April 20, 2011

Julian Family Fiddle Campers – 2011

The Julian Family Fiddle Camp 2011 has come and gone, and I dare say a good time was had by all.  Indeed, my personal expectations were exceeded on almost every level, i.e., from the number of people, to the caliber of teaching, the phenomal performances given by Evan Marshall, Scott Gates, Calvin Vollrath and Katie Harvey, the wonderful dances led by Martha Wild, and the encouragement and instruction given by the ever-smiling Jane Frey.   As the Producer/Director of the event, its expected that I would write glowingly of what we all experienced, but I am hoping those who “risked” coming to the inaugural year of a heretofore unknown fiddle camp will post their thoughts for all to read.

I look forward to the comments of those who came as students, instructors, family members and/or visitors to the camp, believing these views will mean far more to those considering whether or not to attend next year’s event.
While a long ways off, I will note that the enthusiasm at – and for – the Julian Family Fiddle Camp gives every reason to plan for 2012, and am adding an additional day to next year’s camp.   For those who plan ahead, the tentative dates for Julian Family Fiddle Camp 2012 are Wednesday, April 11th – Sunday, April 15th.



Avery Ellisman


1. Maril Parker | April 20, 2011 at 08:07 PM EDT

Okay- Maril Parker here,(from Julian) and this was my first, but definitely not my last fiddle camp in Julian. For those that were there, THANK YOU for sharing yourselves with me! I hope to continue the wonderful experiences and friendships that have now started. I’ve learned so much!!! It was everything I had hoped for and much, much more! It was well organized, varied in offerings and events, extremely high quality in presentation and too fun for words! Plan on coming back next, as I do, and those that can’t or won’t are missing a very special venue. Believe me, it was stellar!!! More to come at my house in the mean time… I will send an out email blast. I can’t get enough…

2. Steve Mayer | April 21, 2011 at 12:17 AM EDT

A shout out to everyone I met at the camp this year… so much grace, warmth and unique talent. I thank everyone for participating with such a positive spirit. The instruction exceeded expectations, the performances on both nights were terrific and the setting was sublime. I had an absolute blast. Good to hear that there will be an extra day next year. Boone and I absolutely plan on attending again.

PS. I have been working on Evan’s practicing regime for mandolin… today was \”D Major\” day and it went very well 😉

3. Martha Wild | April 21, 2011 at 01:08 AM EDT


I’d like to just thank everyone I met at the camp for a wonderful experience. I had so much fun teaching the dulcimer class with Lauren, Eileen, Bill, and Mark! What a great bunch, we just laughed our way through all the tunes. And I want to thank all of the musicians who played for the dancing – you did a wonderful job, and if I didn’t always remember to acknowledge it after each and every dance, I apologize – my only excuse being that I was distracted by teaching. All of you big and little folk who danced were fantastic, too, the enthusiasm of the young people and the patience and joy of the older ones helping them out was wonderful to watch. It was also a delight to meet and listen to Calvin, Evan, Katie, Scott and Jane. Hope to get the chance to wake up to the wild turkeys gobbling and to see many of you again next year.

4. Carol Arndt | April 21, 2011 at 08:45 AM EDT

Carol Arndt (from Del Mar, CA) I had the time of my life! This was my first \”Fiddle Camp\” and this is just the beginning! I will definately be attending the \”Julian Fiddle Camp 2012\”! The teachers were so dedicated, and would teach you anything you wanted to learn. I sincerely hope they will all be there next year. It was such an inspiration to see all the young players and they all played so well! As soon as I got home I started practicing, I was so inspired! The individuals I met will be friends for a long time to come. The camp was far more that my expectations. What a blessing to be able to attend such a wonderful venue. Avery, my hat is off to you and Madeline! (yes, my Julian Fiddle Camp Hat) Your organization, committment, and perserverence was stunning! Looking forward to next year. If you weren’t able to attend this year, put it on your calendar now! Its a once in a lifetime opportunity you would not want to miss. See you all soon…

5. Lisa Bascom | April 21, 2011 at 10:33 AM EDT

This was a great camp. There were plenty of us there to keep all the teachers busy. I am so glad that I got to take a class with Evan and for his break down of what each of us needed to work on. I went with Scott for the rest of the time and we really worked hard, the pay offs were great. These two men really understand music and are the best teachers.

