January 31, 2014

JFFC 2014 – Greetings from the Director

HOWDY to all who are coming – or interested in coming – to the April 9 – 13, 2014 Julian Family “Fiddle” Camp (JFFC)!


Past camps have been a blast, with each year setting a new standard in fun and musicianship.  It’s been tough, but we’ve worked hard to identify and secure a number of new teachers who, like their predecessors, are not only some of the best at what they do, but also wonderful people, excellent instructors and, as we’ll find out, great entertainers.  As with years past, I’m asking everyone who is coming to the camp to write in and tell a little about yourself.  While a relatively simple thing, your brief personal introduction here goes far in helping us get a jump start on building the camp camaraderie that spirits us on to greater musical adventures.  So, please, CLICK HERE, sign in, and let us know who you are, where you’re from, and what you hope to get out of JFFC 2014.  








1. Chris Coole | February 01, 2014 at 04:20 PM EST

Hi folks

I’m thrilled to be teaching clawhammer banjo at the 2014 Julian Family Fiddle Camp!.

I look forward to meeting you all.

I’d love to hear from you and get some input insofar as what you’d be interested in learning during our time together. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to address everything that you request (it always depends on the ability of the class), but I will, of course, try my best to get through as much

as possible.

See you in April

Chris Coole

2. Scott Law | February 08, 2014 at 05:36 PM EST

Hello! Scott Law here… just checking in and wanting to say how much I look forward to the music and getting to know some new folks at JFFC this year! It will be an honor for me to participate, especially as this is my first time. I’m hoping to rally and encourage lots of enthusiastic guitar pickers to join the fray? Plenty of stuff we can do and areas we can cover, including fiddle tunes. I’m pretty versatile and flexible so hit me up 🙂

Stay in touch,


3. Yaniv Salzberg | February 12, 2014 at 08:20 AM EST

Hey friends!

I’m really looking forward to coming back to fiddle camp again this year! I’ll be teaching guitar instead of bass, and I’m excited to share a new method I’ve been developing called \The One String Guitar Method.\ I’m also working on some new recordings that I hope to finish in time to share at camp. I had an awesome time at last year’s camp and can’t wait to do it again.

Be in touch to say hello to ask me any questions. I’d love to tailor my classes to your interests so please be in touch about anything. My e-mail address and website are below. Keep pickin’.


4. Katelyn Woodside Hock | February 12, 2014 at 05:24 PM EST

Hello Everyone!

I’m so excited to be teaching this year at the Julian Fiddle Camp! I will be co-leading the beginner/intermediate fiddle class with Avery Merritt. Ours is going to be a great class. I’ve come to fiddling from a background in classical approaches. It’s going to be especially fun for me to help folks improve basic technique so that their fiddling gets easier and their sound gets better. I look forward to meeting you all in April! Happy Fiddling!


5. Avery Merritt | February 15, 2014 at 04:06 AM EST

Hi, all!

I just can’t wait to see familiar faces and meet new ones this year at Julian! I’ll be teaching the beginner/intermediate fiddlers with Katelyn Woodside Hock this year, and I’ll be teaching all y’all a tune or two and a few cool techniques. (Who knows, maybe I’ll break out my electric violin as well!) In any case, I’m super stoked about being invited back to Julian again, and I know this year will be a blast! See you soon- Avery

(P.S. Feel free to email me with any questions at .)

6. Sharon Gilchrist | February 15, 2014 at 11:51 PM EST

Hi Folks!

Sharon Gilchrist, here.

I am very excited about teaching mandolin at JFFC this year.

This will be my first year teaching at the camp and I am looking forward to it. From what I hear, this camp has all the right ingredients for a inspiring, fun and fruitful time. If anyone has questions ahead of time, you can reach me through my website at:

I look forward to seeing your there soon!



