Visiting Artist Program

Christopher Neil Adkins has distinguished himself as one of the most talented young  guitarists of his generation.  As a performer, Christopher has garnered multiple awards and prizes in both regional and international guitar competitions, including first prizes in the Appalachian GuitarFest Competition at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, the Music Academy of North Carolina Guitar Competition in Greensboro, NC and the Mississippi Guitar Competition in Jackson, MS. Christopher has performed in concert halls across the United States and Latin America including Legacy Hall at Columbus State University, A. J. Fletcher Recital Hall at East Carolina University, Grusin Hall at The University of Colorado at Boulder and Dohnányi Recital Hall at The Florida State University. In the  spring of 2014, Christopher was selected from a group of twelve hundred students to represent The Florida State University College of Music on a tour of Costa Rica.


Christopher holds both his Bachelors and Masters of Music from East Carolina University, where he was a scholarship student of Dr. Eliot Frank. In addition, he was one of two guitar students chosen to participate in the prestigious Artist Diploma program at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, where he was the Graduate Assistant to Dr. Andrew Zohn. Christopher has performed for a menagerie of guitar luminaries including: Sergio and Odair Assad, David Russell, Jason Vieaux, Paul Galbraith and Johannes Möller. Currently, Christopher is a Doctoral Candidate at The Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL where he is the Graduate Teaching Assistant to the world-renowned pedagogue Bruce Holzman.


A native of Hillsborough, NC, Christopher began to teach himself to play the guitar left-handed at the age of twelve. After beginning college at East Carolina University, he found himself smitten with the classical guitar only to realize that the instrument is traditionally played right-handed. Showing great perseverance and strength of character, Christopher began the arduous process of learning to play right-handed. Eight years later, Christopher was awarded his first prize in an International Competition as a classical guitarist. Christopher now lives in Tallahassee, FL where he maintains a small private teaching in addition to his studies at Florida State University.



John Claude Bemis is an award-winning author, musician, and educator. His novels include The Wooden Prince and Lord of Monsters, the first two books in the Out of Abaton series (Disney-Hyperion) and the Clockwork Dark trilogy (Random House), among others. John was chosen as North Carolina’s Piedmont Laureate for Children’s Literature. He lives with his wife and daughter in Hillsborough, NC. Visit him online at



Walt Beckwith is a life-long woodworker and has been teaching a “Week of Woodworking” at Camp New Hope for the last 7 years. Woodworking has been a tremendous outlet for my creativity over the years and with ever decreasing funding within the school systems for arts and crafts, I wanted to make sure that our campers experience that same sense of creativity. Wood is the perfect medium because it bridges the gap between two-dimensional drawings on paper to a 3-dimensionional object.

Projects are age-related and many are adaptations of Roberto Lou Ma’s action animals. The “Walking Rhinos” and “Climbing Orangutans” are yearly favorites. Other projects include creating wood sculptures from wood pieces to junior and senior high projects that have included constructing fire circle benches, wood duck boxes, bat houses and a beehive. Activities are tailored to each child’s age group and are only limited by their creativity. Daily instruction starts with a discussion of safety, the use of measuring and hand tools, the use of wood glue, and (where age appropriate) safe machine operation such as using a drill press and sander.