Weekender

Folk College provides exposure to learning, hearing folk music

Folk College will include performances open to the public at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Folk College will include performances open to the public at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Photo provided

The Huntingdon County Arts Council will present “Folk College” Friday through Sunday.

Folk College will take place at Juniata College, 1700 Moore St. in Huntingdon. The event celebrates folk music while exposing it to newly interested audience members.

Founder and Artistic Director Linda Littleton said she founded Folk College 17 years ago.

“I’m a member of the folk/world music group Simple Gifts, which is based in State College,” she said

Musicians of all levels are encouraged to get together to learn, play and hear folk music, Littleton said.

The event is designed to showcase an array of folk music and engage attendees in various workshops. With a faculty including nationally known musicians and broadly influenced folk teachers, participants will have a choice of workshops of several styles, including old time, Celtic, blues, international and more.

Several musical acts will perform throughout the weekend.

Concerts take place at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:30 on Sunday, Littleton said. All concerts are held at the Halbritter Center for Performing Arts.

Friday night’s acts include Simple Gifts, Steve Greenman and Walt Mahovlich, Rory Block and The Appleseed Collective. On Saturday night, Folk College will host Lois Hornbostel and Ehukai Teves, Small Potatoes, Kevin Burke and Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards.

“Sunday is the student band performance,” Littleton said. “The student bands are one of the gems of the Folk College weekend, a showcase for some unique band combinations, some budding talent and a chance for participants to display some of what they have learned from the Folk College weekend.”

The concert is free to the public.

The student bands offer an example of the nearly immediate effect of the musical workshops throughout the weekend.

“One of the most loved parts of the weekend is the student folk bands that are coached by the faculty,” Littleton said. “Students choose from an eclectic list of options and are coached by a professional musician in that genre. The student band concert culminates the weekend’s activities and the audience is very appreciative.”

Musicians of all skill levels are encouraged to attend. Even the most inexperienced beginners and advanced veterans will benefit from Folk College, she said.

Folk College is a project of Simple Gifts and the Huntingdon County Arts Council, Littleton said. It is supported by National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, which is a state agency, through its regional funding partnership, Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.

“If you’ve ever said to yourself ‘I really love music, and I wish I could take up my instrument again and play with others, but I just don’t know how to get started’ or ‘I’ve always wanted to play music and never had the opportunity,’ this is the event for you,” Littleton said.

IF YOU GO

  • What: Folk College public concerts
  • When: faculty concerts 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, student band concert 2:30 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Halbritter Center for Performing Arts, Juniata College, 1700 Moore St., Huntingdon
  • Info: folkcollege.com/concerts.html
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