The Music of Warren Wilson

Music is and has always been such an important part of the Warren Wilson College experience. We are both fortunate and blessed to have so many talented alumni out in the world pursuing their art. Please click on the different musicians and bands below to learn more of the eclectic sounds of Warren Wilson.

Jon Reid, Jar-e  


Eliza Lynn      


Juan Holliday, The Secret B-Sides 

Appalachian Music Program

The Appalachian music program at Warren Wilson College reflects the rich traditions of music and dance from the southern mountains. Instruction is offered in some of the common Appalachian instruments and dancing, and students participate in old-time stringband and bluegrass ensembles as well as learn about the historical development of the music.

Sage Recital 03

Music Classes

Dance Classes


The college has a large collection of recordings of Appalachian music at the Martha Ellison Library and the Kittridge Music Library. Students may also listen to field recordings and concert performances from years at the College Archives.

Appalachian Music & Dance Events


Monday Lunchtime Old-Time Jam Session

Students and faculty join together every Monday at lunchtime throughout the school year for an old-time music jam session.

Appalachian Music Concert Series

David Holt at Sage Cafe (2006)

The Appalachian Music Concert Series at Sage Cafe presents a monthly concert of Appalachian music from the region and beyond.

Fiddles and Folklife Festival

Each April, traditional musicians and crafters from the Appalachian region come to the Warren Wilson campus for the Fiddles and Folklife Festival. This event features an old-time music contest for fiddle, banjo, and stringband, as well as music jams, food and craft vendors, folklife demonstrators, and an old-time square dance and cakewalk.

The Old Farmer's Ball  


The Asheville dance community comes to Warren Wilson every Thursday for a weekly contra and square dance at Bryson Gym. This dance, founded in 1982, has helped make the Asheville area one of the most thriving contra dance scenes in the entire country. In addition to the numerous local musicians and callers from the Asheville region, it has become a popular stop for many nationally-known touring bands and dance callers.

The Swannanoa Gathering

Each summer since 1992, musicians and dancers from across the country and around the world have come to the campus of Warren Wilson College during the month of July for week-long sessions of traditional music and dance. The days are filled with classes taught by world-renowned instructors, and the evenings are filled with concerts, dances, and jam sessions that last long into the night. Programs include: Traditional Song Week, Fiddle Week, Celtic Week, Old-Time Music & Dance Week, Contemporary Folk Week, Guitar Week, and Dulcimer Week.