SummerSongs 2018

SummerSongs 2018 Teachers and Classes

(Teachers AND CLASSES ARE shown below as they are determined.)

David Roth

David Roth has taught at nearly every WinterSongs and SummerSongs since the camps began in 1999, and now serves as the executive director. He’s a singer, songwriter, recording artist, community builder, and masterfully inclusive instructor (he also won Kerrville’s New Folk Award in 1986 and was the landslide top vote-getter at Falcon Ridge’s Emerging Artist Showcase in 1996).

David’s songs have found their way to Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, the Kennedy Center, Peter, Paul, & Mary and Kingston Trio CDs, NASA’s Goddard Space Center (David’s “Rocket Science” went up on the Space Shuttle “Atlantis” in 2009), and 13 CDs on the Wind River and Stockfisch (Germany) labels. He also writes regularly for the Songs of Love Foundation (NY), creating free custom-made songs for sick children and their families.

Featured on many of Christine Lavin’s seminal Rounder Records compilations, the former artist-in-residence at New York’s Omega Institute directs the Cape Cod Songwriters Retreats, the Cape’s Full Moon Open Mic, and has taught singing, songwriting, and performance at the Augusta Heritage workshops (WV), Moab Folk Camp (UT), Common Ground on the Hill (MD), the Rowe Camp and Conference Center (MA), Pendle Hill (PA), Lamb’s Retreat (MI), Wisconsin Stringalongs, the Woods Music and Dance Camp (Ontario), the Swannanoa Gathering (NC), the National Wellness Institute (WI), and for many other songwriting groups and associations around the country. David also leads musical tours to Ireland and rafting trips on the Middle Fork of Idaho’s Salmon River.


Songwriting 101 – David Roth

Never written a song before? Brimming with ideas that are all dressed up and no place to go? No ideas at all? Let’s roll up our sleeves together and start at the beginning. This all-levels class is geared especially towards those who are new to the craft but also to those who simply might like to strip down their own process a bit by looking through a different lens at this wondrous art form. We’ll write every day (I’m lyric-driven – I usually start with words and see where they lead me), brainstorm compelling individual themes worth writing about, examine the different elements that make a song, and engage in lively dialogue/exercises/demonstrations on topics like sculpting inspiration, developing universal truths from personal stories, tackling tough subject matter, and being honest.  We’ll also have fun in a safe, playful, supportive, permissive, and powerful environment and with any luck (luck: the intersection of opportunity and persistence) and as time allows we’ll get to hear some of these new creations during the week.  

Harmony for Everyone – David Roth and Glen Roethel

No better time in this world than now for some harmony! Join David and Glen in an all-levels exploration of singing together. This will include some basics on harmonic principles, locating the “wheelhouse” of your range, finding and holding your part, and singing fearlessly and whole-heartedly. We’ll explore 3-4 parts on as many songs as time will allow, and through our practice will start to train our ears to find our “place in the choir”.

Glen Roethel

Glen Roethel brings a fresh energy to the SummerSongs experience. He is the founder of the folk-rock harmony trio Gathering Time, and co-founder of, a website which presents news and commentary for the Folk, Roots & Singer-Songwriter communities. He teaches guitar, songwriting, harmony, and performance at SummerSongs and is known for his creative, fun multi-modal classes (which enrich players of all skill levels), plus legendary late-night jam-singalong-dance parties which ring out in the night after the evening coffeehouses and song circles have wrapped up.

He is an award-winning songwriter and 3-time nominee for emPower Posi Awards (Positive music), a jury-selected performer at NERFA and the 5th Annual Singer-Songwriter Cape May festival. He saw his song “Namaste” featured in a multi-media exhibit at the Presidential Museum in Texas for three months, and his songs, “People of the Earth” and “Morning Prayer” published in New Thought songbooks. (“People of the Earth” was later published in the Hal Leonard Corp songbook, 101 Inspiring Songs: The Ultimate New Thought Fakebook).

To Glen’s credit are six self-produced CDs (From Beginning to End, Smaller Things, Unfolding [solos, Inspireline Records]; Red Apples And Gold, Songs of Hope and Freedom [Gathering Time, Inspireline Records]; ambition [gush, Indigo Records]); beautiful compilations of new “healing” songs (Infinite Surface Of The Heart) and winter holiday season songs (More Than A Season) from the Posi label, [emPower Music & Arts]; as well as performances and co-writes on gorgeous and award-winning recordings by Penny Nichols, Sloan Wainwright, Sue Riley, and many others.



