SongRoots Summer Camp - July 3rd-July 7th, 2023!

Join our incredible line-up of instructors for 5 musical and magical days July!

Registration for SongRoots 2023 will begin January 7th, 2023. We are so excited to be hosting SongRoots for our 10th YEAR!!

At this time, it is impossible to predict what the Covid situation could be by next summer. As a result, we are proceeding with flexibility. After two years of running SongRoots during Covid, we know that we can hold all of the classes and eat outdoors if necessary. We will be responsive to the current Covid situation and will proceed with appropriate caution as directed by the Provincial Health orders in the summer of 2023.

Cost for SongRoots this year will be $890 + $100 Registration Fee + GST

Cost includes everything - full tuition, accommodations, food and water taxi.

Read below to learn about the Camp 1 Instructors!!


Instructors 2023

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a singer and pianist born in Vancouver, BC, Canada. She specializes in jazz, blues, and world music. She is considered one of the more important jazz artists working in Canada and the United States today.

As well as being a performer, she arranges and writes jazz and pop tunes, with several CDs containing a combination of original tunes, tunes she has arranged, and more traditional tunes.

She has also appeared on many CBC recordings and has worked with many other musicians both live and in studio.


Jenny Lester

Jenny Lester is a dynamic Bluegrass performer and recording artist who has established herself as an important singer/songwriter and multi instrumentalist. Her original songs are carefully crafted in the bluegrass convention while displaying a contemporary freshness and that breathes new life into the fabled “high lonesome” sound.

She studied at South Plains College in Texas and has three Golden Reel awards.


Kaitlin Foley

Kaitlin Foley, soprano, has “emerged as one of the truly great musicians of this city” (Vocal Arts Chicago). With her “vocal gleam and fiery dramatic involvement” (Chicago Classical Review) and her “absolute technical security” (John von Rhein), Ms. Foley is a versatile performer with an ear for early and new music. She has sung with the Haymarket Opera Company, Grant Park Chorus, Third Coast Baroque, Ensemble Dal Niente, and is a founding member of the genre-bending vocal theater ensemble Artemisia. Foley recently debuted as a soloist with the Grant Park Chorus and Orchestra on Schubert’s Mass in G. Through various cultural exchange programs including Village Harmony and SongRoots, she has studied non-Western vocal traditions in Corsica, Republic of Georgia, Cuba, and Appalachia. She achieved her M.M. in Voice Performance from DePaul University and completed her undergraduate work in music education at the University of Missouri. Ms. Foley equally enjoys teaching and performing, and directs various choirs and teaches voice at People’s Music School, Merit School of Music, The Musical Offering, Women of Note, Evanston Township High School, and Niles West High School.


Karla Mundy

Karla Mundy is a vibrant, soulful and diverse vocalist, pianist, arranger and choir leader. Karla directs Rhythm ‘n’ Roots and Harmony Mountain Singers in Vancouver, the City Soul Choir, the Island Soul Choir on Vancouver Island and EarthSounds on Bowen Island. Karla leads harmony singing workshops throughout BC and organizes many singing camps, workshops and singing study trips abroad. Karla is a founding member of the No Sh!t Shirleys, TriVo, Cleia, Plough,  Tanglewood Trio and Big Whoop! Karla is passionate about teaching harmony singing, getting the music off the page and digging deep into new musical territory.


Kathy Bullock

Dr. Kathy Bullock is a teacher, performer, conductor, arranger, and scholar who specializes in the area of African American Sacred Music.  A Professor Emerita of Music at Berea College, Berea, Kentucky where she taught for almost thirty years, she is also currently a Visiting Professor at Bennington College, Bennington, VT. Dr. Bullock earned the Ph.D. and M.A. in Music Theory from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and a B.A. in Music from Brandeis University, MA and has taught in a wide variety of musical areas. She continues to perform, conduct workshops, direct choirs, and teaching courses in African American Music throughout the United States, Europe and Africa, sharing hope and joy during these challenging times.


