October 19 – 22, 2017 Peghead Nation Mandolin Camp with John Reischman, Sharon Gilchrist, Joe K. Walsh and Scott Nygaard on guitar


Students will select their skill level and will rotate through sessions with John, Sharon, and Joe, so you’ll have focused time with each of our experienced instructors. In addition, Peghead Nation co-founder and guitar instructor Scott Nygaard will be on hand to teach group guitar sessions for those interested in learning guitar. You’ll also be treated to faculty concerts and have an opportunity to perform in student concerts. Only 25 Camp spaces will be granted, so you’ll have plenty of personalized instruction and ample time to make music with your fellow campers.


2017 Peghead Nation Mandolin Camp Instructors


Sharon Gilchrist

Sharon Gilchrist’s music is steeped in traditional Appalachian sounds, delivered with a distinct spacious, graceful, and fiery style all her own. Sharon has performed with Darol Anger, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet, Uncle Earl, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, the Kathy Kallick Band, Bill Evans, and many others. Her playing can be heard on two film shorts that feature her original music: Milagros and La Sevillana as well as Quartet, by the Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet.

Sharon is also a respected mandolin teacher, with numerous private and Skype students, as well as two popular courses on Peghead Nation–Beginning Mandolin and Intermediate Bluegrass Mandolin.  She served as mandolin instructor at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design from 2004 to 2012 and has taught at music camps throughout the US.  sharongilchristmusic.com


Joe K. Walsh

Joe K. Walsh is emerging as one of the best mandolinists of his generation, known for his exceptional tone and taste. His collaborations with acoustic music luminaries, including legendary fiddler Darol Anger, flatpick guitar hero Scott Nygaard, and pop/grass darlings Joy Kills Sorrow, have taken him all over the musical and figurative map.  After a number of years helping bluegrass supergroup the Gibson Brothers rise to the top of the bluegrass world, Joe now splits his time between a group with Grant Gordy and Darol Anger called Mr Sun and a trio with Brittany Haas and Owen Marshall.

An avid mandolin educator, Joe is a mandolin instructor at the Berklee College of Music, and is the instructor for Peghead Nation’s The Advancing Mandolinist course. He teaches regularly at music camps throughout North America and beyond, and has taught hundreds of private students. Joe is also co-director of the Berklee American Roots Festival camp in Boston and the Ossipee Valley String Camp in Maine. Skinnyelephantmusic.com


John Reischman

John Reischman is one of the premier mandolinists of his generation, a master instrumentalist capable of swinging between re-inventions of traditional old-time tunes, deconstructions of the bluegrass repertoire, and compelling original tunes, many of which have become standards. He’s also a powerful bandleader, touring all over Canada and the United States with his band the Jaybirds. But most of all, he’s an understated visionary, the kind of master craftsman whose music is virtuosic without ever being flashy and who is renowned for his impeccable taste and tone. John Reischman embodies the true spirit of acoustic music in the 21st century.

In 2016, John teamed with guitarist Scott Nygaard and mandolinist/bassist Sharon Gilchrist to produce a recording of traditional tunes, The Harmonic Tone Revealers, about which Bluegrass Unlimited said: “The Harmonic Tone Revealers highlights three of today’s most accomplished and respected acoustic musicians. Filled with luxuriously gorgeous music and intriguing renditions of popular and obscure tunes, this CD can’t fail to please anyone who loves bluegrass and acoustic music.”   www.johnreischman.com

Scott Nygaard

Grammy-winning guitarist Scott Nygaard is one of the most inventive and original flatpicking guitarists in the bluegrass/acoustic music scene. His solos, a seamless amalgam of bluegrass, folk, and jazz influences, shift easily from breathtaking virtuosity to soulful melodic musings and his accompaniment is always intriguing, supportive, and propulsive. He has performed and/or recorded with Tim O’Brien, Joan Baez, Chris Thile, Darol Anger, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan, and many others, and has released two solo albums, No Hurry and Dreamer’s Waltz, as well as self-produced albums with his band Crow Molly, Roger Tallroth and Scott Nygaard, and the Websters and Scott Nygaard. And in 2016, he released Harmonic Tone Revealers with John Reischman and Sharon Gilchrist. Scott was the guitarist on three recordings that have proven to be extremely influential on the contemporary acoustic music scene: Chris Thile’s Leading Off, Tim O’Brien’s Red on Blonde, and Jerry Douglas’s Slide Rule.

Formerly the editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine, Scott has written hundreds of articles on music, musicians, guitars, and guitarists and taught at most of the United States’ best-known bluegrass and/or guitar workshops. Scott is co-founder and editor of Peghead Nation.

You can learn guitar from Scott on Peghead Nation in his courses Roots and Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar, Intermediate Flatpicking Guitar, Flatpicking Guitar, and Weekly Guitar Workout.   scottnygaard.com.

Peghead Nation Mandolin Camp Classes and Levels

All students will self-select one of three levels before camp: Beginning/Intermediate, Intermediate, and Intermediate/Advanced. These groups will then rotate through each of the three instructors, for a total of three class sessions with each instructor. Each group, however, will have a lead teacher. The group will meet with their lead teacher on the first afternoon, Thursday, primarily to make sure they are in the appropriate group, and then they will meet with their lead teacher for a class at the end of each of the next two days.

Lead Teacher: Sharon
Is comfortable with a pick and can tune by ear or with a tuner. Can play a handful of simple tunes in time from beginning to end at an easy tempo. Knows basic open-position chords in the keys of A, G, D, and C.

Lead Teacher: John
Can play 10 – 20 tunes from memory and in time at a moderate tempo, and has begun to play with others. Is familiar with alternating picking. Knows basic major and minor chords and Monroe-style chop chords and can follow simple I, IV, V song progressions in a jam session.

Lead Teacher: Joe
Has a repertoire of tunes and songs they are comfortable playing in a jam session. Knows arpeggios and scales in the keys of C, A, G, D, E, B, and Bb, and can play in closed or “capo” positions. Is familiar with seventh chords and arpeggios. Has begun to try to improvise solos and variations to tunes.

Class Schedule


2:00 – 4:00 Arrive and unpack

4:00 – 5:00 Camp meeting

5:00 – 6:30 First session with lead instructors to sort out levels, etc.

6:30 – 7:30 Dinner

8:00 – 10:00 Short staff concert and Facilitated Jams.  Each instructor plays one or two tunes.

Friday and Saturday

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast

9:00 – 10:30 Workshop

10:45 – 12:15 Workshop

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch

1:30 – 2:30 Free Time/Guitar Workshop

2:45 – 3:45 Free Time/Elective Workshops/Group Activity (Joe and John – Friday)

(Joe and Sharon – Sat)

4:00 – 5:30 Workshop

6:00 – 7:00 Dinner

8:00 – 9:00 Staff Concert – Friday,  Student Concert – Saturday

9:00 – 10:00 Facilitated Jams – Friday, Student Concert – Saturday


8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast

9:00 – 10:30 Workshop

10:45 – 12:15 Workshop

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch

1:30 – 3:00 Mandolin Ensembles, John and Sharon

3:00 Pack up and go home


Costs for 3 day workshop per person (fees below include all meals, workshops and activities):

Camping: $600

Bunk Room (4 in a room, shared bathroom between 2 bunk rooms): $700

Semi private room with private bath (2 beds in a room) queen bed: $875, or double bed: $850

Private queen room at lodge for couples only, private bath: $875 each person

Private queen room at Ferry residence for couples only, shared bath: $750 each person

(all above workshops fees are inclusive of a $500 instruction fee and balance is applied to lodging and food)


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