About Us


Kade Suddath and Dakota Karper having a fiddle lesson in the old cabin in Capon Bridge.

Dakota and Richard standing in front of the lot that would one day hold TCTF

Richard and Dakota Karper made the bold choice to leave their life in Baltimore, MD and move to West Virginia where Dakota was born and raised. Switching from a fast paced life in the city to the adustments of country living, Dakota decided it was also time for a career switch. She wanted to teach traditional folk music like the oldtime style she had grown up with. She started taking on students rapidly and in a few short years had outgrown there small front room space in the cabin they were renting. It was time for another bold move. This time it was to purchase and build a space of their own.

Building a Brick and Mortar

Foundation freshly poured.

Modular blocks going together.

Pete Hobbie and John Berry creating a safe space for water runoff to be diverted

Left to right: Dakota Karper, Leenie Hobbie, Morgan Hobbie

The front porch (Fondly known as the 'Hobbie Pickin' Porch) was constructed entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers

Almost ready to open!

The dream for a folk music school in Capon Bridge quickly takes off and the whole community rallies to help. Funds to start the project were raised through crowd funding, fundraiser concerts and many, many generous individuals. Not only was a building being built, but also a community who would one day come to the space to take part in jam sessions, workshops, classes and more. A epicenter for musical connection was being created.

Building a Community

Left to right: Mike Everson, Ben Townsend, Elizabeth Podsiadlo, Jack Dunlap and Dakota Karper performing for The Cat and The Fiddle Fundraiser held at The River House.

Left to right: Mike Everson, Jamie Hart and Josh Haza jamming on the front porch on opening day for TCTF.

Guitar workshop being taught by guest teacher Paul Hammerton.

A Place for Everyone

2019 and beyond -
July 6, 2019 the doors of The Cat and The Fiddle were thrown open to welcome guests for the first time. At last music and laughter fills the halls and classrooms of this special space. We have continued to grow, adapt, educate and share all things music from our small corner of West Virginia. The Cat and The Fiddle proudly offers private classes both in person and virtually, workshops, student jams and even has partnered with The River House to provide scholarships so that anyone who wants to learn to play an instrument can have a safe environment to learn and grow.

Dakota Karper in front of The Cat and The Fiddle - November 2021