Thanks for a great “Safe and Sound” 2020 Summer Fiddle Camp!
THANKS TO EVERYONE who contributed to the success of our “Safe and Sound Camp!”
Because of the success of last summer’s Safe and Sound Camp event…where everyone truly remained safe and sound…The Walker Family Band has decided that a similar event is the safest option again for 2021. We are disappointed we cannot present the exciting slate of classes and faculty we originally planned for last summer, but it just still feels too soon for us to bring a large group together. A smaller gathering will allow the safety of physical distancing. Fewer classes allow us to use only the largest meeting spaces and ensure that our camp operates within the mandated numbers for indoor and outdoor gatherings.
BUT…we are planning to return FORTISSIMO in the summer of 2022 for a Walker Family Band 20th Summer Fiddle Camp Celebration!
For our friends who were not with us in Blowing Rock last summer…and the numbers were many…we really missed you! There were so many “unknowns” and worries and we had a REALLY difficult time making the decision to hold a live event. Because Ted, his staff, and the Board of Directors of the Blowing Rock Conference Center developed such an impressive re-opening plan, we ultimately felt comfortable having a small gathering.
As you can understand, it was neither feasible nor safe to attempt a full camp schedule last summer. Cancelling altogether seemed an entirely dismal option. So, we decided instead to host a “family reunion” event for people who felt comfortable attending a live event. We supplemented this experience with virtual classes and live streamed performances in an effort to include those for whom a live event was not a good option. No fees were charged to attend, rather, The Walker Family Band asked for donations to offset the costs for on-site faculty and staff, and to provide small gratuities to the teachers who offered virtual classes. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
As you can imagine, we all learned a great deal through this experience! Hosting a group during the early stages of the pandemic was definitely unlike any experience we or the conference center had ever encountered! BRCC was well prepared, and we learned to adapt quickly as we identified potential safety concerns. One thing that has always been very consistent through the years at all the WFB camps is the love and concern everyone shares with and for each other. This was certainly demonstrated at the Safe and Sound Camp of 2020!
Adding a virtual element to the camp was something we all felt very strongly about. Including as many of our long-time campers as possible was a priority from the early planning stages. The technical challenges were…challenging! Without the positivity and professionalism of Jared and Asher Kirkpatrick, and their mom, Ruth Pershing, we would truly have been lost! By the time we actually decided to have a live event in 2020, we were late, late, late into May! With the “we can do this” determination of these 3 friends, Scott and Landon were able to plan and execute a hybrid live/virtual event that was enjoyable and meaningful to on-site and remote attendees alike! Well done, everyone!!!
The Walker Family Band Summer Fiddle “Safe and Sound” Camp
July 4 – July 10, 2021
Blowing Rock Conference Center, Blowing Rock, NC + Virtual Events
NO ONLINE REGISTRATION – To learn more, or to register for the 2021 Safe and Sound Camp, please email us at email@example.com.
CLASS ENROLLMENT IS LIMITED!
Having learned many lessons and tackled difficult challenges planning and presenting our pilot “pandemic camp” last summer, the planning committee is currently discussing changes for the 2021 camp that will make teaching more comfortable for on-site faculty and participating musicians.
Our plans for 2021 include some scheduled classes, fewer than previous full camp schedules, but we are planning a more structured event than our informal gathering of 2020. Unfortunately, it still seems a bit risky to host a teen group at Calvin Lodge this summer. All camp participants will be housed in the main lodge again this year. We will have a larger group on campus this summer, so “family group” lodging will be important to sustain a safe environment where everyone feels comfortable.
The Walker Family Band Camp has always been, and is intentionally planned, to include visitors and guests. However, having guests arrive on campus for live performances last summer made it difficult to manage indoor meeting capacity numbers required by the state and county. This year, we discussed having on-site performances open only to faculty and families attending the camp. This will ensure that we can maintain the safest environment for everyone who chooses to participate in the live camp event this summer. Performances may also be scheduled at different venues, festival style, so that family members and friends can rotate to various venues to see their family members and friends perform. This will help keep groups small and help us manage safety protocols more effectively. We will incorporate live streaming to include friends and family who are not attending camp in person.
If the Walker Family Band Safe and Sound Camp seems like a good option for you, please let us know! THERE IS NO ONLINE REGISTRATION TOOL! Please email The Walker Family Band at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and/or to be added to the roster for the 2021 camp.
AS ALWAYS, YOUR LOVE AND GENEROUS SUPPORT IS MOST APPRECIATED BY ALL WHO COME TOGETHER AT THIS EVENT!
FACILITY CAPACITY IS LIMITED!
There is no tuition payment obligation; the camp will be operated again this summer through the generosity of your donations.
Payment for lodging and meals will be handled as usual by the Blowing Rock Conference Center – email@example.com, 828-295-7813.
