DelFest Academy celebrates 10 years

Cody Kilby teaching guitar at DelFest Academy

Plenty of folks knows about the big DelFest hootenanny, held each spring in Cumberland, MD, and hosted by none other than Del McCoury. All sorts of artists perform at the festival, culled from Del and the Boys’ many friends in the bluegrass and jamgrass worlds.

But how many know that they also host a four-day instructional camp for bluegrass pickers the week before the stage show begins? Billed as the DelFest Academy, the camp runs on the Sunday through Wednesday ahead of the festival. This year, the 10th Anniversary of holding these clinics, the dates are May 20-23.

The idea for the Academy came from banjo man Rob McCoury’s wife, Lisa, who suggested since the band gets there early each year anyway, why not offer instrumental instruction ahead of DelFest. Everyone loved the idea, and now all the members of the Del McCoury Band and The Travelin’ McCourys make up the camp faculty, along with a couple of special guests each year. This May, the guest instructors are taken from Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen.

The 2018 faculty includes:

  • Ronnie McCoury – mandolin
  • Rob McCoury – banjo
  • Cody Kilby – guitar
  • Alan Bartram – bass
  • Jason Carter – fiddle
  • Frank Solivan – mandolin
  • Mike Munford – banjo
  • Chis Luquette – guitar
  • Ronnie Bowman – vocals and songwriting
  • Jay Starling – reso-guitar

Other guest instructors may also be announced.

The tuition fee for the DelFest Academy runs $425, which covers all the instructional activities that Sunday through Wednesday. Food and accommodations are not provided, and an additional parking pass is also required.

Full details can be found online.

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.