Harmony for Everyone – David Roth and Glen Roethel

No better time in this world than now for some harmony! Join David and Glen in an all-levels exploration of singing together. This will include some basics on harmonic principles, locating the “wheelhouse” of your range, finding and holding your part, and singing fearlessly and whole-heartedly. We’ll explore 3-4 parts on as many songs as time will allow, and through our practice will start to train our ears to find our “place in the choir”.

Coaching, Fun, and General Jammin’ Sing-Along Musical Mayhem!

with Glen Roethel.
Bring your favorite songs by the Beatles, Eagles, America, Steely Dan, Carole King, Temptations, CSNY, Dan Fogelberg, Penny Nichols, Sloan Wainwright, Bad Company, Van Morrison … We’ll all sing ’em, and bang on drums, tables and instruments to them!

Lucy Wainwright Roche

Lucy Wainwright Roche

Lucy Wainwright Roche is an American singer-songwriter and the daughter of Grammy Award winner Loudon Wainwright III and Suzzy Roche (The Roches). She is the half-sister of singer-songwriters Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright (whose late mother Kate was half of the Canadian folk duo Kate & Anna McGarrigle), and niece of Sloan Wainwright. After two EPs, 8 Songs and 8 More, Roche released her debut album, Lucy in October 2010, followed by four more studio releases.

She also stars as Jeri in the Stuff You Should Know television show.

[su_highlight background=”#14459c” color=”#ffffff”]CLASSES OFFERED BY THIS INSTRUCTOR[/su_highlight]

coming soon

Mark Dann

Mark Dann

Mark Dann is a professional recording engineer and sideman/bass player extraordinaire. For more than 30 years, he has worked with hundreds of artists at his studios in New York City and Woodstock, including engineering and playing on the legendary Fast Folk Musical Magazine recordings.


How to Prepare For and Successfully Record Your Project

An architect wouldn’t put up a building without a blueprint. Start to finish, Mark will take you through the whole process sequentially through the week ~ answering the basic questions before spending time and money: Play and sing at the same time or not? Record to a click or not? How to record simple demos at home first to answer the above questions. Have other musicians present at the first session or not? To have a producer or not, practicing routines, etc. Mark will go through everything you can do before you take the big leap. Then comes a discussion of several recording and production techniques – the pros and cons of click tracks, singing separately, overdubbing musicians, etc. Without a plan, you might be painting yourself into a sad-sounding corner. Mark will cover several possible scenarios, with lots of examples. Recording vocals from A to Z, editing, mixing, and mastering. This is a masters degree in five days from a highly seasoned and transcendent music maker.

Mid-Day Potpourri

Master musician, engineer, and SummerSongs staple Mark Dann will again offer his mid-day variety of different one-time classes which will include guitar setup and adjustments, basic chart writing, learn how to accompany anybody on the bass in one class – even if you’ve never held a bass in your hands before – and Garageband 101 (Mac users). Come to any or all!


Maura Kennedy

Maura Kennedy

Maura Kennedy, a veteran East Coast singer-songwriter known for her angelic voice and straight-to-the-heart melodies is one-half of the Americana duo, The Kennedys. She has released more than a dozen albums in the past twenty years. Artists including Nanci Griffith and Southside Johnny have covered her songs. In 2015 she teamed up with widely published California poet B.D. Love to create “Villanelle: The Songs of Maura Kennedy and B.D. Love,” a highly anticipated and unique collection.

Learn more at


The Rhythm Guitar Workshop – Maura Kennedy

Maura grew up with the guitar goal of being a great rhythm player. In her early bands, she kept the drummer right in tempo, and at a recent session in New York City, the bandleader told the bass player, “Stay in tempo! Follow Maura’s right hand!” Besides keeping a perfect groove, she specializes in coming up with parts that “sound like a whole band”. Her strong rhythm playing was the bedrock of many Nanci Griffith tours, and being a singer and songwriter, she knows how to use dynamics to bring out the lyric of a song and make one or two guitars get a big sound. There is a lot of music in that instrument, and Maura will show you how to get the most out of it. She’s also a truly caring teacher, and she brings out the fun in learning!

