Bluegrass in the Gorge

We’re working on some plans for future in-person gatherings…


Laurie Lewis is a Grammy Award-winning musician as well as internationally renowned as a singer, songwriter, fiddler, bandleader, producer and educator. Immerse yourself in a blissful world of bluegrass by joining Laurie and friends for a 4-day, 3 night workshop.  We have twelve spaces per instrument, so don’t wait too long to register!

Laurie (guitar & voice) will be joined by five outstanding musicians: Tom Rozum (mandolin), Brandon Godman (fiddle), Justin Hiltner (banjo), Eli West (guitar) & Haselden Ciaccio (bass)!

Want to know more? Check out the tabs below for instructor bios, schedule and costs.

We can’t wait to hear the sounds of bluegrass in the Gorge!




 Laurie Lewis

is a dedicated teacher, both in one-on-one sessions and in workshop settings. She has taught fiddle, guitar, songwriting, vocal styles, and harmony singing for many years. She organized and ran Bluegrass Week at Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, WV, for ten years, and coordinated the very popular Bluegrass at the Beach in Nehalem Bay, OR, for the full fourteen years of its existence. Laurie’s awards include a Grammy for True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe in 1997 and  Female Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Awards in 1992 and 1994. She and Tom Rozum were nominated for a Grammy for their collection of duets, The Oak and the Laurel, in the category of Best Traditional Folk Album of 1995.



Tom Rozum

has played mandolin professionally for 43 years, recording and touring internationally with Laurie Lewis for the last 30 (having appeared many times on A Prairie Home Companion and The Grand Ole Opry). Always favoring musicality over flash, he has contributed his mandolin playing and singing to over twenty-five albums with Laurie (two of which were nominated for Grammys). He has also taught mandolin at over a dozen music camps.

“A quintessential stylist who creates mandolin breaks with the same passion and precision Monet put into his brush strokes, Tom Rozum ought to be recognized as a mandolinist of the first order.” –– Mandolin Magazine




Brandon Godman

is a Kentucky native, master fiddler, and relatively new transplant from Nashville to San Francisco. He has been playing fiddle for over 20 years, and has a long, professional resume spanning many styles of music. He has toured with Karl Shifflet, Doyle Lawson, David Peterson, Blue Moon Rising, Dale Ann Bradley, and Laurie Lewis, as well as mainstream country music acts.  Due to this variety, a fiddle course with Brandon can touch on everything from Kenny Baker and Stephane Grappelli, to technical discussions and philosophies of fiddling- he is a true fiddle geek!

Read lots more about Brandon here:


Justin Hiltner

is a banjo player and songwriter based in Nashville, TN. His high-energy, Scruggs-style picking is unique in its combination of traditional aesthetic and progressive, outside-the-box thinking. In 2016 he was nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Instrumentalist Momentum award. He has performed across the country with artists such as Roland White, Jim Lauderdale, Sierra Hull, Missy Raines, and many more – at venues from the Station Inn and the Grand Ole Opry to FreshGrass Festival, ROMP, and beyond. A veteran instructor, he has been teaching private lessons for the majority of his professional career, leading workshops at festivals and on the road, facilitating slow jams, and teaching at youth camps. He is the Director of the California Bluegrass Association’s 2018 Youth Academy and the social media director for



Eli West

is well-known for his work with Norwegian fiddler Olav Mjelva, Cahalen MorrisonJayme Stone and more. This Seattle-based singer and multi-instrumentalist oozes understated talent. Eli’s playing both grounds and pushes ensembles with his interest in angular phrasing and non-traditional improvisation within the historic precedents of bluegrass and old-time music.

Eli’s recent debut solo album, The Both, sees him taking the lead, on electric and acoustic guitars, banjo, and pedal steel, whilst remaining a thoughtful collaborator – here with some of his close friends and personal heroes, like jazz great Bill Frisell, new Americana discovery Dori Freeman, and Anna & Elizabeth.

The album focuses on the story of his two grandfathers; one a decorated WWII prisoner of war, the other a Brethren preacher and peace advocate. They couldn’t have differed more, but together they shared a family. In this spirit, the theme of the album is duality: the first half showcases carefully built arrangements of six American folk songs, the second revisits these as instrumental passages, revealing new sides to the other.

Eli grew up on the receiving end of music camps in Western Washington state, and so it feels quite right to come full circle to camp again.

‘West is an artist overflowing with ideas and music’ – Green Man Review

‘Eli West is an exceptional singer, guitar player and musician, really deep stuff’ – Martin Simpson


Haselden “Hasee” Ciaccio

Haselden (Hasee / “HAY-zee”) Ciaccio (“see-AH-ko”) is a performer and educator residing in Johnson City, TN. Born and raised on the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Hasee made her way to the Mountain South in 2010 to pursue a study in traditional Appalachian music. Touring around the United States and beyond, she has performed at such notable venues as New York City’s Lincoln Center, the Grand Ole Opry, and PBS’s Song of the Mountains. Sharing the stage with artists among the likes of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Vince Gill, Molly Tuttle, Ricky Skaggs, and David Grisman, Hasee moves listeners at festivals, in concert halls, and intimate venues alike.

