April 20, 2012

2012 Julian Family Fiddle Camp – April 11 – 15: WHAT MEMORIES!

Yessiree …. The weather gods smiled on us again, only rather than sun, they surprised us with 3″ of snow Friday night – a beautiful white blanket that kept us huddled inside, and enhancing the atmosphere of a warm, close-knit fiddle camp (Of course some serious out-of-season snow-ball fights did occur, prompting me to make feigned calls to the “fun police” given so many overjoyed kids (young and old).  Calvin Vollrath, Evan Marshall, Katie Harvey, Jane Frey and Martha Wild did their magic once again this year, and were joined by camp newcomers, Tyler Grant and Jonathan Trawick.  Wild card, Avery Merritt, shared fiddle duties with Calvin Vollrath, and as expected, wowed all with his prowess on acoustic and electric fiddles.  More pictures will be posted soon, but for now here’s a collage that tells a bit of the story:



1. Maril Parker | April 20, 2012 at 06:19 PM EDT

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and treasuring moments in my heart and mind. Often I try to encapsulate them in the exercise of what I call, ‘highs and lows’… A few highs… the\”Tyler Grant Jam Band\”. Experiencing utter magic as 5 guys who have never played together pull off an fabulous impromptu jam session live with an audience of 100. They were smokin!… Being one of two students in Calvin Volraths workshop with his undivided attention and playing really well… Stopping and jamming with folks in the dining hall just because that’s what you do when you walk by… Having one on one time with Jane Frye to work out the fine points of vibrato… getting front row seating at the concerts and knowing full well they are $200 dollar tickets and I sat there for free… Laughing with Ken at Evin Marshall ‘shtick’ on stage until my stomach ached… Dancing with 6 year old Ezra at the barn dance and dragging him across the floor, since he liked to slide, collapse and be dragged with a big grin on his face… Finally, words from a friend who experienced an evening at camp with the concert, barn dance and comradery. She joined an after party/ jam at my house and used words like, \”extraordinary\”, \”exceptional\”, \”dazzling\”. She never flatters. Ever.

Lows… Just not enough time…

2. Pam Merritt | April 23, 2012 at 02:13 PM EDT

Thank you Avery Ellisman and family, all instructors, and all support staff and people who made this wonderful music camp happen. I thought I was just the transportation mom so my son could participate, but I ended up playing the mountain dulcimer and my guitar. Some kind of inspiring energy abounds when you spend time with enthusiastic musicians. This camp brought together beautiful surroundings, excellent instructors and fun loving participants. There were wild turkeys, howling wolves, tall trees, archery and snowballs outside, and roaring fires in the ever changing main hall which went from mess hall to concert hall to dance hall to all purpose instruction and jamming rooms. The cabins and food were good, the music instruction was great, and the evening concerts were excellent. I had a great time and look forward to doing it again.

3. Lauren Humphrey | May 16, 2012 at 01:04 AM EDT

Hello fellow campers and potential future attendees,

2012 was the extended Humphrey family’s second year at the Julian Family Fiddle Camp and this year we all took lessons and had a fabulous time again. Last year, we hiked, climbed, shot arrows, and swam during our short breaks. This year several inches of snow blanketed the camp. My husband’s parents, who are about as musically challenged as I am had a blast with Martha Wild playing the Mountain Dulcimers. Our girls, Willow and Violet learned so much in Calvin’s class and were inspired by and benefited from Avery (the younger’s) insights, creativity and teachings. Most importantly, they had the best time having snow ball fights, dancing the Monkey dance and other traditional barn dances, making new friends and re-connecting with those from last year. Willow even has a new pen pal, who sends the most endearing letters by snail mail. Connecting with so many wonderful, talented, friendly and down to earth people in nature and getting to enjoy the most awesome concerts ever were some of my favorite parts.

Jim loved his guitar classes with Tyler and Jonathan and made new friends with whom he and the girls been jamming around town and on several other local camping trips. The experiences and friends have just broadened our bluegrass, fiddle and contra dance circle of friends and we have started attending the contra dances in San Diego. Willow jammed with Martha’s Community Band, \”More the Merrier\” and we’re going again tomorrow night.

I had a stupendous time in Jane’s class, who is a dear friend and constant source of encouragement, amazement and expertise for all of us. The delicious, nutritious, and balanced family style allowed me to actually focus on music for hours at a time. All in all, we can’t wait for next year’s camp and hope more bluegrass and old time fiddle lovers will partake this rare and fabulous musical immersion.

Much gratitude goes to Avery Ellisman and his family for putting their hearts and souls into this camp!!!

4. Terry Clark | May 20, 2012 at 11:51 AM EDT

I have to thank Avery and his family for putting together another great camp. All of their hard work is greatly appreciated.

The camp had everything, the instructors put on some of the most entertaining and enjoyable concerts. Evan Marshall provided the instruction for our group of minimalists. What can be better then spending four days with Evan. Without a doubt one of the best instructors around.

The camp management was very good, they were there to help if needed. The Galley crew provided excellent meals.

Overall the camp was very good and informative. Avery didn’t need to have a snow and ice show but you can’t do much about the


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