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Our Instructors

Gary Cook

I guess you could say that music is in Gary's DNA. He has been singing since he could talk. His first stage appearance was at the age of 3 at a local hootenanny. As a young kid he showed interest in the bass but since he didn't have one, he would pretend by playing the door facings. At the age of 9 he started on the bass, having to use a step stool to play since the instrument was bigger than he was. From that point he took off and hasn't looked back. 

Gary first played for several years in his grandfather's band Downhome Bluegrass. They played shows all across the Midwest. During this time Gary was nominated three times for SPBGMA Midwest Bass Player of the Year. The group also won the Instrumental Group of the Year title in 2001. During these years, he had the privilege to learn from his grandfather and the other members of the band. Following the passing of his grandfather, in 2011 he helped establish his own group, Spur of the Moment Bluegrass, which played for several years across the region. 

Gary is a founding member of the band Spillwater Drive, which began in early 2019, and is loving every minute of it. He enjoys the fact that he is surrounded by a group of talented musicians (much more talented than he is) who push him to be better, all while having fun. He claims there's never a dull moment around these guys!

When not playing bluegrass, Gary has worked for the past thirteen years as a high school social studies and speech/debate teacher, where he has coached numerous state champions and national finalists. He is transitioning to teaching at the community college level this fall. He is active in his church, spends way too much time on social media, and also spends time following his nephews' sports teams. He is looking forward to working with Ozark Mountain Music Association this summer to provide those attending the camp his unique take on the music and the bass. 

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Tony Hinkle

Tony Hinkle has over 30 years of experience in the music industry as an entertainer, event management and production. He has developed educational programs for mid-18th century and Civil War era music. He has toured with several area bands and plays at festivals in the 4-state area with his current band, the Flyin Buzzards. He is a utility player for Nashville recording artist Shawn Campbell. Tony serves on the Board for Ozark Mountain Music and Greater Ozarks Bluegrass Association.

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Sharry Lovan

Sharry Lovan is from Willow Springs MO. She has been in the music business for many years She is the Vice President of HOBA (Heart of the Ozarks Bluegrass Association) in West Plains, MO.  She has operated a bluegrass show in Willow Springs, MO called "Bluegrass at its Finest” at the Star Theatre since 2014 and it is still going strong!  She is the bass player and band leader for Stringed Union and they played at Bluegrass & Barbeque in 2019.  She has been married to Jack Lovan  for 33 years and she loves playing music and singing.  She gives God all the glory for what talent He has given her! 

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Wayne Massengale

Wayne Massengale was the Arkansas State Fiddle Champion at age 17, as well as a founding charter member of the Arkansas Fiddlers Convention and host to many fiddle contests. He has been a legendary fiddle player in the Branson show industry for 37 years including the Roy Clark, Country Tonite and has been with Grand Country since 2005.

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Nathan McAlister

Nathan McAlister has spent the last 25 years studying traditional fiddle and banjo styles and is on the leading edge of old-time square dance music in the Ozarks. He blends a repertory of traditional Ozark fiddle tunes with an energetic raw approach to southern American fiddle and banjo music. He currently teaches fiddle and banjo at the Acoustic Shoppe in Springfield, MO.

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Lillyanne McCool

Lillyanne McCool is an 18-year-old banjo player from Mountain View, AR, who has one foot planted in the old-time world and the other in bluegrass. She is remarkably proficient and accomplished on the clawhammer style, winning 4 state championships and the coveted National Old Time Banjo in 2018 at the tender age of 15.  She is best known in the old-time world for her work with the award-winning Twang All Girl String Band but can also be found playing with her family string band, The UpJumpers.  She shares an equal passion for bluegrass and three finger banjo.  She released her first solo cd, Back To The Ozarks, in December of 2020 which features both bluegrass and old time as well as her songwriting abilities. Lillyanne enjoys teaching banjo and watching her students fall in love with the banjo and music of the mountains that she calls home.

