Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy 2005
Second Annual

The SMBA 2005 was held April 22-24, 2005 at Wa-Floy Retreat near Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Directed by Jack Hatfield. A great time was had by all, and tons of banjo knowledge was dispersed and absorbed. The weather co-operated MOST of the weekend, but we were inside so the rain and cold snap on Sunday was not much of a factor. New features for 2005 included the fantastic presentation by Bill Evans and Butch Robins on the History of the Banjo and the History of Bluegrass. There was more jamming this year, and less classroom overcrowding. A gospel jam was added Sunday morning hosted by Sam Ferris, which was well-attended. Faculty members were SO helpful and willing to take students to the side to give instruction over and above the regular scheduled classes and private lessons. The student banjo contest was much better attended by contestents and audence alike. The teacher-student ratio was exceptional and access to the faculty was better then any of the ten or so banjo camps I have been affiliatede with.

THANKS to Roger and Anne Simpson and Rhonda Langston for help over and above the call of duty, before and after the event. Special thanks also to Rhonda and Flint and Margaret Patterson from Jacksonville, Alabama for wonderful down home Southern food (includiing BBQ deer meat). Was the food good? Well, there were not enough scraps after Saturday dinner to feed one Smoky Mt. Black Bear! Seriously, the total amounht of food sent back on plates weighed less than five pounds! Also, thanks go out to Peggy Bell and The Wa-Floy staff/ Bell family who lost the matriarch of the Wa-Floy facility the day after the event. They extended us every courtesy and were always there to help even though the elder Mrs. Bell was in critical condition in the hospital the entire weekend. Thanks to Betsy Burgin, the very organized and astute concert director, planning and advertising consultant and all-around chief "finger in the dike" person. Sam Ferris had a wonderful gospel session Sunday morning, and my sister Jane as girl Friday and my son Daniel on sound and recording did a great job. Thanks to Dave Ball from Knoxville for supplying two lovely period banjos for Evan's "History of the Banjo" presentation. With two years behind us, we have a solid foundation to build on and have worked out most of the kinks. The 2006 SMBA will be bigger and better than ever.The dates for the 2006 SMBA will be April 21-23. MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Jack Hatfield, SMBA Director


Slow-Jam Moderator: JASON BALES. Concert Stage Manager, promotion and planning co-ordinater: BETSY BURGIN. Staff assistants: Jane Hatfield, Daniel Cunningham, Jason Bales, Betsy Burgin. Gospel jam moderator: Sam Ferris. Catering: Flint and Margaret Patterson and Rhonda Langston

  • Many area attractions for non-musician family and friends! Small classes! Guaranteed private lesson with a pro!
  • Beginner to Advanced classes were taught by experienced professionals, including bluegrass, classical, minstrel, jazz, clawhammer and other old-time styles.
  • Student banjo Contest was held before the concert Saturday evening. First prize Winner of Deering Goodtime banjo: Zane Petty from Knoxville: runner-up, winner of custom SMBA Dogwood Designs strap: Joey Schultz from Grand Rapids. MI.
  • Bill Evan's "History of the Banjo" presentation was well organized and educational. Bill's expertise on minstrel instruments opened up many doors to students. Butch Robin's "History of Bluegrass" presentation was awecome, extremely insightful, and very well organized as wel with many musical examples.
  • Basic fee includes all meals and lodging. Single-day and no-lodging rates available. Group discounts available. Cabins available for families and groups.
  • Vendor area with banjos and supplies! Constant jamming! Concert Saturday night ~ friends, families and general public welcome!
  • Gospel Jam Sunday morning, hosted by Sam Ferris

    Friday 8:00AM: REGISTRATION

    9:00AM: Orientation.

    9:30AM: History of the Banjo/History of Bluegrass presentation to entire group.

    11:30 AM: Lunch

    1:00 PM: - Classes begin

    A full class schedule wil be posted soon so students can plan classes in advance.


    Gary Davis is the ONLY three-time National Banjo Champion and owns many state titles as well. Gary is a dedicated banjo teacher, 15-year Dollywood entertainer, studio ace and most recently band leader for Dolly Parton on her bluegrass album tour. He is fluent in many music styles, from bluegrass to jazz. He is also an awesome lead guitar player, from bluegrass to country to jazz. Gary currently works at Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, is in demand in the studio, and teaches private lessons.