7. Rebecca Stout | February 20, 2014 at 04:20 PM EST

Howdy Campers,

Last year’s camp was so fun and inspiring, my \music high\ lasted at least 6 months! I’m ready for a re-charge. 🙂 I’m particularly looking forward to introducing my new A.S.P.S Flatfoot 101 course at the camp. I’ve been working on a teaching apprenticeship this past year with the creator of Appalachian Step Percussion Services (A.S.P.S.), Mr. T. Paul Anderegg. Through the apprenticeship work, I’ve developed a new, simplified approach that makes learning the dance easier and encourages the development of a unique freestyle approach. For those of you who are interested in learning to do step percussion while playing an instrument, this class will introduce a few simple techniques that will get you well on your way. Until we meet, keep your flatfeet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!

Your dancing pal,

Rebecca \Miss Becky\ Stout

8. Gene Libbea | February 23, 2014 at 10:31 AM EST

This will be my first time teaching at the Fiddle Camp, and I’m looking forward to getting together and touching bass with all of you!

9. Katie Glassman | March 04, 2014 at 02:03 AM EST

Hi there campers,

I’m really looking forward to returning to camp the Julian Family Fiddle Camp this year. I had a blast last year teaching improvisation, western swing and a Texas style. Any specific requests for this year? I’ve got some ideas brewing….We must do the masterclass again…I know there were a few of you wanting to learn Texas style back-up, perhaps we can have a jam class? Mainly, I would really like to help make jamming easier and more fun. I would love to know what you fiddlers would like to get out of camp this year.

Here’s a thank you to Avery for putting in another year of hard work to make all of this magic happen again!

10. Martha Wild | March 05, 2014 at 12:17 PM EST

Hi, all, Looking forward to this year’s Fiddle Camp! I’ve had so much fun teaching the dulcimer class the last few years, and happy that some people who tried it now have dulcimers of their own, and others were so stoked that they could play an instrument that they took on the fiddle! I have a bunch of dulcimers available, so you don’t have to bring one to try it. We learn a few simple fiddle tunes so we can jam with the other musicians, and we learn some other tunes and rounds for fun. And in the evening, I’ll be leading some family friendly barn dances to – what else – great fiddle tunes, to wake you up for the late night jam sessions! See you all there!


11. Nina Weisman | March 05, 2014 at 02:19 PM EST

Hi folks,

I’m so excited to have been asked back to teach beginning mandolin again this year! Last year was amazing! So much great music, new friends, new songs and techniques, dancing, blooming lilacs, great food, etc.!!! This is such a great camp, I can’t wait to meet everyone, geek out about mandolin stuff, learn from everyone around me, make it to Rebecca’s dance class this year, and play lots of music!

See you all soon!


12. Miriam Cantor | March 07, 2014 at 11:53 AM EST

I played violin as a child and hated it. My father \teasingly\ called it a fiddle. I would respond, annoyed, not really knowing how a fiddle was different than a violin, \It’s NOT a fiddle\. Now that I know how wonderful a fiddle is to listen, and dance to, I wish I’d listened to my father!

13. Ann Smith | March 08, 2014 at 03:53 PM EST

I’m glad to see the child prodigy, Avery (the younger, as those of us that know him, call him) who by the way, was just accepted into the prestigious difficult to get into Cal Arts. Congratulations Avery!

I’m looking forward to participating with new folks I’ve not met (well, some I have, not all). I am a solid intermediate fiddle player, having studied with various classical fiddle teachers in the So. Ca. area. I currently live in Hemet, CA.

For those of you who haven’t met me, I’m very involved with No. County Bluegrass Folk Club, which meets regularly the 1st Tuesday of each month at Round Table Pizza, Washington Ash (excellent pizza), for live music. We offer some of the best free entertainment in the county! We also have a 45 minute open mic (which we pre-book) for one performing band/individual/duo, what have you. It’s an open minded non-exclusive club with a very friendly bunch of people. Come see us some time!

NCBGFC co-produces the now famous very successful Summergrass Bluegrass Festival.