Michael Creber

MICHAEL CREBER is a Grammy-nominated and Juno Award-winning artist with a wide-ranging multi-genre career as a pianist, film composer, arranger and producer. He has recorded and toured internationally with k.d. lang (including performances on Saturday Night Live, the Grammy Awards, Arsenio Hall, Vicki Gabereau, Austin City Limits and six appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson), the Irish Rovers (including 36 television specials) and world-renowned family entertainer Raffi (including performances on Broadway and at President Clinton’s first inauguration); he also co-produced and co-wrote Raffi's 1994 hit CD, Bananaphone. Other luminaries Michael has worked with include Andrea Bocelli, Patti LaBelle, Bryan Adams, Jordin Sparks, Martin Short, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, Cyndi Lauper, Regis Philbin, The Rankin Sisters, Shirley Bassey, Powder Blues, Charo, Dee Daniels, and David Foster. Michael has released four albums of original music. MichaelCreber.com


Moira Smiley

Singer / Composer, Moira Smiley travels the world creating new works for voices and accompanying her performances with her banjo, accordion, piano, and percussive movement. Her recordings feature spare, vocally-driven collections of warped traditional songs and original polyphony. In February, 2021 Moira Smiley & VOCO (with Karla Mundy + Dawn Pemberton!) released vocal album, In Our VoicesMoira also recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel LiveLive on KEXP At Home, and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert with Tune-Yards for their Sketchy album release.

Sarina Partridge

Sarina Partridge is a musician, song-leader, educator and activist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She feels most alive when learning, creating and sharing songs -- especially songs that grow out of time spent in wild places. Sarina sings with a wide variety of music projects: community song-leading; harmony-rich original music with folk trio Heartwood; and performing and teaching of Eastern European and Yiddish song - her own musical lineage. Sarina has a passion for connecting people with their own creativity and with community, and uses harmony singing as a modality to help folks develop a sense of wonder and belonging in this wild world around us.


Shruti Ramani

Shruti Ramani is an innovative and emerging artist in the Canadian Jazz scene. She hails from Mumbai, India where she secured a degree in Hindustani music under the mentorship of Dr. Ritu Johri from the Agra Gharana. She moved to Canada and acquired a Bachelor in Jazz Studies (Performance) with a specialization in voice from Capilano University. Her original music is an eclectic combination of the Indian and Jazz traditions. She composes and arranges music that fuses the two traditions to create dynamic pieces for both large and small ensembles. She leads a collaborative ensemble named Raagaverse with respected musicians Jodi Proznick, Noah Franche-Nolan and Nicholas Bracewell. Some of her noteworthy performances include those as a bandleader playing her original music at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival, and at the Mixtophonics Festival where she premiered a string quartet composition.Shruti has extensive experience teaching music to people with a wide range of ages, musical abilities, and genres. As a teacher, Shruti prioritizes developing a strong mentorship relationship with students, and her teaching style is supportive
while building strong foundations of musical understanding in her students.

Yolanda Robinson

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Yolanda Robinson, singer, songwriter enjoys using her deep gospel roots and jazz studies skills to create a satisfying musical environment for anyone who wants to listen. She earned a Bachelor of Arts, Jazz Studies degree at Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana and had the opportunity to perform and study with jazz greats such as Betty Carter, Max Roach, Clark Terry, Frank Foster, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, and Ellis Marsalis in the 1980’s, later receiving a Master of Liberal Arts Degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, 2017.  She has written vocal arrangements for numerous groups, appeared in “Lay the Favorite” starring Bruce Willis and Caterine Zeta-Jones, performed with Melissa Etheridge, Judith Owen, Harry Shearer’s Christmas Shows, Nicholas Payton, Dr. John and performs each year in numerous International Jazz Festivals in Israel, Japan, Germany and in local New Orleans festivals.

 

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Admin and SongRoots Team Extraordinaire!

Ali Romanow  

Ali Romanow is a non-binary music educator located in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island in Canada. Music has been part of their life since childhood, it has taken them over the world as both a performer and an educator. It is how they connect with others and has been a constant companion supporting them through life's ups and downs.