For all the obvious reasons, on-site participation is limited. Once we reach capacity, subsequent registration requests will be added to a waiting list in the order they are received. We welcome EVERYONE to enjoy virtual classes and live streamed events!
Become a sponsor or receive a sponsorship
PLEASE BE AWARE, The WFB Summer Fiddle Camp IS NON-PROFIT!
The WFB Summer Fiddle Camp is one of 4 annual Special Programs sponsored by the Blowing Rock Conference Center. As such, each participating family is charged a small Program Fee as required by their governing body. However, this program fee eliminates BRCC’s requirement to charge hotel and sales tax on lodging and meals.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Because the Special Program status with BRCC allows The Walker Family Band to operate our Summer Fiddle Camp as a true non-profit event, this opens many more avenues of fundraising for YOU…families, individual students, and music studio groups… allowing students and groups to find sponsorships or accept donations toward your summer camp tuition and costs.
Here’s how: Simply ask your sponsor to send their contribution to Blowing Rock Conference Center, noting the student or studio group who is the recipient of the contribution. The full amount of each donation is applied to costs of summer camp for the named recipient…and the donor gets a letter from BRCC acknowledging their charitable tax deductible contribution. Donations can also be made to the Karina Gibbs Scholarship Fund…also sent to the Blowing Rock Conference Center. These contributions will go into a general scholarship fund to help pay some or all the costs for deserving students who might otherwise be unable to afford this unique music camp experience.
So, GET OUT THERE KIDS AND PROMOTE YOUR SUMMER MUSICAL ENRICHMENT! There’s lots of creative ways to help yourself and to encourage support within your community!
LET’S KEEP TRADITIONAL MUSIC ALIVE!
for the love of music
The Walker Family Band is planning to return to a full camp schedule in 2022 for our 20-year celebration fiddle camp.
Below is a list of faculty we have invited to join The Walker Family Band for this milestone event!
Fiddle, Cello, Guitar
Scott and his fiddle tune books have inspired and uncountable number of students all over the country. Originally a cellist and orchestra teacher, Scott began studying Irish music in the 90’s. He was Introduced to the Irish fiddle by Greensboro’s Fiddlin’ Fred Lail, studied with several great Irish fiddlers, including James Kelly, Seamus Connally, and Rose Connally. Over the years he has enjoyed playing with several Irish groups in the Greensboro/Chapel Hill North Carolina area, including “The New Potatoes”, “The So-Be-It-Union”, and “The Big Celtic Fun”. With these groups has played for many contra dances, weddings, parties and festivals. For 20 years he has directed a student fiddle group in Greensboro called “The Walker Street Fiddlers”. A regular on the Suzuki Institute circuit as a cello teacher, now he also offers classes in Irish Fiddle, as well as Irish Cello, basically his own invention. Since 2003, with his brother Landon and his daughter Jennie, The Walker Family Band performs and offers the delightful fiddle camp held in Blowing Rock, NC every summer.
Landon has a long history as a professional musician. After studying classical bass and composition at FSU, he moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and began a 40-year career as a successful jazz bassist. He became intimately familiar with the music, performing with many local musicians, and had the opportunity to play with some of the world’s foremost players, including Lionel Hampton and Marilyn McPartland. A musical pioneer in public radio in Jacksonville, he was well known on both fronts. Landon played bass (and tuba) in ensembles large and small, from big bands to opera. Since his brother Scott introduced him to Irish music, he has taken up the accordion and the banjo and has composed quite a number of tunes that are Irish in nature, with a twist that reveals his very rich musical past. He and his wife Linda Minke are founding members of Celtic Ring, a performing group in northeast Florida.
Scott’s daughter, Jennie Walker Brunner brightens up any room with her infectious dancing style as she plays her fiddle tunes, including some very fine ones of her own. Jennie is versed in classical playing, first as a Suzuki child, and with quite a number of fine teachers during her college years. She learned Irish fiddling from her Dad, and introduced to American Old Time from her friend, Caroline Pond in Boone, N.C. Her inspiration to write and perform her own fiddle tunes was the impetus for the birth of The Walker Family Band. After gaining a Degree in Music Education at Texas State University, and shortly after moving to Asheville, she served as the concertmaster of Western North Carolina’s own Blue Ridge Orchestra. She is very comfortable in this genre. Presently she is raising a family, teaching orchestra at the local Waldorf School, playing with The Walker Family Band, and has formed a student group of fiddlers who perform in the Asheville area.