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Mike Micham

Mike Micham has been performing with his wife for over 30 years. He is proficient in guitar, fiddle, banjo as well as comedy and dance. His emphasis is folk and Irish music. His specialty at camp is teaching kids a love of music, stage presence and to have fun! He will also help to organize the final show at the end of camp.

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Stephen Mougin

Most musicians wear many hats, and Stephen “Mojo” Mougin is no exception. Mojo is best known as a member of the Sam Bush Band and a sought-after instructor. But he is also an award-winning producer and engineer, a label head, mentor, songwriter, band coach, and more. Mojos’ commitment to high standards and dedication to everything he works on have made him an in-demand partner and collaborator for any creative endeavor in the world of acoustic music. He is that rare musician that can help grow a band or artist from developing talent to professional quality performer; and shepherd artistic visions from one end of the creative process to the other. If a new bluegrass band has caught your ear in recent years, or a new song given you goose-bumps, it’s very likely that Mojo had something to do with it. 

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Dennis Pritchard

Dennis is a traditional old time fiddler who started playing at the age of 13.  He was inspired when he learned his maternal grandfather Foster Barnes played the fiddle.  He had already passed by the time I was born.

Learning to play by ear, he would listen to records and attend local jams. He has performed with:
Table Rock Opry, Apple Town Barleen Family Country Music Show, Spring Creek Boys, Missouri Boatride and at Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama as Fiddlin Jake. He is also proud to say that he has shared the stage with these great musicians: Dean Webb, Carl and Pearl Butler, Red Sovine, Vernon Oxford and Billy Grammer.
He says he was truly blessed that his parents, Efton and Gertie Pritchard were supportive of his endeavor along with great mentors like: Eddie Asher, J.R. McNeil and Louis Holt.
As a traditional old time fiddler Dennis has played many hours at round and square dances which he has truly enjoyed.
 

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David Scrivner

David Scrivner is one of the Ozarks’ premiere fiddle players with more than 30 years of experience. His repertoire includes more than 400 fiddle tunes, focusing mainly on Missouri and Ozarks fiddling. The Missouri Folk Arts Program recognizes him as a Master Fiddler for its Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program.

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Shelly Smith

Shelly Smith grew up in a musical family and has been performing since she was very young. As a teenager, she spent 8 years as a vocalist and instrumentalist on the Denny Hilton Show at Lake of the Ozarks. After college, she became more involved in bluegrass when she and her husband helped start the band Swift Kick. Later, in 1997, she became a founding member of Lonesome Road, with whom she still performs as bassist and vocalist. Shelly lives in Ponce de Leon with her husband, Don, and their son, Ison.

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Sophia Wright

Sophia Wright is an Alumni of Ozark Mountain Music and camp. She is proficient in guitar and fiddle. She attends Bethel University in TN as a Music Business major and is a member of the Bethel Bluegrass Band. She is also the guitar player for Southern Strings Bluegrass Band. She has been playing Old Time and Bluegrass music around schoolhouses and venues in the Ozarks for 10 years. She has been an instructor for Ozark Mountain Music since 2018.

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Brett Dudenhoeffer

Brett Dudenhoeffer is an Alumni of Ozark Mountain Music and camp. He is proficient in fiddle and guitar. He has been playing the fiddle since he was 3 years old and has a flair for entertaining. He is the fiddle player for The Finley River Boys. He performs regularly throughout the Ozarks. He has been an instructor for Ozark Mountain Music camp since 2018.

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Kim Lansford

Coming soon.

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David Maravilla

David Maravilla has been involved with Bluegrass since the late 1970s, playing guitar with various Missouri-based bands. He started with Dub Crouch (uncle of Tim and Dennis Crouch), and then joined Frank Ray and the Cedar Hill Grass. In the 1980s he helped start the band, Second Wind, whose personnel included Rhonda Vincent and later, Alison Krauss. Afterward, David was invited to join Alison in her band, an early edition of Union Station, to enter the 1988 SPBGMA International Band Contest in Nashville, which they won. In 1997, David became a founding member of Lonesome Road, who also won the SPBGMA contest in 1999. After many years, he remains with Lonesome Road and also serves the Greater Ozarks Bluegrass Society as president.