Performance Class: Overcome Jitters and Connect with Listeners – Maura Kennedy

Maura has been singing for audiences since she began staging her own shows on the back steps at the age of five. She’s been perfecting her stagecraft ever since, and her adult life has been spent traveling the US and Europe. She’s always shunned tricks and gimmicks, focusing on making her listeners feel the depth and breadth of a song as deeply and passionately as she does. To help you do the same, Maura will show you how to overcome nervousness before and during the performance, establish and keep a connection with every listener, and portray the kind of confidence that draws the audience in. Maura uses relaxation techniques, meditation, a panoply of stagecraft tips, and positive constructive feedback to show you how you can put your song across in the most effective way. You love the songs you sing, so overcome the obstacles that block you from showing that love to your listeners! Come prepared to play one song for the group.

Pete Kennedy. Photo: Stuart Berg

Pete Kennedy

Pete Kennedy is best known as the guitar-intensive half of folk-rock duo The Kennedys, but his experience spans a wide cross-section of American music. He toured the US and Europe extensively with Nanci Griffith, and he played an important role in the making of her Grammy-winning CD, “Other Voices, Other Rooms,” sharing lead guitar duties with Chet Atkins and Leo Kottke. He also toured for a year with Mary Chapin Carpenter; has played with the National Symphony and numerous Broadway road companies including “Cats” and “Evita”; and was a house musician at legendary roots music club the Birchmere. He studied with classical guitarist Larry Snitzler and Jazz legends Johnny Smith, Joe Pass, and Charlie Byrd – so Pete is uniquely able to answer just about any question you might have about making the most of your love and enthusiasm for the guitar.



The 5 Things That Will Improve Your Guitar Playing Now – Pete Kennedy

(Intermediate) The one simple exercise that will do the most to improve your playing. Triads: One bit of theory that will get you playing up and down the guitar neck. Modes: They’re a lot simpler than you think, and they will open up your solo ideas. Harmonics: Your guitar has a wider range than you think! Cool Chords: Pete shows some of the voicings that George Gershwin and Ray Charles used to kick the blues to the next level

Guitar Arranging for Singer Songwriters – Pete Kennedy

Pete has a lifetime of experience backing singer-songwriters on the road and in the studio. His early travels with Mary-Chapin Carpenter led to a steady gig as a member of Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra. He can be heard playing the opening guitar solo on Nanci’s Grammy-winning CD,”Other Voices, Other Rooms”, and his work with Nanci involved backing her numerous songwriter colleagues, including Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Guy Clark, and Townes Van Zandt as they would show up to collaborate with Nanci on a song or two. Each singer had their own artistic approach, and for Pete the challenge was always to “zone in” on that and play in a way that would frame their lyrics and bring out what they wanted to communicate to the listener. That education was invaluable when he joined forces with fellow Blue Moon orchestra alumnus Maura Boudreau and they became the married Kennedys. Each song on their dozen CDs started as a guitar arrangement, and that is how they are performed live. Pete is thankful to the many mentors who taught him to play with taste and imagination, and he looks forward to mentoring aspiring singer songwriters in developing their own guitar arrangements. This will be a “master class” format, which means that it will be driven by the students’ own performances. Play a song, and Pete will help you get the maximum depth and breadth from your guitar part.

Sloan Wainwright

Sloan Wainwright

Folk-pop artist Sloan Wainwright belongs to a musical dynasty of impossibly gifted singer-songwriters. Her family tree (brother and folk-music luminary Loudon Wainwright, sister-in-law Kate McGarrigle, nephew Rufus Wainwright, nieces Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche) reads like a who’s who of contemporary folk music. Sloan’s incredible gift is not only her unique songwriting ability but her dramatically voiced rendition of her original songs.

Defying standard categorization, singer/songwriter Sloan Wainwright consistently demonstrates her easy command of a variety of American musical styles — pop, folk, jazz, and blues — held together by the melodious tone of her rich contralto. The end result, a unique and soulful hybrid. With a solid and impressive discography of 10 original CD releases to her credit, Sloan continues to write, sing and perform live.

