2024 Workshop Program

The following is the list of workshops for the 2024 Native Rhythms Festival. All of these workshops are free, except as noted, where a nominal fee is charged to cover the cost of materials the attendee will take away from the workshop. All of these workshops have limited enrollment (most limited by the space in the workshop tent). Early (on-line) registration is strongly encouraged.

Workshop Registration

Use the instructions at the bottom of this page for advanced registration for individual workshops. Seats in all workshops will be allocated on a first-come/first-serve basis, beginning with advanced registration from this page. Any remaining seats (not allocated by advanced registration) will be available for on-site registration on a first-come/first-serve basis at the workshop check-in tent. Once all available seats have been allocated, a waiting list will be established for each workshop.

When registering, please limit your selections to 5 workshops that you actually plan to attend. PLEASE do not register for workshops that you “might” want to attend. It’s not fair to others if workshops reach their stated capacity only because numerous people who aren’t sure they will attend have registered, and others who really want to attend are blocked from registering. If you have more than 5 workshops that you want to attend, list those additional workshops in the stand-by section of your registration message and you will be placed on the waiting list for them.

Upon receipt of your registration request message, our workshop registrar will send an e-mail to you to confirm your registration or indicate your position on the waiting list. That confirmation message will come from the e-mail address workshops@nativerhythmsfestival.com. Nothing else will be accepted as confirmation of your registration. You may wish to print out your confirmation e-mail message from workshops@nativerhythmsfestival.com when it arrives, and bring it with you to the festival.

In the past, some of our flute enthusiasts have registered for all workshops, including those they did not actually plan to attend. This prevented people wanting to attend those workshops from registering. We ask all to please be respectful of others. Do not sign up for workshops that you don’t definitely plan to attend.

On-line advanced registration will open when the workshop schedule is published and closes at the end of the day on Sunday, November 3, 2024. A waiting list will be maintained when the workshop capacity is reached.

A workshop check-in tent will be set at the entrance to the large workshop tent. All advanced (pre-registered) registrants must check-in at the workshop check-in tent upon arrival at the festival on the day of their workshops to confirm their presence and their plan to participate in the workshops for which they have registered. Seats not confirmed in this manner will be reopened and made available to those on the stand-by list.

Although most of the workshops are designated as “space available” and likely will be able to accommodate all who wish to participate, we request that those who wish to participate in them submit an advanced registration request below so that we will have an idea of the number of people to expect and can plan accordingly.

Index of 2024 Workshops

Descriptions of 2024 Workshops

Title: Basic Introduction to the Native American Style Flute
Leader: Indian River and Riverwind Flute Circles’ members
Fee: Free
Scheduled Date/Time: Anytime
Program Length: Variable
Location: Main festival grounds near the Workshop Tent
Class Size: No limit

A separate vendor-style booth will be set up near the main workshop tent for on-going instruction in the basics of playing the Native American Style Flute. Skilled players, including volunteers from the Indian River and Riverwind Flute Circles, will rotate in leading this workshop. Participants are encouraged to bring their own flutes. Instruction will include hand placement in properly holding the flute and covering the playing holes, mouth placement and basic breathing techniques, playing the basic scale, and other basic playing techniques. Instruction techniques will vary by instructor.

Title: What You Didn’t Know About the Cherokee Trail of Tears
Leader: John Ellis
Fee: Free
Scheduled Date/Time: TBA
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

What most people know about the Cherokee “Trail of Tears” can be expressed in a single sentence: “The army gathered up the Cherokee people and forced them to walk nearly 700 miles to Oklahoma, where many died – giving us the name Trail of Tears.” Few know that the course actually began when President Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase, partly to have land west of the Mississippi to which the Eastern tribes could be relocated. Or that the Cherokee removal resulted from a treaty signed by former tribal leaders who had no authority to speak for the Cherokee people. Or that Principal Chief John Ross’ wife died of exposure after giving up her blanket to a cold child. And that there was not a single trail.