Ali’s main mission as a musical educator is to help build diverse, supportive and safe musical communities for people of all ages and levels of experience. We all deserve to play music together, regardless of your level of experience or skill. Together we will build the skills and confidence necessary to feel comfortable and confident making music with others.


Wendy Knudson

Wendy is passionate about all aspects of music – organizing workshops, teaching, collaborating, and playing. From her living room to being onstage to time in the studio, Wendy sings, plays guitar, accordion, upright bass, ukulele and fiddle. She plays a broad variety of genres, ranging from Celtic, folk, gypsy jazz, Brazilian choro, to French café music, and western swing. Wendy has the great pleasure of teaching accordion, guitar, ukulele and fiddle to kids of all ages in Courtenay, BC.


Erinn Doncaster

Bio and photo coming soon!


Wendy Knudson, Ali & Bob Romanow help out with many aspects of SongRoots. One of their important roles is that of 'Float Crew'These two people help get us all on and off of Gambier Island

 

 


Karla Mundy started SongRoots in July 2014 and is beyond thrilled at how this dream has taken root and is growing. After going to (and loving) many music camps and workshops, Karla thought it would be wonderful to have an all vocal camp in Western Canada. At most of the camps that Karla went to, there would be large overflowing and happy singing classes and she could imagine that a whole camp dedicated to singing would be wonderful. SongRoots is a chance to dig deeper, expand repertoire and styles and focus solely on the voice with others who love to sing in an intensive setting on a beautiful island away from our busy daily lives!  Karla loves the sense of community that has emerged from SongRoots and is delighted by the musical and personal growth that happens every year during (and beyond) these 5 magical days!

**These are the Classes from SongRoots 2022! Classes for SongRoots 2023 will be appearing in Oct/Nov 2022**

July 4-8 2022 Classes

CLASS ONE 

Africana World Music (no limit)

Join Lonnie for a musical world tour, captivating stories, phenomenally authentic music resources, and group harmony singing dedicated to the rich music and history of the world’s vast Africana music movement.

Our repertoire will cover powerful classical, folk, and contemporary music traditions on songs written by composers of African descent. Get ready to use your voice like never before!

 

 


 

Your Voice, Your Song– A Singer’s Masterclass w/ Brian Tate and Michael Creber (max 8 singers) 

Discover your authentic voice through working with a song of your choice in a playful and safe environment. Expand your confidence, connect with your audience, and experience the many ways of expressing yourself through song. You’ll receive one-on-one coaching as well as the invaluable experience of learning from each other. Each session brings new and exciting ways of exploring your voice and your song. Singers of all levels and songs of all styles are welcome! You must bring a song that you are ready to perform (memorized words and music); also, bring the piano music (sheet music or lead sheet)t the class, several music theory concepts, improvisation tools (including sound painting) and extended techniques will be introduced. We will also develop improvised pieces together that involve the voice, stories and mythologies, and our bodies. This will be a chance to take risks and play!


Classical and Madrigals Ensemble w/ Sophie Michaux & Adam Jacob Simon (no limit)

From the silliest falala-ing to the most melodramatic songs of pining, madrigals really do cover a lot of bases!

Come explore this fun and varied repertoire of beautiful and oh-so-satisfying harmony singing, that is anything but your typical “classical” choral music. Many songs will be in English.

 

 


 

Swing Set! w/ Jennifer Scott (no limit)

Let’s delve into the amazing music and history of Swing!

Most people think Swing means Jazz - and that might be true - but swing is really so much more. It covers and defines a wide range of music: Jazz, Big Band, Doo Wop, Country, Rock(a billy) and more!

We’ll have fun looking at crossover tunes from an eclectic group of artists like Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald, Fletcher Henderson, Bob Wills, Duke Ellington, Melody Gardot…we’re going to learn a couple of swing harmony arrangements, too.

Let’s listen, learn and dig in!


