Wind Gap BG Academy

The Wind Gap Bluegrass Academy, established in 2005, is a free three-day camp-style learning program held each year during Wind Gap. The program teaches children (age 8-17) to play, sing and perform bluegrass music. Wind Gap BGA consists of instruction with Chris and Mark Panfil on their instruments; ensemble sessions with the entire group and harmony singing lessons. The program’s grand finale is a ‘Graduation Gig’ Sunday afternoon on the Main Stage. Approximately 10-20 kids participate in Wind Gap BGA each year. Students have fun, learn a lot, grow in confidence and make friends that can last a lifetime.

Chris and Mark Panfil are teachers and bluegrass musicians from Buffalo NY. Chris has toured the world as a country and bluegrass player before settling down to teach technology education at Lake Shore High School in Evans NY. Mark is a retired classroom music teacher who taught K-5 music and led a fiddle club for grades 6-12 in Hamburg NY. They both currently run the Buffalo Bluegrass Youth Ensemble, a bluegrass club open to students in grades 5-college in Hamburg NY. Mark also teaches at the Augusta Heritage Center for bluegrass week and they are members of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. They are both members of the bluegrass band, Creek Bend.


Please work on the D and G scales (for all instruments) and G, D, A and C chords on your instruments (for mandolins, banjos, and guitars)

The songs for 2019 are
Golden Slippers in G
Keep on the Sunny Side in D 
and Bile Them Cabbage Down (no written music,  just words. We'll all learn it by ear!)

The songs for 2018 were 
This Land is Your Land in D
Cripple Creek in A
And Foggy Mountain Top in D

The songs in 2017 were. 
Buffalo Gals in D
Sweet Blue Eyed Darling in D
Shady Grove Em

in 2016 we did these songs:
Mama Don't Allow in the key of G 
Soldier's Joy in D
and
You're Love is Like a Flower in G



We need you if you are between 2nd grade and 9th grade or higher, (sorry no adults)
Can you play some violin, bass, cello, guitar, banjo, mandolin or dobro?  Want to be a singer?


Bluegrass Academy

Thanks for allowing your child to experience life as a Bluegrass star for this weekend at Wind Gap. We will work hard singing and playing and also never forget to have some fun too.

We are the Panfil Brothers, Chris teaches guitar, fiddle, mandolin and bass and back home he is a high school technologies teacher in Angola NY. Mark teaches banjo, dobro, guitar and bass. He is a retired vocal music teacher who has led his own fiddle and bluegrass clubs in the Buffalo area for over thirty years.   

The academy starts on Friday at 7:00pm, with an hour and a half orientation class. Saturday will be two hours in the morning, 10:00am - 12 noon, and two hours in the afternoon, 1:30pm - 3:30pm. Sunday will be two hours in the morning, 10:00am - 12 noon, followed by an on stage performance at 1:30pm. Times are also posted on the 'Schedule' page. Friday evening is not required, but is highly recommended.

Students should bring their own instruments. The academy will attempt to supply instruments if necessary, no guarantee on this! Please email Mark to arrange this a week before the festival. The academy will give each student a Wind Gap Bluegrass Academy t-shirt.

The Academy is FREE! Thanks to the C.F. Martin Company for donating a GRT-16 guitar with hard shell case. This guitar will be raffled off on Sunday afternoon.

Mark's cell phone for calling or texting is 716-867-4012.

Please email markpanfil@hotmail.com to register.  Include the student name, age and instrument.




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