Instructors

Dave Polston

Dave was fascinated by banjo but didn’t start playing til later in life.  As a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, he now plays and teaches banjo, guitar, and dobro.  
His love of music leads him to volunteer to teach Tucson’s Desert Bluegrass Association’s weekly, free workshops on bluegrass jamming techniques.  As president of the Association, he works tirelessly to make their Bluegrass Festival (held in Marana) better each year.
Dave is a founding member of the 7 year old 2 Lazy 2 Ranch Band.  The band currently has 3 CDs out, the latest of which is “Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch”.

Lauren Price Napier

Music has long been present in the life of Lauren Price Napier.  Growing up, she learned to sing duet-style harmony with her twin sister, Leanna, by listening to their parents sing together. Although Lauren and Leanna were gifted instruments as children, it wasn’t until they attended a few workshops and festivals in their mid-high school years that they began to take a strong interest in bluegrass music. 

Lauren is a 2017 graduate of Morehead State University with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Traditional Music and a minor in Business Administration. She holds the role of co-founder, mandolinist, and vocalist with The Price Sisters band – most of her professional work in the music industry comes from within that position. While still in college, Lauren and Leanna signed with Rebel Records, released an EP, and subsequently began touring as The Price Sisters. The Sisters’ released their first full-length album for Rebel, “A Heart Never Knows,” in spring of 2018. Fronted by Lauren and Leanna, The Price Sisters five-piece band to-date has performed at numerous venues and festivals across the United States, China, Ireland, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. 

In 2016 and 2017, Lauren was among those instructing at the Monroe Mandolin Camp. She has taught classes at Bean Blossom Bluegrass Bootcamp, the Bobby Osborne Mandolin Roundup, and at various festivals where The Price Sisters have performed. Lauren has worked as an artist-in-residence with the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum and in June of 2019, was featured for an interview on Mandolin Cafe. Lauren was nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) 2019 Momentum Vocalist of the Year and IBMA’s Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year for 2020 in addition to The Price Sisters’ band nomination for Momentum Band of the Year in 2019. When she’s not on the road performing, Lauren teaches skype, in-person, and private instrumental lessons for children and adults.

Dan Boner

Professor Dan directs Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music Studies at East Tennessee State University, where he teaches private vocal and instrumental instruction, a senior-level recording capstone course, artistic development, and leads the program’s renowned ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band. He has presented workshops and masterclasses in band performance, vocal health and technique, record production, and bluegrass music history at institutions in the United States and abroad. He holds a B.M in Vocal Music Education from ETSU and graduate coursework in Music Education from Boston University. He is a member of the IBMA Board of Directors representing Print, Media, and Education, and serves on the IBMA Executive Committee as Vice Chair. An active performer on all of the bluegrass instruments, you can find Dan touring regularly as a member of the award-winning Becky Buller Band.

Jimmy Heffernan

Jimmy Heffernan is a highly respected Nashville session player, sideman, and producer. He’s a versatile multi-instrumentalist, and one of the true masters of the resonator guitar. Jimmy also happens to be an outstanding music instructor who loves to teach, and has a real gift for it. Over the years Jimmy has played with Bill Keith,  Red Allen, Bill Grant and Dehlia Bell. In 1980 Jimmy joined Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers which he toured with for two years. 1988 was a momentous year for Jimmy, he played electric guitar for Doug Kershaw for a year, and then joined Joe Diffie’s band, where he stayed for nine years. Jimmy reflects fondly on this time: “We toured every major venue and appeared as a members of the Grand Ole Opry. We played lots of television, including The grand Ole Opry Live, Regis and Kathy Lee, The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, and Hee Haw, to name but a few. Joe sold over eight million records during this time. Upon leaving Joe Diffie’s employment, Jimmy stayed in Nashville, producing albums and working with new artists before finally joining Brad Paisley’s band in 1999. He toured with Brad for two years as well as playing Dobro on Brad’s second ARISTA album, Grammy nominated “Part Two”. Since leaving Brad Paisley’s band, Jimmy has been playing with Mark Cosgrove (The Jerry Douglas Band) and producing records for new artist. During this time he has also toured with the Charlie Louvin and Lucinda Williams. These days, Jimmy Heffernan is shifting gears (getting too old to play on the road), devoting more time to one of the things he loves best, teaching up-and-coming players. Jimmy has conducted his highly popular Dobro Workshops here in the USA and also at “Sore Fingers” in England and in Munich.  www.jimmyheffernan.com

Slow Jam

Beth Mead

Dave Polston

Slow Jam is designed for those wanting a group playing experience where all the songs use only the G, C, and D chords, and the tempos are slow. The songs are lead by Beth Mead Sullivan and Dave Polston who provide a Slow Jam Songbook and a wonderful, warm, and encouraging charm as you develop your musical skills. The slow jam meets every evening after the concerts.