Mindfulness for Singers w/ Samantha Taylor (no limit)

Mindfulness is the awareness that arises when we consciously and non-judgmentally pay attention to what is happeningright now.This kind of awareness brings us into an enlivened, present state, and is a prerequisite for powerful and transcendent performance. Mindfulness practices can help singers develop breath and body awareness, follow their creative impulses, access spontaneity, and improve communication with others. Awarenesswithout judgementcan also help quiet the self-criticism that interferes with the creative process. Mindfulness for Singersintroduces participants to awareness-building exercises for body, breath, voice, and mind, which will then be put into practice as the group rehearses and performs ensemble and solo pieces.


CLASS TWO

Pub and Cabaret Songs from the British Isles, France & Germany! w/ Sophie Michaux & Adam Jacob Simon (no limit)

Rowdy pub songs from the British Isles and boisterous cabaret music from France and Germany are some of the best songs to bust out at a party.

Lots of room to improvise and add your own note to the chord, or even extemporize a new verse on the spot if the mood strikes! Songs in English, French, and German.


The Magic of Motown w/ Brian Tate (no limit)

Stop! In the name of love! There’s a reason that classic 60s Motown is still with us: it’s some of the best pop music ever written and performed!
Arranged for three-part vocal ensemble, we’ll sing such classics as Dancing in the Streets, Tracks of My Tears, and other great hits.
Easy to learn and fun to sing.

 

Delicious Duets w/ Karla Mundy & Wendy Knudson (no limit)

Duets - dynamic, flexible, intimate and joyous! We will explore how to meld our voices with another singer, how to sing in a way that is responsive, attentive and playful. With appropriate distance between us we will reacquaint ourselves with singing together after a year of singing solo and have a great time doing it! Repertoire will be in English and based on folky/traditional styles.


Roots Band - Singers with Instruments w/ Jenny Lester (10 singers max)

Bring instrument(s), voice and 5 songs for the group to learn.  Original songs welcome.
Together we will create the band, make an arrangement, add harmony and play the song with you singing lead.

Loving the Blues w/ Jennifer Scott (no limit)

The Blues are a rich and diverse African American art form that have influenced and given birth to many styles of music.

Let’s explore historical and modern Blues repertoire borne of this tradition.

We’ll learn the melodies, (play some tunes -I’ll have ukulele and guitar chords available) learn the licks and inflections, and even create group and “call & response” arrangements on the fly!


CLASS THREE

Embodied Improv w/ Samantha Taylor (no limit)

InEmbodied Improvwe integrate vocal improvisation, body percussion, and expressive movement. Participants will be introduced to structured improvisational exercises that feature groovy bass lines, and percussive vocal parts that inspire the body to move.

Using improv as a compositional tool, the group will spontaneously create original pieces and arrangements of well-loved tunes.

No improv experience is needed - just show up ready to play and collaborate.


 

Bluegrass Harmony Singing w/ Jenny Lester & Karla Mundy (no limit)

This year we will focus on how to think as a bluegrass, 3-part, harmony singer by spending a little more individual time working on the technique of ‘follow the melody.’
We will enjoy the reward of singing 3-part as a group to new and traditional songs.

Social Justice Gospel Choir w/ Lonnie Norwood (no limit)

Study and sing hidden gems in African American and world gospel music that focuses on social awareness, and ultimately creating more compassionate global citizens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday July 3rd-Friday July 7th 2023

Monday July 3rd - Water taxis will begin taking people from Horseshoe Bay to Gambier Island at 10:30 am. Please arrive at 9:50 am for registration and to have your bag tagged and loaded.

Friday July 7th - Water taxis will begin leaving Gambier Island at 1:00 pm. The last water taxi will likely leave around 2:30. You can safely plan to be back at Horseshoe Bay between 2:00 and 3:00.

Here is a full view LAST YEAR's SCHEDULE! This year's schedule will be very similar but will come out in November 2022.

Accommodations

SongRoots – Summer Camp Accommodations

There are various options for accommodations at Camp Fircom.

1. Tenting! You have the option of bringing your own tent and setting up your home for the week in some of the gorgeous camp sites at Camp Fircom.  There are communal washrooms for tenters and cabin sleepers. (Tenters get a $20 discount)

 


2. Canvas Tents - Camp Fircom provides 6 large Canvas tents. These can be shared by 3-4 people and mattresses are provided  - all you need to bring is your own sleeping bag and pillow. This option is available at no extra cost if there are 3-4 people in one.