    Bill Evans currently performs and tours nationally with Due West. Due West was selected as an official showcase act at the 2004 International Bluegrass Music Association Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky. In early 2003, the band released its latest CD, These Boots, on Native and Fine Records, featuring two new original instrumental tracks from Bill.

    Bill also performs with the Bluegrass Intentions, and appears from time to time as a special guest with the Jim Hurst Band and Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum & The Guest House Band. He has also performed with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group, Peter Rowan, Suzanne Thomas, Don Rigsby & Friends, the Lynn Morris Band, the Kathy Kallick Band, the Gary Ferguson Band, Jeannie Kendall and the Falls City Ramblers. From 1993 to 1997, Bill toured nationally with Dry Branch Fire Squad and appears on their 1996 Rounder recording Live! At Last.Bill was the founder/leader of the 1980's progressive bluegrass band Cloud Valley, based out of Charlottesville, Virginia.

    For the last several years, Bill has authored "Off the Record," one of the most popular monthly instructional columns for Banjo Newsletter magazine. He hosts his own NashCamp Fall Banjo Retreat with Sonny Osborne, held each year west of Nashville, Tennessee. He has also presented banjo workshops across the country at many major folk and bluegrass festivals and has taught at virtually every important music camp, including the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Port Orchard, Washington; Augusta Heritage Center's Bluegrass Week in Elkins, West Virginia; the AcuTab Banjo Seminar with J.D. Crowe and Sonny Osborne in Roanoke, Virginia; South Plains College's Camp Bluegrass in Levelland, Texas; the California Bluegrass Associationıs Bluegrass Jam Camp in Grass Valley, California; Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamp in Maryville, Tennessee; and Nashcamp in Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee. He has been on the teaching faculty twice for Banjo Newsletterıs Maryland Banjo Academy as well as two times for the Jack Hatfield/Banjo Newsletter/SPBGMA workshop held each February in Nashville. He also teaches private lessons out of his home in Albany, California for students at all ability levels, including intensive sessions for out of town students.

    Native and Fine, his 1995 Rounder Records debut featuring David Grier, Stuart Duncan and Mike Compton, was awarded an honorable mention for 1996 Acoustic Instrumental Recording of the Year by the Association for Independent Music (AFIM). He co-produced and appears on Dry Branch Fire Squad member Suzanne Thomas's Rounder Records 1998 release Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts, which features guest appearances from the Seldom Scene, the Lonesome River Band, IIIrd Tyme Out and others. This recording was named "1998 Bluegrass Recording of the Year" by Keith Lawrence of Knight-Ridder Newspapers and was a finalist for IBMAıs 1999 "Recorded Event of the Year" award.

    Bill released his second solo project, Bill Evans Plays Banjo, in late 2001 on Native and Fine Records. A collection of twelve original bluegrass instrumentals along with a remake of Bill Monroe's classic "Heavy Traffic Ahead," Bill Evans Plays Banjo assisting him are Darol Anger (fiddle), John Reischman (mandolin), Todd Phillips (bass) and Rob Ickes (dobro). Other musical guests include Missy Raines, Don Rigsby, Mike Compton, Jim Nunally, Nina Gerber, Steve Smith, Greg Spatz, Glen Duncan, and Mike Bub. In writing about this release, Chicago Tribune wrtier David Royko says, "Bill Evans has created an instrumental album certain to be viewed in the future as a classic," and named this recording to his Top 10 Bluegrass CDs of 2001 list. Bill Evans Plays Banjo was also named a Top 5 Bluegrass Instrumental Recording of 2001 by Dave Freeman in his County Sales newsletter. In addition, "Heavy Traffic Ahead" has been on Bluegrass Unlimited magazine's Top 30 Singles Chart for seven months, including four months in the Top 10 of that survey.

    Bill is the co-host for the Homespun Tapes video The Banjo of Sonny Osborne and is a contributor to the Oxford University Press Encyclopedia of Country Music (1998). In addition he is the co-editor of The Banjo of J.D. Crowe from AcuTab Publications. Bill is the subject of cover stories in Muleskinner (June-July 1999), Bluegrass Now (Jan.-Feb. 1996) and Banjo Newsletter (July 1996, May 2001) magazines in addition to being included in the June 2002 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited. Bill's first instructional video, Power Pickin': Up The Neck Back-up for Bluegrass Banjo from AcuTab Publications, is now available. Two new AcuTab instructional DVDs and a new book from Mel Bay are set to be published in 2005.

