Virtual Walnut Valley Festival to Offer Online Workshops from Top Performers

Winfield, Kansas—Officials at Walnut Valley Association (WVA) announce that registration is now open for online workshops offered as part of a virtual Walnut Valley Festival, dubbed WVF 48.5. The workshops will be taught via Zoom over the weekend of September 12-13, and will offer hands-on instruction to beginning, intermediate and advanced students on a variety of instruments and topics. This virtual instruction replaces the workshops that are usually held on the Wednesday marking the official beginning of the Walnut Valley Festival. They are open to anyone with internet access who wishes to take part, but spots are limited so participants should sign up early. A full listing of the workshops and instructors, along with details on registration, can be found at Workshops are $30 per session, with registration available online and by phone, and last day to sign up is September 4.

The list of workshop instructors is a veritable Who’s Who of top performers in folk and bluegrass music today, and includes Stephen Bennett (Advanced & Intermediate Finger Style Guitar), Dan Crary (Intermediate Flat Pick Guitar), Bill Evans (“Putting it all Together,” and “Bluegrass Banjo Jam Survival Skills,” both for all skill levels of banjo players), Juni Fisher (Songwriting), Bing Futch (Beginner & Intermediate Mountain Dulcimer), Chris Jones (Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar), Adam Miller (Melodic Autoharp), Barry Patton (Bones), Missy Raines (Upright Bass), Mark Sganga (Finger Style Guitar, one session for Intermediate / Advanced, and one for all skill levels), Mark Stoffel (Intermediate Mandolin), Grace Van Hof (Beginning & Backup Ukulele), and Mark Alan Wade (Intermediate / Advanced Hammer Dulcimer).  

WVA Workshop Coordinator Karen Deal: “Here’s your chance to study with a National Champion guitarist, an award-winning recording musician, or one of several IBMA award recognized performers. Get one of your jamming buddies and make it a day of online fun, and learn some new licks at one of WVF 48.5’s Hands-On Zoom Workshops!

WVA Workshop Coordinator Karen Deal: “We are so thankful to the performers taking part in our inaugural foray into online instruction. Many of the artists who have volunteered to take part in these workshops are old hands at this by now, having switched to online instruction months ago, while a few have had to get up to speed rather quickly. For our part, we have reached out to other organizations who have led the way in online workshops, such as the QuaranTUNE Dulcimer Festival (, and we are so thankful for their advice and assistance. On the technical side, we have a number of staff who will be on hand over the workshop weekend in order to ensure that the technical side of things is taken care of, and to take that burden off of the performers who are teaching the workshops.

The Workshops begin a week-long series of online events and activities included in WVF 48.5, which runs September 12-20. Other events include a virtual Battle of the Bands, a special evening with John McCutcheon, a Concert of Champions, a NewSong Showcase, an online version of Feisty’s Music Camp for Kids, and a solid weekend of streaming concerts produced specifically for this event. Most of the fees charged for the Workshops go directly to the instructors, with the remainder covering administrative costs. Other events offered as part of WVF 48.5 will provide the opportunity to donate to a fund supporting performers and Walnut Valley Festival.

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