Summer camp season is a glorious time of year and 2017 has been the best one yet! I love getting to teach at music camps – they really are some of the happiest places on earth. I love experiencing and observing the transformation that takes place as people step away from their regular lives and blossom in a world of music and community. The change is drastic and beautiful – people’s comfort levels go way up and people start taking more risks – singing in a duet for their first time, trying an improvised solo, getting up and trying out a new harmony, singing more boldly, moving more freely and more smiles all around.
These kind of situations really push people – for people who have been to camp before, we’re all aware of the moments of overwhelm too that come right before a breakthrough. There’s the first day of arriving when everyone’s bags are packed not only with their clothes for the week but also with their concerns from home, their nervousness of not knowing that many people at camp, wonderings of ‘can I really sing this much? Am I ‘good enough’ to be here?’
Then there is the mid-week ‘I’ve learned so much and my brain is going to explode. I can’t remember anything and I will never get those harmonies right. My teacher wants me to try a duet tomorrow and I might just skip the rest of camp’ That is most people’s Day Three!
Day Four is often when the break throughs happen. You wake up singing your harmony, you watch yourself in shock as you put your hand up to try up a solo, the rhythm that made no sense all week finally makes it’s way into your body.
I was incredibly lucky to get to experience this 4 times this summer and have two more coming in the fall!
June 2-4 – It started with Georgia Straight Guitar Workshop – a lovely 2 day gathering that happens in Crescent Beach. You are only one hour away from Vancouver but it is such a deep and fulfilling weekend that it feels like you’re in a different world. GSGW was the very first camp that I ever taught at and it completely hooked me. This camp runs the first weekend of June every year and has instruction in many different styles and different instruments – http://www.gsgw.ca/
June 27-July 2 – Next was my first year at VoiceWorks – an amazing singing camp in Port Townsend Washington that I have heard about for years. I got to teach Bluegrass Harmony Singing with Jenny Lester, which is always such a highlight for me. I also had a wonderful World Music Mass Choir that sang every afternoon – we had an absolute blast and even got to perform at the final concert which was broadcast live on the local radio station. At this camp, I was particularly inspired to learn some western swing songs, to start a songbook/lyrics book to have with me always and to learn more about Cajun singing! http://centrum.org/voice-works-a-workshop-for-singers/
July 10-14 – SongRoots! The camp that I dreamed of 5 years ago and am beyond thrilled with. This year felt so smooth and established – everything just keeps getting better! I started planning for the next one (July 9-13 2018) on July 15th 2017!
June 24-28 – Beyond Trad – 2nd year! Beyond Trad is the brain child of Wendy Knudson and Ali Romanow. It is a fabulous camp and one of the things that sets it apart is it’s wide range of musical styles and instruments you can study plus it is open to all ages. Having a multi-generational camp is such a great experience – the kids bring somuch energy and talent to the group and it is so rare to have gatherings with all different ages – it really does make the group stronger. http://www.beyondtrad.com/
Coming up in the fall – I get to teach at SongWest- the first song retreat to be held in Bamfield BC and organized by Nancy Hendry (Sept 22-25) We will also start the very first SongRoots October Retreat at Camp Fircom (Oct 13-15)