2023 Summer Wheat Instructors
Click on the instructor name for more information:
- Annette Barton
- Rich Coats
- Michael Dwyer
- Bruce Gartner
- David Greely
- Hannah Harris Ceol
- Drew Howard
- Don Julin
- Billy King
- Hanno Meingast
- Katie Moritz
- Carol Palms
- Mark Palms
- Dan Seabolt
- Nicholas James Thomasma
- Matt Watroba
- Howard Wilson
- Frank Youngman
Annette Barton shares her passion for all things dulcimer with her students. She will be teaching Lap Dulcimer Explorations.
Rich Coats is a singer and songwriter. He will be presenting a Merle Haggard tribute on Friday night (June 16).
Michael Dwyer is offering Tai Chi on the Main Stage every morning. He has been teaching for decades with the Rochester Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan Institute whose mission is to promote optimal health and physical well-being for all people regardless of fitness level through comprehensive application of Wu style Tai Chi Chuan principles.
Bruce Gartner is teaching Beginning Fiddle, Old Time Band Class, and Old Time Fiddle.
Bruce Gartner has been playing music for over 50 years beginning with clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon in public school. As a child, Bruce’s father played mandolin and keyboard with a country band and those memories sparked a lifelong interest in playing traditional music.
Bruce is adept with both mandolin and fiddle playing in the genre most commonly referred to as Old Time music. Bruce currently gives lessons through B’s Music in Mount Pleasant. Additionally, Bruce plays traditional Irish music and has competed in all Ireland competitions in 2002 and 2003. Bruce is a member of the Old Time string bands “Rhythm Billies,” and the “Palooka Brothers.” He has played at festivals and taught workshops at Wheatland, Bliss, Alaska Folk Festival, and Hiawatha. The Rhythm Billies completed a tour of Ireland in the summer of 2011 playing American Old Time music. In addition to teaching and performing, Bruce is a composer.
David Greely is teaching Cajun A Capella Ballads, Cajun & Creole Fiddle Tunes, and Harmony Sing.
David Greely has for years been assembling a repertoire of uncommon Cajun music. He uses old and rare tunes, new companion pieces to the old ones, and striking new melodies that meld Cajun roots with fiddle sounds he’s heard in his travels worldwide, and arranges them with novel instrumentation and rich harmonies.
David was born in Baton Rouge of Cajun and Irish ancestry, and learned Cajun music on dance hall stages throughout South Louisiana, in the archives of Cajun and Creole music at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, and from his apprenticeship to Cajun fiddle master and National Heritage Fellow Dewey Balfa. As a founding member of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, David toured Folk Festivals worldwide for 23 years, and was nominated for four Grammy Awards. He has received the Louisiana Artist Fellowship Award for Folklife Performance, and is an adjunct instructor of Cajun fiddle at the University of Louisiana.
Hannah Harris Ceol
Hannah Harris Ceol is presenting Irish Fiddle Tunes. She’s a traditional Irish fiddler and singer based in mid-Michigan and both performs and teaches Irish traditional music.
When she left Cork City in February 2018 with a Masters in Ethnomusicology, she knew there would be many others like her coming from outside Irish traditional music who wanted to find a way to make their fiddling style sound true to tradition while also showcasing their unique personality.
Hannah came from a classical music background, but after a lot of listening, attending workshops, and applying what she learned in the practice room, she was able to develop her version of a traditional lilt and take her music to a professional level.
This is exactly why Hannah decided to focus on teaching fiddlers how to master the real feel or lilt of Irish traditional music.
Drew Howard is teaching Blues Guitar, Bottleneck Slide, and Dobro.
Drew Howard is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist with 40+ years of stage, session and music production experience in multiple genres. Performances range across the US to Western Europe, from Alaska to Amsterdam, Copenhagen to Chicago, New York to New Orleans. Appearances on over 136 album releases. Production and session experience also includes national and regional TV and radio ad campaigns for Meijer, Michelin, GM, Ford, etc. In 2010 Drew was honored with a Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Country Instrumentalist, and nominated again in 2014 and 2017. Published by BMG. Drew teaches private music lessons and class instruction forMSU Community Music School, Elderly Instruments, Wheatland Music Organization and Interlochen Center for the Arts.