Neptune Beach, FL
Cello, Violin and Ukulele
Cellist Linda Minke just can’t get enough of this fun music making! A classical cellist by trade, she presently enjoys playing with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra near her home and in the summers for over 30 years in Door County, Wisconsin with the Peninsula Music Festival orchestra. Linda is the cellist for “The Bold City Contemporary Ensemble” based in Jacksonville, Florida. Lucky for us, she added fiddle to her life about a decade ago, and is now a multi-instrumentalist, adding the celtic harp to her list! Every February, in Neptune Beach, Linda hosts a wonderful WFB style workshop called the “Florida Fiddle Fest”, and is a magnet for young, budding musicians. Linda displays a joyous spirit while playing, which highly benefits the Walker Family Band performances!
Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin
Quiet by nature and content outside the spotlight, Scott cannot quite disguise the fact that he is nothing less than a musical force. He attracts other musicians like a magnet, from the Triad communities to well beyond. Scott elevates any band to an exponentially higher level. He was well known in his youth as a rock and roll guitar player, left that genre, traveled through a few others, and is now versed as a jazz guitarist. He is also an expert old time banjo player, plays lap steel, and slide guitar, and more. We are always surprised by the creativity and care Scott puts into his playing, and always look forward to his take on our tunes. It is never the same twice! For the last several years he has worked closely with Laurelyn Dossett, a grammy nominated composer from Stokes County, NC. Scott is fluent in so many styles and on so many instruments it is hard to think of a musical circle that would fall outside his comfort zone.
Aisha Ivey earned her doctorate in music education from Florida State university. A champion fiddler, Aisha has won the southeastern United States Scottish fiddle Championship for ten years in a row, and she has also won awards and ribbons for her Irish, Old-Time and Scandinavian fiddling. She even won the award for ‘Best march’ at the 2010 National Scottish Fiddle Competition in Williamsburg, Virginia. Several of Aisha’s fiddle students have won awards at state, regional and national fiddle contests as well.
Aisha has studied with some of the world’s best fiddlers including Mark O’Connor, Eileen Ivers, Bonnie Rideout, Laura Risk, Brian Conway, and James Kelly Elke Baker and many others. She has taught privately and with music schools in Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee and she also teaches workshops and clinics around the region. She currently directs AZIZA! (a Middle Easter music and dance group) and she started and teaches the Old Time Ensemble class at Florida State University. She has recorded several CD’s of traditional fiddle music with different musicians and she performs regularly at area festivals and concert venues. She served as the president of the Florida State Fiddlers Association from 2011-2015. “Aisha currently performs with the Celtic band, Cuttin’ Bracken, and an all-female Scandinavian string trio called Västra.
Andrew Finn Magill
Flutes & Whistle, Bodhran
For twenty years violinist/fiddler and Ropeadope Records recording artist Andrew Finn Magill Music has been pursuing parallel careers in traditional Irish music, Brazilian choro, jazz and American fiddle. He has performed with everyone from Grammy-nominees Trio Brasileiro to Rising Appalachia. In 2009 he received a Fulbright Fellowship (co-sponsored by MTV) and in 2019 received a North Carolina Arts Council grant for jazz composition. He has been featured multiple times on NPR, appeared in Avianca in-flight entertainment and has over a million Spotify streams.
His six albums constitute thousands of hours dedicated to each genre and the basis of Finn’s original music which is founded on the principle of collaboration. Over the last ten years he has performed with John Doyle, Rising Appalachia, Charm City Junction, Open the Door for Three, Greg Ruby, The Paul McKenna Band, and Peter Mawanga in venues that include Milwaukee Irish Fest, Celtic Connections, Olympia Hall in Paris, France, Disney World, and Malawi’s Lake of Stars Festival.
In 2005 he debuted with Drive & Lift, an Irish fiddle album that has been featured on NPR and multiple official Spotify playlists. In 2009 Finn was awarded a Fulbright-MTVU Fellowship to spend a year in Malawi co-writing and co-producing a concept album about HIV/AIDS with Malawi pop icon Peter Mawanga. The result Stories of AIDS: Mau a Malawi is a soundscape of traditional Irish and Malawian sounds re-imagined as Afro-pop with a riveting message of social justice. It was the inspiration for a multimedia show of the same name Finn wrote and co-directed with Jon Haas and Joseph Megel and debuted at the University of North Carolina’s Memorial Hall in October 2011.
In 2016, Finn released the two-part concept album Roots and Branches which spans from traditional Irish music to new acoustic jazz. Roots debuted at #46 on the Folk DJ charts and writes Grammy-winning Americana artist Tim O’Brien:
“He has learned from and now plays with the best in the genre. On Branches you can hear a new musical voice emerging. I’m gonna keep listening for Finn Magill.”