Her debut album “HAY” was released in Fall of 2018, featuring traditional stringband music, and top performers of the Oldtime realm. Hasee was a nominee for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the Year award in the Momentum Award category. Currently touring with Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands, among other Bluegrass, Oldtime, and Roots Music acts, Hasee drives the upright bass with honed skill and conviction well beyond her years, and brings Appalachian Flatfoot Dance to the stage with sincerity behind every step.

Read more of Hasee’s bio


Testmonials from past participants:

“Bluegrass in the Gorge was one of the best music camps I’ve ever attended. The setting is beautiful and the food is great but what I appreciated the most was the structure – the workshops were so well-designed for learning. Sometimes camps have a frenetic pace but here we weren’t rushed. I had time during the camp to revisit what I’d learned so far. I came back feeling like I’d been at a music retreat – refreshed and inspired, not exhausted.” – Linda Leavitt

“After many years of admiring Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, I was so excited to have a chance to learn from them. I was not disappointed. They filled our days with wonderful music and vast knowledge of the bluegrass genre. I came away inspired and excited for the next opportunity to work with them!”  – Anna Berry

“What I loved most about this weekend at Menucha was the personal touch everyone received from Laurie and her friends. In the rhythm guitar workshops, Laurie offered useful tips to each individual player tailored to their skill level. I know I came home with a few gems! I also loved that she stressed the importance of a rhythm guitar player, whether or not they had interest in learning to play leads. And the harmony workshop where we all learned to sing A Beautiful Life was such a great way to top off a wonderful few days of Bluegrass in the Gorge!”  – Molly Westmoreland

“I went to Menucha to see Laurie and Tom and was happy to listen to stories and learn a few things.  Both are warm, friendly, inclusive people who have made a study of bluegrass music for all of their adult lives. I try to see them when they come this way and am never disappointed.  Their music, their detailed understanding of it and their ability to share with others are simply top notch.  As someone who likes to sing, I was especially happy that I went.” – Elliott Picciotto

“I had been really looking forward to meeting and having classes with both Brandon Godman and Justin Hiltner, because I play both fiddle and banjo. Getting to meet and interact with them was my favorite experience at camp. I was very satisfied with their classes, as well.” – Donna Dunaif

“I came away from the experience with a better sense of serenity and community than I had when I got there.  The picturesque setting and helpful, informative staff made Menucha a wonderful retreat from the bustle of daily life.  The great musical instruction and enthusiastic students made Bluegrass in the Gorge a one-of-a-kind chance for hands-on learning with Laurie Lewis and her friends.” – Nora Candey

Click this link to read Nora Candey’s in-depth review published in the Oregon Bluegrass Association’s Bluegrass Express newsletter: Bluegrass in the Gorge Review Article for OBA newsletter summer 2018


2019 Schedule!  We’re working on the 2020 schedule but this will give you an idea of how you’ll spend your time at Bluegrass in the Gorge.
3:00-5:00 pm Arrival and Check-in
5:15 pm Welcome and Orientation to Menucha
6:00 pm Dinner
7:15 pm Welcome by Instructors, break up into jamming units facilitated by instructors
8:00 am Breakfast
9:30-10:30 am Classes –

  • Banjo: Moving Sixths to Unlock Moving Up and Down the Neck
  • Intro to Fiddling- how to develop a good technique that will pay off for years
  • Duet to It (the art of the vocal duet)
  • George in the Gorge: why the Shuffler style matters now, more than ever
10:45 -11:45 am Classes –

  • Fiddle Backup- how to fiddle behind a singer and be the Honey of the Bluegrass Baklava
  • Rhythm Guitar- Keeping it all Together
  • Mandolin: the Little King of the Bluegrass Instruments
12:00 pm Lunch
1:30-2:45 pm Classes –

  • Songwriting on the Banjo
  • A Fistful of Mando Chords
  • When to say no: coping mechanisms for the sad fact that not all songs are good candidates for a guitar break
  • Harmonious singing with Laurie
3:00-4:15 pm Band Dynamics: How does a band work together? All instructors and students
5:00 pm Bird Walk with Justin Hiltner! Meet at the front door of Wright Hall. This guy knows his birds! (Menucha has a few sets of binoculars if you forget yours)
6:00 pm Dinner
8:00 pm Music, music, music -performances and jamming
8:00 am Breakfast
9:30-10:30 am Classes –

  • Make That Tune Yours- how to develop a fiddle tune and make it your own
  • Banjo Chord Shapes = Chord Maps
  • Foggy Mt. Special: Everything you need to know about bluegrass guitar
  • Critical Listening: What the Heck Is Bluegrass?
10:45 -11:45 am Classes

  • Hop in the skillet: Placeholder solos and how to take guitar breaks before you know how
  • The Finer Points of Mando Picking
  • Just the Kick: Learn a Few Classic Banjo Kick-offs
  • More rhythm guitar
12:00 pm Lunch
1:30-2:45 pm Classes –

  • Student-led Banjo Exploration
  • Songwriting workshop with Laurie
  • The Versatile Fiddle
  • Mandolin Back (“No, YOU back up!”)
3:00-4:15 pm Singing! All together
7:00 pm Dinner
8:00 pm Music, music, music -performances and jamming
8:00 am Breakfast
9:30 am Classes
10:45 am Grand finale
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Head for home, but come see us again next time!