2019 Youth Educational Offerings

Wintergrass is passionate about music education. Thanks to Education Director, Beth Fortune and a team of incredible educators and mentors we’re pleased to offer programs specifically tailored for young children to young adults. Due to the generosity of the D’Addario Foundation and Acoustic Sound patrons, scholarships are available for every youth education program.

Most Wintergrass Youth education programs take place at the Hyatt Regency (900 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue WA 98004) in the Evergreen Ballroom. Students and parents should plan to check-in thirty minutes before the start time each day. Parents are always welcome, but not required, to stay and observe the fun. Students should plan to pack a lunch. A substantial snack and drink will be provided to Youth Academy students on Friday at 4pm before their 5pm performance.

Wintergrass Pintgrass

For young students ages 4-6

Thursday/Friday, February 21-22, 2019
8:30am to noon Hyatt Evergreen Ballroom
Register online.

The Pintgrass program is for kids ages 4 to 6 who are being introduced to music. Students get to play with a variety of instruments and learn the basics of rhythm, singing, and playing in a group, in an active, safe environment. Pintgrass is conducted by award-winning certified public school teachers, notable professional musicians, and experienced older kids who are "Wintergrass veterans" skilled at working with younger children.

Pintgrass is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday & Friday, February 21 & 22. There is a closely supervised Pintgrass "jam room" from 11 a.m. to 12 both days for kids who want more. See Tickets for special Pintgrass pricing. All participants must complete an information sheet with contact information, medical and/or allergy alerts, and instrument(s) played.

Wintergrass Youth Academy

For students ages 7-12
Thursday/Friday, February 21-22, 2019
8:30am to 4pm Hyatt Evergreen Ballroom
8:30am registration on Thursday
Friday performance on the Evergreen Stage from 4:45-6pm

Register online.

The Wintergrass Youth Academy is a two-day musical immersion into Bluegrass tradition and creativity for youth, aged 7-12. It is suggested that the student has some knowledge of playing a bowed or strummed instrument for this camp.

During the camp, students will contribute to a one-of-a-kind on-the-spot-created all-camp performance curated and directed by multi-instrumentalist and creativity specialist Joe Craven. Participants will also perform as a Bluegrass band with a mixed group of peers, coached by experienced adult instructors and high school-aged “Youth Academy Teachers in Training.”

The theme of this year’s Wintergrass is “Stories and Legends.” A special emphasis on songwriting will be infused into this year’s small and large group instruction. Additional activities will include an “instrument petting zoo,” where students get to try new Bluegrass instruments, AND dancing!

Participants should be ready to step their toes “outside of the box” and open their minds to new spins on Bluegrass that will most likely involve singing, movement, rhythm, and more. This is a “non-printed music activity” – meaning that all music learned during the Youth Academy is aural (by ear). The Wintergrass Youth Academy is an exercise in “bumpy fun.” Sometimes fun looks messy! The Wintergrass Youth Academy is a place where musical crashes, spills, and ‘that ain’t right’ are launching pads for musicality and creativity.

Children have a natural ability to engage in play. Our goal is to nurture that spontaneous quality. We would like to be clear that the Youth Academy will not be an intense study in musical technicalities. It will more be a study in ensemble skills and participating in the community-minded folk tradition that is Bluegrass, in a social and (“bumpy”) fun environment.

NEW! - Eight adults will be allowed to participate in Youth Academy as students this year. This is for grown-up but young-at-heart attendees who want immersive, sustained instruction and participation, rather than hopscotching around Wintergrass's various, regular, "beginner" workshops.

Adult participation in Youth Academy is intended for any age over 19, with the same playing proficiency as the kids: rank beginners to intermediate. Registration for the Revisited Youth Academy does not include a weekend pass. However, registrants are eligible to purchased a deeply discounted Parent Pass if a weekend pass is desired.

Wintergrass Youth Orchestra

for high school students

Rehearsals in Jan. & Feb., 2019 in the Seattle area
Onsite Rehearsal February 23, 2019 8:30am to 1:15pm - Hyatt Evergreen Ballroom
Sunday Feb 24, 2019 Hyatt Grand Ballroom - Performance!

Register online.

The award nominated Wintergrass Youth Orchestra is an annual event that brings together 120 high school aged string players in an orchestra that is joined by top-notch Wintergrass performing artists.

The orchestra is co-conducted by Dr. Andy Carlson of Dennison University, and Mr. Bob Phillips, past-president of the American String Teachers Association. All music that is performed at the Wintergrass Youth Orchestra is composed or arranged for the event by our team of specialists. Participants will be preparing for this performance in the months that precede Wintergrass meeting together two times to rehearse and learn the new compositions.

Students from area high schools comprise the orchestra. This year, the stage will be a meeting place for students from Issaquah’s Liberty High School, and Seattle’s Ballard, Garfield, and Roosevelt High Schools. There are limited reserved spots for “singleton” participants (not associated with the participating schools).

The rehearsals will be held at Seattle’s Roosevelt High School in the Band Room. Rehearsal one will be on Saturday January 12, 2019 from 8:00-10:00 AM. Rehearsal two will be on Friday February 1, 2019 from 7:00-9:00 PM.

The dress rehearsal with guest artists and conductors will be held at the Bellevue Hyatt during the Wintergrass Festival in the Evergreen Ballroom on Saturday February 23, 2019 from 8:30 AM-1:15PM. Attendance at the dress rehearsal is mandatory.

On Sunday February 24, 2019, a sound-check will be held from 8:30-10:30 AM in the Bellevue Hyatt Grand Ballroom. Performer call-time will be at 1:30 PM in the Cedar Ballroom, and the concert will start at 3:00 PM in the Grand Ballroom.

This year’s orchestra will be performing with Bluegrass legend Peter Rowan, New Orleans musician Don Vappie and his Creole Jazz Trio, Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons, and Hills To Hollers (a trio made up of vocalists/ instrumentalists Laurie Lewis, Barbara Higbie, and Linda Tillery).

This option includes a full weekend pass for the student. Parents of students purchasing this option are eligible for a discounted parent weekend pass.

Wintergrass Youth Academy/Orchestra Package

Register online.

This package is designed for students who wish to participate in both the Youth Academy and Youth Orchestra. There are a very limited number of this registration type available. This package includes a weekend pass to the festival and registration for both the Youth Academy and Youth Orchestra.

Wintergrass Youth Academy Teacher Training (YATT)

Wednesday Feb. 20 7pm
Thursday Feb. 21 – Friday Feb. 22 8:30am-5pm
For students ages 14 to 19

Register online

YATTs are people 14-19 years old with interests in, and aptitude for, teaching, working with younger children, leading small groups, assisting with festival business, and performing. YATTs are trained by certified educators and award-winning music professionals to teach and mentor children aged 7 to 14 in the arts of acoustic music-making.

Some musical ability necessary, along with some relevant, applicable skills working with children; application required. YATTs lead or assist with songwriting, instrument instruction, creating bands, and guiding performances. YATTs also get to form bands and perform with other YATTs, as well as back up instructors in adult workshops.

Being a YATT is a 2.5 day commitment, beginning the Wednesday evening before the Festival. Weekend festival attendance is free. Lodging and hospitality are not included. 15+ Community Service credit/hours available.

In the interest of seeing YATTs grow into other festival volunteer and support roles, people can only be YATTs for two years. If you have been a YATT before, apply with care -- you may want to skip a year or two and serve later.

Register for all Youth Educational Offerings
online on our Education Registration Page.

Purchase a Parent Pass (for parents of students registered
for any education program) on our online Registration Page.