Don Julin will be teaching Exploring the Mandolin, Improve Your Groove: Find the Back Beat, and Mandolin Tunes.
Don Julin, author of the best selling Mandolin For Dummies has developed a reputation for being one of the most eclectic mandolin players/teachers on the scene today. His original compositions have been used on many network and cable television programs along on NPR’s All things Considered.
As a seasoned performer, songwriter, and recording artist, Billy King’s presence in the independent music scene brings an original blend of rootsy folk/pop with an occasional touch of country swing.
In the early 1990s, Billy led his two-member band, the preteen King Brothers, to local fame in the Ann Arbor area, performing regularly and releasing five albums of mostly original material. Still living and working on the family farm, Billy has continued writing and recording, and, with his brother, started Holler Fest, a three-day music festival featuring Michigan artists.
Billy’s versatility as a multi-genre singer-songwriter is matched by his ability on a wide range of instruments from guitar and banjo to keyboards and accordion. An engaging solo and duo performer, Billy also delivers a high-energy set with his full band, which includes some of the area’s top musicians. Traversing intimate acoustic venues, major festival stages, and popular rural gatherings, he performs with lightness, dynamism, and sincerity.
Within the songwriting community, he is well-known for his musicianship and originality. In 2007, his composition, “I Don’t Write Love Songs,” was awarded the Grand Prize in the Great Lakes Songwriting Contest, and his band headlined the annual showcase for contest winners at the distinguished Trinity House Theatre in Livonia, Michigan.
Influenced by master songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon, Billy crafts melodically compelling songs that maintain a sense of the timeless and classic. Sometimes catchy folk/rock, sometimes searing blues, but always direct and thoughtful lyrics – this is original music from an original life, fully accomplished yet humble, and most of all real. https://billykingdom.com
Sound 1o1 will be presented by Hanno Meingast. Details coming soon.
Katie Moritz is teaching Hammered Dulcimer.
2013 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion, Katie Moritz is a musician and teacher hailing from the Chicagoland area in Northern Illinois. She’s been playing music ever since she could remember, starting piano as a very small child and playing the tuba through school. Her taste in music is geared towards more eclectic sounds and it wasn’t till she started playing the hammered dulcimer that she found her authentic musical “voice”. The unique instrument was able to seamlessly sew together Katie’s love of traditional music from around the world, 1940’s jazz standards, Broadway musicals, bluegrass, and pop.
While studying under an Illinois hammered dulcimer master, Bill Robinson, Katie has been awarded 7 consecutive folk arts apprenticeship grants with the Illinois Arts Council (partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.) She has spent over a decade studying traditional music and is dedicated to teaching and continuing a traditional style of playing. At the same time, she has also spent most of her life learning and playing music in scholarly settings, which has influenced her dulcimer playing to encompass an uncommon blend of old and new. This edge has led her to receive various recognitions including placing 1st in the Mid-East and Southern regional contests, and the National Hammered Dulcimer Championship. In 2019 Katie even became a finalist in the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship.
Katie holds a Master’s degree in Design & Media and an Associate’s degree in Music Performance. She has taught and performed at many festivals and gatherings around the United States. Along with the hammered dulcimer, Katie is a multi-instrumentalist who plays mountain dulcimer, ‘ukulele, steel pan, guitar, and more. https://www.katiemoritz.com
Carol Palms will be presenting Upright Bass, Music Theory for Vocalists, and Harmony Sing.
Mark Palms is teaching Beginning and Old Time Guitar, Clawhammer Banjo, and Cajun Accordion.
Dan Seabolt will be presenting Bluegrass Ensemble, Improv on the Fiddle, and Beginning to Intermediate Fiddle.
If it has a string on it, he can play it…if you like the way he plays and you’d like to learn, he’ll teach you…if you’d like a custom built instrument to play, he’ll make one for you.
Daniel Seabolt is a consummate musician, instructor, and luthier all wrapped up in a bundle of boundless energy and enthusiasm who has been pleasing audiences in the United States and Europe for more than thirty years.