I’m a returning \campee\, having been there 2 years ago when Calvin Volrath (fabulous fiddler, good teacher charming fellow) was on board. If you are new to this experience, you’ll enjoy yourself thoroughly. It’s a very social well run camp. I sincerely doubt you’ll find another camp of comparable value for the kinds of instruction you’ll find here. Avery does a great job in bringing experienced, down to earth instructors to Julian Family Fiddle Camp. No, this is not a puff piece for this camp, however, having been to a few camps, I find that this one most definitely has \added value\. Heck, we even had snow 2 years ago! It truly was a good time.

Enjoy yourselves I’m looking forward to seeing new old friends.

Ann Smith

14. Mark Pullin | March 08, 2014 at 04:52 PM EST

Hello All,

This will be my second camp. My first was during the big snow two years ago, which was exciting, but I’m hoping for milder weather this year. My wife (Wendy) is joining in the fun this year. I live in San Diego and know Avery Ellisman from our participation in the San Diego Bluegrass Society. He’s a great musician, mentor, and encourager. We are in for a treat. I look forward to developing my guitar/mandolin skills. Any singers out there? I enjoy harmony and lead so let’s sing a few. I wish everyone a safe journey to the camp and look forward to great jamming and laughs. Regards, Mark Pullin

15. Adi Silberberg | March 09, 2014 at 02:51 PM EDT

Hi all.

I’m Adi Silberberg, I’m a professional musician who plays many instruments, among them – the violin – both classical, but mainly, on the violin, for a living – experimental, world music pop rock oriented music. I am looking forward to the camp, as this can be a great opportunity for me to improve my technique on the violin a great chance to learn about fiddling.

With me will attend the camp my young son – Roy. Roy is a 15 years old boy, who is very gifted musically, but who hasn’t really been hooked to any instrument before. recently he’s trying the violin, it seems that he has lots of fun with it.

You can find out more about me on my website:

See you all soon,



As this is not our native language you’ll have to excuse our English. I can assure you that we come across cleverer in Hebrew;)

16. Tricia Elisara | March 10, 2014 at 12:42 AM EDT

Hello all! My name is Tricia Elisara, and I live here in Julian. Although I don’t play I had the privilege of attending most of the camp last year with an 11-year old friend of ours, Nat Copeland. This year I’ll be back as a parent chaperone with my own son, Elliot, who is 8-years old. Elliot has been playing for four months, with the goal of attending fiddle camp (learning some of the beginning tunes on his own, helped by Nat and Maril.) He loves his fiddle. As I am typing, he is in the other room whistling Ashokan Farewell. As a Julian-ite, I am thrilled to see more local kids taking up fiddle and advancing their skills and excitement through this camp. Please e-mail me if I can give any recommendations on the Julian area. We’ll see you soon!

17. Jerri-Ann Jacobs | March 11, 2014 at 12:36 AM EDT

Hi, My name is Jerri-Ann Jacobs and I live in Del Mar. I play classical violin and would love to learn to play by ear and fiddle. I am beginner/intermediate. I also picked up the mandolin and would love to learn more about that instrument. This is my first fiddle camp and I am very excited about going to camp and learning new skills. Looking forward to some Julian apple pie!

18. Sue Cooper | March 11, 2014 at 02:18 PM EDT

Hi all, my name is Sue Cooper and I live in beautiful Ventura. I just won a full scholarship to camp from my Old Time Fiddlers Association district, and I can’t tell you how stoked I am to be able to attend! This will be my first fiddle camp ever. I am 57, a late starter with a tiny bit of previous music background way back when. I am a beginner/intermediate fiddler. I have been playing for a total of about a year and a half and have a great fiddle teacher but can’t do lessons very regularly. YouTube and books are great fill-in resources! I play several tunes well in front of my cat and am getting a bit more confident in front of real people. I am looking forward to learning how to jam with other musicians. I want to learn improvisation and backup skills for jams as well as expanding my repertoire of Old Time and Bluegrass tunes. I will be meeting in person for the first time a Facebook fiddling friend and we will be bunking in the same cabin. I am so looking forward to meeting and having a blast with you all!

