About the Workshops

2019 – Year 17 – Want to know what it’s like?

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Summer Fiddle Camp – Blowing Rock, NC 

The summer of 2019 marks the 17th annual Walker Family Band Music Workshop in Blowing Rock. From the very first camp attended by a dozen or so students, something about the energy, the music, and the families who come together to share this week is always magical. Every year has been the best year! Some of events of camp week are described below. The magic, however, is a “have to be there” experience that The Walker Family Band invites you to discover!

Check In day is a time to greet old friends and welcome new ones. While we check schedules and hand out T-shirts, we catch up on family milestones. After a fabulous “welcome back” dinner, we join together for a “Family Meeting”. Scott introduces faculty, outlines the week to come, and answers questions as quickly as possible knowing that everyone is anxious to play some tunes! Some surprises may be announced; a special “whole camp” event or activity. Then participants break up into the “new timers” or “old timers” and the first jam session of camp begins. Besides being almost too much fun, the first jam session is a way for faculty members to make sure the class placements are correct for each participant, so long before the players are ready, the faculty calls the jam to a close to make sure our travelers are well rested for  the next days classes.

Early Monday morning, we encourage everyone to join Scott in a silent nature walk…you should be there! The sun streaking through the trees along the path and the time of silent union inspires and uplifts; sharpens our senses. A short meditation allows us clear our thoughts so that we’re open and receptive to all the experiences in store for us this day.

Returning to breakfast you will find special events are posted at the cafeteria, individual schedules have been tweaked overnight. Everyone is excited to dig into their classes. After dinner, we meet for jam sessions. It’s hard to leave and go to bed Monday night. Camp is in full swing!

 

Tuesday and Wednesday we start with a nature walk, all participants will go to classes, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, are now enjoying their music and pottery classes, shopping and hiking.  Dance is exhilarating,  yoga so relaxing,  swimming is refreshing, jam sessions are jammin’! There’s lots and lots of laughing.  Family bands and groups newly formed are planning showcase performances. New friends have become best friends and music is literally everywhere! Wednesdays are wonderful to watch as the camp has developed an amazing and magical “life” that is as unique as each individual present.

   

By Thursday, in the hallways, on the porch, in the gazebo, everywhere you walk, there is no doubt that the quality of the music has taken a giant step to a higher level! This is the day you notice the musicians are focused on performance. Showcase pieces are being perfected; this afternoon and evening brings our 1st performances and musicians have their game faces on!

In the summer of 2010, the Walker Family Band Music Workshop moved into the community for an  outdoor festival day in the park. Just as the eagerly anticipated faculty performance was about to end a fabulous festival,  the heavens opened for want seemed like the HUGEST rain EVER! With an auspicious beginning like that, we decided our Festival Day would become forever an annual event! We did move the festival back to our BRCC home where we’re comfortably close to shelter!

Margaret dancingThursday continues to be the “official” start of the performance portion of camp with student groups, family bands, the faculty concert, and sometimes guest musicians performing throughout the afternoon. We have a traditional 4th of July cookout and end it all with a camp contra dance that Ruth so skillfully calls to include everyone small and tall “squarely” in the fun! Music is provided by…of course…volunteer bands formed by camp participants and faculty.

Let us pause in life’s pleasures to give a huge round of applause to Ted, Martha, Amy, Larry, and Aimee and all the facility staff, and especially to Linda and her cafeteria staff, for accommodating our special requests all week! Our camp would never have become so successful without the support of all the people who take care for us during camp week!  We are so grateful for them, and the BRCC Board of Directors, for sharing our vision and for inviting our camp to become one of their 4 BRCC Special Programs.

Service; Jan's Garden  Jan's Garden project fun

To pay this kindness forward, Friday morning is dedicated by the Walker Family Band and a number of our long time participants as a morning of giving back to our host facility, The Blowing Rock Conference Center. Our first project, Jan’s Garden, transformed the area above into a beautiful commemorative garden. After it’s completion, The Walker Family Band Music Camp  adopted as an ongoing service project, to assist with a Nature Trail Improvement Project. Amy and Zac Long and their family has offered lots time and expertise for our 1st project, identifying native plants along the “Meditation Trail” incorporating Kim’s art classes to make trail markers to place which point out these native treasures to others who visit BRCC throughout the year. In 2018, our volunteers cleared a new trail that leads to a spring identified as an origin point of the New River, one of the oldest rivers in the US. The WFB and our volunteers hope to continue work on this trail in 2019, by refining and stabilizing the trail footing so that it eventually makes the spring site more accessible.

Sparklers; Claire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday afternooon resumes with classes, the dance of course…maybe Meadow Games if weather permits…and we wind up with a fiery finish! Kim has his annual pottery demonstration, firings, and display after dinner followed by a jam session to “bless the pots”. Our Fireday ends with singing around the bonfire…of course with s’mores and sparklers…and a late night Techno Contra…it’s Friday night, right?

Campfire     Campfire Night People

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday is high energy for the last day of classes and fine tuning for the grand finale concert.Friends and family arrive throughout the day. Last minute shopping strategies are executed. There’s even more than usual running and squealing. The pool is a popular place. There are small groups of students gathered in comfortable places and beautiful places and unusual places playing and planning…you really just have to be there! After the concert, we hug and say goodbye and hug and say goodbye some more. Then the wild night people do what they do till the last person is silent.

Swimming fun  Haw River Band group 2018

   

Sunday is one of those luxurious mornings to linger over breakfast until we can postpone the inevitable no longer. We gather the items that were missed and the friends who can remain meet late in the morning outside in the sanctuary for a time of silence and gratitude…we hope you can be there.

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One Response to “About the Workshops”

  1. Susan Says:

    Happy Holidays! It’s Dec 21st and Kai has officially started her countdown to fiddle camp!! 6 and half months!!!

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