Whitt Mead

Apprenticeship Description
Mead and Hoffman played together for a period of eight months, with Mead instructing Hoffman on different fiddle keys, tuning approaches and musical arrangements. Mead employed the traditional person-to-person teaching method, and also used Skype to teach when meeting was not possible. Hoffman learned to play without musical notation, which allowed her to play spontaneously and by ear—both important elements of old-time traditional fiddling. Mead also discussed the historical context of different fiddle tunes, helping Hoffman to learn important contextual information about the composer and style of each song. Mead and Hoffman performed together at three community events and also visited senior fiddling artists in the Ohio Valley.

Master Biography
Whitt Mead is an experienced musician who is committed to promoting, performing and supporting old-time music throughout Ohio and the surrounding regions. Mead plays multiple string instruments, including fiddle and banjo, and has performed at dances and festivals, even organizing a banjo and fiddle contest at the Appalachian Mountain Music Festival, Waynesville, Ohio. Mead is committed to both old-time music and the culture it champions. He believes in the importance of reinforcing the community aspect of fiddling, which he demonstrates by playing at square dances and community events while also recording with the traditional Appalachian string band, “The River Rats.”

Apprentice Biography
Ellie Hoffman, even though she is of a young age, is an accomplished musician who plays both the violin and the fiddle. She received several accolades for her musical talents at the Appalachian Mountain Music Festival in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Hoffman is interested not just in performing music, but also in learning about the historical periods that accompanied the music she plays.

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