The Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy has been held since 2004 in a beautiful mountain retreat near Gatlinburg, TN, hosted by noted banjo instructor and author, Jack Hatfield. The event is an outgrowth of the Maryland Banjo Academy, formerly operated by Banjo NewsLetter. Jack had worked with them managing their camp, and retained their concept of a workshop weekend for both clawhammer and three finger players when he launched his program in Tennessee.
Each year, Hatfield brings a dozen or more top pickers to the Wa-Floy Mountain Retreat for three days of class instruction in a wide variety of topics. This year’s staff includes bluegrass pickers Tom Adams, Terry Baucom, Jason Burleson, Jack Hatfield, John Lawless, Frank Lee, Joe Mullins, Jason Skinner, and Sonny Smith, and clawhammerers Dave Ball, Wayne Erbsen, Frank Lee, Marc Smith, and Leroy Troy.
Jack tells us that there are two scholarships available now for the 2013 camp, set to run the first weekend of May. R.B. Powell, a long time friend of SMBA, is offering a full ride scholarship, to cover all tuition and lodging. The other, provided by the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, covers tuition but not lodging.
Interested scholarship applicants are requested to contact Jack Hatfield by email or phone (865-428-8063).