Betse Ellis(fiddler for Wintergrass 2012 performers The Wilders), Seattle Workshops

Betse Ellis, fiddler for frequent Wintegrass performers The Wilders (Kansas
City, MO), conducts two workshops at Dusty Strings on Saturday, July 16.
The morning session from 10:30-12:30 will be a tune-learning workshop.
Betse will teach tunes from the Ozarks, from masters Bob Holt, Violet
Hensley, Cecil Goforth, and Hiter Covin.  The afternoon workshop from
1:30-3:30 is Betse’s unique “Help for Frustrated Fiddlers”.  She promises to
help you resolve issues with your playing by showing you specific practice

More information at and


Workshops at Dusty Strings
Saturday, July 16
Betse Ellis (from The Wilders, Kansas City, MO)

Photo by Paul Andrews

Morning Session:
Ozark Fiddle Tunes
Sat., July 16, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., $35 ($60 for both of this
instructor¹s workshops).

Join Betse Ellis and learn traditional Ozark fiddle tunes in standard and
also cross-tuning (if participants are interested).  Explore tunes from the
playing of Ozark fiddlers such as Bob Holt, Violet Hensley, Cecil Goforth,
and Hiter Covin. You¹ll learn the tunes by ear and the bowings by sight and
spoken directions. This session will help you to make sense of some iconic
bowing patterns by breaking them down into components, and then putting them
into the context of a full tune. And you¹ll have fun doing it! Please bring
a recording device.

Afternoon Session:
Help for Frustrated Fiddlers
Sat., July 16, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., $35 ($60 for both of this instructor’s

Here’s a master class and support group all rolled into one. Bring your
fiddling problems to this session, and leave with real solutions to overcome
your individual playing issues.  Do you feel like you¹re working too hard on
playing double stops in tune, and you don¹t know why it¹s so hard?  Does
your right hand seize up when you start to play faster?  Want to know how
you can better remember bowings for tunes?  Come in with a question of your
own and Betse will show you how to turn your frustration into a success.
Bring a recording device.


Wintergrass Youth Education & The ASTA

Beth Fortune, director of Youth Education for Wintergrass (Wintergrass Youth Academy and Wintergrass Youth Orchestra Gala), as well as a 2011 graduate of IBMA’s Leadership Bluegrass, has been invited to chair the Alt-styles Committee for ASTA, the American String Teachers Association.  Fortune is the Director of Orchestras and Choirs for Washington Middle School in Seattle, Wash. Bluegrass music is making inroads into ASTA. Two bluegrass-related seminar proposals were recently accepted and will be presented at the 2012 ASTA National Conference in Atlanta March 22-24, 2012. The topics include “How to Bring Middle and High School String Orchestras into the Festival Scene,” presented by Beth Fortune, Andy Carlson, Renata Bratt and Bob Phillips; and “Get to the Roots of It!” presented by Karen Cramer, Tom Petersen and Trisha Tubbs—on incorporating fiddle/bluegrass tunes into the school strings program, starting a bluegrass/roots program, building community relationships and integrating history and other disciplines.