In this workshop, John will walk you through all that the Cherokee people did to attempt to satisfy the American expectations to be able to remain in their historic homeland. But how their successes actually made the Whites even more envious of what they had accomplished, and ever more aggressive in pushing them out, even after the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in favor of Cherokee sovereignty.

This workshop will be jam-packed with information to give attendees a new understanding of this tragedy of American history.

John Ellis first learned of his family tree’s Cherokee branch when researching for a junior high school genealogy project that emphasized the students’ family nationalities and ethnicities. The story he learned was about a family who traveled the Trail of Tears until they “deserted” the trail near Springfield, MO, his maternal family’s home, and where he was born. Over the years he has learned much about the history of the “removal” and wants to share that knowledge in this workshop.

The suffering on the Trail of Tears provided the inspiration for his first CD, called “Echoes From the Trail”, a tribute to the memory of those who were forced to make the journey, those who survived and those who didn’t. It consists of a dozen songs from the old Cherokee Hymn Book (first published in the Cherokee syllabary in 1829), all to the tune of familiar hymns. It was recorded by Johnny Kee, John’s stage name, honoring the Kee branch of his family tree.  

Title: Rhythmic Connections: Drumming & Fluting Together
Leader: Holly Red Feather of Painted Raven
Fee: Free
Scheduled Date/Time: TBA
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

Enjoy connecting through rhythm with Holly Red Feather of Painted Raven (the Native American flute and world music due of Annette Abbondanza and Holly Harris). We will connect through learning basic African Djembe drunning skills. This will be followed by each individual having an opportunity to play flute with the group providing supportive drumming. Participants are encouraged to bring their own flute and/or hand drums. A limited number of Djembes will be available.

Drawing inspiration from Mother Earth, Native culture, nature and wildlife, and combining the ancient Native American flute with today’s modern instruments and musical styles, is what creates the signature sound of award-winning Painted Raven, the Native American flute and World Music project of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Annette Abbondanza, joined by flutist and percussionist, Holly Harris.

Title: The Art of Storytelling
Leader: Dr. Frankie Rinaldi
Fee: Free
Scheduled Date/Time: TBA
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds
Class Size: Space available

What I will cover in this workshop…

  • What is story telling?
  • Why should one tell a story?
  • How to choose a story and how stories will often pick you.


Then I will share two stories as examples.

I’ll go over the dos and don’ts of telling a story and cover ideas for where and when stories can be healing. Noting that humor always heals. If time permits, one-minute stories can be shared by the workshop participants.

Dr. Rinaldi has been a Storyteller with the Brevard Theatrical Society from 1984-2018. She is the author of six books and shares stories at organizations such as Zonta, Rotary, and church organizations.

She has conducted storytelling classes at the Sheppard Center and Senior centers.

Website: www.redfoxpublishing.webs.com

Personal Professional Instruction

Accelerate your flute playing by taking private lessons from one of our headlining recording artists. One-on-one or as a couple, take advantage of the opportunity to get personal guidance in a private lesson.

The following performers have agreed to offer private, personal instruction for a fee. Contact the individual artist to make arrangements for your personal lesson. These artists will be available throughout the weekend at the festival site, or contact them by e-mail to make arrangements prior to festival weekend.

Randy Granger:

Jonny Lipford:



2024 On-Line Workshop Registration

To complete your on-line workshop registration, complete and submit the following form. When your registration message is received, a confirmation message will be sent back to you. If you don’t receive a confirmation within 48 hours, your message was most likely lost and not received. If this happens, please resubmit.

If multiple people are registering for the same workshops, you may put more than one name on the name line. If multiple people are registering for different workshops, to avoid confusion, please provide separate information for each person. Required fields are indicated by a red asterisk.

Reminder: Workshop pre-registration closes at the end of the day on Sunday, November 3, 2024.