Virginia Folklife Program

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Announcing New Virginia Folk Masters and Apprentices

Posted: 2011-08-24 | Categories: Uncategorized |

Apprenticeship ShocaseThe Virginia Folklife Program is pleased to announce the ninth class of Master Artists and Apprentices in the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program.

Please join us in welcoming the 2011-2012 class at the Apprenticeship Showcase on Sunday, September 11 from Noon to 5pm at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

  • Master Banjo player Sammy Shelor of Patrick County and apprentice Ashley Nale
  • Master Cobbler David Young and apprentice Yvonne Young of Waynesboro
  • Master of Oyster Aquaculture Dudley Biddlecomb of Northumberland County and apprentice Peter Hedlund
  • Master Cheesemaker Gail Hobbs-Page of Albemarle County and apprentice Kyle Kilduff
  • Master Shape Note Singers John del Re and Kelly Macklin of Clarke County and apprentices John Alexander and Diane Ober
  • Master Autoharp maker and player John Hollandsworth and apprentice Sam Gleaves of  Montgomery County
  • Master Mongolian Mask Maker Gankhuyag Natsag and apprentice Zanabazar Gankhuyag of Arlington County
  • Master Caribbean Carnival Costume Maker Earl Blake and apprentice Scotie Blake of Hampton

The Apprenticeship Showcase also will recognize the graduating class of master artists and their apprentices:

  • Master Menhaden Chantey Singers Elton Smith Jr., Edward Taylor, William Muse, Lloyd Hill, Christopher Harvey, and James U. Carter and apprentice Lewis R. Blackwell Jr. of King and Queen County
  • Master Clawhammer Banjo player Emily Spencer and apprentices Amanda and Kilby Spencer of Grayson County
  • Master of Galax-Style Dulcimer Phyllis Gaskins and apprentice Blue O’Connell of Rockingham County
  • Master Grist Miller Bill Savage and apprentice Bob Savage of Accomack County
  • Master of Persian Classical Music Nader Majd and apprentice Ali Analouei of Fairfax County
  • Master Flatpick Guitarist Steve Kilby and apprentice Leah Hall of Grayson County
  • Master Instrument Maker Randal Eller and apprentice Drew Plowman of Smyth County
  • Master of Traditional Forestry Jason Rutledge and apprentices Melanie Carrier and Adam B. Greene of Floyd County

Please join us for this free festival featuring the music, food, and crafts of the Commonwealth. This year’s Showcase also sees the return of Frances Davis, the “fried apple pie lady,” and the Brunswick Stewmasters. The stewmasters will make 300 quarts of their delicious Brunswick stew on site, and new this year, they will offer take-home quarts for sale, with all proceeds benefiting the Virginia Folklife Program.

The event is free and open to the public. Children and families are welcome. RSVPs are encouraged.

The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is located next to the Boar’s Head Inn, 145 Ednam Drive, off Route 250 West in Charlottesville. For more information, call 434-924-3296.

The Folklife Apprenticeship Program, which is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, helps to ensure that Virginia’s treasured folkways continue to receive new life and vibrancy, engage new learners, and reinvigorate master practitioners.


  1. We’re looking forward to attending along with our son, Peter Jones.

    Can hardly wait….

    Comment by Larry Jones — August 31, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  2. [...] Sunday, September 11 from 12-5pm, the Folklife Apprentice Showcase welcomes the new class of Master Artists and Apprentices and celebrates the graduating class of [...]

    Pingback by Virginia Folklife Apprentice Showcase | Piedmont Council for the Arts — September 7, 2011 @ 8:03 am

  3. Looking forward to being a part of the festivities.

    Comment by jeremiah brophy — September 10, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

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