The first annual installment of the Door County Bluegrass Camp was a great success, according to those who organized and participated in the recent five-day camp at Wagon Trail Resort in Ellison Bay.
“It was much more successful than I ever anticipated,” said camp director Lynn Gudmundsen of Baileys Harbor. “I think the participants had a fantastic time.”
Twenty-five students from six states (ranging from California to Arizona) attended the bluegrass camp, which offered workshops in instrument technique (for guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass, and mandolin), instrument maintenance, yodeling, ocarina, songwriting, singing, music theory, and the musical roots of bluegrass. Seven teachers, many of them well-known on the Door County musical scene (including Tommy Burroughs, Chris Cairns, Lynn Gudmundsen, Mark Hembree, Eric Lewis, and Karen Mal) taught workshops for four days, from August 4 – 7. The instructors and campers also performed at four public concerts, beginning with a sellout concert at Sturgeon Bay’s Third Avenue Playhouse and ending with a barn dance at the Sister Bay Community Center, attended by 150 people.
Campers expressed deep satisfaction with the bluegrass camp; camper Ralph Knudson said, “The key word [of the camp was] ‘play;’ both in the sense of having fun and messing around with ideas, and in the sense of actually spending the time with the instrument, making it do what you want it to.”
Gudmundsen agreed, “It was a really magical mix.”
Based on the success of this year’s camp, Gudmundsen is already making plans for next year’s bluegrass camp, which will take place from August 2 – 7, 2009. Interested participants can find more information at http://www.doorcountybluegrass.com.