Songwriting with Tim Stafford

Six 1-hour sessions

The course will be an immersive songwriting experience, focusing on craft and process as well as some business issues. We'll write a song together using everything we learn about melody, rhythm, harmony, lyric and spirit, so students should be prepared to participate.

Songwriting is one of the most subjective and fluid topics possible - - there are a lot of ways to make a good song and even more ideas about what makes one. We'll examine successful songs by artists such as Hank Williams and ones that students particularly admire. We'll also have lots of fun and hopefully acquire some skills along the way!

About Time Stafford click here or bluehighwayband.

This workshop is NOT part of the BUILD YOUR OWN WORKSHOP. Participants who sign up will stay with Tim all weekend. Limited to 10 really lucky participants.

Advanced Harmony with Eric Uglum


This workshop is a special treat.


A description is on its way. please check back.  

This workshop is limited to 6 people because it is only three 1 hour sessions. Eric will be offering the workshop twice. Option 1 starts Friday night and finishes on Saturday at noon. Option 2 starts on Saturday night and finishes on Sunday at noon. 

This workshop is part of the BUILD YOUR OWN WORKSHOP collection. Choose this for your MAIN COURSE (starting on Friday and ending on Saturday at noon) and then look over the other workshops available for the next three 1-hour sessions.

You can choose two MAIN COURSES if you would like to attend the second Advanced Harmony Workshop that starts on Saturday and ends on Sunday at noon. If this is the direction you take then you will not sign up for any appetizers and desert.

Go to the registration page and review the online registration.

About Eric Uglum is an internationally known musician, producer, and owner of New Wine Sound Studio in Southern California. He has performed with many bluegrass luminaries such as Ralph Stanley, Alison Krauss, James King, Stuart Duncan, Ron Block, Rob Ickes and many others. His debut solo album, Shenandoah Wind, was selected in 2010 as the album of the year by Bluegrass Now magazine.

Get Comfortable Playing & Singing

with Greg Blake


Six 1-hour sessions

Bring your instrument AND your voice and leave behind your fears and inhibitions!  We’ll give you some pointers on, and help with stage presence, backing your own vocals, and lots of “lab time” with gentle, positive evaluation and encouragement!

This workshop is an opportunity for anyone who is working towards being more comfortable playing and singing with others. Share what you have and be prepared to grow just a bit. 

About Greg Blake. There is lots to say. Please visit his website to get to know more about Greg.

Everyone Has A Voice

discover, understand and USE IT.

with Tracy Lynn & Annie Savage 


six 1- hour sessions.

You’re invited to join us for a series of fun and dynamic vocal workshops! Our goal throughout these workshops is to provide you a practical process to help build your vocal skills and abilities with strategies that you can apply to any song. Singing lead vocals and harmony is the equivalent to playing an instrument. So, we’re going to work with you to establish specific skills as well as how to practice and build those skills. During the workshops we will be introducing strategies using a bit of theory, sounds, songs...and there will be lots of using your voice, so be sure to bring some water. 

Here’s what you can expect: 

1. Understanding your voice; how it works and how to take care of it. 

Understanding these beginning essentials are as important to getting the right start singing as putting the key in your car ignition is to taking a drive! We’ll work on warm up exercises, breathing and good vocal hygiene. We’ll take a look at how our vocal cords/folds work- and why you need to know this!

2. Discovering your range.

We can sing in different keys! We’re going to help you discover how knowing your range and singing in your best key will add to your delivery. You will learn a technique you can apply when learning a new song that will help you find the best key for your voice for that particular song. 

3. Sustain and inflections.

Have you ever heard a vocal inflection that gave you goosebumps? We’re going to teach you how these inflections are done, how to practice them and how practicing these will build your strength as a vocalist. 

4. Harmony, harmony and more harmony!

Singing great harmony isn’t by chance! We’ll spend time during each session breaking down the various components of harmony singing. We’ll look at duo and parallel harmony- how they can be different. You will learn how/when to follow inflections, how to arrange harmony parts, how to find your part and how to practice singing harmony!