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Mike McAdoo

Mike McAdoo is an accomplished lead guitarist who has played in over 5,000 Branson Shows, performed with the Osmonds, Tony Orlando, the Texas Tenors & won “Best Lead Guitarist at the Branson Entertainment Awards 3 years in a row. He has been recorded on over 150 albums and has published three guitar instrumental and vocal CDs as well as several performance CDs of his own. He has been profiled in ‘Guitar Player, Wood & Steel & Peavey Monitor’ Magazines and is a Taylor Guitar & Ernie Ball strings endorser. He is married to his beautiful, long time wife, Kim and they have a grown daughter, Mikayla.

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Crystal McCool

Crystal McCool has been playing since she was a small child traveling with her family band, Springhill Bluegrass.  She plays bass for many bands in her area and has been a contracted musician for 20 years at the Ozark Folk Center. She teaches bass and enjoys sharing her love of bluegrass and old time music with beginning musicians.  She is passionate about coaching young bands.  Crystal has coached bands that have won such awards as The Rising Legend Award, State Fair Talent, The Ozark Folk Center Youth Band of the Year, Arkansas Country Music Award Bluegrass Band of the Year nominations, the KSMU/Silver Dollar City Youth In Bluegrass Band Competition, and many others.  

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Isaac McCutchens

Isaac McCutchens studied mandolin under the legendary Ozark musician, Sam Coffee and Bill Monroe at his camp in Nashville. He has played with several bands including the Mountain Bloomers, Greenland Station, Dogwood Canyon, and Southern Strings who has placed in the top 5 in the Youth in Bluegrass Competition at Silver Dollar City. He teaches mandolin lessons in and around Harrison, Arkansas.

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Jeff Michel

Jeff is a long time native of the Ozarks.  He serves as President of the Board of the Mountain Grove School House Jam.  His expertise in Old Time fiddle music has been passed down from the previous generation of Ozark fiddle players. His is known to be an expert in Taney County history and also serves on the Board for the Society of Ozarkian Hillcrofters.  He is the owner and operator of Michel Electric. He is married to Heather Michel and they have 3 daughters.  

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Mary Parker

Mary Parker is from Mountain View Arkansas. She has been playing the fiddle and performing
over half of her life, performing within the genres of Bluegrass, Old Time, and Texas style. She
currently holds nine state fiddle championship titles and was nominated for Young Artist of Year
in the ACMA awards in 2019. She performs with several bands in the Ozarks area and is an
accomplished musician, proficient in 6 instruments in addition to the fiddle.

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Justus Ross

Justus Ross has been playing the guitar since he was 6 years old.  His mentors and instructors included O.D. Mitchell, Jake Workman, Rodley and Bobby Lewis who taught him the fundamentals of bluegrass music.  He grew up traveling and playing with his family in the Ross Family Bluegrass Band. He is currently a member of Po”Anna which is a band made up of his closest friends.  He has dedicated the bigger part of his life to bluegrass and is excited to pass on his knowledge to others.

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Larry Sifford

Larry Sifford is a native to the Ozarks. He began playing banjo when he was 21. He performed on the Mississippi River Boats, Huck Finn & Becky Thatcher, playing Dixieland music. He played in several country music groups throughout the years and was a founding member of the Missouri Boatride Bluegrass Band. His instrument of choice is the upright bass.

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Matt Tomlinson

Matt’s first memories are of Bluegrass music and listening to his dad play the banjo with a never-ending stream of musicians through his home.  He got his first guitar when he was ten years old and never looked back.  He has had the pleasure of playing several different genres of music professionally but always found his way back to bluegrass.  “The music, the people who make it and the people who enjoy it are unmatched! It’s a family”, he says “he is honored to be a part of”.   Matt has played with many bands including Taylor Bluegrass, Strawberry Hill Express, John Phil & Matt, Slightly Bluegrass, Brenna and the Red Hot and Greeenland Station Bluegrass.

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