Current and Former Instructors

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COURTNEY HARTMAN

Della Mae

Courtney Hartman’s finely-honed musicality has firm roots in her upbringing, which included taking up violin at three, learning to play guitar at 11, and writing her first song at 12. She spent much of her childhood immersed in the bluegrass world, a factor that eventually led to her seven-year stint in Grammy-nominated band Della Mae. During her time with the band, Hartman also released a collaboration album with Robert Ellis (2017’s Dear John) and another with Taylor Ashton (2018’s Been on Your Side). Her most recent release, Ready Reckoner, features crtically acclaimed tracks inspired by her 40 days walking the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage route across Spain.

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KC GROVES

Uncle Earl

KC Groves is an accomplished instrumentalist (mandolin, guitar, bass), vocalist and songwriter. As the creative center and bandleader of Uncle Earl for over a decade, KC helped bring old time music to a wider audience. The "g’Earls" played major festival stages in the United States and toured extensively abroad, gaining fans and musical cohorts such as Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, who produced their 2007 album Waterloo, Tennessee. In addition to Uncle Earl, KC has released two solo albums of original material, was a Telluride Troubadour contest finalist, and a Detroit Music Award winner. 

Along with founding the successful High Street Concert series in Lyons, KC has spearheaded the weekly bluegrass jam at Oskar Blues, one of the largest and longest running weekly jams in Colorado.

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BONNIE SIMS

Bonnie & the Clydes, Bonnie & Taylor Sims

Bonnie Sims began singing as soon as she could walk, and has been at home onstage nearly as long. Her father, Mike Cruciger, is a banjo player, songwriter and career musician, and gave Bonnie her first Martin guitar at age twelve. She picked up the mandolin at fourteen and toured for the next five years with her father, playing in and around Texas.

 

She then attended South Plains College where she earned a double major in Mandolin and Vocals as well as Best Female Vocalist in 2006 and 2007 and Best Female Instrumentalist in 2007. 

In 2010, after moving to Colorado, Bonnie continued her life-long pursuit of singing and making music by starting Bonnie & the Clydes.

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EP ARCHER

EP Archer, Colorado Symphony, University of Denver

Emery Pace Archer (EP) is a performer, composer, poet and educator. As a healer and humanist, EP finds inspiration in the underscore of energetically intense connection, collaborative performance art of all kinds and creative synergy. EP currently works as a Teaching Artist with the Colorado Symphony’s Very Young Composer program and as an adjunct songwriting professor at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music.

 

Their most recent release UNDERNEATH is an album of songs they currently perform on voice, violin, piano and guitar. EP is an advocate for LGBTQ+ community, especially those in the arts, and a proud member of the universal community of oneness, diversity and love.

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MONICA LABONTE

Monocle Band, Honeytree Duo

Monica is a Colorado native whose music is rooted in the folk revival, yet blends genres and the sounds of the American west with grace. Featuring sweet and soaring vocals and rock-solid rhythmic guitar, Monica's original songs come from a deep and genuine place that can touch your heart and move your body and spirit. You'll find her playing throughout Colorado with Monocle Band and Honeytree as well as teaching, recording and performing all around the Front Range. 

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ANDREA PARES

Avenhart

Andrea Pares has been the lead vocalist for the band Avenhart since 2015.  The band released its first ever self-titled EP in 2017 and have released several singles since.  Andrea and her band write music with a bluegrass foundation that infuse with soul, Americana, pop, and indie rock to create unique soundscapes that center around soulful harmonies, intricate arrangements and heartfelt lyrics.  In 2019, Avenhart won a Westword Music Award for Folk/Bluegrass.

Andrea grew up singing.  She has a degree in vocal performance from the University of Colorado Denver and performed in competitive a cappella groups throughout college.  She is an experienced vocal instructor and has taught at several other camps including Girls Rock Denver.
 

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    WENDY WOO

    The Wendy Woo Band

    Wendy Woo has led anything but a “normal” life, which separates her from the average performer.  As the daughter of bohemian parents who were founding faculty members at Naropa University in Boulder Colorado, her childhood home was a truly eclectic social center.

    Over the past 20 years, Wendy has shared the stage with world renowned headliners, including Counting Crows, Indigo Girls, Sheryl Crow, the Fray, and Sarah McLachlan. In addition to performing, Wendy is also a talented and prolific songwriter, having penned and recorded over 200 original songs, and being named Westword Magazine’s Music Awards “Singer/Songwriter of the year” five separate times, resulting in her induction into Westword’s Hall of Fame.

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