Wednesday, August 2 - Saturday, August 5, 2017

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Pemi Valley University

Pemi Valley's University is a set of seven beginner classes for adults and teens who want to get the right start, or review the fundamentals. These classes are hands-on, intensive learning experiences, taught in a small group setting (between 3 and 9 students per class). The classes will be held at the festival on Saturday, 10:30 - 12:30 pm. The cost for two hours of instruction is only $35. All you need to do is bring is an instrument, a chair and an earnest desire to learn!

The classes will be held at various locations throughout the festival, usually at the instructor's own campsite. To find your specific class location please plan to attend the Pemi Valley University Preview at the main stage on Friday at 5:15 pm and/or at the Pemi Valley University Meet & Greet at Pond Site Campsite #15 on Saturday at 10:00am. Classes will immediately follow the Meet & Greet.

Since class size is limited, pre-payment is recommended, but not required. You may also sign-up when entering the festival, or at the 'Preview' Fri. 5:15 or at the 10a.m. Saturday Meet & Greet, where you can chat with your instructor. Please see the FAQ's at the bottom of this page.

Pemi Valley University manager, Mary Maguire, can answer any other questions or concerns: (508) 901-9907 or email Mary Maguire


Pemi Valley University Instructors

Class size is limited, don't be shutout, signup NOW!

(Banjo Camp North) ~ Bass


Kelly Stockwell started on banjo, and soon realized two banjos in one house was two banjos too many. She switched to doghouse bass in 2006 and never looked back. She learned through the school of hard knocks and dirty looks from guitar players; joining in at jams, parties, and as the staff bassist for Banjo Camp North and Mandolin Camp North. Now a fearless bass player she's willing to jump onstage with anyone who will ask. Able to pull a bow and slap a little, Kelly continues to expand her range on the bass. Not afraid of carpentry work she has also figured out the best setup for her bass to be loud and easy to play.

(Banjo Camp North) ~ banjo

Bruce Stockwell has been playing bluegrass banjo since 1968 and began teaching in the 70s. By age 16 he had won banjo contests, recorded his first album and opened for Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, John Hartford and many others. In the late 70s he worked with Phil Rosenthal and Mike Auldridge as Old Dog. Since the 80s Bruce has performed with brothers Barry and Al in various acoustic/electric formats. In 2005 he won the Merlefest Banjo contest. And in 2008 a NH Arts Grant led to the formation of Hot Mustard, a double banjo bluegrass band with his wife Kelly and a NH couple Bill and April Jubett. He's also been on staff at Banjo Camp North since 2004.

(the Mary Maguire Band) ~ harmony and lead singing

Mary Maguire, long-time soloist, song-writer, and lead singer with several northeast bands, is known for her warm and welcoming ways. She enthusiastically presents her popular bluegrass harmony and lead singing workshops at Grey Fox, Pemi Valley, Joe Val, Ossipee Valley, Podunk, and Thomas Point Beach bluegrass festivals. A guest on many other Northeast musicians' recordings, Mary's own six albums reflect her unique sound and ease with folk, bluegrass, western swing and jazz.

She always has fun with students of all ages, specializing in getting beginner guitarists and singers happily on their way and inspiring intermediate students to new levels of musicianship. Mary also privately teaches piano, voice, guitar, music theory, 'presenting your song in-a-jam', and provides performing band consultations.

Some of Mary's originals being performed by the Mary Maguire Band were captured adeptly by videographer Steve Ide (

(Monadnock) ~ fiddle

Elise LaFlamme started playing the fiddle at the age of 14 when she received a fiddle from her parents as a Christmas present. Elise spent the next 8 years taking lessons with Carl Rebello, a veteran bluegrass fiddler in Dartmouth, MA. Her influences include Jason Carter, Alison Krauss, Stuart Duncan and Mike Cleveland. In addition to Monadnock, you are likely to see her sit in with several bands in the New England area. Elise has taught fiddle at Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival.

(Flatt Rabbit) ~ dobro

Andy Katz first heard the dobro (played by Jerry Douglas, on Tony Rice's Native American album) and was stunned, hooked by the plaintive vocal sound of the instrument. When he finally saw one played live, it was Roger Williams who got him started with an instrument and some pointers. Andy soon discovered Josh Graves, “Uncle” of the bluegrass dobro, and studied with Mike Auldridge, Andy Hall, Sally van Meter and Rob Ickes.

Andy enjoys working out and picking fiddle tunes, though he feels that the “voice” of the dobro is particularly suited to supporting a singer. He's been fortunate to have picked with nearly every bluegrass picker in New England, and is a founding member of the Boston-based band Flatt Rabbit.