19. Nat Copeland | March 11, 2014 at 08:35 PM EDT

Hi, This is Nat Copeland. I am super excited about camp this year. This will be my second time. I learned so much last year I can’t wait to do it again. I love playing with other people and learning more about how to play the violin.

20. Bill Klein | March 12, 2014 at 10:45 AM EDT

Hey everybody!

I’ll be back for my second time at camp. I was here two years ago in the snow (rode in with Mark in his RV). This time I’ll be bringing my wife, Laurie, and my own RV! I’ll be studying mandolin this year, although I may sneak into some other classes as well. Looking forward to it!

21. Maril Parker | March 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM EDT

Hi Everyone,

Maril Parker here. This will be year 4 for me and I am as excited as ever! What more could I ask, but to have world class instruction and players to study under… in my own backyard no less. As a Julian resident I feel honored that folks think this area is a great place to host this kind of music. I look forward to meeting up with old friends and making new ones. Here’s to another great year at Fiddle Camp!

22. Vincent Westphal | March 12, 2014 at 03:52 PM EDT

I am 64 years old and have been a student of the violin/fiddle for 4 years, and will be attending Julien Fiddle camp for the first time as a beginnermediate. When I first started playing the fiddle, I was told it would take 5 years to become a poor fiddler – so I have one more year to reach that level! Not necessarily looking forward to learning lots of tunes at your camp, but am hoping to learn solid technique and come home with a 1-year lesson plan.

23. Andrea Stoney | March 13, 2014 at 12:59 PM EDT

Hi Everyone –

I’m Andrea Stoney and I’m coming to camp this year as a first-timer and bringing along my 8 year old grand daughter Yoko Potter. I live near Charleston, South Carolina. I’ve been playing the fiddle for about 7 years, inspired mainly by the Low Country Friends of Old Time Music in Charleston. Yoko lives in Los Angeles and has had about a year and a half of Suzuki violin at the Pasadena Conservatory. I’m hoping that Yoko will see how much fun it is to play her fiddle in an old time jam session, and learn how to listen an enjoy the group spirit even when the group is playing a tune that she doesn’t know. We’re both looking forward to this!

24. Christine Ouang | March 13, 2014 at 06:24 PM EDT

I’m so excited to be back for camp! Although huffing and puffing up that hill was a challenge, it was worth it to study banjo with Adam Hurt. This year, I’ll be doing it again to learn from Chris Coole! OK, well, actually, Avery drove me up in the golf cart, but, hey! I’m also really excited to learn that we’ll have such a talented banjo group this year. I’ve been playing clawhammer (and some finger-style) banjo since 2007, am an intermediate player with lots of enthusiasm for all genres of music, and love learning in a group setting. Can’t wait to play with friends and meet all the new folks!

25. Yoko Potter | March 13, 2014 at 09:12 PM EDT

Hi, my name is Yoko Potter. I live in Los Angeles and I have a brother, Sammy, who plays the piano. I play the violin. I am 8.

26. carol gilbert | March 14, 2014 at 08:09 AM EDT

Hi there! My name is Carol Gilbert. As a child I did not like to practice my violin. Being from a family of accomplished fiddlers I have made it my mission to learn to play. I have been taking lessons from my cousin, Dan, for 5 months. I am looking forward to camp.

27. Laurie Klein | March 14, 2014 at 11:04 AM EDT

My husband Bill raved about camp, so I’m coming too this year, guitar in one hand, dancing shoes in the other. Life rudely interrupted my groove, and I hope to re-engage motivation, eat pie without guilt, explore the area, goose my rhythm playing (rusty intermediate), make a friend or two, maybe make the leap from clogging (also rusty intermediate) to Flat Footing. Not sure when I’ll sleep! Thanks in advance to all you spirited, gifted folks for your presence at camp this year.

