March 7, 2015


We are a month away from the start of JFFC 2015, with this being our fifth year!  As requested each year at this time, I encourage everyone who is coming to post something about themselves before Camp begins, as this gives all an idea as to who is coming, where they’re coming from, and their motives for attending this year’s Camp.  Simply CLICK HEREsign in, and give us some details.
Thanks, and see you next month in Julian! 
Avery Ellisman
1. Brian Oberlin | March 07, 2015 at 04:00 PM EST

Greeting folks,

I’m a rookie at Julian and so excited to be teaching mandolin. Let’s swing, sing, and dance!!!

Brian Oberlin

2. Mari Black | March 08, 2015 at 08:55 PM EDT

Hello Julian Family-

I’m looking forward to my first year at camp teaching beginner/mediate fiddle, and I can’t wait to meet everyone in just a few weeks! I’m especially looking forward to working with you fiddlers, exploring new tunes, demystifying bowing/ornamentation techniques, and discovering different ways to contribute in a jam or ensemble. It’s going to be a great week of sharing music together!


Mari Black

3. Nina Weisman | March 11, 2015 at 10:51 PM EDT


I’m really excited to be returning to Julian to help teach the beginning/intermediate mandolin players! Looking forward to seeing friends from past years and making new ones. See you all in April!


4. Rebecca Stout | March 12, 2015 at 01:38 PM EDT

Howdy campers,

I’m so excited to be back for another year at Julian Family fiddle camp! This year I will be doing workshops instead of a full-time class, so it will be much easier for folks to simply drop-in on a day to day basis. We’ll have a daily beginners-basics workshop and intermediate skills workshops. If you already know the basics, come learn Snake Legs, The Indian and the Tennessee Walking Step! I will also be available for private instruction for a reduced fee for any campers who are interested in getting more one-on-one focus. If you have a favorite fiddle tune you’d like to learn to dance to, let me know in advance and I’ll work out some steps for you to learn. Happy dancing!

5. Chris Coole | March 14, 2015 at 10:39 AM EDT

Hello down in there in sunny California!

We’ve had a long winter up here in Canada, so I can’t wait get back to beautiful Julian where the warm winds blow and the valleys echo with fiddles (and the odd banjo!).

This will be my second year teaching at this wonderful site. I had a great time in 2014, and I think this year can only be better.

I’ve got lots great stuff planned for the class. As always, my workshops tend to lean towards teaching you how to teach yourself. Stuff like learning by ear, variations, developing a personal style and learning on the fly.

I’ll be in touch with the whole class soon to get some feedback from you to help me direct the instruction in directions that are of interest to the group.

Just a few more weeks!!!!

6. Martha Wild | March 14, 2015 at 04:42 PM EDT

Hi all! Looking forward to another wonderful week of music and dancing! Aside from the evening barn dances, I hope to give another workshop with Rebecca early on in how to flat foot to the music during the dances. And also hope to see some new friends and old friends in the dulcimer classes – remember, I’ll be bringing dulcimers, so some of you who are accompanying others (in the non-musical sense) can try this simple instrument and find that yes, you too can make music! And maybe accompany your friends and family musically in the future!

7. Scott Law | March 16, 2015 at 11:35 AM EDT

Greetings from the road! Stardate: March 2015 – San Francisco, CA.

While we’re all gearing up and setting coordinates for Julian Camp next month, I find myself getting more excited to reconnect and share more of my gathered experience about playing music through the guitar. Our main focus will be around the use of a trusty flatpick for this mission, spending some quality time in the Fiddle-tune, Bluegrass and Basic Rhythm quadrants of the acoustic galaxy, learning tunes, techniques and even embarking on a few in-depth explorations like that old Blue Yodel #8 sung by Jimmie Rogers (Muleskinner Blues ala, Bill Monroe). I’ve also got some new exercises to get the fingers moving with better tone, speed and accuracy and will also try my best to be available to answer any lines of inquiry about improvising, blues playing, fingerpicking and music theory. Get those G-runs ready, travel safe, see you all real soon!!!

– Scott

8. Enion Pelta-Tiller | March 17, 2015 at 02:45 PM EDT

Hello Campers, New Friends-To-Be and Old Friends!

I’m looking forward to my first family fiddle camp. I’ll be teaching you advanced and advanced intermediate fiddlers iconic versions of bluegrass standards – how to play Big Sandy River like Kenny Baker did, for instance, how to approach stylistic improvisation, some fun old-time gems…and maybe we’ll sneak a little swing fiddle in there too. Til we meet at camp, I’ll be busy! Tomorrow I head to ASTA (American String Teachers Conference), and when I get home I’ll gearing up for and playing CD Release shows with my band Taarka, who you’ll get an opportunity to hear on Saturday night of camp.

It’ll be a real family fiddle camp for me this year, as my 7 year old (as of today!) son Aesop, who plays fiddle and guitar, and my husband David, who is a wonderful and well-respected mandolinist and guitarist will be there with me.

