As our summer camp enters it’s 18th year, we are so grateful to have shared our mission and our music with families from coast to coast. Many have made our summer camp in Blowing Rock an annual event and we are so appreciative of your friendship and support. The camp has grown and evolved over the years, each with a distinct “personality”. As each new individual or family has joined us, they have increased our awareness and offered us a chance to view our mission and our music from broader perspectives. Each year, our summer camp assignment is to learn from YOU! Our challenge is to use that knowledge to improve the WFB Music Workshop experience for each participant, whether new or returning annually. It is our hope that this summer fiddle camp will offer all our participants an increased opportunity for musical development and experimentation while remaining true to our mission of a holistic approach to not only our music but in all aspects of our lives.
The Walker Family Band Summer Fiddle Camp
June 28 – July 4, 2020
Blowing Rock Conference Center, Blowing Rock, NC
This page contains all the information about our signature summer camp including class descriptions and levels; lodging and meal information; payment links; registrations instructions; and links, downloads and resources. You may scroll or use the gray navigation bar to jump to the section.
Fiddle, Cello, Guitar, Mandolin, Flute, Whistle and Bass
Advanced Level Guitar
Fiddle, Cello, Guitar, Mandolin, Flute, Whistle and Bass
Fiddle, Guitar, Cello, Bass and Penny Whistle
New Player Classes
Fiddle, Guitar, Penny Whistle, and Ukulele
And now, a word about Evening Jam Sessions: Awesome!
For a well rounded schedule, Intermediate through Advanced players can also choose from the classes listed below. Read on!
Brazilian Music – Andrew Finn Magill
Intermediate and Advanced, multi-instrumental
Living for a period of time in Brazil, instilled a love of the culture and especially the music of these joyful people directly into Finn’s heart. The music imparts not only the rhythms and sounds of Brazil to the listener, but also the sights, smells and feel of the country and her people. Brazil has produced so many incredible musicians and styles of music and Finn will bring as many of those sounds to this class as is possible to absorb in only one week. The entire Walker Family Band and faculty are so very excited that Finn has accepted our offer to join the faculty this summer and we are looking forward to his excitement, energy and talent! Please visit Finn’s website to learn more about this amazing musician and hear the music of this versatile professional performer!
Bodhran – Andrew Finn Magill
The traditional Irish drum
There is a lot to learn about playing a Bodhran, but first, let’s get the pronunciation for this Irish instrument…at least the Americanized version! The first syllable is pronounced Bow – described as either rhyming with cow, or with the word low…the ”d” is more like a hint rather than an actual sound. The second syllable – Rawn – like the name Ron. So, altogether now…say BowRon!
The bodhran is a frame drum that comes in all price ranges. Some are tunable, and more expensive; some are very simple and very affordable. If you want to learn more about this traditional Irish instrument, Google it, of course! But watch out…you may find yourself taking an unexpected pub tour through Dublin! So, what do you think? Are you ready to grab a bodhran and join Finn’s class? We promise you will have a pulsating good time!
Chamber Ensemble – Linda Minke
Intermediate and Advanced level players
Students, parents, and teachers whose focus is primarily orchestral music throughout the year often attend The Walker Family Band Summer Camp for a relaxing, and yes, challenging change of pace. But, with so many talented musicians gathered together, Classical happens! Come together in Linda’s Chamber Ensemble and enjoy creating and presenting what always turns out to be one of the highlight performances of camp week. Playing music in an orchestra is a challenging, exciting and fulfilling pursuit! Lift your spirits and your chops to a higher level! Seasoned musicians will fill in the group as the concert draws near. If you love classical music, you will want to be a part of this unique experience at fiddle camp! Music will be chosen to fit the group after the class enrollment is complete.
Cross Cultural Traditional Music – Aisha Ivey
Intermediate through Advanced level players
Take this opportunity to explore the world through the study of fiddle styles from different parts of the globe! The versatile fiddle is indigenous to many if not most cultures of the world. Aisha’s tour will include a musical visit to Bonny Scotland to learn the fiddling style unique to this country. It is similar to Irish fiddle music in many ways, but extremely different in others, much like the people themselves. Learn the differences!