Starting at the age of 12, Daniel, “Danny”, began studying guitar and music theory with master guitarist John King. At 14, he developed what would become a lifelong love affair with the violin. He studied classical violin with the Westshore Symphony’s concert mistress, Jean Manning, and then played violin in the symphony. His formal training completed, he made the move from violinist to fiddler and focused his attention on traditional bluegrass, irish, and jazz music. As his exceptional talent became recognized, Dan had opportunities to open concerts for well-known performers like Riders in the sky, Doc Watson, Vasser Clements, Porter Wagoner, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Jeff Carson among others. He has done studio recording on albums/CD’s for numerous groups. In addition, his music has been featured on a variety of radio and television advertisements. His first love, however, is live performance with groups like The Oat Bran Boys, Free Wheelin’, and as featured fiddler for well-known singer/song writer,award winning,Ruth Bloomquist. He has played for audiences around the United States, England, Belgium and France with Ruth, her husband Max, and John King. His reputation in Europe has grown steadily as he has developed friendships, and performed, with a number of international musicians.
Danny is a natural teacher who attracts students of all ages and ability levels. He provides excellent instruction on violin/fiddle, guitar, mandolin, ukulele. His patient and supportive approach to teaching music has won praise from students, parents, musicians and the general public. In addition to private lessons, Danny also conducts three and five day music workshops in his home state of Michigan, and in the Lanquedoc region of southern France.
Complimenting his talent and skill as a musician, Danny is also an experienced and creative luthier. His interest in creating instruments began when he learned the violin bow making trade. His bows have attained world-wide recognition, and are being played by professional musicians in many countries. He subsequently discovered that he had a talent, and love, for designing and making custom violins, violas, mandolins and double bass’. The demand for his uniquely styled, and beautiful sounding, instruments has grown steadily over the years. He is a well respected master craftsman.
Creativity, exceptional talent, and unbridled enthusiasm have earned Danny a reputation that keeps him in demand wherever he goes.
Nicholas James Thomasma
Nicholas James Thomasma is a songwriter and plays harmonica.
Traveling around in a bright orange 1973 Volkswagen Bus, singer songwriter and Earthwork Music artist Nicholas James Thomasma combines stories and songs for a show that can be enjoyed by patrons of all ages. Whether he’s performing with his backing band Nicholas James and the Bandwagon or as a solo acoustic act, Nicholas charms the audience with his playful sense of humor and real life stories. Nicholas is also a facilitator at several songwriting retreat weekends, the curator of a monthly songwriter in-the-round concert series called the Songtellers at the Midtown in Grand Rapids, MI and sits on the Board of Directors as the Secretary for the Michigan Music Alliance.
Matt Watroba is teaching Improving Overall Performance, Community Sing, and Harmony Sing.
Many know Matt Watroba as the voice of folk music in Michigan for his work with WDET–Detroit Public Radio. As producer and host of the Folks Like Us program, and the nationally syndicated, Sing Out Radio Magazine and Folk Alley, Watroba has come in contact with many aspects of folk music and culture. This has helped shape a repertoire and presentation that is unique on stages across the state and country. He is committed to inspiring the world to sing– one town at a time. In 2019, Matt, along with his life-long musical partner Robert Jones, Co-founded the Detroit Non-Profit, Common Chords. Also in 2019, Matt Was inducted into the Folk DJ Hall of Fame at the Folk Alliance International conference in Montreal.
Howard Wilson was taken with the guitar at about age 9. He played acoustic and electric guitars growing up and while at GVSU he studied classical guitar with Argentinian guitarist Guillermo Fierens. He played full time after college and then served as Director of Bands for Tri County Area Schools from 1985-2015. All the while, gigging on electric and acoustic guitar whenever possible. Finally retired, he is playing solo acoustic and electric with several Michigan bands. He likes just about anything to do with, and anybody who plays fingerstyle guitar. Howard will be sharing guitar styles including Swing Guitar.
Frank Youngman will be teaching Music Theory, Beginner Ukulele, Swing Guitar, and Intermediate Ukulele.
Frank has been playing all types of music his whole life. A multi-instrumentalist, he has performed in places as diverse as The Improv Comedy Club in New York City to A Prairie Home Companion. A founding member of The Lost World Stringband, The Pets, and Jive at Five, he continues to keep a busy recording and performing schedule. He has just finished up his 35th year of teaching, the last seventeen years as the Director of Instrumental Music for the Lake City Area Schools. The Uke was his first instrument.
- Please note that instructors and classes are subject to change.