Author: Sargent, Geoff

CBA Music Camp 2014: The Run-up and Run-down for the 2014 Music Camp.

Please, don’t hold your breath waiting for music camp to open on June 8! We want you there with full lungs, not turning blue and passing out on the drive up.

The hot news is that Peter and Janet have put together a camp with more than 100 electives… head and fingers hurt already from anticipating which ones I’ll have to choose to miss and how much playing I’ll have to do in the ones I get to attend. So get there early….we start with 20 electives scheduled for Sunday afternoon alone; some of which I am sure are encore electives from past music camps and some, don’t hold your breath here, are almost certainly new. But, whatever you do, be sure to bring your instruments to music camp registration because one elective that I’m part of is the “registration jam”, which I am confident will provide a good kick off for the next few days.

Peter swore me to secrecy but failed to get me to actually sign a confidentiality contract so I am going to blow the whistle here and tease you with some possible electives. One elective that I have a personal stake in is the annual Music Camp Dobro jam…..last year it was scheduled for the evening I had to drive back to the bay area (long story there….appropriate libations are needed for me to tell). This year I whined long and hard to Peter and Janet, so we will see (unfortunately I am a completely incompetent whiner). The Bluegrass Karaoke is a likely contender for an encore elective. If you haven’t done this, or seen this, it is well worth the effort. The way it works is that you get to go on stage and perform one of your favorite bluegrass songs with a backup band of music camp instructors! What a trip that would be…on stage with a backup band of the likes of Jim Nunally, Bill Evans, John Reischman, Sharon Gilchrist, Mike Witcher, or some of the other instructors. I might have to crash that one; you know borrow a student ID tag, put a paper bag over my head, and get up on stage and channel my inner Jerry Douglas. Do you think I could pull it off?

Oh and don’t forget about our own personal yoga meister, Ernie Noyes, who will bend you into shape for the rest of the day with his bluegrass breakdown yoga, aka hillbilly yoga. Actually Ernie’s yoga is pretty popular even if you have to wake up early, or pick all night, to attend the pre-breakfast class.

There is a list of other tentative electives too long for this article but needless to say there are some interesting electives that might include possible subjects from sad songs to jams covering your favorite bluegrass musician to the more physically challenging electives that involve actually moving your feet! Stay tuned for the final word on the elective list.

This year we are trying something new and Dana Thorin of Music Caravan will be running the camp store, which will be open all day from breakfast to supper, Monday through Wednesday. In past music camps, Dana has had her Music Caravan tent set-up to sell us any music supplies you forgot to bring, but this year Dana will be running the whole shebang…..selling music supplies and all the instructor materials, CDs, books, and who knows maybe some collectable bluegrass 8-track tapes! However, if she has some collectables from the 70s and 80s, I can pretty much guarantee that mullets and shag haircuts will not be among those fond memories.

Every year, between the end of camp on Wednesday and the start of the festival on Thursday, the music camp puts on a free concert that you will read about in more detail elsewhere in the June Breakdown. The Wednesday evening concert is open to all, music campers and early arriving festival goers, and usually showcases our music camp bands of camp volunteers, as well as a headline performance by some of our music camp instructors. All I will say is that Molly Tuttle and John Mailander are our headliners this year. Molly and John played an unforgettable set on Vern’s stage last year and we are very lucky to have them perform for us again. Folks, this is a must see performance that I know you will be talking about for years to come.

Music camp registration opened at noon on February 7th, 2014 and we are almost full but there are still a few slots open so get your web browser over to our Music Camp website at to register and to get more breaking news. If you have other questions, and want to make sure the class you want is still available, please contact us at Keep on jamming and we hope to see ya'll at Music Camp this summer June 8-11 at Grass Valley, CA and maybe we’ll see you at Winter Camp in 2015!

Posted:  5/18/2014

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