    A doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology from the University of California at Berkeley, Evans has taught courses in American music history at the University of San Francisco, the University of Virginia and Duke University. In 1994-95, he was the associate director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky. In 1997, he was artist-scholar in residence at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond as part of this universityıs New Perspectives in the Arts series and more recently has been a performer in residence at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota and Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky. Bill was also a recipient of a Brown Foreman-Al Smith Artist Fellowship in musical composition from the Kentucky Arts Council, this state's highest award for achievement in the arts.

    Bill is an artist endorser for GHS Strings, Intellitouch Tuners, the Colorado Case Company, and Gary Sosobee and Scorpion banjo bridges. He currently resides in Albany, California with his wife Kathy and children Jesse and Corey. We could say more about Bill, but...that's really enough ain't it?

    Jack Hatfield has been a writer for Banjo Newsletter for over 25 years and has written several acclaimed banjo instruction books published by his own company, Hatfield Music, and five banjo instuction books published by Mel Bay Publications. He has been a finalist in the Tennessee Banjo Championship and the National Banjo Championship at Winfield, Kansas, worked at Dollywood theme park and Dolly parton's Dixie Stampede.

    Jack has taught banjo workshops all over the USA and in England, Ireland, Scotland and recently in Australia. He was Bluegrass Director for all three of Banjo Newsletter's Maryland Banjo academies and has directed the BNL/ SPBGMA workshop in Nashville for nine years which has featured names like Bela Fleck, Alan Munde, Bill Keith, Sammy Shelor, Terry Baucom, Scott Vestal, Eddie Adcock, Bill Evans, Doug Dillard, Curtis McPeake, James McKinney, Sonny Osborne, Geoff Stelling, Gary Price, Tony Wray, Tom Nechville, Charlie Cushing, and Frank Neat. Banjo Newsletter contributors featured at SPBGMA have included: Janet Davis, Ian Perry, Ira Gitlin, Murphey Henry, Eddie Collins, Ross Nickerson and Andy Cushing.

    Jack was on the faculty of the very FIRST banjo camp, the Tennessee Banjo Institute at Cedars of Lebanon state park near Nashville. This event, the brainchild of bobby Fulcher and Wayne Ingram, was held three times in a six year period, then when state politics prevented the use of the state park, BNL's Maryland Banjo Academy took over the reins and held three Maryland Banjo Academies in a six- year span. Now that BNL is out of the banjo workshop business Jack intends for his SMBA to take over the reins for major banjo camps on a yearly basis. The initial SMBA (2004) was well attended and very sucessful toward this end. Jack is owner/operator of Hatfield Music, providing everything the banjo player needs from instructional materials to banjos to accessories. Jack was featured in Banjo Newsletter, July 2001.

    Bill Keith is one of the foremost music theorists and teachers in the world among banjo players. He was among the first in developing the melodic style of banjo playing in the 1950's which won him the prestegious Philadelphia Folk Festival banjo contest. This was the first national exposure to the melodic style of banjo playing. This led to a stint with Bill Monroe, followed by records and tours with David Grisman, Pete Rowan and many other masters of bluegrass. Bill did all the tablature transcriptions in "Earl Scruggs and the Five String Banjo" book by Earl Scruggs in the mid-sixties, when the use of banjo tablature was in its infancy. This book is still today the bible of banjo instruction. In addition to dozens of album and television appearances he has a Homespun instructional tape called "Play Bluegrass Banjo by Ear". When not performing all over the world, Bill presides over Beacon Banjo Company which manufactures and markets Keith banjo tuners. Bill co-designed these engineering marvels with the endorsment of Earl Scruggs, who uses the "D-tuners" to produce the steel guitar effect on classic tunes such as "Flint Hill Special" and "Earl's Breakdown". Keith is fluent in many music styles, from bluegrass to jazz. He has been a faculty member at virtually all the major banjo camps and workshops, and was instrumental as a moderator in the 2004 SMBA. Bill Keith is incredibly captivating when teaching and is tireless in the classroom. When you go to one of his sessions, use the bathroom FIRST and bring a sandwich! (Just kidding ~ meals and IV's provided.) Bill has also graciously volunteered to bring many old tapes of Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, and Reno to be played in one of the common areas. Bill was featured in Banjo Newsletter, August 1983.