In 2014 Finn moved to Rio de Janeiro to study Brazilian choro music. He has been an ambassador of Brazilian violin ever since and has founded many Brazilian music groups including O Finno, Violino no Choro, Brazilian Strings Trio (with fellow American violinist Ted Falcon and Brazilian guitarist Nando Duarte) and Canta, Violino! the album of which was released on Ropeadope Records in 2018. Says Brazilian percussion legend Airto Moreira of Chick Corea and Miles Davis:
“Its nice to see fresh, young musicians carrying on the traditions of Brazilian music. Finn Magill displays a love and authenticity that can fool you into thinking he is from Brazil. His style is playful and light, yet soulful and passionate. Congratulations!”
Finn currently tours under his own name as a solo artist as well as with Dave Curley, Alan Murray, Brazilian group Canta, Violino!, and as a periodic sidemen with dozens of other artists in various genres.
Meghan graduated from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in Human Development & Family Studies (HDFS). Afterward, she attended the Child & Family Studies graduate program at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, where she had the unique opportunity to conduct field research in Ethiopia. Meghan returned to the Greensboro, NC area where she is employed as a Research Associate on an exciting new study in the department of HDFS at her Alma Mater, UNCG.
Along with her mother Teresja Poole and stepdad Scott Walker, Meghan has been a member of the Walker Family Band Camp since its inception in 2002 — when she was about 15 years old – and has remained a member of the faculty since 2008. Meghan began teaching individual and small group violin lessons in 2007. Meghan is certified to work with individuals with developmental disabilities (the IDD population). She recently added an enthusiastic adult student within her local IDD population to her group of beginning students.
Meghan is also conversationally “fluent” in American Sign Language (ASL), and enjoys spending time with her friends in the D/deaf and hard of hearing community (D/deaf/HH), and meeting new people at Deaf events in and around the Greensboro area. In her free time, Meghan also enjoys spending time with family and friends, singing, reading, volunteering, being outside, and traveling whenever possible.
Pottery, Photography, Creative Arts
Kim is an accomplished educator and coach with over twenty years of experience. He earned his BA from Pembroke State University and followed with an M.F.A. from UNCG. He has an extensive background in ceramics, photography and sculpture techniques as well as in teaching drawing, painting and printmaking. Kim’s significant experience with technology includes use of Adobe Photoshop Elements, print shop and more. He is presently teaching art and ceramices and is the head women’s soccer coach at the Greensboro Day School.
He is very active as a studio artist, producing and selling his pottery and photography at exhibits and workshops throughout the Southeast. He recently traveled to Wales and England for internships with several internationally known potters and is continually working to improve himself as an artist. In his tenure as soccer coach at the Greensboro Day School, he has had 3 nationally ranked teams and a overall record of 278 wins – 36 losses – 17 ties.
He usually begins the week helping the students to create pottery, and then, while those pieces are being fired, he gives students opportunities with photography, paper making, rubbings and more. His classes are very popular, for good reason. The huge amount and very high quality of art that our campers produce during the week is a testament to the work of this amazing teacher and artist, and to the creative campers that return to Blowing Rock, year after year! We are honored to have such a fine teacher and artist return to The Walker Family Band Camp for his 6th year!
Chapel Hill, NC
Contra Dancing, Flat Footing, Historical Dancing
Ruth came to camp in 2014 to call our first ever camp wide contra dance. Before we were done, everyone at camp was begging for more! The entire WFB faculty and staff were thrilled when Ruth agreed to return in 2015 and she has returned every summer since. She is an experienced and delightful teacher of folk dance including clogging, flatfoot and contra. She is in demand as a caller in dance circles across the eastern seaboard and dances with the Cane Creek cloggers at venues far and wide. Ruth is gifted in her ability to take large group of inexperienced yet enthusiastic campers and have them dancing like veterans after the first few carefully selected dances. Fun, laughter, and a feeling of community prevail from youngster, to teen, to parents and grandparents in classes and on dance night!
In addition to directing all those dancing feet, Ruth shares the same energy that makes her dances so inclusive and fun with our teenage group at the Calvin Lodge! As the chaperon of this lively group, Ruth not only endears herself to the students, but also plans and coaches some amazing group performances. Ruth’s enthusiasm and energy evidently has no boundaries! Up early in the morning, Ruth insures the teens at Calvin Lodge are up and out for breakfast; she teaches dance classes during the day and leads a contra dance every afternoon after classes, and still organizes and strategizes with 20 or 30 kids of all ages as the referee for an afternoon game of Capture the Flag!
Origami, Children’s Classes, Admin Assist
For 8 years I have been a camp mom of 2 children. During these years, I have grown from a toe tapping spectator to an assistant for my sister and camp administrator, Teresja Poole. Then I initiated the first contra dance class, making way for Ruth Pershing. More recently, I transitioned to teaching origami classes. When I’m not at camp, I am employed as a licensed clinical social worker providing counseling to adults. I have a passion for contra dancing, attending cultural events, walking my dog, snow skiing, and relaxing with a good book.