 


3. Cabin/Bunkhouse 1-4 – will sleep up to 8 in a room - everyone will get a lower bunk and can keep their gear on the top bunk. There are shared communal bathrooms and everyone brings their own bedding. There are electrical outlets in the cabins. This option is available at no extra cost. These Cabins are the newer ones that were built in the last few years.


4. Craigcroft – there is a choice of shared or single rooms (limited) in Craigcroft. Craigcroft is a 2 storey dorm-style residence with 12 rooms and a large common room. We will have 8 double rooms and 4 single rooms. There are two bathrooms with additional washrooms located in the dining hall which is right next door. You can bring your own bedding or you can pay an extra $35 to have it supplied for you. There is an additional cost to stay in Craigcroft of $120 for a double room and $240 for a single room.


5.  Farmhouse - this is the most luxurious accommodation available! There are two bedrooms (each with a queen sized bed), a fully equipped kitchen, a large patio (with a view of the water) and a beautiful living room. All linens are provided. There is an additional cost of $400 per room at the Farmhouse.

 

 

FOOD at Fircom!

Fircom focuses on healthy, delicious homemade meals to ensure that you are satisfied and feeling great during your time at camp. Our chef and farmer work together to grow beautiful, abundant harvests in our 1.5 acres organic garden. Much of the produce from the Farm ends up in beautiful meals or in the delicious and colorful salad bar served at each lunch and dinner.

 

Camp Fircom is endeavouring to be as sustainable as possible and tread lightly on the earth. One of the ways they are doing this is by trying to cut back on food waste. The main thought is 'take what you need, and eat what you take' - there is going to be plenty of food for second helpings so please don't be shy if you didn't get enough food the first time. 2nd helpings are available!

Everyone arrive at Horseshoe Bay around 10:00 am to register on Monday July 5th. For those people coming from Vancouver Island, you can take the 8:30 am boat and come straight over to register., We will be going over in many different water taxis - we can only load one at a time, so it does take a while to get the whole group over there. Be patient and it should all run smoothly - enjoy the beautiful ride!

You will be registered by Wendy Knudson and Bob Romanow. They have a wonderful system to get you all registered, loaded on the boat and sent over. You must check in with them first before heading down to the dock!!

We have to make special arrangements for the water taxis on Monday morning and those costs are included in your ticket. If you miss the water taxi, you will be responsible for getting yourself to the island (through Cormorant Marine Water Taxi) and will have to cover that cost. Some people have been asking about special water taxi departure times - I am unable to organize anything extra outside of our scheduled times.

Where to meet? Where to park?

 Meet on the lawn by the (former) Boathouse Restaurant. There you will receive your welcome package and be organized into different water taxis. The Water Taxi Loading area is at the end of the Government Dock in Horseshoe Bay, which is to the East of the Boathouse Restaurant. Please do not go to the Water Taxi office, as they are not responsible for the check-in of our campers.

Parking! - there are various lots at Horseshoe Bay. I would suggest carpooling. The lots closest to the terminal cost about $20/day. There is a cheaper lot up the hill. http://www.tiddlycovelions.com/?page_id=11 The best option is getting dropped off if possible!

LIONS OVERFLOW PARKING Located at 6318 Marine drive, West Vancouver Across from the 2nd hole of Geneagles Golf Club, just south of Geneagles Elementary School

**We will be arriving and leaving at low tide which means that the ramp to get to the boat is kind of steep!  The trip to and from Fircom is a little arduous. It does include carrying your luggage, walking up and down steep loading ramps and then walking up a hill on Gambier up to Camp Fircom. There is a truck that will take our luggage and could drive people with mobility problems. We will have designated helpers and lifters are all there to help each other.

3. Leaving on Friday

The boats start leaving Fircom at 1:30 on Friday. We can only load one water taxi at a time so I am unable to tell anyone exactly when they will get back to HSB. It could be as early at 2:15 or you could be on the last water taxi and not get back until about 3:30 or so.