28. Daniel Clarke | March 17, 2014 at 04:24 PM EDT

Hello from the Tundra we call CANADA! My brother is an aspiring fiddler and has been an inspiration to me as a talented musician, like his mother and grandfather before him. He has been encouraging me to take in a camp like this and so what better then the best available for my first experience! I am a long time ‘choir boy’ and a beginner guitar player. I look forward to experiencing everything that Julian has to offer!

29. Daniel Julian Cullen | March 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM EDT

Hi, I’m Daniel Julian Cullen. I am 7 years old. I am excited to go to fiddle camp. I’ve been playing since last summer. I wanted to learn because my babysitter’s daughter used to play the violin and that inspired me to try to play the violin. And I really like the music that comes out of the fiddle. The fiddle is a very good instrument to learn. I really love playing on it. I’m excited to play with other people at fiddle camp. I can’t wait to meet other kids who play the fiddle. I love the fiddle because I get to play fast songs. I went to the Topanga Fiddle and Banjo Festival last year and that’s another thing that inspired me to try to play the fiddle. I liked that they were playing really fast.

Love, Daniel Julian

I’m Dana, Daniel Julian’s mom. I’m looking forward to seeing DJ get the chance to experience the joy of participating in a musical community. I played piano, French horn, and guitar growing up, but haven’t touched an instrument in many years. I love salsa and country-western dancing and am looking forward to learning some new dance steps. See you all in a few weeks!

30. Daniel Julian Cullen | March 18, 2014 at 12:53 PM EDT

I forgot to say I’m from Los Angeles!


Daniel Julian Cullen

31. Miriam Cantor | March 20, 2014 at 11:29 AM EDT

I would like to RIDESHARE to camp. I live in LA.

I am willing to drive to you if I am too far out of your way, and will help pay for gas.

Please contact me through Avery.

Thanks in advance.


32. Maggie Olczyk | March 20, 2014 at 05:14 PM EDT

Hi Gang

My name is Maggie and Im 30 and a beginner! Im really excited to meet everyone and start playing. This year will be my first time attending and hopefully its as great as everyone has made it sound. I enjoy playing all kinds of tunes unfortunately I don’t have many to my name but hopefully that will improve. Looking forward seeing you all.


33. Madeline Radunsky | March 28, 2014 at 10:44 AM EDT

Hi. I’m Maddy and I’m 11. I play Suzuki violin but I also know a couple of fiddle tunes and I’m hoping to learn more. I visited Fiddle Camp for a day last year and I liked it a lot. I liked being in nature mixed with instruments everywhere, and meeting a lot of fun people. I think it will be really, really fun to camp!

34. Jack Radunsky | March 28, 2014 at 10:48 AM EDT

Hi. I’m Jack (8), Maddy’s brother. I play guitar and I like rock and folk music. I look forward to swimming, eating pie, and playing music.

35. Emily Judd | March 31, 2014 at 08:00 PM EDT

The Judd Family and Grandma are coming up the Hill a few miles from Ramona CA. We have 5 sons! Matt is 12 and has played the fiddle for three years with Suzuki and Josh is 11 and plays the Viola/Fiddle for 2.5 years. David is 9, Daniel is 7 and Andrew is 5. They are the best boys a mother could ask for. We are so excited to learn more about the art of fiddling.

36. Estelle Mondragon | April 01, 2014 at 04:02 PM EDT

Hello ALL! My name is Estelle Mondragon. I’m a newbie to fiddle camp who will heading to Julian from Ventura, Ca. and am a socal native. Coming from a long line of musicians music is coursing through my veins. Growing up music was always a huge part of my life. I started playing guitar when I was 12 and have mostly just played w/ family. Never learned anything really fancy but when we play and sing together magic happens. The style we play is mostly folk w/ some other styles like reggae, ambient (to be general)flowing in. Harmonizing is a lifetime love of mine. Sadly I haven’t practiced guitar regularly for about six years and am very soft. I am looking forward to some big time pickin’ and a singin’, learning new techniques, rekindling my fire for playing and performing as well as meeting new people. See you there!

