy Kallick taught me a lot about blending harmonies. Combining voices is like rubbing two sticks together – when done correctly it can catch on fire!”

Danny has toured with the Kathy Kallick Band, Spring Creek, Bearfoot, and even performed with one and only Dr. Ralph Stanley. He is the newest member of Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen and brings his own musical voice and vision to this rising band. Stand by to be blown away when Danny Booth gets up to the mic. [less...]
Travis Book
Hailing from Palmer Lake, Colorado, Travis made a name for himself in the West as the lead singer and bass player for Broke Mountain and with Benny "Burle" Galloway as part of the Broke Mountain Trio. Led by Travis' honest vocal style and rock solid bass playing, Broke Mountain won the 2003 RockyGrass band competition. Travis moved to Nashville in the fall of 2005 to join the Infamous Stringdusters. Travis is also a member of the Colorado Playboys, a part-time project which tours only in Colorado, works as an occasional side-man, and is writing a book. Top
Joel Landsberg
One can only imagine the number and variety of musical influences—Broadway, classical, jazz, rhythm and blues—that surrounded Joel as he was growing up in New York City. Like Uwe and Jens, Joel began his musical career early in life, and picked up the bass at the age of 12. Like many musicians, Joel began learning music with classical training on the piano. After several years of piano lessons he switched to the bass and decided to devote all of his attention to playing the instrument. Joel has devoted his full attention to the bass [more...] ever since he first discovered his love of the instrument.

Destined to find Uwe and Jens, in 1989 Joel moved to Switzerland and began a successful career as a bassist with various country/rock and jazz groups based throughout Europe. It was during this time that he met the Kruger Brothers and developed what would turn into a deeply rewarding musical alliance and friendship. In early 1995, Joel was initiated into the ‘Brotherhood’ and has been performing full time with the band ever since. [less...]

Songwriting Instructor
Songwriter instructor to be announced soon.

Vocal Instructor
Vocal instructors to be announced soon.

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
With their new release Cold Spell debuting at #3 on the Billboard Bluegrass Charts, and just being named IBMA's Instrumental Group of the Year for 2014, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen can't slow down! Since Frank Solivan left the cold climes of Alaska for the bluegrass hotbed of Washington, D.C., he's built a reputation as a monster mandolinist — and become a major festival attraction with his band, Dirty Kitchen. Solivan, with banjoist Mike Munford, guitarist Chris Luquette and doghouse bassist Dan Booth, [more...] simmer a bluegrass/newgrass stew from instrumental, vocal and songwriting skills so hot, they earned a three peat 2012, 2013 and 2014 Best Bluegrass Band honors from the Washington Area Music Association as well as Mike Munford receiving the 2013 IBMA Award for Banjo Player of the Year, and Guitarist Chris Luqette taking the 2013 IBMA Momentum Award Instrumentalist of the Year. [less...] Top
The Infamous Stringdusters
When The Infamous Stringdusters first emerged eight years ago, the band was immediately branded fast-picking Nashville wunderkinds, a new-generation super group built to revive the high lonesome sound. Then came immediate accolades—IBMA awards, a chart-topping self-titled album for Sugar Hill Records and a Grammy nomination for “Best Country Instrumental” (for “Magic No. 9″ from the 2010 album Things That Fly). [more...] Incendiary chops, complete with undeniable instrumental virtuosity and heartfelt harmonies, immediately positioned the band to be longstanding bluegrass torchbearers. 

But for the five members of The Stringdusters—Andy Hall (Dobro), Andy Falco (guitar), Chris Pandolfi (banjo), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle) and Travis Book (upright bass)—reverence for traditionalism has always been only part of the equation. The group has always remained intent on fostering something bigger, more original. It’s this desire—and the combined efforts of uniquely creative minds—that has brought the quintet to its current place as multi-dimensional string explorers, mixing tight song craft from a variety of musical styles with a flare for improvisation. Armed with an exhilarating, often-unpredictable live show, the open-minded approach has certainly resonated and allowed the band to easily fit on a diverse set of stages—from Telluride and Grey Fox to Bonnaroo and High Sierra—building crowds along the way that fill some of the country’s best rock clubs.