Juliette had a great time seeing her friends and learning from Calvin, the pay offs were obvious. On our way home we stopped at the College (our band was performing) just in time to share two songs that she’d learned and talk a bit about Calvin. What a fantastic way to end our wonderful weekend of music! Thanks guys….the food was great too!

6. Calvin Vollrath | April 21, 2011 at 07:31 PM EDT

Well, what can I say? I had a blast at fiddle camp. Thank you to all that showed up and made a Canadian feel the warmth of the people. You folks were a treat to be around.

Thanks to Avery & Madelaine for a job well done. Year 1 of many, I’m sure. If the good lord’s willing, I’ll be back next year.

Maybe you might want to host a Calvin Vollrath concert in your community just before or after camp next year. This will help out with expenses for Avery and just help out in general. I look so forward to coming back again.

The fellow teachers were all gracious with their time and a big thank you to Evan, Scott, Martha & Katie for helping me out in my show. The students were enthusiastic.

Please feel free to check out my website. Sign the guest book and say hello.

Hope to see you soon !!


7. boone | April 21, 2011 at 09:47 PM EDT

I had a great time at fiddle camp. I loved meeting many nice new people that share a passion with me. I had lot of fun jammin’ with other people musicians. I would love to participate in this camp again. Special thanks to Avery and the teachers who made this possible.

The Boonester

8. Barbara Brooks | April 22, 2011 at 02:02 AM EDT

How lucky we are that we now have such a high calibre music camp so close to home. The next Julian Family Fiddle & Mandolin camp is not to be missed!

I’m looking forward to meeting up with my new and old music friends from the camp and jamming on the tunes we learned – and many other tunes too. Can’t wait to get started on Santa Lucia as my next mandolin tune and Snowflake Breakdown as my next fiddle tune.

Thank you everyone! Barb

9. Scott Gates | April 22, 2011 at 04:06 AM EDT

Hey all,

The first Julian Fiddle Camp was awesome. A music festival atmosphere, great traditional camp experience, friendly community interaction, beautiful location with breathtaking scenery throughout; when people of like minds and passions are secluded with nothing to focus on but improvement and evolution, one can’t help but see bonds form under these circumstances. It’s a place at which anyone could have a memorable time. I know I did.


10. Jane Frey | April 22, 2011 at 01:51 PM EDT

Hello, Family Fiddle and Mandolin family! Avery, thank you so much for including me in a life-altering experience. I miss my students! Hope you are all well and happy. So nice sharing new Fiidle tunes I learned and the amazing CD’s as well. Katie, you’re a blast and a STAR! Scott, you are missed and we love your CD! Yes, Calvin, a concert in San Diego before or after camp is a great idea. Mesa College and Point Loma are available. I teach at both and they would love to have you, of course. Hope to be with you all again and jam next year. Congrats, Avery, on the success of your first camp! Jane

11. Katie Harvey | April 22, 2011 at 10:57 PM EDT

I had a blast at the Julian Fiddle Camp. I enjoyed every second of it. My students were awesome and so were the other instructors. I’m already looking forward to next year. Thank you Avery…you made this camp a great success!!

12. Drew Leavens | April 25, 2011 at 07:32 PM EDT

I wanted to lend my support to a local fiddle camp because all the others I go to are so far away. So I made the committment to Avery and was very pleased with my decision. I was delighted the quality of instruction I received from Calvin and Jane – it was top notch – so good in fact that I signed up for Calvin’s camp in Alberta this summer. The sense of community with everybody was great and it was awesome seeing old friends and making new ones. Now it wasn’t all bliss for an old guy like me – the beds or bunks or whatever were horrible and I was totally sleep deprived when I left. And my chronically bad back didn’t like walking the hills one bit. Still, the good things about this camp far outweighed the discomforts and I think it was a heck of a good start to what I hope will be an ongoing tradition in San Diego County. Cheers to you all and thanks again Avery!