37. Michael Nieman | April 01, 2014 at 05:58 PM EDT

Hi, my name is Michael Nieman. I will be attending the camp primarily to learn Flatfooting from Rebecca Stout, but I am also looking forward to improving my clawhammer banjo playing. I play banjo, washboard, bones and Bodhran in a San Diego band called, \Crroked\. We formed primarily to play for the local contradance, but lately have been adding vocals, etc. and branching out to some club gigs. I am hoping to add flatfooting to my percussion arsenal. Look forwrad to seeing you all there.

38. Audrey Abbe | April 02, 2014 at 02:57 PM EDT

Hi Y’all,

This will be my first time attending the Julian Family Fiddle Camp! I am so excited! I will be bringing my Deering Goodtime banjo and my full-sized upright bass. I’m 12 yrs old and I live in Ventura, CA with my mom, dad, my sister, and 3 cats. I have been playing my banjo for over a year and a half. This is my first year playing the bass. I’m also a member of the District 8 Old Time Fiddlers in Ojai, CA. They were so kind and generous to send me a scholoarship to the camp. I wouldn’t be going if they didn’t help me. I looking forward to see all of you people there!!!


39. Melanie Klar | April 03, 2014 at 11:39 AM EDT

Howdy! I had so much fun last year Avery called me the chronic smiler! I had decided not to come this year because of finances, but as it got closer I realized that this is one of the highlights of my whole year! I do everything for everyone else all the time and this is my week of inspiration and \taking care of the goose.\ (You can’t get golden eggs from a goose if you don’t take good care of it!) I’m super excited to do the flatfooting track this year! The bluegrass band I’m in would be much helped with some percussion and my health and weight could use the exercise! Looking so forward to it!

40. Mark Woodland | April 04, 2014 at 02:36 PM EDT

Greetings to All. East Coast guy living in San Clemente for a year. I’m five years into my mandolin obsession and loving it. Looking forward to the music and meeting music minded people.

41. ezra ellisman | April 04, 2014 at 10:14 PM EDT


I’m Ezra. I’m nine. My dad puts on the fiddle camp. This will be my fourth year at the camp. Every year I look forward to coming back for another week of fiddling. You make a ton of friends there and its really fun. You can make hot chocolate every day, and the dancing after the concerts is a blast.

42. Ada | April 05, 2014 at 12:59 PM EDT

Hello! I’m Ada Ellisman and I’m 12 years old. This is my fourth year at JFFC and I absolutely love it! I look forward to meeting everyone this year!

43. David Shaw | April 06, 2014 at 03:39 PM EDT

Hi everyone: This will be my first FFC and I’m really looking forward to it. I am a five string, bluegrass-type banjo player, although I play and appreciate a wide variety of music. I will also bring my mandolin, guitar, and old-time banjo and I hope to get insight on these instruments in terms of technique, maybe a few new tunes, backup, etc. to strengthen my abilities and structure my practice time. I am looking forward to jamming, concerts, and a fun time. I also plan to get some hiking exercise up in the mountains, work on my ping pong game using the mando and my tennis game using the banjo. Its amazing what you can do with these old instruments! I will be driving up from Encinitas on Wednesday and plan to be there for the entire FFC, returning Sunday. Let me know if you would like to carpool – I have a truck that has lots of room. Looking forward to meeting you all!

44. Summer Frost | April 07, 2014 at 12:41 PM EDT

Hi, this will be my first time attending FFC and I’m looking forward to it. I played the cello when I was young, and now play the mandolin and a little guitar. I would love to improve my skills on the mandolin, and also experiment more with the guitar, banjo and possibly the dulcimer. I might also bring my mando-cello to camp.

45. Terry Stafford | June 29, 2014 at 10:24 PM EDT

When does registration open for 2015? It’ll be my first.

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