The past year was particularly transformative, as the band members realized there was no need to go through the formulaic motions in a shaky music industry. Bolstered by the support of a loyal and dedicated grassroots fan base, The Infamous Stringdusters are constantly looking for opportunities to create new experiences. Oftentimes it happens on stage, like the recent sit-ins from Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh or jazz guitar legend John Scofield. Other times it’s through accompanying adventures, like the band’s August 2013 trip on the Middle Fork of Idaho’s Salmon River.

Following the group’s 2013 summer American Rivers Tour, which doubled as an awareness campaign for water sustainability issues in partnership with prominent outdoor industry companies including Patagonia, Klean Kanteen and Osprey Packs, the band members and select fans and friends embarked on a six-day float trip through an unspoiled wilderness area. With instruments in tow, the band played music daily, standing on the banks of the river or sitting together in campsite circles. The inspiration of natural surroundings yielded fresh songs that landed on the new album. “Middlefork” is a newgrass instrumental that conveys the mood of being free in pristine open spaces. “Where The Rivers Run Cold” features a fast progression and introspective lyrics that peak with a bold chorus about enjoying the beauty that surrounds.

The members of The Infamous Stringdusters now all reside in different locations. Hall and Pandolfi recently felt the calling of the mountains and both moved to Colorado. Guitar ace Falco returned to his roots in Long Island to be near family, while Garrett remains in Nashville, where he’s known as a prolific songwriter. Book dwells quietly in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, near the site of the band’s annual October festival The Festy Experience.

Occasional separation has proven to be a good thing. It’s important to remember these are five musicians with unique individual talents, but they all realize they have an undeniably special chemistry when they come together. That was apparent from day one. But now after years of growth—both personal and professional—the band has cast off labels and found an existence where music is about a greater connection. Through friendship, democracy, skill, passion and open minds, it’s a broader lifestyle filled with community and plenty of celebration. [less...]
Kruger Brothers
Born and raised in Europe, brothers Jens and Uwe Kruger started singing and playing instruments at a very young age. Growing up in a family where music was an important part of life, they were exposed to a wide diversity of abiding musical influences. The brothers were performing regularly by the time they were 11 and 12 years old, and they began their professional career in 1979. Joel Landsberg, a native of New York City who also had a very ex­tensive musical upbringing, joined the brothers in the early 90s and together they established [more...] the incomparable sound that the trio is known for today.

Since a formal introduction to American audiences in 1997, their remarkable facility with their instruments and unique take on the American Songbook have made the Kruger Brothers a fixture within the world of acoustic music. Although initially staying fairly close to a traditional repertoire, the group later turned to song writing and composition in order to draw more closely from their personal experiences. The result is a catalog of songs distinguished by rich detail and an insight into the delicacy and complexity of everyday life. The honesty of their writing has since become a hallmark of the trio’s work.

The Kruger Brothers personify the spirit of exploration and innovation that forms the core of the American musical tradition. Their original music, composed by Jens Kruger, is crafted around their discerning taste, and the result is unpretentious, cultivated, and delightfully fresh.

The Kruger Brothers were awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant for Music from the Spring a sym­phonic suite composed and orchestrated by Jens Kruger, which premiered in 2007. In late 2010, the Kruger Brothers premiered the Appalachian Concerto, a concerto for banjo, bass, guitar, and string quartet. In addition to their regular concert schedule they perform these pieces regularly with select symphony orchestras and string quartets throughout the country.

Through their numerous CD releases, radio and television performances, lectures, and collaborative efforts, the Kruger Brothers powerful artistic state­ment inspires and enlightens. [less...]

