2016 Acadia Trad Festival coming

BAR HARBOR — The Acadia Trad Festival, hosted by the Acadia School of Traditional Music and Arts, will host a schedule of classes and workshops in addition to 11 public concerts and including a kickoff concert on Sunday, June 26.

This year’s festival again will bring world-class talent to Bar Harbor for a week of classes, concerts, workshops and late night sessions. The festival is adding several new educational programs this year.

Luthier Jonathan Cooper will offer a one-week intensive fiddle-making class. The class, which will accept up to six students, will be hands on; students will work on building a high-end fiddle over the course of the week.

Also new this year is a major focus on percussive dance, with traditional dancers Nic Gareiss, Kieran Jordan, Kimberly Fraser and Pastelle LeBlanc teaching Irish, Acadian, Cape Breton, Appalachian and modern percussive dance styles.

New instrument majors added this year include harp with Maeve Gilchrist and button accordion with Christian “Junior” Stevens. This year, weeklong classes will be taught by award-winning faculty, including Liz Carroll, John Doyle, members of the band, Vishtèn, Riley Baugus, Nuala Kennedy, Eamon O’Leary and many more.

In addition to classes, the festival week includes about 175 afternoon workshops and presentations by instrument makers. Afternoon workshops are available to those unable to attend the whole week but who wish to sample individual classes.

The festival’s public concerts will feature faculty and students. After the June 26 kickoff concert, there will be two concerts each day and two public dances in the evening (Monday and Wednesday). Five of the concerts will be held at various community halls around Mount Desert Island, and six concerts (as well as the dances) will be held at the Gates Auditorium at the College of the Atlantic. For those who can’t get enough, late-night sessions kick off after the concerts; a limited number of non-students can attend the late night sessions for $10 each night.

The program is for “serious musicians of all ages who want to have fun,” said Chuck Donnelly, the program’s director. “Several of our younger students who came in a few years ago at an intermediate level, are now actively performing and playing at a master level. Ages range at the school from a 7-year-old button accordion player to an 87-year-old fiddler.

Registration for classes and housing is open now. Concert tickets are on sale and a complete program schedule is online. Visit www.acadiatradschool.com.

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