Pete is an accomplished guitar, violin, banjo, and mandolin player. He performs regularly as fiddler for his old-time string band Uncle Henry’s Favorites, and is well-known around Charlottesville as an organizer and supporter of informal acoustic groups and jam sessions. His enthusiasm for jamming is contagious: a big part of his social life is attending jams organized by his students and former students! Pete plays violin for the classical group the Sugar Hollow Trio, playing for weddings and other formal occasions. The group’s arrangements, written by Pete, are the core of his “Paper Jam,” a yearly gathering of chamber musicians. Pete also plays often at local gatherings in a duo with his wife Ellen, a fine mandolinist and dance caller.
Pete’s interest in traditional fiddle music has led him to befriend and learn from many elderly musicians. He performs every Thursday at retirement and nursing homes with fiddler Lovell Coleman and the Hintonaires, and enjoys playing guitar and singing as a hospital and hospice volunteer.
Pete has experimented with a variety of musical instruments in his fifty years of playing music. In addition to his main instruments, he is a skilled player and teacher of ukulele, recorder, alto and tenor saxophone, mountain dulcimer, and hammered dulcimer, and has dabbled with (and taught) tenor banjo, autoharp, and bowed psaltery. He reads and writes music and tablature, and teaches these skills to his students.
Pete is a patient and experienced teacher. His students learn to play steadily, at a slow pace. Each of his students maintains a notebook, documenting each weekly lesson and forming the beginning of the student’s repertoire. When a student is ready to play at a medium tempo, Pete helps the budding musician to find musical groups to share music and increase skills. Pete has taught at Stacy’s Music Shop since 1997.