Mini-Course set for Augusta Spring Music Week

ELKINS – Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College Spring Music Week isn’t just a daytime learning experience. Three mini-courses will be offered for the week’s participants or those who would like to take an evening class only.

Dulcimer Ensemble Playing, Banjo from Scratch and Yoga will take place from 6:30-7:45 p.m. each day April 7 through April 10. Tuition is $55 and registration is open at For more information, call 304-637-1209.

Participants in the Dulcimer Ensemble Playing course, instructed by Lorinda Jones, will enjoy the thrill of playing in an ensemble of mixed instruments. Unlike a jam, music will be provided and a director will conduct.

Jones teaches private and group lessons on mountain dulcimer and folk harp, and performs at camps and festivals throughout the United States. She has authored numerous books and recordings and is a board certified music therapist.

Musicians will play tunes arranged for two dulcimers and a melody instrument; baritone and soprano dulcimers; two soprano dulcimers; and two sopranos, baritone and bass dulcimers. Different parts will allow multi-level players to enjoy the sound of a dulcimer orchestra. Participants should bring all their dulcimers. Other melody and chord instruments are welcome as well.

No experience is necessary for those interested in the Banjo from Scratch course instructed by Matthew Kupstas.

Participants will learn to break down the right- and left-hand techniques of clawhammer banjo into manageable and specific pieces. Good form will be emphasized to give everyone a solid foundation to play with comfort and confidence. Students will also learn how to tune their banjos, and how to play at least one old-time tune at a moderate tempo by the end of the class.

A limited number of banjos are available to rent.

Kupstas is a singer, dancer, dance caller, multi-instrumentalist and teacher. He is an adjunct instructor of Heritage Arts at Davis & Elkins College and has taken part in Augusta as a student, instructor or year round staff member each year since 2001.

The Yoga mini-course is geared toward beginners, although intermediate and advanced yogis are welcome to attend to deepen their practice.

Instructed by Susan Krakoff, the course will provide a solid foundation in which to learn new poses and practice safely. Participants will mix individual poses with some basic flowing sequences that will help get the heart rate up without overexertion and incorporate breathing and relaxation techniques.

Krakoff received her 200-hour Yoga Teaching certification through the Yoga Alliance at Rishikesh Yog Peeth in India. She teaches yoga at Jivaka Wellness Center in Elkins and offers classes at Davis & Elkins College for faculty and staff.

The three mini-courses are just one part of the Spring Music Week sessions. The weeklong event, April 6-11, also includes some the finest musicians and teachers instructing mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, acoustic guitar, fiddle and autoharp. Class sizes are limited to allow personal attention. Reserve your spot online at or call 304-637-1209 for more information.

Programs offered by the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College are presented with financial support from the WV Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

For more information, please visit the D&E website at or call 304-637-1243.