13. Lauren Derstine Humphrey | April 25, 2011 at 10:45 PM EDT

Now that the girls are back in school, a moment to reflect on our amazing weekend with all of you is possible. The most memorable part of the camp for us, aside from the mind blowing performances by Calvin, Evan, Scott, Katie, and Martha, was meeting such wonderful, genuine and talented people. Our social butterfly, Violet, bonded with all of the kids and my heart jumped for joy as she walked off to the play structure hand in hand with Abby and Linda. Willow, our naturalist and earth lover, wanted to stay and play with her friends in the stream and with the wildlife forever. Of course, they loved their classes with Katie and bragged to everyone about being taught by a World Irish Step Dancing Champion. Their feet hurt for days from one lesson. I loved the hiking, rock climbing, archery, swimming, contra dancing, food and most of all my dulcimer class. Martha was wonderful through and through and our class was a blast. Three generations of our family are hooked for life Avery. As long as you keep coordinating a fiddle camp in Julian or the San Diego vicinity, we will make every effort to partake. I’m completely not musical, but am determined to keep trying with Willow, Violet and Jane as my inspirations.

14. Pattie Urie | April 26, 2011 at 01:12 PM EDT

Hi Everyone,

I had a great time meeting everyone at Fiddle Camp. It was especially nice to get to meet some of the people who are in our local groups that I didn’t really know enough to talk to. I went to our Slow Jam the Tuesday after camp and met up with Mary Jane. She shared the music \”Liberty\” from Evan’s class and she and I got a small group going that went to town with it. Then Mary Jane and I played it again at our Wednesday group. I would never have felt the bond with these folks and had the time of my life playing together had it not been for my experience at Fiddle Camp. Hope to see you all again next year!

15. Debbie Harvey | April 27, 2011 at 01:14 AM EDT

Hi everyone. As a chaperone I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to occupy my time during the Julian Fiddle Camp. That concern was put to rest rather quickly. The weekend flew by- visiting with old friends; making new ones; walking around hearing music trickling in from all directions; taking in the scenery; and enjoying the endless supply of hot coffee! I brought a stack of books to read, but didn’t crack one open. It was so inspiring to see young and old, beginner through advanced- smiling and playing music together. The night time concerts were of such high caliber that they alone were worth the trip to Julian. All the instructors were so open, approachable and dedicated to their students. It was great getting to know them better during meals and breaks. The camp itself was the perfect size to allow bonding and a sense of community to grow between all the participants. I am so glad that we attended the inaugural camp and am already looking forward to next year. It will be a great reunion!

16. Margrit Petrofsky | April 27, 2011 at 09:33 PM EDT

I had a wonderful time; a perfect mix of talented, positive and most of all, very nice folks, great music and excellent instruction. What an amazing group of musicians we had to teach us; thank you for sharing your gifts. And thank you, Scott and Evan, for the mando instruction; I came a long way in a short time (yep, I’m doing my scales, too).

Thank you, Avery, for organizing such a memorable event. I really enjoyed staying at Ceder Glen Camp. Hearing the wolves howl and walking down to the picture site to the fiddle music are two of the many special moments I experienced. I’m looking forward to seeing you all next year!

17. Terry Clark | April 28, 2011 at 04:24 PM EDT

What a weekend! Perfect weather, great music, wonderful folks, turkeys, howling wolves and best of all the camp was less than 2 hours away from my house. Thanks Avery for putting together a terrific camp, my hat is off to you. Being on the mandolin side of things, Evan and Scott are excellent instructors. The material was informative and very useful. The concerts were great! I have never seen Calvin and Katie perform before, their show will be remembered. I hope to see some of you during the year or perhaps next year at the Fiddle Camp.

18. Debbie Harvey | June 03, 2011 at 04:49 PM EDT

Avery wanted me to let you all know that we put up a few youtube videos from the performances at Julian. Below is a link to the awesome ‘Calvinfornians’ performance.

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