Aisha also offers a unique, and rare trip to the world of Arabian music. She and her belly dancing friend founded an entertaining Middle Eastern musical group in Tallahassee which has flourished over the years. Aisha has produced arrangements of ancient and authentic tunes with rich history from places like Lebanon and Iran, or formerly, Persia. Ashia coaches her multi-cultural students to incorporate musical nuances for authentic sound. Transport yourself to far-away places via music that is very different from what our American ears are used to. Come travel the world of multi-cultural music with Aisha!
Jam Band – Scott Walker
Slide Guitar – Scott Manring
Along with plucking and bowing, sliding a tool across the strings may have been one of the first ways that people made music using a stringed instrument, Very early slides were used as a basic way to play the blues on the guitar. The technique is found in many kinds of modern music and would be a great addition to your skill set! You will need an acoustic steel string guitar, and a slide, which can be just about anything hard: a bottle neck, a metal slide manufactured for the purpose, or even a screw driver. Join in with one of the best teachers and slide players around and explore the fun and versatility of slide style guitar!
Song Writing – Scott Walker
End the week with your own masterpiece! Learn the basics of how songs are constructed, with some introductory discussions of form and theory. Also, learn how computers can enhance your creative skills! Bring your laptop or tablet. Special guest, singer/songwriter Seth Walker, will share his professional experiences with the 2020 class of songwriters at The WFB camp.
Intermediate through Advanced sessions
At the Intermediate through Advanced levels musicians choose from different styles, Irish or Old Time, Multi-cultural, or the Improv/Jazz session.(An important thing to know is that the Irish and the Old Time session classes have the responsibility of playing for the Contra Dance, led by Ruth Pershing on Thursday night. Playing for a dance is challenging and fun and, of course, you must sit out a tune every so often to join the dance!
The less experienced and younger players will also have an opportunity to experience a session class at the end of the day. Session play teaches younger musicians to collaborate and support others in the group; a valuable skill that builds confidence and community. Sessions for Beginning to Intermediate musicians include Slow Jam, Suzuki Jam, and FUNdamentals of Music. Descriptions are below:
Improvisation and Jazz Session – Landon Walker
For the Intermediate through Advanced Levels
For the Intermediate through Advanced Levels Break free from the written music! It is amazing how learning one type of scale, or one type of mode can set you up to improvise on so many songs. With Landon’s expert guidance, you don’t have to fly without a net! Knowledge coupled with repetition and a just a little courage puts flying into the unknown neatly into your comfort zone! Musicians playing violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, whistle, keyboard, and even brass instruments are encouraged to stretch their musical wings in Landon’s Jazz and Improv Session.
Traditional Irish Session – Andrew Finn Magill
For the Intermediate through Advanced Levels
If your heart is shaped like a shamrock, this is the class for you! Finn will introduce lots of new tunes, as well as explore some you already know in greater depth. Jigs, Reels, Hornpipes, Polkas, Mazurkas, Set Dances, Waltzes and Aires are all on the list of possible tunes to learn and play. As dance night approaches, this class will work some of reels, jigs and choose a waltz to play for the occasion!
Please be advised that the bass is not an appropriate instrument for the Irish Session, but cellos who are willing to try to keep it on the light side are welcome to give it a shot. Banjos that fit in Irish sessions are 4 string tenors. Banjo musicians play the melody with a pick, like playing a mandolin. Claw hammer banjo players should choose the Old Time Session!
The Irish Session class will strive for a traditional sound, with emphasis on the melody, made by fiddles, flutes, concertinas (accordions) and whistles, accompanied by bouzoukis, harps, and guitars, with the tenor banjo and the mandolin adding to either the melody or the accompaniment. May the luck of the Irish be with you!