I can’t wait make music with all of you in this beautiful setting!


9. Lawrence Hargis | March 29, 2015 at 09:52 AM EDT

Hello all, Lawrence Hargis, late in life banjo learner, wish I had done this as a kid! I grew up in Ramona, used to watch a hillbilly band play every Saturday night in Descanso as a kid…in awe of the banjo. Learned how to fly airplanes instead. 40 years later, I pretty much got that down, so I took up banjo. I’m not moving as quickly with the banjo. Looking forward to being back in Julian, playing lots of music for several days, and coming home with some new tricks.

10. Audrey Abbe | March 30, 2015 at 08:48 PM EDT

Howdy Y’all!

My name is Audrey Abbe, I’m 13 years old, in the 7th grade, and I’ve been playing the banjo for 2 1/2 years and upright bass for 1 1/2 years. I am the youngest member of District 8’s CA State Old Time Fiddlers Assoc. in Oak View, CA (near Ventura on the coast). Just recently, last October, I entered the Goleta Valley Fiddlers Festival with my banjo instructor and I won 1st place in the intermediate banjo category; he backed me up on his guitar. This will be my second year going to beautiful Julian and the JFFC. What I liked most about last year was that I was able to attend banjo workshops with Chris Coole and bass workshops with Gene Libbea. I really liked both of them because they were very patient and gave me lots of advice and showed me new techniques to help me become a better musician. This year, in the banjo workshops, I’m hoping that there will be new songs to play, opportunities for me to meet new people, and strategies to help me with staying on tempo/on the beat. My mom says she’ll probably be attending the clogging classes after eating those Julian pies! Yum yum!! 😉 See y’all real soon! Audrey

11. Jennifer Albrent | March 31, 2015 at 10:44 AM EDT

We’re getting close!! Looking forward to sharing songs old and new with everyone. This will be my first year, but I think we’re all in for a treat!

-Jennifer Albrent (beginner/Intermidiate co-instructor). See you all soon!

12. Elliot Elisara | March 31, 2015 at 12:44 PM EDT

Hi my name is Elliot Elisara.I am a third grader at Julian Elementary.This will be my second time at the camp. I have been playing one and a half years. I am nine years old and enjoy mountain biking and playing soccer. Maril Parker is my aunt.

13. John Adams | March 31, 2015 at 07:46 PM EDT

Hi folks – I’m a retired Fed office worker who decided to pick up banjo a few years ago and have done some on my own but I thought I should try this. It’s my first camp ever and really look forward to seein’ and hearin’ everybody!

14. Katie Glassman | March 31, 2015 at 09:30 PM EDT

Howdy Campers,

I’m thrilled to be returning to Julian Fiddle Camp this year teaching Texas style. I grew up learning this genre and it will always be my first love. Passing it along is another piece of what a cherish about music itself. I intend to color a full picture of Texas Style Fiddling from the origins, to the various types of cultural influence to jamming. You’ll be welcome to use any tunes we learn in a contest, however we’ll mainly focus on getting them to a point where you can jam on them. We’ll learn themes, work on bowings and all that fun stuff. If you are planning on doing this program at camp and have something specific you would like to work on, please feel free to drop me an email and I’ll try to work it in.

15. Roger Taylor | March 31, 2015 at 10:53 PM EDT

Hi, I’m Roger Taylor. Wow! Just a week away! I play guitar, harmonica, sing, play a little piano sometimes. Looking forward to seeing familiar friends, making new ones, growing new music. Fiddle Camp experience has been excellent. Hoping to build on that high note and enjoy good company again.

16. Jerri-Ann Jacobs | March 31, 2015 at 11:42 PM EDT

Hello, this will be my second year at JFFC as a fiddler. I am classically trained at violin. It was a challenge for me to memorize or play violin by ear. This past year I have been taking mandolin lessons and learning to play by ear, which is helping me with the violin. My hope is to learn how to fiddle the basic songs that I have memorized. I feel more prepared and hope to get much more out of camp this year than I did last year.

17. Jack Radunsky | April 01, 2015 at 10:39 AM EDT

Hello. I’m Jack (9 yrs.) and I had a really good time last year. I play guitar and look forward to learning new songs and hearing everyone play music together.

18. Jerri-Ann Jacobs | April 01, 2015 at 01:23 PM EDT

This will be my second year at JFFC as a fiddler. I am classically trained at violin. It was a challenge for me to memorize or play violin by ear. This past year I have been taking mandolin lessons and learning to play by ear, which is helping me with violin. My hope is to learn how to fiddle the basic songs that I have memorized. I feel more prepared for this years camp and hope to get much more out of camp this year than I did last year. I loved the Flash Jam last year and am looking forward to doing it again.

19. Luke Price | April 01, 2015 at 08:47 PM EDT

Hey Folks!

Excited for my first year at Julian! I’ve heard it’s a great time of music and learning, so I’m ready to jump in.

