Boxwood Festivals


April 16-19, 2015

Join us April 16-19, 2015 for a weekend of immersion in traditional music in Historic Williamsburg, VA. Classes, sessions, an evening performance, and private lessons are on offer. The deep connections between traditional music, song, and dance are at the heart of our program this weekend.

David GREENBERG - Cape Breton violin, Baroque violin

David Greenberg's double career as both a baroque violinist and traditional fiddler began at an early age. David studied baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie at Indiana University's Early Music Institute, and moved to Canada in 1988 to join the Toronto-based baroque orchestra Tafelmusik. With Tafelmusik for 10 years, David performed orchestral, chamber, and solo roles in North America, Europe, and the Far East, and on more than forty recordings. David also plays the vielle (medieval fiddle). He won first prize at the Erwin Bodky International Early Music Competition in 1988 with the Medieval Quintet, and he recorded vielle soundtracks for Atom Egoyan's film The Sweet Hereafter. David has gained the reputation in Cape Breton music circles as being one of the few people from outside the Nova Scotia island to have achieved a fluent command of the Cape Breton music idiom. With his wife, Kate Dunlay, he published Traditional Celtic Violin Music of Cape Breton, The DunGreen Collection.


Abby NEWTON - cello for traditional & baroque music

Abby is well known for her groundbreaking work in the revival of the cello in American and Scottish traditional music. As part of the folk music revival of the past many decades there has been a movement to restore the unique richness of the cello to traditional music. Abby has been on the forefront of that movement since meeting Jay Ungar (Ashokan Farewell), Lyn Hardy, and John Cohen (New Lost City Ramblers). The four formed the Putnam String County Band, toured extensively, and performed at most of the major festivals including Mariposa, Binghamton, and the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Although classically trained, she improvised cello parts to their arrangements of traditional American music. She has recorded and toured extensively with a variety of artosts including Scottish singer Jean Redpath, Quilapayun and Inti-Illimani of Chile. Abby is a well-established teacher promoting the use of the cello both as a melodic and rhythmic back up instrument in traditional music. Abby has taught at Ashokan Fiddle Camp, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, Swannanoa Gathering, Gaelic Roots, and her own cello retreats in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

Chris NORMAN - traditional flutes, Scottish small-pipes

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia into a music loving family, Chris Norman's influential work for the past 30 years as performer, composer, teacher and flute maker has won him worldwide recognition. His flute playing has appeared on more than 40 recordings and can be heard featured on the Oscar winning soundtrack of Titanic and other Hollywood films including, Soldier, and the Stone of Destiny.

“. . .Norman stands out for his spirited eclecticism . . . His rootsy heritage shines through in every nuanced embellishment, trill, triple tonguing, and silky slide. It’s clear that Norman is having a ball, with the chops to make it sound effortless.” -- Billboard Magazine

“ . . .a flute player of spectacular & imaginative virtuosity” -- The New Yorker Magazine

“A flute superstar . . .the musicianship just came wailing out” --Toronto Globe & Mail


Rennie PEARSON - traditional flute, whistle, guitar

Rennie Pearson, from Wellington, NZ is a brilliant young musician, playing flute and guitar under the tutelage of leading New Zealand flute players, Pat Higgins, Brendyn Montgomery as well as Chris Norman. Rennie plays mostly in a traditional Irish style but is also interested in Scottish and Cape Breton music. Ren is half of the Wellington duo 'Polytropos' and has appeared at numerous folk festivals across the Antipodes. He will be assisting the Thursday afternoon whistle class and appearing in Friday's concert.



Williamsburg schedule:

5:00pm - 6:00pm: Williamsburg Regional Library 515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA
Cost - $15 class (whistles will be $10 if you wish to buy one)
A beginning pennywhistle class open to both kids and adults. Learn the basics of this most portable, sturdy, expressive and ubiquitous musical instrument. In addition to basic technique we'll cover a basic tune from the USA, Scotland, and Ireland. The class will be using pennywhistles in D, and whistles will be available for loan and/or purchase, so just bring your self! Advance registration highly recommended; use on-line form below.

7:30 - 9:30pm
Hosted by Cherry & Eddie Robinson: 416 River's Edge, Williamsburg VA Williamsburg, VA 23185
Bring you instrument along for a relaxed evening of baroque music. David, Chris & Abby will play and talk about some of their current baroque repertoire. Participants will also be invited to play and get a few pointers. Additionally, we'll bring some music along to read through a few duos, trio, quartets and ensemble pieces. The evening will be informal and relaxed with wine & snacks available.

Traditional music from Ireland, Scotland, Canada and elsewhere.
7:30 pm: Williamsburg Regional Library 515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA
$15 regular/ $10 kids 12 & under, seniors 65 and over, active military AND those registered for the Saturday Workshop.
Tickets will be available at the door, via the registration form below, or at Amory Music in Williamsburg, VA
4436 John Tyler Hwy
Williamsburg, VA 23185

WORKSHOP CLASSES 9:30am - 3:00pm
Williamsburg Regional Library 515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA
Cost - $95

Chris NORMAN - traditional flute class; repertoire & techniques
David GREENBERG - traditional fiddle class; repertoire & techniques
Abby NEWTON - traditional cello class; repertoire & techniques


9:30am - 10:30am - independent classes: fl., vn., vc.
10:30am - 11:00am break for coffee & tea
11:00am - 12 noon - independent classes: fl., vn., vc.
lunch break: delis & cafes within easy walking distance
1:30pm - 3:00pm - combined class with flutes, fiddles and cellos

The workshop classes are open to players of all levels and instruments, however please bear in mind that the classes will be geared for those with some proficiency on the flute, violin and cello. Beginners are welcome but should be prepared to audit.

Traditional jam session with Chris Norman & David Greenberg
7:30pm - 10:00pm at The Corner Pocket, 4805 Courthouse Street, Williamsburg, VA 23188
free and open to the public
Join us for a traditional Irish & Scottish session; all are welcome to play, dance, sing a song or listen.

Private lessons with Chris Norman, David Greenberg, and Abby Newton
Lessons also available Thursday afternoon & evening March 13
9:00 am - 3:00pm; location TBD
$70/hr or $40 for 1/2 hr.
Chris, David and Abby will be on hand for private lessons for individuals or groups on Thursday & Sunday. Please specify the time you'd like on the registration form below and we'll be back in touch to confirm the time and location

How to Register:

Registration is an easy 2-step process, and will be available shortly:

Step 1: Complete the registration form below. Be sure to scroll all the way down and click 'SUBMIT'.

Step 2: Pay . To keep tuition costs down and to keep our funds flowing into our programming rather than credit card companies & banks, we prefer that you pay by cheque or PayPal balance. Cheques should be made payable to BOXWOOD in USD. You may mail your cheque to the address below:

Cherry Robinson
416 River's Edge
Williamsburg, VA 23185

PayPal payments from a US PayPal balance (not PayPal via Credit Card) are free for the sender & receiver if sent as 'I'm sending money to family and friends', to boxwoodfestival (at) We can accommodate Credit Card payments upon request (add 3%). Indicate your preference on the registration form below.

That's it! We'll be in touch with further details as the week approaches. If you're planning to come, please fill the form out ASAP so we can plan early. Registration is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis upon receipt of both a registration form and payment.


There are tons of places to stay in Williamsburg.Visit the Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce for more details

Thank You:

Boxwood's Williamsburg Traditional Music Weekend is made possible with the support of:

Flute Frenzy Association

The Williamsburg Regional Library

Amory Music

Susan Lawlor, Cherry Robinson, Margaret Carlson, Karl Sumwalt and all of Boxwood's donors & supporters. Thank You!