About Us » Artist Affiliates
WaterRock Institute's Artist Affiliates have been selected for their outstanding talent, creativity, and showmanship. They are each available to perform at your event, or to enhance a WaterRock Institute event that we customize for you. Several Artist Affiliates teach an "Unleashing Your Creativity" segment in our workshops and retreats.
Karl Ruch is a singer-songwriter from Asheville, NC whose pop-folk songs are influenced by the likes of David Gray and John Mayer. He has played for over 10,000 people throughout the U.S. and has two CD's to his credit, World Without End and A Long Time Coming. A reviewer wrote: "Karl’s music and lyrics are the result of both his obvious artistic gifts and a profound contemplative Christian spirituality. Karl explores the mysteries and simplicities of God's grace in a world of broken relationships, confusion, and hope. His music has many trajectories: faith, relationships, and random humor at the foibles of the human condition." Karl is a graduate of Davidson College and UNC Chapel Hill's School of Pharmacy.
Mary Grayson Segars is an award-winning artist from Beaufort, S.C. She specializes in oil paintings that feature aspects of life in South Carolina’s “Low Country.” Mary’s paintings are featured in a number of galleries, including ArtLofts in Beaufort, S.C. She has produced three large pieces of public art in Beaufort, including two murals and a mosaic. In addition to teaching painting and drawing techniques in her community, Mary facilitates Creativity Workshops for WaterRock Institute. Utilizing her artistry, she invites participants into the creative process (no art experience needed). Mary is known for her humor and easy manner. She is a graduate of The College of William & Mary in Virginia and enjoys gardening, swimming, and keeping up with her three sons.
The Magills play innovative Celtic & light classical music with power & grace ranging from the stately to the wildly beautiful. Instruments include wooden & silver flutes, guitar, vocals & cittern (10-string mandolin). Beth & Jim are both professionals with twenty years experience. Jim is an award-winning songwriter and instrumentalist with a clear tenor voice. He has appeared with Emmy Lou Harris and Tom Paxton and Jim's original songs have been covered by such artists as Mike Cross and have been featured on NPR's Thistle & Shamrock. Jim is the Director of The Swannanoa Gathering, a popular summer series of week-long workshops in various folk arts and music held in Asheville.
Beth Magill plays wooden and silver flutes and tin whistle. She recently retired from eleven years of teaching Kindermusik. Not only are Jim and Beth talented, they have created talented children and their son, Andrew, is a four-time gold medalist Irish fiddle player. Andrew is available to play with The Magills when his schedule permits. Beth is a graduate of Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts and Jim is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill.
Allen has been playing guitar, singing, and writing songs for most of his life. He loves folk, Americana, melodic jazz and country. Allen currently makes music in the Asheville, NC area where he lives. His voice has been likened to that of John Denver’s. He was formerly a member of The Wayfaring Strangers and recently released his CD, “Landfall.” Kathy Mattea, former Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year, has said about Allen’s song “No One Heard the Singing Bird” (Landfall), “It’s beautiful. Even without the music, the words read like a really well written poem… your song is really special.”
Ray Chesna is an accomplished player of many Americana styles, Bluegrass, Old Time, Swing, Country Blues. As a blues interpreter, Ray has some wonderful arrangements of many of the classic delta and piedmont classics. He has played in a variety of bands including Wickers Creek with Bela Fleck, the premier banjo player. He was the house musician at The Blues Harbor in Atlanta and, since moving to Asheville, NC, has been playing in area venues, including The Greay Eagle, and teaching guitar and music theory. He is the author of Music Theory Fundamentals for all Guitar Players. Ray has two CD’s to his credit, Every Day Above Ground is a Good One and The Perfect Blend. A reviewer has said, "Chesna has the confidence and talent to take control of the stage even before he speaks into the mic and he soon has the audience wrapped up in his stories and his song."
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