I’m thrilled to be getting into the Texas Style fiddling tradition with Katie. Topics for my workshops will likely include rhythm (and more rhythm!), bowing techniques, ear training tactics, learning tunes, and self-listening for improvement. Can’t wait to meet everyone!


20. Christine Ouang | April 02, 2015 at 02:21 AM EDT

Can’t believe camp is less than a week away! This will be my third year in the banjo section. I’ve been playing for a while, but am always improving and learning new techniques. I’m so looking forward to picking up from where we left off with Chris Coole. I haven’t been playing banjo much lately, so this will be a good refresher, and I’ve heard that we have some new material.

I also see some of my good music friends will be there, and I’m excited to be with them again in beautiful Julian.

21. Brad Sand | April 02, 2015 at 06:28 PM EDT

Hi fellow campers – My name is Brad Sand and I am a 62 yr. old mandolin and guitar player. I hope to learn as much as I can from Brian and share music with everyone at camp. See you on Wed.

22. James Adams | April 03, 2015 at 01:01 AM EDT

Hi everyone!

Super excited to be joining you all this year at Julian. It’ll be my first time and from what I can tell, I am going to love it. I’m a guitar player turned banjo player that lives on Catalina Island and as a result has very few people to jam with regularly. I am really pumped to have the opportunity to study with Chris Coole and the rest of you this coming week. Looking forward to playing good tunes, meeting new friends and exploring a beautiful new place!

See you soon!


23. CJ Neary | April 03, 2015 at 02:57 PM EDT

Hi, My name is CJ, I just turned 9 a couple days ago. I am excited to learn some fun new licks for my Texas style fiddle and hopefully get some guitar time in too. We are coming from Bend, Oregon. See you soon.

24. Kim Blackwell | April 04, 2015 at 09:25 PM EDT

Hello Everybody,

I am excited to be back at camp this year and to learn about Texas Style/Contest fiddling. This really is my weak spot and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from Katie Glassman.

See you all soon,

Kim Blackwell (Donaldson)

25. Ruti Yonah | April 05, 2015 at 12:49 AM EDT

Hi everyone!

My name is Ruti Yonah. I’m a member of the Hazel Hill String Band, based in Jerusalem, Israel, and I’m very excited to be coming to Julian. I’m looking forward to improving my guitar skills in the flat-picking workshop, and I’m bringing along some other instruments — hoping for some great jamming.

I have a request: since international flights are notoriously unhealthy for guitars, I won’t be travelling with mine. Would anyone happen to have a loaner guitar that I could borrow for camp? If so,I’ll be eternally grateful. Avery has my contact information. Thanks, and see you all soon.

26. Daniel-Julian Cullen | April 05, 2015 at 04:38 PM EDT

I’ve been really excited to come because I’ve been having a little bit of trouble on some of my fiddle songs and I’m glad I’ll have some fiddle teachers to help me with them. I’m 8 years old and ive been playing fiddle for about a year and a half. This will be my second year at camp. Last year I tried flan there and I’m hoping they’ll have some again. Even though it’s a really long drive from LA I’m still really excited to go. Thank you and goodbye. Love, Daniel Julian

27. Nat Copeland | April 06, 2015 at 09:46 AM EDT

Hey I’m Nat. I’m a local up here in Julian. I’ve been playing the fiddle for 4 years. I can’t wait to come back and learn some more.

28. Barbara Brooks | April 07, 2015 at 12:43 AM EDT

Hi there Music Friends,

I’m really looking forward to my second time at this wonderful camp! I made it the first year and worked on mandolin with Evan(Marshall) – a fabulous experience, but I have not been able to come again till now.

I’m a member of our local CSOTFA District 7, and for me, I think it will be all about contest fiddling with Katie this time. My husband and I travel a lot in our RV and last year I entered 4 CSOTFA contests – in the Senior Senior (over 70) Division. Our Julian Fiddle Contest will be coming up May 30th and I’m excited to get tips from Katie for that. But I’m sure I’ll find time to attend some of the other workshops – I’d like to go to them all! Looking forward to meeting up with old music friends and making new ones! And last, but not least, thank you Avery, for all you do for us. As we’ve told you before – you really are one of the hardest working men in show biz!

29. Shanon Garcia | April 07, 2015 at 12:55 AM EDT

Hi! I’m a classically-trained violinist, though I started out with fiddle music when I was a kid. This is my first time at Julian and I’m looking forward to getting back to my roots, learning more about how to execute different styles of fiddling, and how to improvise/jam. I also play mandolin a bit, so I’m going to bring that with me as well.

30. Jerry Schreiber | April 07, 2015 at 10:31 AM EDT

This is my first time at camp. Been playing guitar with the local fiddlers, looking forward to picking up some useful techniques in this area. I’ll be bringing along some other instruments, hoping to make progress on them too. Glad to see some familiar names on this list. Should be a wonderful weekend.

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