(Amy Gallatin and Stillwaters) ~ mandolin

JD Williams, multi-instrumentalist, entered the music scene in 2009 when he began touring internationally with acoustic Americana band Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters alongside his father, acclaimed dobro player Roger Williams. In 2010, JD began working with Connecticut-based singer-songwriter Nathan Day, moving to Boston, MA the following year to study mandolin at Berklee College of Music. Having received the Sam Eisenson Award For Country Music in 2013, he graduated with honors in 2015.

JD has performed regularly with High Rock Mountain, Cat and The Moon, The Common Denominators, Amy Gallatin & the Hot Flashes, and most recently with Rick Fire & The Ricktones, as well as appearing as guest artist with Southern Rail, Dawn Kenney, Twisted Pine, The Cadleys, and Berklee World Strings.

Having returned to his old stomping grounds in southern New Hampshire, he continues to entertain audiences with his mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and vocal harmonies across New England and beyond.

(Numerous Bands)

Steve Roy is a multi-instrumentalist (Ukulele, Guitar, Mandolin, Bass, Fiddle) from Portland, Maine, who is fluent in a vast array of musical styles, including jazz, bluegrass, folk, rock, jam, funk, classical, country, old time, rockabilly, heavy metal, and much more. He has toured nationally and internationally with acts such as Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, John Reischman and the Taterbugs, Molly Tuttle, Joe K. Walsh, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Joy Kills Sorrow, Hit and Run Bluegrass, and many others. Locally, he is well known for his work with groups such as The Stowaways, Jazzputin and the Jug Skunks, Erica Brown and the Bluegrass Connection, High Range, The Mill City Ramblers, Spinal Tarp, and countless other groups.

Bluegrass Now Magazine calls him a “devastating weapon.” Steve is most well known as an upright bassist, but also performs and teaches on mandolin, guitar, and fiddle, and ukulele. He currently teaches at 317 Main St. Community Music Center in Yarmouth, ME, and at Portsmouth Music and Arts Center in Portsmouth, NH. He has taught at bluegrass camps and workshops throughout the USA and Canada, including Steve Kaufma's Acoustic Kamp (TN) and Nimblefingers Old Time and Bluegrass workshops in British Columbia.

Pemi Valley University Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ's

Ten questions and answers about Pemi Valley's Bluegrass University:

Ten questions and answers about Pemi Valley's Bluegrass University:

Q. What is The Pemi Valley University?
A. Seven beginner classes, each two hours of hands-on instruction, for adults and teens. The classes are taught on Saturday at the festival from 10:30 am until 12:30 pm, and the cost is $35.

Q. Who are the teachers and who are the students?

A. Each teacher will be addressing different topics and all teachers will be gearing their classes towards beginners and beginner/intermediate musicians. These classes are geared towards those who want to get the right start or review the fundamentals.

Q. Can I take more than one class?
A. No, unfortunately all of the classes are held at the same time on Saturday from 10:30 am until 12:30 pm. The instructors may have additional availability, and we recommended you ask the teacher about other options, such as a private lesson at another time.

Q. Where will the classes be held?
A. The classes will be held at various locations throughout the festival, usually at the instructor's own campsite. Please call (508) 901-9907 or email Mary Maguire if you have special considerations. Teachers may be able to accommodate alternate location plans.

Q. How do I find the specific class location?
A. Come meet your teacher at the Bluegrass University Preview at the Main Stage on Friday at 5:15 pm or the Meet & Greet at Pond Site Campsite #15 at 10am on Saturday. The classes will immediately follow the meet & greet.

Q. What are the Pemi Valley University Preview and Pemi Valley University Meet & Greet?
A. A half-hour session meant to introduce you to the University instructors and their classes. Please stop by and say hello, and we can answer any questions you may have.

Q. What do I need to bring?
A. You need to bring an instrument and a chair, preferably a folding (armless) chair and water for yourself. If you haven't pre-paid, bring $35 in cash or check made out to Pemi Valley Bluegrass Associates.

Q. Do I need to preregister?
A. Pre-payment is recommended as class size is limited but not required. Soon, you will be able to pre-pay and preregister right online. Additionally, you can sign up when entering the festival or at the Meet & Greet, if student slots are still available. See the FAQ’s, email Mary Maguire or call (508) 901-9907 for details.

Q. What are the limits on class size?
A. The class size is limited to 3 students minimum and 9 students maximum. The maximum class size ensures that every student gets a small group learning environment. Unfortunately teachers may not be
able to offer the class if there are less than 3 students. In that case, we highly recommended you ask your teacher about other options, such as a private lesson at the festival.

Q. Can I record the class?
A. Yes, you are welcome to make an audio recording of your class, provided you agree not to post it on the internet or share it widely. Video recording is not allowed without explicit permission from your teacher.

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