All of our instructors have prior experience in well-known workshop settings, and are skilled, patient, and caring teachers. A typical day’s schedule will be as follows:
9am - 12pm Group Classroom Instruction
12pm - 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm - 2:15pm Individual Instruction
2:15pm - 3pm Slow Jams
2:15pm - 3pm Staff Showcase of Styles
3pm - 4pm Masters Program
2018 Allegheny Echoes Masters
Bob Shank from Morgantown, is WV's finest hammered dulcimer player. As a member of Hickory Wind, Curmudgeon, The Percolators and Big Otter Orchestra, Bob has played in over 30 states, toured Europe, played The Kennedy Center and has shared the stage with Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Jimmy Martin, John Hartford and the Dirt Band. Bob has made several recordings with his bands. He has taught privately for years and has been an instructor at Alleggheny Echoes and Augusta.
Amanda Smith was born in the small town of Davisville, West Virginia, and grew up singing in church choirs and participating in talent contests at local fairs. “I always sang, my mom and dad said, even before I can remember,” she says. She started playing guitar in high school to accompany herself, and soon discovered bluegrass music through female artists such as Rhonda Vincent and Alison Krauss.
Kenneth Johnson, from the Atlanta Georgia area, has been playing and singing old time and Georgia blues since he was 12 years old. His powerful voice and guitar have been recognized around the south and eastern mountains for years. The winner of many contests and competitions, he has fueled the success of such bands as the Old Time Serenaders, Pea Ridge Ramblers, and currently the Georgia Crackers. His early influences include Riley Puckett, John Dillashaw, Clyde Evans and Gene Meade.
JR loudermilk and the Spencer Brothers - Jr Loudermilk, from Greenbrier County, WV is well known for his work in old time and bluegrass music. He played with his dad Charlie and Junior Spencer in the band Mud Hole Control. He also has worked with Richard Hefner and the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys as well as the Bing Brothers. He will appear with his cousins Eric and Pudge Spencer. Eric is well known for his lead and tenor singing and solid guitar work. He has played with Robert Montogmery and Mountain Rhythm, Steel Creek, and currently is with Homegrown Bluegrass. Pudge Spencer will join JR and Eric with his great baritone voice, which has been a feature of Mud Hole Control for years. Their family harmonies have entertained in West Virginia and the South for decades.
Richard Hefner, lives in Renick, WV, but was born and raised in Mill Point, Pocahontas County, WV. His traditional bluegrass group, the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys, has played across WV and the East Coast since 1968. The band’s high finish in Nashville’s SPBGMA contest solidified Richard’s standing as one of the best traditional bluegrass banjo players in the field. A three-time winner at Vandalia Gathering, he has won the WV and Maryland state championships. His repertoire includes tunes from Flatt & Scruggs, Don Reno, The Stanley Brothers, and Del McCoury.
Earl Randal Keener from wheeling, West Virginia is a haiku poet known throughout the world. His awards in teh genre include 1st place in the 2001 Shiki International Haiku Contest resulting in a month in Japan as the guest of the Ehime Cultural Center in Matsuyama, 1st place ITO En Tea International Haiku Contest 2011, 2012, 2015; Kumamoto City of Artesian Water Haiku Award 2012, and first place Haiku Canada 2011. He has been published in Japan, New ZAealand, Australia, Coratia, Belgium, and Canada and has conducted writing workshops for Bethany College, Wheeling Jesuit University, and the University of S.C. Earl is also a performing songwriter known throughout the Ohio Valley. Currently he is exploring the relationship between haiku and satori.