    Andy King has studied the classical technique of turn-of-the-century artists such as Fred Van Epps. He has written a book called Advanced Studies in Five String Banjo detailing classical techniques used by the masters such as Fleck and Trischka, and many three-finger classical techniques which are virtually forgotten today, notably the use of all fingers on all four strings and playing slow songs using tremolo and chord solo techniques. He has mentored Jack Hatfield, Gary Davis, James McKinney, and Larry McNeely, among others. Andy is literally a "teacher's teacher".

    James McKinney is an amazing banjo player, one of the most technically precise and advanced players alive. He won the South U.S. Banjo Championship at age 15. In 1982 he won the National Banjo Championship at Winfield, Kansas, to top off dozens of first-place state and regional championships. He made the first of several appearances on the Grand Ole Opry at age 19 and worked at Opryland theme park as banjoist and musical arranger. James recorded with his Dallas band Danger in The Air in the late 1980s and moved to Nashville for good in 1990 to play full time with his talented wife Angela in the James and Angela McKinney Band. James currently does studio and touring work out of Nashville. In addition to being a Scruggs and Reno style expert, he is a dedicated banjo teacher. He has taught at many major banjo camps, the SPGBMA workshop, and Master workshops all over the USA. He is one of the foremost jazz and theory experts in the banjo world, having been mentored by renowned jazz educator David Baker and Mr. Ferrell (teacher of Chet Atkins and Jethro Burns). He has performed and/or recorded with the likes of Porter Waggoner, Barbara Mandrell, John Hartford, and Johnny Cash, in addition to a long and close professional relationship with legendary fiddler Vassar Clements. His newest project is called "Mind Over Banjo", to be released sometime before the SMBA. He was featured artist in Banjo Newsletter July 1982.

    Larry McNeely is an extremely talented session musician. He is known best for his work with Roy Acuff and Glen Campbell. A native of Lafayette, Indiana, he was born into a musical family, but didn't begin learning to play piano until he was 13. He then added guitar and banjo, and got his professional start at the age of 17 when he joined the Pinnacle Mountain Boys. In 1965, after moving to Nashville to work for the Sho-Bud Guitar Company (formed by Shot Jackson and Buddy Emmons), he met Acuff and joined his Smoky Mountain Boys. He remained with them through decade's end and then moved to California, where he joined Glen Campbell's band after John Hartford left. He recorded his first solo album, Glen Campbell Presents Larry McNeely, in 1971. He remained with Campbell through 1974, then left the touring circuit to work as a session man. McNeely played on numerous albums (including work by the Carpenters and Roger Miller) as well as movie soundtracks and commercials, and in 1977, he recorded two albums for different labels. He went back to Nashville in 1984 to try the bluegrass scene, but soon returned to work with Acuff, with whom he played until Acuff's death in 1992. After that McNeely began working with Russ and Becky Jeffers and Smoky Mountain Sunshine. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Music Guide

    After a ten-year sabbatical from performing on banjo, Larry has recently come out of retirement. The 2004 SMBA was his first public appearance in the banjo world in many years. He was praised by many as the sensation of SMBA 2004. Larry was featured in Banjo Newsletter, September 1978. Larry recently moved to carthage, North Carolina, and is working with his wife Beth when not performig with Smoky Mountain Sunshine.

    Tom Morgan is one of the best known and most experienced banjo luthiers in the country. He is a foremost authority on Gibson banjos, and his reprint of the Gibson banjo catalog containing pre-war Gibsons is an important reference for all bluegrass banjo players. Tom has performed with many first-generation bluegrass pioneers, and his stories about these legends alone are worth the price of admission. Tom has loved traditional music since his earliest recollections and ha smade it his life's work. He was ithe U.S. air Force for twenty years, and advanced to the finals of the service-wide talent contes six times. Tom helped start Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, cataloging an extensixe cross-section of songs and inmstrumentalsHe built and repaired instrumenets for the likes of Bill Clifton, Mike and Peggy Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, and John McCutcheon. He has performed with Red Allen and Frank Wakefield, Curly Fox, Bill Monroe, and played bass with the original Counrtry Gentlemen. In 1963, Tom appeared at Carnagie hall with Frank Wakefield and Red Allen. Tom was recently included in Jake Jacobson's pictorial book "Hearts and Hands: Music Instrument Makers of America", currently being exibited by the Smithsonian Institution around the country. Tom's specialty is converting Gibson tenor banjos to flatheads which he has doen for bill keith, Ralph Stanley, Bill Emerson, ben Eldridge, and a host of professionals. He and his son Scott have spent decades creating beautiful Gibson-style banjos in his shop in Morgan Springs, Tennessee. Tom will be teaching, doing setups and discussing banjo building and repair tips.