Traditional Old Time Session – Christen Blanton
For the Intermediate through Advanced Levels
An Old Time good time! Old Time Music is meant for fun! This is a true original American art form, complete with its own set of easy-going rules. Recently a whole group of Old Time players decided to do away with song titles; they said it was just ‘cause all the songs sound the same, and no one really knows the actual names for them anyway. Well, we might not take it quite so seriously! The typical Old Time quartet includes fiddle, claw hammer banjo, guitar, and bass. Mandolins are sometimes seen! Big sessions are really fun and can include multiples of all the instruments. A recent session here in Greensboro sported 4, count them, 4 basses. There were over twenty people in all, kind of a free for all of fun!
Christen will guide this class in a discovery of the roots of American music. She is a skilled performer and teacher of fiddle and banjo, and will stay true to the Old Time tradition by encouraging participants to add their voices in class for that back porch authenticity.
Beginning and Intermediate levels can also choose from the classes listed below.
Introduction to Celtic Music - Aisha Ivey
So, it’s often said that there’s a little Irish in all of us. The Walker Family Band is pretty sure that little bit of Irish is found within the heart! If you are a young musician with a love for Irish music, Aisha’s Introduction to Irish Music will give you a guided tour to explore and discover the rich tradition that will set your heart soaring. Merry, lilting, haunting, risqué, and beautiful, Irish music captures every emotion richly and completely. Begin an exciting journey with Aisha as she introduces you to “new” tunes that are as old as the leprechauns and fairies! Musicians playing fiddle, cello, whistle, and bodhran are all welcomed into this multi-instrumental class for beginning to intermediate level musicians.
Introduction to Old Time Music for Younger Musicians – Christen Blanton
Jam Band Jr. – Aisha Ivey
Multi-instrumental and singing group for ages 12 and under
Scott’s original Jam Band class has been wildly popular since its beginning; so much so, that the younger musicians clamored at the door. Also wildly popular since she joined the WFB Camp faculty, is Aisha Ivey! And so, Jam Band Jr. is sure to be…you guessed it…a WILDLY POPULAR CLASS for students ages 12 and younger! The concept is the same as the original Jam Band class…kids are grouped into various “bands” and coached in the fundamentals of music collaboration. The playing levels of musicians in this age group vary considerably at our camp, so, just as in the original Jam Band class, some students will be “ringers” for their band and act as mentors for less experienced players. Students will learn the value of collaboration, and how to support the various members of their group so that each band member plays an important role in the development of their performance material and their subsequent performance. This is a perfect class for students who play more than one instrument to gain group play experience on each. Some of the bands formed in Jam Band Jr. will be invited to play for larger audiences at mealtimes…or form a Showcase performance group if your band finds that special social and musical connection!
Suzuki Violin– Jennie Brunner and Meghan Parrish
The Suzuki violin class gives beginning violin students an opportunity to work on their technique, tone, and intonation. Jennie and Meghan are very experienced teaching beginning students. They have a gift for helping students develop their skills while having a great time playing in a group. Depending on the size of the class, the team-teaching approach may allow time for some Master Class work (one on one instruction). Students can work with one teacher individually for short periods while the other leads the rest of the group. A perfect way to develop these young musicians’ skills.
Session classes for Beginning to Intermediate Players.
FUNdamentals of Music Session - Linda Minke
Slow Jam – Meghan Parrish
For the Beginning and Intermediate Levels
Here is a chance to slow those fast tunes down to a manageable level for new “jammers”! One of the ways we describe our camp is to say: “It’s where the kids call the tunes!” Your teacher will let you pick some of your favorite tunes that are played at the jam sessions, and you will have a chance to play them without all those speed freaks! If there is a tune that you are hoping desperately to learn, your teacher will slow it down into manageable and understandable terms! It’s all about picking songs you love, and playing them over and over; that’s where fun and, without thinking about it, the improvement lives!!