In addition, Sloan has written numerous musical compositions for theater and dance and teaches at many of the best-known master songwriter series and workshops. Sloan’s open spirit and first-hand experience are welcomed –year after year– in the musical classrooms of such prestigious song camps as The Swannanoa Gathering, SummerSongs, WinterSongs, WUMB Radio’s Summer Acoustic Music Week (SAMW), and Lamb’s Retreat.


Singing with Your Heart, Soul, & Body – Sloan Wainwright

Inside each of us lives and beautiful and unique instrument, so let’s sing together with joy and freedom! In this workshop we will move our bodies, soften our hearts, open our mouths and let our voices out to play. With an emphasis on vocal health and self care, we will use a combination of vocal warm-ups and work-outs – traditional and non-traditional – to help relax, release and strengthen the voice, making it more flexible and reliable. Individual attention is offered as well as to the group as a whole, and each student will be supported in developing their own personal vocal practice. This class is for singers and non-singers alike.

steven prasinos

Steven Prasinos

Steven is a clinical psychologist and singer/songwriter.  As a psychologist, Steven has developed various psychiatric programs and run a successful psychotherapy practice for more than thirty years.  He has published articles on humorous children, styles of loving and spiritual aspects of psychotherapy.   He has given numerous talks on topics such as dream interpretation and the psychology of music.  He is also a published science fiction author.   As a musician, Steven has been seriously writing songs for more than twenty years and is a longstanding member of the SummerSongs community.  He performs, as “Dr. Steve,” throughout Connecticut and fronts “The Dr. Steve Band.”  Songs such as “The Duck in the Truck and the Cow in the Now”, “International Man” and “Men” are often crowd favorites.  Steven lives with his wife Nancy in rural Connecticut.  They have two daughters and a pet rabbit.

Steven Prasinos Psychologist website:
Songwriter website:


Shadow Songs – by Steven Prasinos

In psychology “shadow” is a Jungian term referring to unknown, unsaid or unwanted aspects of the self.  The shadow is the source of inspiration and healing. To explore the shadow requires courage.  Without this courage, we are in a rut or have writers’ block.  With this courage, we find the seeds for songs that are fresh and energetic.  Such songs are healing for the songwriter and for like-minded listeners.   In this class, we will study the process of converting shadow material into song.   We will see how compassion, group support, and curiosity make the shadow less threatening.  We will see how universal shadow material is. As a class, we will support one another in transforming shadow seeds into songs.  These songs may be confessional (direct), narrative (stories), silly (exaggerated) and so on.  The class environment will be playful and supportive. Students will be free to choose to share their explorations or not.  The student will leave the class with a clearer understanding of how inspiration works and the treasures that lie within us.  The class is not group psychotherapy but rather a chance to experience how the heroic songwriter ventures into the cave of oneself for the sake of art.  

Sue Riley

Sue Riley

“A life built around music” may be the best way to sum up Sue Riley.

Sue believes in the power of music to touch hearts and heal lives, and she loves to share her passion for music through a wide variety of means.

Sue has been the Music Director of Unity Church of Clearwater for the past 14 years, and involved in their music for the past 26 years, helping many folks find their musical voice. She served as the chairperson of Unity Worldwide Ministries Music Team for 11 years, helping screen hundreds of songs for compilation songbooks.

Sue is a founder of emPower Music and Arts, which is dedicated to “Changing the World, One Song at a Time.” emPower hosts the yearly emPower Posi Awards and PosiFestival in Florida, which recognizes excellence in songwriting for artists who create songs with messages of peace, interfaith, and joyous living. The festival is now in its 12th year.

As one of the leaders in the genre of “Posi” Music (standing for Posi-Tive Music), Sue tours the country performing in PosiPalooza Concerts along with great artists such as Harold Payne, Tom Kimmel, Sloan Wainwright, David Roth, and many others.

A prolific singer-songwriter, Sue has created 8 CDs of original, award-winning, uplifting positive music.


Writing a Humorous Song ~ with Sue Riley

Having a humorous song in your set can go a long way towards endearing yourself to any given audience. Much humor will come from the delivery, but a songwriter can use tailored methods and tools to make a song funny. A humorous song is different than a parody and can even poke gentle fun at the songwriter if written in the first-person. In this class, we’ll explore different kinds of funny songs and the components that go into them, then we’ll build our own from the ground, up.