Beth Mead

Beth is a Banjo player and teacher currently based in the Philadelphia Area. She studied and taught Banjo and Bluegrass Music at South Plains College, and continues to host jams and teach private lessons on banjo, guitar and ukulele. She is also Kitty Starr, Kitty Starr and the Whereabouts, a band born at Camp Bluegrass! She performs throughout the US and has recorded with Alan Munde, Anne Luna, Chris Sanders, Dede Wyland and her east coast band, Tookany Creek featuring Ray Duffy, John Catterall and Larry Cohen. As a writer and vocalist, she has just finished a collaboration with Alan Munde on a volume of American Popular Songs arranged for the 5 string banjo. Beth is the leader of the slow jam every night during Camp Bluegrass.

Becky Buller

Becky Buller is a multi-instrumentalist and singer from St. James, MN, who has traversed the globe performing bluegrass music to underwrite her insatiable songwriting habit.  She has co-written songs for Grammy award-winning albums by The Infamous Stringdusters (2018) and The Travelin’ McCourys (2019).  Becky has received 8 IBMA awards, including the 2016 Fiddler and Female Vocalist Of The Year.  She was a 2020 nominee for SPBGMA’s Fiddle Player Of The Year.  She tours extensively with the Becky Buller Band and is about to release Distance And Time, her third album for  the Dark Shadow Recording label.  Equally passionate about music education, Becky has 20 years experience teaching fiddle, singing, and songwriting at workshops worldwide.  She serves on the board of the IBMA Foundation and an alumnae of the Leadership Bluegrass class of 2003. BeckyBuller.com

Chris Sanders

Hard Road Trio - Christine Sanders (guitar), Anne Luna (bass) and Steve Smith (mandolin)

Music and music education have been the focus of Chris’ life and work. With the advantages of excellent public school music programs and a musical home as a foundation, Chris received her BA in music education from Concordia College, Moorhead. She toured nationally and internationally with the Concordia Choir. She also holds a MA in vocal performance from Cal State East Bay. He diverse career has included teaching music at the junior high level, directing church choirs, playing keyboards in casual band and delivering singing telegrams. She co-founded the Actor’s Training Project in Oakland, CA, a program integrating voice, acting and movement. Initially working a s piano accompanist at New Mexico State University, she went on to become a vocal professor there. Chris also taught commercial music at the University of Texas at El Paso, acting as director of vocal jazz ensembles at both universities. She has truly come into her own as a performer and songwriter since turning 50. Singing and playing guitar with the Hard Road ensembles (duo, trio and full band), she has traveled the country performing at top acoustic venues and festivals. Her songs have won three New Mexico Music Awards and she collaborated in writing a fully staged musical We Are Enron produced by Emmy award winner Mark Medoff. She has acted as clinician and judge for solo and choral competitions and taught at acoustic music camp including Hill Country Acoustic Music Camp.

 

Bill Evans

Bill Evans

Bill Evans is an internationally recognized five-string banjo life force. As a performer, teacher, writer and composer, he brings a deep knowledge, intense virtuosity and contagious passion to all things banjo, with thousands of music fans and banjo students from all over the world in a music career that now spans over thirty-five years. Bill’s banjo artistry is best experienced in live performance and on his recordings Fine Times at Fletcher’s House with Fletcher Bright (2013), In Good Company (2012), let’s do something with Megan Lynch (2009), Bill Evans Plays Banjo (2001), and Native and Fine (1995). Bill successfully bridges traditional and contemporary sounds and playing techniques, creating a new music that is firmly within the bluegrass tradition but draws upon a broad knowledge of classical, jazz and world music, drawing upon his experiences as a graduate student in Music at the University of California, Berkeley and as the associate director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum. In the last two years, Bill has toured throughout the Untied States, Canada, England, and Germany and toured Russia for the U.S. State Department. Recent appearances include A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and performances with the San Francisco Symphony. From festival to folk society stages, to universities and performing arts centers, The Banjo in America has earned standing with a dazzling display of banjo artistry of unparalleled historical depth geared towards entertaining general audiences. At any one time in his home near Richmond, California, Bill teaches between forty and sixty students, in addition to maintaining a steady international touring schedule. In addition, Bill teaches the most popular bluegrass ensemble classes in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse and he is on the faculty of the California Jazz Conservatory.

Tim May

Tim May

Camp Bluegrass favorite, Flatpicker Tim May, has been working in the Nashville area for over 20 years as a sideman, session player, band member and performer. Higher profile projects have included touring with Patty loveless and John Cowan, and working as a regular on the Grand Ole Opry with Mike Snider. Tim was the solo guitarist on Charlie Daniels’ recording of I’ll Fly Away, which was nominated for the Best country Instrumental Performance Grammy in 2005, the same year he was session leader on the critically acclaimed Moody Bluegrass album (he later played on Moody Bluegrass II as well). The Nashville Scene selected Tim the Best Instrumentalist category in their 2012 Reader’s Choice Poll. Tim is co-author of the eight volume course ‘Flatpicking Essentials’, The Guitar Player’s Practical Guide to Scales and Arpeggios, The Flatpicker’s Guide to Old Time Music, and The Flatpicker’s Guide to Irish Music. He has taught regularly at Camp Bluegrass, Kaufman Kamp, Colorado Roots Music Camp, Nashcamp, and the Swannanoa Gathering. He and his wife Gretchen are owners of the Musical Heritage Center of Middle Tennessee.