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Golden Link Folk Singing Society

Press Releases

Golden Link presents the 48th Annual Turtle Hill Folk Festival

Published on 8/31/2019


imageGolden Link Folk Singing Society

P.O. Box 92398

Rochester, NY 14692



August 20, 2019

Media contact: David Townsend (not for publication) 585-467-8690

Interviews with Golden Link members or featured performers can be arranged.


Golden Link presents the 48th Annual Turtle Hill Folk Festival on September 6, 7, and 8, 2019


Annual Golden Link event features concerts, workshops, singing,
jamming, dancing, food, and fun.



Rochester, N.Y.—Enjoy a great weekend of folk music at the 48th Annual Turtle Hill Folk Festival, presented by the Golden Link Folk Singing Society at the Rotary Sunshine Campus, 809 Five Points Rd., in Rush, NY on September 6, 7, and 8, 2019. The Festival will feature evening concerts by Debra Cowan, Annie & The Hedonists, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio, Scott Cook and Richie & Rosie.                                             

At Turtle Hill, the audience not only gets to see these performers on stage, but also interact with them during workshops and small presentations during the day on Saturday and Sunday, with many informal opportunities to sing and play music together. The full schedule of daytime workshops is now posted on the Golden Link website: There will also be a Saturday afternoon contra dance, and late-night singing and jamming. Rough camping is available for a small fee, and you can also reserve a bed in the rustic, heated bunkhouses. 



Friday, September 6, 7:00–10:00 pmConcert features (in performance order):


Debra Cowan: “Stunning” is a word that is often used to describe Debra Cowan's vocals. She performs unaccompanied and with guitar, interpreting a wide range of traditional and contemporary folk songs. Debra’s performances impress listeners with her clarity, warmth, agility, all the while encouraging the audience to join in on choruses and refrains. Her four recordings have been met with high praise world-wide and in June 2015, she was featured in the UK folk music magazine, Living Tradition. She tours extensively in the United Kingdom and in North America. “Debra has a voice which beautifully combines Celtic and Appalachian sensibilities … deeply satisfying, lyrical, and musically elegant.” - Roseanne Cash.


Annie & The Hedonists: This fun four-piece Albany-based band is known for its great lead singer, Annie Rosen, and the tight harmonies and superb musicianship of the Hedonists, a.k.a. Jonny Rosen (guitar and vocals), Peter Davis (clarinet, tenor guitar, piano, and vocals), and Don Young (upright bass and vocals). “Jazz, blues, country, folk, bluegrass … it's all here. Annie Rosen's versatile, vintage-tinged voice is the perfect match for the Hedonists' ace musicianship.” – Albany Times Union


Jay Ungar & Molly Mason: These extraordinary musicians won international acclaim after Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” hit the airwaves. Their performance of Jay’s haunting composition “Ashokan Farewell,” which became the musical hallmark of the PBS series, left a lasting impression on everyone who tuned in. The soundtrack won a Grammy and “Ashokan Farewell” was nominated for an Emmy. Jay & Molly are masters of music and storytelling who generously share their lives and their music with audiences. Jay’s fiddling is brimming with playfulness, drama, soulfulness, and technical verve, as he explores the many musical styles and idioms that he has internalized and made his own. Molly’s total mastery and inventiveness on piano and guitar is always spot-on, as she supports the tunes and follows the flow of the melody. Her rich and expressive vocals, along with the resonant strains of Jay’s violin, reveal the deep emotions that flow in the duo’s veins.


Saturday, September 7, 7:00–10:00 pmConcert features (in performance order):


Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio: Heather Pierson is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, and performer. From New Orleans-style jazz and blues to rousing Americana and poignant folk narratives, Heather’s live performances, both solo and with her acoustic trio (Davy Sturtevant on strings/cornet and Shawn Nadeau on bass) move seamlessly and effortlessly from one style to the next, and a growing catalog of wildly divergent CD releases reflects her boundless creativity. She is best known for her virtuosity at the piano, her bell-tone vocals, and her quiet yet engaging stage presence.


Scott Cook: A roots balladeer with a rare personal warmth, Canada's Scott Cook has managed to distill the stories collected over 11 years touring across Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, Australia, and elsewhere into straight-talking, keenly observant verse. Road-worn, painfully honest, and deeply human, his tunes weave threads of folk, roots, blues, soul, and country over spacious fingerstyle guitar and clawhammer banjo arrangements. His fourth release, One More Time Around, was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, and its opening track, "Pass It Along," won the Folk and Acoustic category in the 2013 UK Songwriting Contest, with UK magazine Maverick Country naming him "one of Canada's most inspiring and imaginative storytellers."


Richie & Rosie: Richie Stearns is a legendary banjo player and singer, and a founding member of the neo-traditional alternative band The Horse Flies and roots music band Donna the Buffalo. He also has performed with Natalie Merchant, Bela Fleck, Pete Seeger, David Byrne, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Joan Baez – and he is the president of the iconic GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance. Rosie Newton is a talented fiddler and singer who graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in viola performance and has become an integral part of the Ithaca old-time music community. She has performed with The Duhks, Louisiana legend Preston Frank, Evil City String Band, Home Remedy, and The Pearly Snaps. Richie & Rosie collaborated in various projects over the past few years, including two CDs. Steeped in old-time music, Appalachian folk, blues, African, rock, and country, they create a scintillating blend of traditional and original songs.


Festival Site, Camping, and Food: Golden Link’s Turtle Hill Folk Festival will be held at the Rotary Sunshine Campus, 809 Five Points Road, Rush, NY, a short drive south of Rochester. Rough camping (tents or RVs; no hook-ups) is available for $10 per site for the weekend. For a small fee, you can reserve a bunkhouse bed for one or both nights. Showers are available for campers. Vendors will provide food, including vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. There will be other vendors as well. Nature trails, two playgrounds, and mini-golf on site. All facilities are wheelchair accessible. The Rotary Sunshine Camp is a pet-, smoke-, and alcohol-free facility. Attendees are welcome to bring their children and grandchildren to the festival. Admission for children 12 and under is free.


Tickets: Tickets are available at, with a discount for Golden Link members.


Ticket Prices






At Gate


At Gate

All-Weekend Festival Pass





Friday Night Only





Saturday – Day Only
(ends 5:30 pm)





Saturday – Night Only
(begins 5 pm)





Sunday Only





Children 12 and under


Rough Camping: Tent or RV, NO hookups

$10 per site for weekend

Bunkhouse bed

$15 per person, per night


Founded in 1971, the Golden Link Folk Singing Society is dedicated to presenting, promoting, and preserving folk music in the Rochester area. Golden Link is a volunteer-operated and member-supported 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts, cultural, and educational organization.



Calendar Listing


Turtle Hill Folk Festival

Rotary Sunshine Campus, 809 Five Points Rd., Rush, New York


Friday, September 6, 2019

Gate opens 5:30 pm

Food and craft vendors on site

Concert, 7:00–10:00 pm:

Debra Cowan

Annie & The Hedonists

Jay Ungar & Molly Mason

Evening concert followed by an indoor fireplace sing-around and informal jamming.


Saturday, September 7, 2019 

Gate opens 9:30 am

Daytime workshops, round-robins, and jamming on three stages. 

Saturday afternoon contra dance with Jay Ungar & Molly Mason

Concert, 7:00–10:00 pm:

Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio

Scott Cook

Richie & Rosie

Evening concert followed by an indoor fireplace sing-around and informal jamming.


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Gate opens 9:30 am

Daytime workshops, round-robins, and jamming on three stages: 10:00 am–2:00 pm

Closing Concert featuring all performers 2:00–3:30 pm