Suzuki Jam: Violin and Cello students playing in Suzuki Book 1 & 2 – Jennie Brunner
This is a traditional Suzuki group class that will be a comfortable fit for a lot of beginning violin and cello students at our camp. Many of the families who attend The Walker Family Band Summer Camp are Suzuki families. Beginning Suzuki musicians may not know a lot of fiddle tunes. They may feel a little out of place in a fiddle jam. BUT… the Suzuki Jam is a perfect class where beginning Suzuki students can shine!
The Walker Family Band Summer Camp is TRULY a FAMILY CAMP EXPERIENCE! Here are more classes that are favorites for EVERYONE!
Art and Pottery – Kim Burroughs
All ages are welcome. (Pre-school and younger elementary age children who register for this class will need an older family member in the class to assist them.)
The most popular class at camp, for 18 years and going, is Kim Burroughs Pottery class! Kim will have a number of pottery projects for participants to work on during the early part of the week. As projects are completed, Kim carefully loads his truck and drives to Greensboro to fire the art, returning early the next day before his first class. (The dedication and stamina of this artist and friend is truly astounding!) As the week progresses to the point when time prevents completion of new pottery projects, Kim switches to other creative artistic activities which, in the past, have included photography (which he also processes in his Greensboro studio), journal making, painting…Kim has never run short of creative ideas for uniquely original art projects that are also tons of fun!
Contra Dance – Ruth Pershing
Open to everyone!
Returning to our camp again this year is Contra Dance expert, Ruth Pershing! She will lead a Dance session at the end of classes every day this year, devoted totally to learning contra dance moves, and other traditional dance steps. These sessions will have a different emphais everyday so Ruth can have a chance to show people of all ages the moves needed for the big dance night on Thursday evening! We will also be encouraging people to dance at our evening jam sessions. We hope to have some flat footing, and/or some Irish step dancing to go right along with the music, which is just the way it ought to be! So, Moms and Dads, students, and kids pack you dancing shoes and join the fun! Feel up to the challenge Calvin Crazies?…show us your best moves!
Origami – Yvonne Ritchie
Ages 9 and up is our soft guideline – folding can be tricky!
In this class students learn the beginnings of the ancient art of paper folding. Starting with some basic traditional figures like the crane, the frog and the tortoise, to get the hang of how origami figures are crafted, students will then be challenged to create more complicated works of paper art and perhaps find creative methods to display their collections. Progress at your own rate using templates or try your hand at designing your own models. This art form is more than just making craft projects. Origami class is a time of mindfulness, relaxation, and creative exploration.
Yoga for Kids – Landon Walker
In this class, Landon will engage the group introducing yoga poses that are fun for kids. Focus, balance, breathing, self-discipline, and meditation skills which are so integral to yoga practitioners are all equally important to musicians and young students. Young musicians and non-musicians alike will reap huge benefits by incorporating yoga into their daily routines as will soon be evident when homework and practice times come around!
FREE classes and activities for participants, their families and guests during camp week
Afternoon Dance – Ruth Pershing
Open to everyone! (Activities for pre-school and younger elementary age children is scheduled during afternoon dance hour…Be FREE to swing your partners, parents!)
Returning to our camp again this year is Dance expert, Ruth Pershing! Ruth will lead a dance session at the end of classes most days during camp week. Different dance styles will be introduced, but Ruth will also teach basic contra and square dance “calls” so everyone will have a great time at the big dance night on Thursday evening! Pack your dancing shoes for sure because dance is a HUGE part of meeting new people and sharing great memories at camp!
Nature Explorers – Yvonne Ritchie
Nature Explorers is an adventure class for pre-school children. Weather permitting, this class will meet in the Living Room each morning and then head outdoors. Collaborative activities introduce the exciting sciences of biology, geology, entomology, meteorology. botany and more!
Planet Earth Clubhouse – Lisa Willis
Open to everyone!
