Preparations for the 48th Walnut Valley Festival are well under way and that includes the Wednesday Workshops for musicians.

Each year the festival offers attendees the opportunity to study with top musicians in bluegrass and acoustic music. The 2019 menu will include classes for finger style and flat pick guitar, old-time fiddle, mandolin, clawhammer-style banjo, hammer and mountain dulcimer and even bluegrass vocals.

This year’s instructors include the first woman to win the National Finger Style Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival, guitarist Muriel Anderson, and the 2017 International Finger Style Champion, Christie Lenée. Tim May returns to handle flat pick guitar style. Ruth Smith will instruct the hammer dulcimer players, while Bing Futch is scheduled to share his knowledge of mountain dulcimer technics. Betse Ellis welcomes fiddlers to her class, “Fiddle Phraseology.” Chris Jones will assist singers in a multitude of topics in the “Bluegrass Vocals” class. Mandolin musician Steve Smith will be exploring vocal and jam tunes in numerous music styles from bluegrass to roots/Americana. Clawhammer banjo players can expand their skill by spending the day with Steve Smith.

“I am really excited about this year’s workshops,” workshop coordinator Karen Deal said. “We’ll have some of the best instructors in their fields right here in Winfield. This year’s instructors plan to cover everything from technique to practice habits as well as new songs to teach participants.”

The Wednesday Workshops are on Sept. 18. For complete descriptions of the workshops and cost or to register, go to the WVA website at, call the festival office at (620) 221-3250, or stop by 918 Main St., in Winfield.

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