Mitchella Phipps (Beginning Guitar) is a singer/songwriter who returned home to Letcher County after studying sociology and women’s studies at Morehead State University. She began work with Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute, a youth film-making project, in 2017. As an AmeriCorp VISTA at WMMT-FM, she coordinated east Kentucky’s first Girls Rock Camp. Mitchella teaches guitar in two afterschool music programs: Junior Appalachian Musicians in southwest Virginia and Passing the Pick & Bow in Letcher County.
Russell Wright (Intermediate Guitar) is a Letcher County, Kentucky native and a versatile multi-instrumentalist. Russell took up the guitar in childhood and latched onto old time banjo largely through the influence of John Haywood. He performs solo at local venues and in duos with John Haywood and Kevin Howard. Together they perform as the Golden Cowboys of the Golden West. Russell taught and led jams at Hometown Music in Whitesburg and currently teaches guitar for Appalshop’s Passing the Pick and Bow afterschool music program.
Don Rogers (Advanced Guitar) has deep roots in Kentucky old time music. His grandfather and great uncles recorded on the Gennet label in the 1930s as the Kentucky String Ticklers. His father, Donnie, plays guitar with the Kentucky Clodhoppers. Don is a versatile multi-instrumentalist and singer who performs at regional festivals with Kentucky Wild Horse, with young traditional musician Jeri Katherine Howell, and with the Green Genes rock band. Don is also a songwriter whose work can be heard on Spirits of the Lonesome Hills and Winetown. Don’s song “I’m a Kentuckian” is fast becoming a new state anthem. Take a listen:
Sarah Kate Morgan (Mountain Dulcimer) hails from east Tennessee where here musical journey began at age 7. Her singing and dulcimer accompaniment embrace old time, folk and Americana repertoires. Sarah has performed throughout the southeast, including the Homer Ledford Dulcimer Festival, the Black Mountain Festival in North Carolina, and the Seedtime on the Cumberland Festival. In 2013 she won the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship at Winfield, Kansas. Sarah has also taught dulcimer at the John C. Campbell Folk School and the Steve Kaufman Acoustic Kamp. Sarah is currently studying traditional music and Appalachian Studies at Morehead State University.