Activities, games, crafts, story sharing, and songs engage, educate, and empower younger children to join other “Helpful Humans” in keeping Planet Earth healthy. Planet Earth Clubhouse materials are age appropriate for pre-school and younger elementary age children. Daily themes are uplifting and positive! The Planet Earth Clubhouse meeting concludes each day with a short Planet Earth Round-table discussion. Children are encouraged to share ideas and collaborate with other Helpful Humans to be good caretakers of the land, seas, and skies of Planet Earth. The Planet Earth Club meets every day during the afternoon dance sessions! Parents…BE FREE…GO DANCE!
Silent Nature Walk – Scott Walker
One of the most important lessons we learn in music is listening! Receiving music in wholeness of body, mind and spirit is just as important as playing the music! A great way to tune our listening skills is to begin each morning with Scott as he leads the Silent Nature Walk. Open your senses to the music of the natural world. Scott invites everyone to begin each day in mindful awareness and silent acceptance with gratitude for each other and our shared experience.
Yoga – Landon Walker
Energize your Body, Mind and Spirit
After dance classes, relax and wind down from a stimulating day before dinner each evening and join Landon as he leads an hour and 15 minute yoga class. Stretch and unwind with deep cleansing breaths as Landon soothingly guides you to a peaceful relaxation that will restore unity of body, mind, and spirit. Landon welcomes any age participant to class with the understanding that the class is a time of reflection and quiet meditation.
EVERYONE is invited to enjoy the camp experience!
We love how camp participants become immersed in The Walker Family Band experience, but we want to share that same feeling of friendship and family connection with EVERYONE at our camp. Family members and guests who share camp week with us, but who are not registered for classes, are strongly encouraged to take part as much as possible in day to day activities. The activities listed below are our gift to all the people who come together during camp week. Coupled with special events scattered throughout the week, we hope these activities draw everyone together in joy, relaxation, and also offer opportunities for reflection and spiritual contemplation for all who come together at this special mountain retreat. The Walker Family Band encourages you to try some…or all…of these activities during camp week. No registration is necessary. Simply take part whenever you choose. Enjoy!
8:00am Silent Nature Walk with Meditation
9:20am Nature Explorers for pre-school children
4:00pm Daily Dance Socials
4:00pm Planet Earth Clubhouse (activities for young children during dance)
5:00 – 6:15pm Yoga Class
Evening Jam Sessions
During any workshop…but ESPECIALLY at summer camps… showcase combos are encouraged as an avenue to collaborate with fellow musicians and to share your musical interests and talents with our “camp family”. “Festival Day” opens with Showcase Performances by individuals, groups and family bands who have come together during camp week to prepare a performance especially for this event.
Here’s how the Festival Day schedule is set up:
Showcase performances start around 3:00 on Thursday and run consecutively until dinner. Meanwhile, the food services staff prepare a great traditional 4th of July cook-out for the whole camp (regardless of the actual date). After our picnic, we all gather together for the “Family Portrait” before the final performance of Festival Day, by The Walker Family Band Faculty! The Faculty concert is advertised locally and offered as a free public performance to the community. After the faculty performance, chairs are cleared, and Ruth ends the night with the much-awaited Camp Contra. Be prepared to laugh…a lot…because there’s something about the dance and the music and the camaraderie that brings so much joy and love and laughter…it’s infectious!
So, Back to Showcase Ensemble details…
Showcase registration begins Sunday and ends Tuesday at dinner. The show is Thursday, so you need time to practice! Participants often form groups with friends and family members, but we also encourage you to reach out to other participants…make new friends! Each group must decide what they want to do and then ask a faculty member to approve and sponsor your group. You can see if a faculty member wants to JOIN your group! Once you have the okay, it is up to you and the other members of your group to get together and work on your performance. When you think you are ready, your group will schedule another meeting with your faculty adviser to perform a “dress rehearsal”. Your sponsor can give you tips and critique your performance so you will be ready to schedule a performance time…Scott Walker handles the lineup! Because most of the faculty members have a huge daily teaching schedule, we want to be very respectful of their time. If you need a little help before your dress rehearsal, ask your faculty adviser if a practice time can be scheduled. Make sure everyone is on time and your group has already planned your act and rehearsed together. Your adviser is there to hear you play, offer performance tips, and help you polish your well-planned performance! Okay, ready to form your group?
for the love of music
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.