    Tom Nechville, of Nechville Musical Products, is the inventor and designer of the new class of banjos known as Helimounts. Tom has worked with Alison Brown, Bela Fleck, Eddie Adcock, and others in development of his designs, and currently provides instruments for many of the world's top country, bluegrass, and jazz performers. Learn what's wrong with most banjos and see how Nechville has designed solutions to nearly every banjo problem. His patented designs such as the elegant helical head tensioning Helimount, adjustable neck attachment, beveled armrest, built-in capos, and compensated Enterprise bridges are stirring up the banjo world. Nechville is leading the "Banjo Revolution" into new territory with his unique designs for the electric and synthesizer banjos as well. Tom will have several instruments on display and will cover things like the benefits of radiused fingerboards, tunneled 5th strings, in-line tailpieces, and compensated bridges. Owners of traditional banjos as well as anyone interested in banjo will benefit from Nechville's set-up tips and theories for optimum banjo sound. In adition to teaching banjo setup/repair and theory, he will be displaying his full line of banjos. His book Dynamics of Banjo Sound will also be available.

    Butch Robins is a fantastic progressive banjo player whose style defies categorization. Butch worked with Bill Monroe, and was a founding member of the Newgrass Revival and the Bluegrass Band (now known as the Nashville Bluegrass Band). Butch has a book out called What I Know 'Bout What I Know, featuring many anecdotes and lessons learned from his relationship with Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass. He was featured speaker at the 2004 SPBGMA/BNL workshop in Nashville where he demonstrated that he is an amazingly engaging and motivating speaker as well as a gifted banjo player with dozens of entertaining and informative stories about experiences with Nashville and the bluegrass scene. He was featured in Banjo Newsletter, October-November 2003. Butch is presenting a very informative lecture with visual aids for the entire camp on Friday after orientation. Don't miss it!

    Roger Simpson is the maker of Eucalypt banjos. He and his wife Anne came all the way from Australia for the camp! Roger, a retired commercial avation pilot, is one of the top banjo luthiers in Australia. His Eucalypt banjos feature native Austialian materials and design themes. Anne is a practicing medical doctor, but somehow finds time to create beautiful original inlay designs and resonater marquetry (wood inlay) for Roger's banjos, which put them in a class by themselves as works of art. Bill Jacob's Woodhill Bell tone rings and hardware also contribute to a unique sound which is not available curently in the USA. Roger is bringing a few banjos over for an Amreica unveiling. Hatfield Music will stock any Eucalypt banjos not sold at SMBA and be the sole distributor of Eucalypt banjos in the USA. (Jack will also have a few Wodhill Bell native ore tone rings available). See Jack Hatfield's article on his trip to Australia last summer for photos and more on Roger & Anne and Eucalypt banjos.

    Herb Trotman is from Birmingham, Alabama, and is probably the most noted player and teacher in that area. Like several others on staff (notably McKinney, Lawless, Davis and Hatfield), he teaches beginner and intermediate banjo players every day. He has done so for over 35 years at his bluegrass-oriented music store, Fretted Instruments of Birmingham. Herb has played banjo and recorded with the Spaulding Brothers and the Front Porch String band, and recently released a Christmas banjo album feautring his many students and friends.