Kids Camp Instructors
Kate Hamre
Kate grew up in Anchorage, Alaska listening to her parents and friends play bluegrass, old tyme, and folk music. At the age of 14, she joined Bearfoot, a nationally touring band, and played festival such as Merlefest, Greyfox, Wintergrass, Rockygrass, and Telluride to name a few. As a Compass recording artist, Bearfoot cut their 4th album, called "Doors and Windows" in April 2009, which quickly rose to #1 in the Billboard Bluegrass Charts. Kate is also the director of the renowned bluegrass music education program, "Bluegrass Camps for Kids", which has taught thousands of children internationally in the last decade. This year [more...] will be her 9th year leading the Rockygrass Academy for Kids, along with 10 other camps in 2011 in various locations across the U.S. Kate also has a B.S. in Elementary Education through the University of Idaho and is now teaching in San Francisco after leaving Bearfoot last April. [less...] Top
Justin Hoffenberg
Justin Hoffenberg is originally from Illinois, but now makes his home in Boulder, CO. When he was in the fifth grade, Justin began playing the violin for school orchestra, and shortly after discovered bluegrass. Ever since, he has dedicated much of his life to the music, and is now on the road to achieving his goal of being a professional bluegrass musician. Currently the fiddle player with Long Road Home, Justin has shared the stage with such performers as the Yonder Mountain String Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Del McCoury Band, Hot Rize and others. After high school, Justin decided to give full time music a shot [more...] instead of going straight into college, and is still touring and producing full time. Justin draws his inspiration from a variety of sources, including the classic styles of Benny Martin and Chubby Wise, the blues and jazz of Vassar Clements and Darol Anger, and the newer sounds of Jason Carter and Stuart Duncan. [less...] Top
Leslie Ziegler
Leslie Ziegler began dedicating herself to the upright bass at a very young age. Beginning as a classical musician, she followed her passion to study and pursue a future in music at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. During her time there, she focused her studies on Music Education and performed in various orchestras and string ensembles around the Midwest. While pursuing her studies at WMU, she immersed herself in the rich local music scene of Kalamazoo, revealing a love for Bluegrass and folk music. She soon found herself playing several times a week with locally popular bands such as [more...] The Mossy Mountain Band and Who Hit John? on upright bass, fiddle and vocals. Currently, Leslie lives in Lyons, CO, and is well know along the Front Range for her versatile musical talent as well as her ability to educate and motivate a variety of students. She has performed with popular musical acts such as Spring Creek, The Jaspers, and Ashleigh Flynn, and others. By day, Leslie teaches orchestra music in the Boulder Valley School District, where she nurtures and encourages a future generation of music lovers. She is also an active member of the bands Magnolia Row and The Railsplitters. [less...] Top
More Kinds Camp instructors to be announced soon.

Instrument Building Instructors
Michael Hornick
Michael Hornick is the builder of Shanti Guitars. After building his first guitar in 1985, he worked at Santa Cruz Guitar Company, and presently works alone in his shop in Missoula, Montana, building about twelve instruments a year. Michael has built the first place guitar prize for the nationally recognized Telluride Troubadour contest from its inception in 1991, and helped design the original mandolin and mandola kits. His love of lutherie is reflected in the high quality of craftsmanship found in each of his custom instrument. [more...] Michael has assisted students in the building of well over two hundred mandolin kits over the past seventeen years. [less...] Top
Chuck Midgley
Chuck Midgley
Chuck has known Michael Hornick since 1992, owns a Shanti guitar, and has assisted Michael with the mando building class since 2002. Each year Chuck produces a mandolin while assisting other students with theirs. In his other life, he is a master mechanic building hot rods in California. Top
Dan Roberts
Dan Roberts began his instrument making career with Flatiron Banjo and Mandolin Company in Bozeman, MT. He was production manager for Gibson Montana Division before moving to California as luthier and production manager for Santa Cruz Guitar Company. Dan lived in Santa Cruz for 6 years before moving back to Montana to work for Santa Cruz out of his own shop. There he built the SCGC archtops, did new model design and some prototypes, and was the warranty repairman, service manager, and production manager with the help of an on-site [more...] shop foreman. After 17 years with SCGC Dan hung out his own shingle and is a Custom guitar maker building Roberts Guitars. Dan has been teaching the mandolin building class at Rockygrass Academy since 1996. [less...]Top
Bobby Wintringham
Bobby Wintringham is returning for his sixth year as an instructor at the Academy's mandolin building experience. He is a full time luthier building San Juan Mandolins in his shop in Dolores, Colorado.  Says Bobby, "The only thing more rewarding than building instruments is being able to share that knowledge with others." Top