After six years of running the Maine Acoustic Festival,  317 Main Community Music Center and North Yarmouth Academy have decided it’s time for a re-boot.

This spring, instead of 3 day festival, we plan to host a one-day Acoustic Jam on Saturday, April 6th that will include workshops, a shared meal, performance opportunities and a Contradance with an all-comers band.  The event will be FREE and open to all ages.  All we ask is that you RSVP to Amanda Gale at maineacousticfestival@gmail.com

Our goal this year is to identify more collaborators (stakeholders in Maine’s traditional music scene)  who will work with us to re-envision the festival and play a role in moving it forward.   We will host a Future of MAF Summit next May. 

If you would like to be a part of MAF’s future please contact Amanda.

Thanks everyone and hope to see you on April 6th!


About MAF….


The Maine Acoustic Festival is a state-wide music festival dedicated to middle school and high school students who study traditional music in Maine.

Genres include Bluegrass, Old Time, Irish, Franco-American and Traditional American Harmony. Students are selected by audition to participate in an intensive three-day Festival of instruction, workshops, rehearsals, and performances.


2018 MAF Faculty


With Special Guest


David will head up the Celtic group at this year’s festival. He’s considered one of New England’s finest guitarists, and has quietly generated a growing following for his work as a soloist. His solo albums “Back Roads” and “Trip to Kemper” have helped to establish him as a top player and arranger of Celtic fingerstyle guitar, yet his diverse repertoire also includes original compositions, blues and ragtime, traditional American roots music, and folk music from a variety of traditions, all played with finesse, taste, and virtuosity. He is equally at home on the mandolin and bouzouki, and is well-known as a top-notch accompanist in New England’s contra dance and Celtic music circles, and is also in demand as a studio musician and sideman. He has performed throughout the country at festivals, concerts, coffeehouses and contra dances. David maintains an active teaching schedule, and is head of the folk department at the Concord (NH) Community Music School. He has also taught at numerous summer music camps, including Augusta Heritage Festival (WV), Swannanoa Gathering (NC), Summer Acoustic Music Week (NH), and Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle School (CA).

Bennett Konesni  will be leading our American Harmony ensemble.  Bennett is an internationally-touring musician focusing on northern fiddle and dance music as well as worksongs for field and forest, which he uses regularly on his own farm and teaches at workshops.He is a graduate of Middlebury College, where he co-founded the student farm and spent six months studying Zulu farming songs in South Africa. He was awarded a Thomas J Watson fellowship to spend a postgraduate year in Tanzania, Ghana, Mongolia, Vietnam, Switzerland, and Holland studying worksongs of sea and field. Bennett has given a Ted talk about his work, and speaks, teaches, and performs throughout North America and Europe as an individual and as parts of several bands.

Double-bassist Corey DiMario is coaching the  Americana ensemble. He is one of the most sought after accompanists in the acoustic music scene. He has performed at major festivals and concert venues across North America, Europe and Australia.  A diverse musician, Corey adds rock solid, low-end accompaniment and driving rhythm to any musical situation. A founding member of the string band sensation Crooked Still, he brings a diverse musical palette and energetic approach to an ensemble. He has also performed extensively with New England fiddler and singer Lissa Schneckenburger as well as being a part of the Brittany Haas/Dan Trueman Band. Most recently, Corey was in the”house band” for Bela Fleck’s New York Banjo Summit featuring banjoists Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Pete Wernick, Eric Weissberg, Richie Stearns, Noam Pikelny and of course Bela Fleck.


Ellen Gawler will lead the Maine Maritime ensemble. Ellen is a celebrated fiddler, masterful in many styles, including Irish, French-Canadian, Maritime, Shetland and New England. Her fiddling possesses sparkling clarity, authentically rooted in tradition while at the same time inventive and playful. Her lively delivery of traditional fiddling has sent many a contra dance hall into whirling delight with soaring melodies and driving rhythms.



The Maine Acoustic Festival welcomes renowned composer, violinist and creative-community builder Daniel Bernard Roumain to this year’s festival. Known for his signature violin sounds infused with a myriad of electronic and urban music influences, DBR takes his genre bending beyond the stage and into the streets.  Roumain will lead a free violin workshop open to all young musicians under the age of 12  at Portland’s East End Community School and work with festival participants at 317 Main and NYA.   Roumain will return to  Portland in May for an expansive musical spectacle that is part flash mob and part processional. Celebrating music and community, En Masse features an array of Maine musicians of all ages with Roumain as maestro and pied piper, leading a musical parade through the Arts District and culminating in a community jam. 

2018 Schedule




Friday, April 6

4:00 – 5:00

Check In/Intro (NYA, Higgins Hall)

5:00 – 7:30

Ensemble Rehearsals (NYA)


Break (NYA)


Contra Dance! (NYA)

Saturday, April 7

10:00 – 12:00

Ensemble Rehearsal (NYA/ 317)

12:00 – 2:00

Lunch/Free time (317)

2:00 – 3:00

Workshop with DBR – bring instruments! (NYA Chorus Room)

3:00 – 5:30

Ensemble Rehearsal (NYA/317)


Dinner (tbd)


Private Practice/ Jam (First Parish)

7:30 – 9:00

Faculty Show – mandatory for students (First Parish)

Sunday, April 8

10:00 – 12:00

Ensemble Rehearsal (NYA/317)


Lunch (317)


Transport to Hannaford Hall (busses leave from 317)

1:30 – 3:30

Soundcheck (order tbd)

4:00 – 5:30

Student Showcase Performance



Rehearsal Locations (Sat/Sun only)

David, (Celtic) – 317 (Room 1)
Corey, (Americana) – 317 (Room 2)
Ellen, Maine (Contra)
Bennett, (Harmony) – NYA

Questions? Contact Amanda Gale/Festival Coordinator at maineacousticfestival@gmail.com
or (203) 285-4320

Highlights for 2017 Maine Acoustic Festival


Short Documentary about The Maine Acoustic Festival


(A short video-documentary about the Maine Acoustic Festival)



2017 Highlights



“One of the great things about MAF is that it brings kids together who are into traditional music. Here, they find their ‘trad tribe’.

If you’re on the fence about the Maine Acoustic Festival, I encourage you to jump over the fence and come join us.”

-Steve Muise, 2017 MAF Coach

Contra Dance at North Yarmouth Academy on the first night of the 2017 Festival
Students & MAF Faculty form an impromptu contra band for the dance
Student in Old Time group working on performance material with 2017 Faculty member Lauren Rioux
Bluegrass students working with 2017 MAF faculty member Tony Watt.
Traditional American Harmony students performing at the Student Showcase at Hannaford Hall