We’re looking forward to a great weekend of singing and learning together!

Tracy & Annie

More about about Tracy Lynn

More about Annie Savage.


Zach Daniel


What can you do with a bass? Sign up and find out. 

Upright Bass will focus on timing. Yes, other things will be covered, but we will never lose track of the primary role of a bluegrass bass player – timing. We will visit pulling good tone, using proper technique, and finding an appropriate style . We should also have time to cover some extras such as busting out of the root-five, chromatic and diatonic approach tones, creating walking lines using chord tones, and what it means to play "in the pocket".    A portion of this workshop will be spent practicing what we have been learning by combining the guitar, mandolin and banjo workshops. 

Zach Daniels is a full time guitar and bass teacher in Edmonton. He holds down the rhythm section of the River City Playboys.

BANJO with Al LaMonaca


Al's workshop will center on Scruggs style banjo playing and the foundation elements of good timing, good tone and good musicianship.


Al has a long history in bluegrass. He was a member of Wheatland County, the first Alberta bluegrass band to tour across Canada and was one of the founders of the Foothills Bluegrass Music Society in Calgary. Over the years he has performed in many other groups including A Day Late and A Dollar Short, The Hot House Bluegrass Band and The Bow Djangos.

Jim Hurst - Mentoring



You have been pursuing your musical passion by taking workshops and lessons over the years. You have sought out people to play with and made some good friends.  Accepted invitations to jam in order to  satisfy your need to play. You get a lot from playing music and being in the company of others who feel the way you do. Now what?

No more lessons... my friend. Its time for some mentoring.

Bring your instrument to this workshop because you will have to play. Bring good listening ears because there will be feedback.  Jim Hurst is good company with and without the guitar.

“Rhythm 101”
There are rhythm patterns and styles to fit Bluegrass - and other genres - but it comes down to
understanding the basic patterns and then choosing which to us to make the song sound and
feel the best. This workshop will reveal the patterns and examples of how to utilize combinations
to make the songs interesting but not busy.
All levels are welcome, though Jim's intention is to benefit as many different levels as possible.
He suggests attendees to bring paper and pencil, or personal audio recording devices.

“Melodies, how wonderful are they?”
Every song starts with a melody, and that is main thing we should be able to play, seriously.
Playing a melody with confidence, timing, tone and sincerity, is the best way to express your
musicality. We’ll work on playing melodies in 1 position in one key, then 2nd, 3rd, maybe 4th
positions in that key. We’ll discover how the melody note sequence changes shape / form in
each position. Then, if time allows, we’ll move to new key(s) and repeat.
All levels are welcome, though Jim's intention is to benefit as many different levels as possible.

“Scales, CAGED Theory”
Musical scales are the skeleton to music, musical understanding, and leads to pathways of
melodic discovery. We’ll work on playing the scales in 1st, 2nd, 3rd positions for fingering and
muscle memory as well as framework for playing ‘up the neck’. The next BIG thing is the
CAGED theory / system. The next window into playing the way YOU want to play.
All levels are welcome, though Jim's intention is to benefit as many different levels as possible.

“Singing through your instrument”
Since we all love music and melodies, etc. most (if not all of us) sing - in the shower, car, while
doing chores, etc. Being able to ‘hear’ your singing voice on your instrument is a huge
advantage. We’ll work with this starting with simple melodies, we can also use this to help
finding harmony lines on the guitar as well as singing in a group.
All levels are welcome, though Jim's intention is to benefit as many different levels as possible.


This workshop is part of the BUILD YOUR OWN WORKSHOP collection. Choose this for your MAIN COURSE and then look over the other workshops available for the next three 1-hour sessions.

If this is NOT your MAIN COURSE workshop you can choose it as a 1-hour appetizer or desert. Go to the registration page and review the online registration.

About Jim Hurst  click here

  Jim Hurst’s unique picking style and mastery of bluegrass guitar wows audiences and is revered by both novice guitar players and his musical peers. His eclectic career has made him a remarkable performer, an experienced instructor and a highly sought after session musician. His affability and gregariousness make him one of the most approachable musicians of his caliber.