See below for important info and helpful tips!

1) How do the canvas tents (sibleys) work? Canvas Tents can accommodate 3-4 people– Fircom provides mattresses and you bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. Think sleep over/slumber party! You will be close and cozy. If you have a group of 3-4 people, there would be no extra cost.

2) How can I pay in instalments? How much is camp?

Camp costs $890 + $100 Registration + GST. There are several accommodation upgrades that cost extra. You can pay in instalments - just get in touch with Karla to sort out a schedule.

3) I'm really new to singing and nervous about coming.. what classes are best suited for beginners/less experienced singers? **answers coming once we have our classes finalized

4) Are there any Bed & Breakfasts available near Fircom? No,

Fircom is on the south eastern corner of Gambier and there is no road access to New Brighton or most of the rest of the island. There are no accommodation rentals in the near vicinity.

5) Can I bring my own boat to Fircom? You can, but there is no mooring on the government dock. You can anchor in Fircom Bay or Halkett Bay, however you will have to bring a dinghy and paddle in.

6) Where can I tent? There are several lovely tenting areas in the forest and in more open areas.

7) Can I come for part of the camp? This event is all or nothing. We will have additional boats in emergency circumstances but otherwise we expect participants to stay for the duration of the program.

8) Can I bring my dog? Unless you have an assistance/service animal, animals are not permitted.

9) Is the accommodation wheelchair accessible? Please contact Karla for more information on the accessibility of the site and facilities. There are many gravel roads and a fair bit of walking between class - Karla could try to accommodate accessibility as much as possible with accommodation choice and class location.

10) I own a cabin on Gambier. Can I just come for the days?

Yes that would be fine. Contact Karla and we would sort out your cost for the camp.

11) I’d like to bring my baby, is that ok?

That could be possible and it might be a little tricky. We could try to sort out an accommodation that would work for you. Please contact Karla and talk through what the days are like and how you could try to make it work for you and your baby.

12) I’d like to bring my 8 year old, is that ok?

At the moment, this camp is geared towards adults and we don’t currently have it set up to work for kids as well (we are working on that for the future)

13) I’d like to know more about what emergency services are available on Gambier. Can you tell me about that?

Fircom is an isolated site however emergency services can be dispatched to site. In case of an emergency medical situation, the patient will be evacuated either by boat or by helicopter.

14) This year seems more expensive than last year. Why is that?

Costs for absolutely everything involved with camp have gone up. In addition to that, we also need to operate camp with reduced capacity this year because of Covid. As a result, we have had to slightly increase costs.

15) Finances are tight. Is there any way I can barter my fee?

There could be some limited possibilities of helping out with camp and reducing some of the fee. Please contact Karla if you have some ideas. There are some bursary funds available!

It is still too early for us to know exactly what our Covid protocols will need to be. As it is a constantly evolving situation, we will create our final Covid plan closer to the time. Our plan will be based on PHO Health Orders and many other factors (Covid case numbers, variants)

  • We will operate with reduced numbers, approx 90 participants, 10 instructors and 4 assistants (typically SongRoots has 110 participants, 12 instructors and 3 assistants)
  •  All classes will be held outdoors in covered areas to ensure that we have excellent air flow.
  • All meals will be eaten outside in covered areas.
  • Accommodations will be Cabins (8 people), Craigcroft (4 single rooms, 8 double rooms), Farmhouse (2 single rooms (or couples)), Bring your own Tent & Shared Sibley Tents (suggested for 3-4 people)
  • For masking & physical distancing, we will follow the current PHO rules.
  • Masking (at this point) is not considered necessary outside. Anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask is completely welcome to. We may be required to wear masks inside buildings and on the water taxis.
  • As Covid is an ongoing and shifting situation, we will follow all PHO rules and guidelines and stay up to date with the latest advice.
  • We will be sending out a Covid symptoms checklist prior to camp. Anyone experiencing any symptoms leading up to camp need to get tested for Covid.