It all began with a festival in Manchester launched by two musicians, Carol & Mark Palms.
Behind the Scenes
Mark Palms, educator and musician taught himself to play fiddle, banjo and accordion. He founded the award winning string band The Raisin Pickers and more recently the Cajun group, Creole du Nord. Mark continues to honor the legacy of traditional masters, sharing what he’s learned at festivals, concerts and camps. Mark and Carol founded the Riverfolk Festival in 2001 and the nonprofit Riverfolk Music and Arts Organization in 2004. Mark currently serves as the Riverfolk Board Chair.
Carol Wells Palms, a classically trained string player who captures the heart of traditional music without letting go of high musical standards. She taught orchestra in Ann Arbor public schools and continues to play in several ensembles including The Raisin Pickers. Carol is currently Chair of the Manchester Gazebo Concert Committee as well as serving on the Cultural Art Strings Committee and the Blacksmith Shop Concert Committee.
James Horton. Jim Joined Riverfolk in 2017. Resides in rural, near-by Lodi Township. An art teacher in his working career, now a letterpress printer, engraver and a long-time enthusiast of folk tradition. Riverfolk is a good fit for serving the community with traditional values. Longtime volunteer and supporter of RMAO.
Phil Cecconie Joined Riverfolk in 2017. Retired from Chrysler. Worked for American Motors Corporation in Kenosha WI before Chrysler bought them. Moved to Manchester in 1998. Believes Manchester is a great place to make friends and raise a family. Married to Andrea, who was born and raised in Brazil. Three kids, two girls and one boy. Two grandkids, one of each. Attended the University of Wisconsin. Passionate about motorcycle riding, dogs, family and music.
Aileen Rohwer joined the Riverfolk Board of Directors in 2012 as Director and Co-Founder of the Cultural Art Strings program. With a strong background in arts education and presenting, Aileen brings a wealth of experience to Riverfolk including grant writing, organizing fundraisers, recitals and concerts. Besides launching CAS, Aileen is credited with leading the launching of the Manchester Youth Orchestra and The Blacksmith Shop Concert Series.
Andrea Cecconie joined Riverfolk in 2019. A Brazilian native, Andrea moved to Manchester in 1998 with her husband Phil, also a board member. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and has worked at Consumers Energy for the past 25 years, where she has had a very diversified career. She is currently part of the company’s Graphic Designers’ Group. She enjoys music, although not a musician, and also dogs, cats and motorcycle riding with her husband."