Ola Belle Reed Song School: A Songwriting Retreat

Ola Belle Reed Song School: A Songwriting Retreat

The Ashe County Arts Council welcomes musicians Cathy Fink and Laurelyn Dossett for a weekend retreat of songwriting, making music, and celebrating the work of Ola Belle Reed with the Ola Belle Song School. The workshop will be held at the Ashe Civic Center Friday, April 21 through Sunday, April 23. It is open to songwriters of all genres and styles, and all accompaniment instruments are welcomed.

The goals of the Song School are:

  • to honor Ola Belle Reed as a songwriter, storyteller and humanist who used her craft and art to build community and love,
  • to connect traditional music and story to contemporary songwriting that builds on that tradition,
  • to use Ola Belle’s songs and life as a springboard for teaching songwriting with intention. That means your songwriting not only does something for you, but it does something for others.

Though Ola Belle’s music is steeped in traditional Appalachian sounds, they loan themselves to other treatments. Songwriters of other genres may want to expand their own work and versatility with this retreat.

Instructors Cathy Fink and Laurelyn Dossett bring a wealth of experience in performing, teaching, and songwriting. Cathy Fink is a GRAMMY® Award winner and her song “Names,” an anthem for the AIDs Memorial Quilt, has been recorded by over 30 artists internationally and won a Mid Atlantic Songwriter’s Association Award. She is a Grand Prize Winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

Laurelyn Dossett lives and writes in the piedmont of North Carolina, and her songs tend to reflect the stories of the region, both traditional and contemporary. One of the most sought-after voices in creative collaborations, she has toured with Rhiannon Giddens, folk legend Alice Gerrard and composer/violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain.

Cathy and partner Marcy Marxer, spent many a visit and jam session with Ola Belle and Bud Reed, becoming close friends. Ola Belle gave the duo her song “Hopelessly In Love With You” to make the first recording.

Workshop space is limited to fifteen participants; early registration is encouraged. $200 adults; $150 students. Tuition assistance and limited partial scholarships available. Contact the Ashe County Arts Council to reserve your space; credit cards are accepted. Call 336.846-2787 for more information or to register.

Application Form 2017
Financial Assistance Information 2017


Apr 21 2017 - Apr 23 2017


07:00 PM - 05:00 PM


$200 adults; $150 students
Ashe Civic Center


Ashe Civic Center
962 Mt Jefferson Rd, West Jefferson, NC 28694