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Grey Fox - A Who’s Who of Bluegrass July 16-19, 2015

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Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival 2015Oak Hill, NY -- While deep snows have been falling all over upstate New York, plans are already set for this summer's world famous Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival held each year in the Catskill Mountains at Oak Hill, New York. This event really is a Who's Who of Bluegrass Music and people come from all over the country and from other countries to experience this gathering of music, learning, family & friends. Many personal reunions for artists, fans and pickers happen annually at this historic event. This year's four-day event takes place July 16 through 19, 2015.

The lineup of outstanding artists was announced a few days ago. Artists scheduled to appear include Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Hot Rize, Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, SteelDrivers, Balsam Range, Gibson Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, Della Mae, The HillBenders and many, many more. Attendees will also get to experience Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, annual favorite and host band Dry Branch Fire Squad, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Grammy nominee Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, The HillBenders, Chatham County Line and Mike Compton & Joe Newberry.

The festival also features a range of other talent including Michael Daves & Friends, Mr. Sun, Bill Strings & Don Julin, I Draw Slow, Joe Craven, Front Country, Wood & Wire, Lonely Heartstring Band, Love Canon, Scythian, Bill Keith, Jim Gaudet & The Railroad Boys, The Stray Birds, Twisted Pine, John Kirk+Trish Miller & Quickstep and The Zolla Boys.

As you can clearly see, there is more than enough quality entertainment to keep you well satisfied and ensure your fill of bluegrass music for the entire duration of this outstanding festival.

Grey Fox is very much about learning. Learning to play better. Learning to sing. Learning how to jam. Learning to dance. Getting valuable advice from business professionals. Learning how to care for your instrument. Learn how to meditate. Even learning to be a clown. Fun and enriching learning activities abound from opening day thru the weekend at several venues around the grounds:

SLOW JAMS at the Slow Jam Tent
If you’re a beginning player, check this out for beginning instrumental and vocal classes and the very popular slow jams on Friday and Saturday. Here you’ll find patient, knowledgable mentors who’ll lead you through the basics. Slow jams are slowed down and repeated enough so that everyone can keep up.
HANDS ON WORKSHOPS at the Grass Roots Stage
This venue offers a mix of hands-on workshops, mini-concerts, and Q&A sessions with bluegrass music’s top instructors and performers. Bring your instrument and expect to learn a thing or two that just might take your playing and singing to the next level. Or just come and enjoy!
LEARN TO DANCE at the Catskill Stage
Possibly our most varied stage, you can begin your day learning to meditate, breathe and stretch in healthful yoga sessions, then be expertly led through invigorating square and contra dances. Later the Catskill Stage presents some of your favorite bands in concert, and finishes late in the night with the best dance bands in the business.
KIDS STUFF at the Family Stage
Here kids of all ages enjoy learning to tie dye their own tee shirt, make instruments, do nature crafts, participate in yoga for kids, and more. And it’s here that Gary the Silent Clown (formerly with Ringling Brothers Circus) heads up the Grey Fox Clown College for 6th graders and up. All really fun. All really kid friendly.
Since 1999, Grey Fox has been teaching kids to play, sing and perform traditional bluegrass music for four days during the festival. Program info and registration.
While the Creekside Stage is an intimate tented concert venue for much of the day, workshops, discussions and presentations in conjunction with the International Bluegrass Music Association and Berklee College of Music often start the day at the Creekside Stage. Check the schedule for upcoming sessions that can help aspiring musicians learn about the business side of bluegrass or find out about programs at Berklee.

So, you can see that Grey Fox has some aspect of learning for everyone!

The Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids (BGA), established in 1999, is a free four-day learning program held each year during Grey Fox. The program teaches children (age 8-17) to play, sing and perform bluegrass music. BGA consists of sectional instruction with their assigned instrumental teacher; ensemble sessions with the entire group; harmony singing lessons; and guest appearances by musicians who are performing at Grey Fox. The program’s grand finale is a ‘graduation gig’ Sunday afternoon on the High Meadow Stage. Approximately 100-120 kids participate in BGA each year. Students have fun, learn a lot, grow in confidence and make friends that can last a lifetime.

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival is committed to keeping traditional bluegrass alive by passing it on to our younger generation. Several bluegrass festivals now have learning programs based on the Grey Fox model. BGA instructors and administrators have been invited to speak about youth education at the IBMA World of Bluegrass Conference, Leadership Bluegrass, and at the International Music Festival Conference (IMFCON). The Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids (BGA) has been featured in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, the IBMA newsletter, regional bluegrass association publications and in the Voice of America Radio online magazine. Above all else, we are most pleased to be connecting kids with bluegrass music.

Joining us this year as BGA Director is long-time BGA instructor, Mark Panfil. Mark is a lifelong music educator from Western New York, Chair of the Foundation for Bluegrass Music (a program of IBMA), and a founding member of Creekbend Bluegrass Band.

BGA instructors include Ellen Carlson (fiddle); Ira Gitlin (banjo); Cathy Goode (fiddle); Louis Kaplan (bass); Chris Panfil (guitar); Mark Panfil (guitar); and Ben Pearce (mandolin) and others TBA. The Seniors Program will be taught by Tony Watt and Laura Orshaw.

BGA offers instruction in mandolin, banjo, bass, cello, dobro, fiddle and guitar in classes of approximately ten students each.

All of this just gets you started for all the activities, workshops, entertainment and other great things at Grey Fox. check for ticketing, additional information, signups, camping and updates for the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival 2015. The snow will be gone and the green will be there and waiting for you to experience what keeps people coming back for more.

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