It Starts With The Song with Steve Gulley


Finding Your Voice: The Song Comes First – Where Do You Fit In? These workshop sessions will focus on matching songs, style and musical arrangements to soloists and ensemble/band situations. We will explore everything from the process of finding keys for both vocalists and instrumentalists to settling on tempo, feel, etc… all while trying to achieve one common goal – creating the most dynamic performance possible as to showcase both the individual strong suits of the musicians involved as well as getting the best from the band as a whole. The end result will hopefully be putting the song first and learning to be unselfish and giving as both a performer and bandmate. The hope of the workshop and its instructor is to help everyone involved learn how to better communicate their musical ideas and, in the end, see everything come together and why it all works. I believe it will help not only in individual song selection but also in finding your niche both as a soloist and in a band environment.

This workshop is part of the BUILD YOUR OWN WORKSHOP collection. Choose this for your MAIN COURSE and then look over the other workshops available for the next three 1-hour sessions.

If this is NOT your MAIN COURSE workshop you can choose it as a 1-hour appetizer or desert. Go to the registration page and review the online registration.

About Steve Gulley click here

Steve is considered a stalwart of the very top echelon of lead and tenor singers in the bluegrass business as well as being a gifted songwriter and guitarist. He has been tapped as a harmony and featured vocalist on projects such as the widely praised Keith Whitley album, ”Sad Songs And Waltzes” and many other projects featuring Ronnie Bowman, Dan Tyminski, Tim Stafford, Dwight McCall, Dale Ann Bradley, Jeff Parker and country singer Ken Mellons just to name a few. 

As a songwriter, he has been fortunate enough to have his songs recorded by many top groups including Blue Highway, Kenny & Amanda Smith, and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. In fact, the song, "Through The Window Of A Train," which Steve co-wrote with Tim Stafford, was voted IBMA Song Of The Year for 2008. Steve has also earned multiple Male Vocalist of the Year nominations at SPBGMA. 




These sessions are on Saturday at 6:45 pm. Sunday at 9:30 am and Sunday at 10:45 am.


Who will be hosting this jam? Al Lamonaca on Banjo, Marc Ladouceur on Guitar/Mandolin and Zach Daniel on Bass. 

Flatpick Guitar with Marc Ladouceur


Our focus will be on lead playing. Possible topics for study will include:

  • Basic posture and hand position.-

  • Lead playing - working toward a melodic style and consistent performance level with each student working to develop their own leads. We’ll explore how to take a basic melody and develop it into a musical statement.

  • Working on prepared tunes using tab.

  • Techniques for rhythm playing.  Explore transitions between rhythm & lead as well as kickoffs and endings.

  • Basic ear training and  theory as it pertains to chords, chord changes and scales.


It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Bluegrass Tips & Tricks - Nate Lee & Ned Luberecki



Bring your guitar, banjo, mandolin, dobro and bass to this workshop. Ned & Nate can play everything and really well.  This jam setting will challenge you and inspire you to give it all you've got.  Do you need more instruction or just some really good tips and tricks to improve your playing, a workshop that will keep you on your toes. Brush up on your instrumentals and get a some songs ready. This is Bluegrass jamming at its best. Limited to 10 players. is going to be fun!

This workshop is part of the BUILD YOUR OWN WORKSHOP collection. Choose this for your MAIN COURSE and then look over the other workshops available for the next three 1-hour sessions.

If this is NOT your MAIN COURSE workshop you can choose it as a 1-hour appetizer or desert. Go to the registration page and review the online registration.

About Nate Lee is an International Bluegrass Music Association award-winning instrumentalist and renowned teacher of private lessons and music camps. His musical journey started at the age of eight when he got his first fiddle and that path led him through countless lessons and music camps and eventually to an intense study of bluegrass music at the college level and a degree in Commercial Music. While attending the Bluegrass & Country Music Program at South Plains College, Nate joined the Alan Munde Gazette. He toured with the band for six years and played fiddle on their second release “Made To Last”. After moving to Nashville in 2012, Nate toured with Irene Kelley, Town Mountain, and the Jim Hurst Trio. In 2017, Nate joined the award-winning Becky Buller Band as their mandolin player and twin fiddler.