    Leroy Troy is an insane banjo showman. He plays clawhammer and minstrel banjo in an Uncle Dave Macon-style energy-packed show you won't believe. He plays the banjo while twirling it! Audiences today are starved for something different and Leroy Troy is exactly that! He is an instant crowd pleaser and holds audiences mesmerized with a flip of his banjo, turn of his hat, and country humor.  He can capture any audience from the young to the young at heart.  One thing is for sure, the first time you see Leroy Troy, you never forget it! Admirers have watched him steal the show on the Grand Ole Opry and festivals for years and these admirers have ranged from Roy Acuff, Grandpa Jones, John Hartford, and Marty Stuart.Leroy had the opportunity to know and learn from these greats and many more, and with these friendships also came the responsibility of carrying on the tradition of Old Time Country Music. With the passing of these giants, Leroy Troy has committed himself to do just that ~ carry on the tradition. He has been recognized for his efforts as the youngest recipient of the prestigious Heritage Award, an award that is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the preservation of Old Time Country. Leroy Troy is keeping alive the old showmanship of Uncle Dave Macon, Grandpa Jones, and Stringbean. Leroy Troy started playing the festival circuit in 1982 with the Bailes Brothers. At the age of 17 he dazzled a nationwide audience on the hit TV show Hee Haw, with his banjo expertise and natural gift of comedy. When you see the mastery in the way he handles the banjo you will understand why the instrument has become synonymous with Leroy Troy. He has played Maine to Florida, New York to California, and even abroad! In addition to performing at the SMBA, he will be teaching workshops on old time styles and showmanship.


    Kenny Dodson is an excellent guitarist and lead singer with his own band Misty River and Jack Hatfield's True Blue. Kenny is "Mr. Dependable" in the East Tennessee bluegrass circles. He has worked festivals all over the south, Dollywood, and Ripley's Aquarium in the Smokies.

    Roscoe Morgan plays mandolin and fiddle and sings great tenor. Roscoe is a virtuoso musician who is fluent in everything from the singing style of Ralph Stanley to the mandolin of Bill Monroe to Frank Wakefield-style outer limits mandolin licks to heavy metal country lead guitar. He has played with Jack Hatfield's Crosswind and True Blue bands, Dave Evans and Riverbend, John Reischman, Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike, James King, Karl Shiflett, Steve Kaufman, Pine Mountain Railroad and currently the hot up and coming band Greenbrier. Roscoe recently recorded his first solo CD, "The Streets of Cincinnati". Roscoe made a big impression with all the faculty last year. SMBA may even give him a bed so he doesn't sleep in his car this year!

    John Guthrie will be staff bass player. John is a mainstay with Hatfield's True Blue group, recorded and played with Smoky Mt. Special, a top touring East Coast group.

    Master of Ceremonies for the concert Saturday night will be Russ Jeffers. Russ and his wife Becky are from nearby Clinton, Tennessee, but lived in Nashville and performed at Opryland for over twenty years until the park was closed a few years ago. Russ is uniquely suited to be the SMBA Master of Ceremonies ~ more than one of the banjo players on the staff have worked with him in his band. It is rumored the reason Russ is so nutty is because the constant practicing of scales and exercises by James McKinney when they were on the road together has caused a form of hysterical dementia as yet untreatable by modern medicine. No worry though ~ Russ is perfectly safe and docile as long as his Martin guitar is in constant view!

    The full inventory of Hatfield Music banjos will be on display: Deering, Deering Goodtime, Stelling, Nechville, Gold Star, Gold Tone, Washburn, and many used banjos. (See website, click on "home" link below then "used instruments".) Banjo manufacturer/innovator Tom Nechville will have many banjos on display including new models and products. Dan Knowles and Dave Ball will have their classical, old time minstrel banjos there. Roger and Anne Simpson from Australia will unveil their Eucalypt banjos, featuring Woodhill Bell tone rings and hardware, some with native ore (straight from the ground, never previously smelted), which cannot currently be purchased in the USA.

    On Friday after orientation new faculty member Bill Evans will addressed the entire group, talking about the history of banjo playing and demonstrating old time, classical and minstrel styles on authentic "period" banjos. Bill is one of the most learned banjo players in the world. He has a degree in ethnomusicology and is working on his Doctorate. Bill is a master teacher and player. Former Bluegrass Boy Butch Robins the did a fantastic presentation on the history of Bluegrass.



    Mini-concerts will be ongoing, featuring each faculty member. Some of the more accomplished faculty will perform two mini-concerts. Combination mini-concerts will also be held by groups of two to four faculty members. These "Jam" mini-concerts will have the following themes:

    How great was last year's SMBA? Read the rave reviews and check out the photos from the 2004 SMBA!

    For information, contact Jack Hatfield at:

    Hatfield Productions
    325 Laurelwood Dr.
    Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

    Click here for a registration form to print and mail.

    Click here for a Yahoo map to Wa-Floy retreat.

    Click here for photos.

    Click here for Yahoo driving directions to Wa-Floy retreat.

    SMBA logo image courtesy of Dan Levensen.