Vito Petroccitto Jr.

Vito Petroccitto Jr.

Vito Petroccitto Jr, another veteran of many Summer/Wintersongs and a guitar legend in New York’s Hudson Valley, brings twenty-five years of teaching experience and his unique blend of expertise and fun to camp.

For more info visit:

Vito Petroccitto has strong roots in music. Fathered by a musical legend in his own right, Vito’s life has centered around music and entertaining since his beginning. Raised by a gigging dad, becoming a musician seemed a natural career choice; a road that he has proudly taken.

Currently, Vito still fronts the band Four Guys in Disguise on occasion (which he co-founded in 1989), a collection of talented musicians who are recognized in the Hudson Valley region as area’s finest.

Vito boasts performances with musicians such as:
Merl Saunders, Professor Louie and the Cromatix, Tony Levin, Peter Levin, Jerry Marotta, Joe Bouchard, John Platania, Tommy Byrnes, Pete Seeger, Buddy Cage, John Hall and Larry Hoppen, Freebo, Severin Browne, David Roth, Sloan Wainwright, Penny Nichols, Ritt Henn, and many others.

Four Guys has opened for Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers, Orleans, The Rascals, The Chris Barrons Band (Lead Vocalist/Spin Doctors), and Deep Banana Blackout, among others.

Vito’s versatility in entertainment includes radio and television. He has written and performed parodies in conjunction with FM 101.5 WPDH and on a solo basis for more than fifteen years, cracking up listeners in the tri-state area with his unique style. Vito is a talented storyteller, incorporating musical genius to create a perfect blend of lyric and melody. A fine example would include “The Yankee Song,” a musical tribute co-written by Vito and members of the WPDH morning show in advance of the Yanks 1998 championship season. Mark Cooper and Mike Colvin composed clever lyrics in combination with Vito’s musical vision, creating a song that sparked pride in Yankee fans of all ages and struck a chord with the players as well. “The Yankee Song” could be heard in the Yanks clubhouse, radio stations from Albany to Long Island, and everywhere in between. Its notoriety peaked the interest of Al Trautwig, of MSG Network as well as WFAN and WPLJ’s Scott and Todd in New York City. The song is alive and well and is often requested by Vito’s audience during his live performances everywhere.

The self-proclaimed “greatest guitar player in the world” has been making music for more than 25 years. His comedic antics and mind-blowing solos have created a one of a kind act that keeps audiences begging for more. Known for his feel-good approach to entertainment, he thrills lay people and professionals alike.

Vito’s expansive musical career has included Four Guys CDs featuring Johnny Philibuster, Live Tracks, I Am America, and his latest solo efforts The Blare Horse Project (featuring some of his finest parody work to date), and the “Yankee Song” single CD (released in 2004). He also contributed to a number of other projects including WPDH and WPYXs parody compilations, as well as session work for a number of talented artists. Vito recently appeared on David Roth’s Think Twice double CD, released his own first solo effort entitled En Vito Veritas, and also a 2007 CD with the Four Guys in Disguise band.


Musician’s Palette. Music Theory – Vito Petroccitto Jr.

“The Musician’s Palette” is much like a painter’s palette of colors, only our paint you can hear! The painter has colors to paint a picture we can see. They’re beautiful colors, some straight, others blended together to create gorgeous tones for our eyes. The musician has the same thing, only our colors are sounds like chords and scales! In this course I will show you the relationship between notes, chords, scales, keys, and how they all work in concert together to bring us beautiful pictures we can hear! Please join me in exploring the wonderful views of sound. Applies to instruments of all kinds! It also will help you develop your jamming skills and give you more tools for your songwriting toolbox. If you’ve ever been stuck using the same four chords over and over again, this information might give you a new boost to get out of that rut! What you could walk away with: A better understanding of theory; Knowledge of which chords go together in any given key; Vito’s “Page of Relations” (which is like throwing the circle of fifths at the wall and having all of its secrets become totally apparent; An understanding of the Nashville number system and then some. I’ve been teaching guitar for many years so I’m sure there will be something to gain here! Let’s get to painting!!