Connie Deese Christman (pottery, basketry, crochet, art)
Connie Deese Christman was raised in Rowan County and graduated from South Rowan High. She attended East Carolina University and earned a BFA in Ceramic Arts with a minor in Fiber Arts and Education. She attended post graduate classes at UNC-G to finish off her teaching certification and acquired a position with the Rowan-Salisbury School System. She has been with the school system 20 years, the last nine of those years serving China Grove Middle School. Prior to that, she taught summer classes at Waterworks Visual Arts Center for five years.
Her immediate family consists of her mother, two sons, a daughter in-law, and a granddaughter. However, her extended family is very large and gathers often. She thinks she may be related to half of the county, and three-quarters of Faith, which is where she has lived sine 1993.
Connie participates in local festivals such as Chickweed and the Autumn Jubilee. She has created pottery for local businesses. Her ambition is to promote tourism to our area by
showcasing local businesses and history through thhe medium of clay.
Although she enjoys drawing and painting, her favorite art activities are making clay pots and weaving baskets. She also loves to crochet and spin yarn. One day she hopes to learn to knit
and play guitar.
Danny Casstevens (guitar, banjo,mandolin,dulcimer)
Danny was born in Elkin, NC in 1954 and raised in Yadkinville, NC. His first musical instrument was a bugle that he bought and payed for himself by selling greeting cards door to door at the ripe old age of five. He played trumpet in the elementary and high school bands. Danny started playing the guitar around 1967. He played at the World Championship Fiddler's Convention at Union Grove for the first time in 1972. He played with his parents in the Bluegrass Masters Band
in the late 70's and early 80's and then with Piedmont Bluegass in the late 80's. Danny played with the Hemrick Family Singers and Bobby Atkins and the Countrymen in the early 90's and Amazing Bluegrass Sounds in the late 90's. He has traveled throughout the South playing and
singing bluegrass, old-time, country, folk, and period music of the mid 19th century. Instruments
include guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass, dobro, dulcimer, and banjo. Danny has been teaching music since 1980.
Steve Harrill (voice, guitar, banjo, mandolin)
Steve Harrill is an incredibly experienced performer and teacher with 45 years
playing the guitar, banjo, and mandolin and 30 years as a professor of music.
Steve has a BA in Music Education from Pfeiffer University and a MM in Vocal
Performance from Converse College. He has been a professor of music at
Gardner Webb College, Isothermal Community College, Rowan Cabarrus Community College, and most recently, Pfeiffer University. Steve was the winner
of the Turner South Songwriting Competition in 1999 which resulted in a performance at Nashville's famous Bluebird Cafe. He has appeared on stage
with legends such as Snuffy Jenkins, Ralph Stanley, John Hartford, Doc Watson,
and Brian Sutton. In 2014 Steve was honored by receiving an invitation to play
banjo at the opening of the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, NC.
Tori Jones (fiddle)
Jones Sisters Band, Sweet Potato Pie Band
Tori Jones is a fiddler, singer and songwriter, guitarist, and mandolin player.
She performs with her family band, the Jones Sisters, and with the all-female
band Sweet Potato Pie. She began playing classical violin at age five, and soon after
switched to bluegrass fiddle. Now, at age 20, she plays a variety of styles including
classical, celtic, country, bluegrass, folk, and jazz. Her accomplishments include
performing at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium for Pickin' on the Plaza and performing at
the NC Blueberry Festival. This winter she will perform with her band at the White House's Holiday Tour. Tori is currently pursuing a Bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Music
from Berklee College of Music.
Carrie Webster (fiddle)
CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR of the MARK O'CCONNOR FIDDLE METHOD
Carrie grew up in a family that valued the arts. Her childhood
was filled with music festivals, concerts, museums, clogging lessons, and most importantly, violin lessons. At a young age, Carrie was inspired when she met
artists like Allison Krauss, Robin and Linda Williams, and many others. After
interning as a violinist with the Asheville Symphony for a year in high school,
she earned music scholarships to attend the North Carolina School of the Arts.
After college Carrie moved to the South Pacific and started listening to
and playing along with jukebox country music during her spare time in the Australian Outback (they love American country there!). After a refreshing
couple of years doing farm work "Down Under", she moved back to
North Carolina. Carrie started going to bluegrass pickin's around
Salisbury and became completely hooked on roots music and the rest is history....
Carrie and her husband Eric are ecstatic about opening Carolina Folkworks. She loves teaching folk music and passing on the tradition of an art that is as old as our country, and in some cases even older. Her long experience of performing and 15 years as an instructor make her an outstanding teacher. Carrie has played in several symphonies and chamber music groups as a classical violinist. As a fiddler, she has performed as a soloist with the Salisbury Symphony, won numerous fiddler conventions, been honored at the East Rowan Fiddlers Convention, helped found the award winning Dry Run Bluegrass Band, and performed for two years with the national touring female group Sweet Potato Pie. She has taught in the Salisbury Symphony's After-School Strings program and also taught privately in local music schools. Her students have played at nursing homes, for many area events and festivals, in biannual recitals and placed in competitions and fiddler's conventions. Carrie enjoys playing musical games with her younger students to make learning fun and also loves to teach the history of the songs and tunes her students play.
Ms. Webster's musical influences range from Tony Rice and the Seldom Scene, to Vassar Clements, Hunter Berry, Allison Krauss, Mike Hartgrove, and Chris Thile. She also gets lots of great ideas from her very musical husband, Eric Webster. Carrie is mom to her son Gabriel and toddler Adelaide, and dog "Bela".She is an avid gardener and bookworm.
Eric Webster (Bass)
Eric Webster has played bass for the signed band Mercury Dime who opened for 10,000 Maniacs and toured around the country. He has also played bass for the award winning band, Dry Run Bluegrass and the popular Salisbury-area band, Number 9 Coal. Eric's incredibly steady timing and understanding of music theory make him a very sought-after musician in this region.