Chords with Calvin - Calvin Vollrath...on guitar.

Yes, Calvin is an extraordinary fiddler to say the least and he will have his fiddle with him, but he will also be bringing his guitar. Calvin has a way of backing up a fiddler or a singer with his guitar playing. We have asked him to let us in on the details of how he does it.  Why does everyone's fiddle performance goes up 10 notches when Calvin is playing guitar behind them? 

Find out in the rare workshop. If you want to back up your fiddler or your singer this is the workshop you should be in.  Any instrumentalist or singer will tell you that the backup guitarist is fundamental to their performance.  Boost your playing ability and treat your fiddler or singer to an improved performance. Time spent with Calvin is time well spent. 

The workshop will cover techniques on chord progression, rhythm, bar chords, the beat, the lift and the dance of the instruments...The Calvin Way.

Swing Guitar with Rick Moore



In this introductory three 1-hour sessions swing workshop Rick Moore will carefully guide you down this road and by the end you will be able to play many fundamental, movable swing chords giving you the skill to play and sing tons of songs from the repertoire! Basic soloing ideas will be suggested as well.


Willie Nelson is quoted as saying that there is a bridge between Jazz and Country music and there is traffic both ways! Thus our common entry point into our material will tend to be Western Swing, Country Blues and Gypsy. Once you get your hands and feet engaged we can pursue other jazzier tunes discovered in the Great American Songbook from the 30’s to the 50’s.


Participants should be able to play major and minor chords in several keys on Guitar, Mandolin or Ukulele.  Bass players are welcome. You will be offered some advanced materials if you wish to start getting your mind and muscles prepped for the class.


Come join us and rekindle your love for learning music. Did we mention the Fun Burn!!! 


    “It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got that Swing!”

Rick Moore believes in the power of music and is committed to helping others bring the joy of music to their lives. Rick was a public school educator for thirty years, and is a regular instructor at Foothills Acoustic Music Institute. He has a background in classical guitar and received swing/jazz guitar and mandolin instruction from several of the finest players in North America including Ralf Buschmeyer, Bill Coon, Mike Dowling, John Reischman and Radim Zenkl.

Rick can be heard playing mandolin, guitar and singing with the Canyon Mountain Bluegrass Band, Morningside Bluegrass Band, Burnt Timber Swing and the Swing Time Allstars.

The love of family and the out of doors call strongly, but there’s always a mando or guitar not far away!


with Marc Ladouceur, Al Lamonaca, Zach Daniel, Kayla Hotte and ?

Six 1-hour sessions

For those who just want instruction on Guitar, Mandolin, Bass and Banjo. For those who DO NOT want to spend time in the "coaching"  workshops associated with BUILD YOUR OWN.

The first three 1-hour sessions will be with your instructor. 

The next three sessions you will get together as a group with the instructors and students form the other teaching workshops.

Here is what it look like:

The Mandolin class, Bass class, Guitar class and Banjo class will get together and practice what they have just been taught in the first three sessions by playing in a group.Your instructors will be participating and are there to encourage you to apply what you have been learning in the separated sessions. This is a workshop for people who would prefer to learn specific skills. This is a teaching workshop. The second half of this workshop is designed to get you to use those specific skills in a jam. 

Please check with Anna to get a better idea of who should consider this workshop. 780-718-3070


with  Rob Baker


The best way to learn an instrument is to find someone who loves playing their instrument. That person also needs to be a motivating teacher. You already know you want to play mandolin so sign up and have a great time learning about taking breaks, how to use double stops and the all important role of the mandolin in a band or in a jam. Rob Baker has a way to untangle what holds back from going to the next level.

Keep Checking back....I'm working on providing more information...stay with me!