About Us

Valley Folk

Valley Folk is more than just a concert series...

it is a community of people sharing an interest in the preservation of traditional music and related arts. Listeners and musicians alike can find a comfortable place in volunteer activities, sharing music during a jam, or in a dish-to-pass supper before a concert.

Most concerts are held at 144 Cedar Street (corner of Cedar and First Streets, in the First United Methodist Church) in Corning, New York (click here for directions).

Saturday concerts begin at 7:30 pm and Sunday concerts begin at 2 pm, unless otherwise specified.


There is a self-running jam on concert nights beginning 90 minutes before concert time when we get in the building to set up for concerts. Bring your instrument and come jam with us!

Jamming at the Carriage House

Jamming at the Carriage House

Our Mission

The mission of the Valley Folk Music Society, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is to sustain and grow folk music traditions of song and instrumental music in the Southern Finger Lakes of New York State and the surrounding area.

Behind the Scenes

Debra Chesman, Director

Martin Hempstead, Treasurer

David Ralph, Historian

Jim Harper, Jim Harper Designs, graphics & Web designer

Terry Kelleher, Sound

Susan Seltzer, Master cookie baker

Become a volunteer!

Please consider volunteering to help during concerts or behind the scenes. Contact Debra Chesman: 607-962-4461,

Current volunteer opportunities include:


We need your help to promote Valley Folk concerts. Can you volunteer to list Valley Folk concerts in a few on-line calendar listings once or twice a year? Other examples include on-line calendar listings, getting our concerts listed in newsletters with which you have an affiliation or hanging posters in public spaces. Most of all, we need you to invite friends and neighbors to concerts – word of mouth is the best form of advertisement.

Feeding Your Favorite Folk

Show your favorite performers your appreciation by volunteering to bring them a light meal before the performance or to provide them a picnic to take on the road.

Providing Concert Snacks

We ask people to bring finger foods - sweet or savory - for the intermission snack buffet. Some recent popular snacks have been: hand baked bread and farm-made goat’s cheese, veggies and interesting dips, cut up fruit, homemade cookies, brownies, banana bread, Cheese and crackers, anything chocolate, shortbread and scones for Scottish music, nuts, fancy bakery items.


Volunteer to host your favorite performers overnight after the concert. If you have a bed or two in an under-utilized bedroom (perhaps it's now a home office with a spare bed or the room your kids used before they went to college?), and can provide a simple breakfast, please volunteer.

We occasionally get requests from musicians with allergies for homes without furry pets, so if that describes you, we would be especially pleased if you would consider volunteering your spare bedroom once or twice a year.


Thank you...

These concerts used to be made possible by a grant, and we need a volunteer that can write a grant proposals to help us secure funding for the future. Meanwhile we rely on donations from generous people. Valley Folk welcomes businesses to help financially, or in-kind by providing food or lodging to musicians, in exchange for advertising.

Some of our favorite links...


Golden Link on the Web and on Facebook

TradMaD Traditional Music and Dance Camp on the Web and on Facebook

Michael Ludgate's Canaan Institute on the Web and on Facebook

Old Songs on the Web and on Facebook

Folk College on the Web and on Facebook

Pickin' & Singin' Gatherin’ on the Web and on Facebook

Clearwater Hudson River Revival Festival on the Web

Ashoken Music and Dance Camps on the Web and on Facebook

The Swannanoa Gathering on the Web and on Facebook

Dance Flurry on the Web and on Facebook

The Cranberry Coffeehouse on the Web


Radio Programs

WVBR's Bound for Glory on the Web and on Facebook

WSKG Free Range Folk Show on the Web

Mike Harding BBC Radio Show - podcast of archived episodes.

U. Utah Philips radio show - archived episodes.

Folk Music Notebook - Streaming folk music 24/7.


Fine & Performing Arts

The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes on the Web and on Facebook

Jim Harper Designs on the Web and on Facebook



Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau on the Web and on Facebook

I Love NY on the Web and on Facebook

Valley Folk Music is now a member of the Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce on the Web.


Michelle Halperin's cakes

Michelle Halperin wheeling cakes she baked to help us celebrate our logo and website.