Greensboro, NCBass, Penny Whistle, Accordion
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.
Asheville, NCFiddle, Suzuki violin
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.
Tallahassee, FLFiddle, Guitar, Singing
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.
Greensboro, NCFiddle, Banjo, Singing
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.
Greensboro, NCFiddle, Singing, Admin Assistant
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.
Resources for you
Info For us
General Daily Schedule
…with Disclaimer: The Walker Family Band faculty and staff have learned from our experiences of nearly 2 decades, to allow plenty of room for fluidity in our week…and this is not a reference to the “Monsoon of 2013″ although fluidity was indeed more necessary than ever that year! Our faculty and staff have just come to understand that our camp is not OUR camp, but as a different group gathers together each year, it becomes YOUR camp. We really like this effect so, over the years, we have often changed the schedule, perhaps added some stuff, to enhance and tailor the experience to make each camp unique rather than replicate what we do exactly from year to year. The relatively small number of participants gives our camp a truly family feel where everybody can enjoy a week of friendship and relaxation. This intimacy creates an environment that allows us to “get into a rhythm” once we’re on site and provides the opportunity for us to customize each camp week in a way that values the musical interests and social experience of our group as a whole. Hopefully, you will like this easy-going approach as much as we do!
Monday – Nature Walk…Full Day of Classes…Dance…Yoga…Jam Sessions
Tuesday – Nature Walk…Full Day of Classes…Dance…Yoga…Jam Sessions
Wednesday – Nature Walk…Full Day of Classes…Dance…Yoga…Jam Sessions/Special Events
Thursday – Nature Walk…Morning Classes…Showcase Festival…Cook-out…Faculty Concert…Contra Dance
Friday – Service Project…Afternoon Classes…Pottery Firing with Jam Session…Campfire…Techno Contra
Saturday – Nature Walk…Full Day of Classes…Dance…Yoga…Grand Finale Concert Night
Sunday – Breakfast…Gathering at Outdoor Sanctuary (silent reflections followed by a few tunes)
Become or receive a sponsorship
We Are 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!
Blowing Rock Community Center Facility
Lodging, Meals & Fees
How do I reserve lodging and meals?
The Blowing Rock Conference Center has hosted all The Walker Family Band Summer Fiddle Camps. The stewards and staff of this special retreat center definitely know how to make families feel welcome! You can contact Amy Stamey, Reversations Specialist, at info@BRCCenter.org. and visit the Blowing Rock Conference Center website, www.brccenter.org. Or give the kind folks at BRCC a call at 828-295-7813. After only one conversation, you will be comfortable right away. The BRCC staff will skillfully assist your family in reserving comfy rooms and satisfying meals throughout your stay. You will NOT be roughing it at this camp! You can get a general idea of costs below.
Guidelines regarding BRCC facility pricing
Meals include Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner daily in the dining hall, EXCEPT Thursday…we have a cook-out at the picnic shelter.
BRCC meals are self-serve, buffet style, with plenty of options at each meal including vegetarian and vegan choices. (Children under age 12 MUST be accompanied by an adult through the serving line.)
PLEASE INFORM BRCC STAFF OF ANY SPECIAL DIETARY CONSIDERATIONS WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS! Food Services Manager, Linda Smith, has many years’ experience accommodating guests with an array of dietary concerns. You are in capable hands, so be sure to let Linda know of any food related concerns you may have.
2019 BRCC Pricing
Participants who stay “off campus” are charged a daily commuter fee. Commuting participants are welcomed to purchase all or some of your meals at BRCC. Please communicate with the BRCC staff to let them know if you are commuting to our camp.
THANK YOU, Ted, Martha, Amy, Linda, Jared and all the FINE STAFF at BRCC for loving us like family and treating us like royalty during our stay!
Deposit & Invoice
Deposits of $50.00 per participant (person registering for classes) must be submitted to secure your registration. $10.00 of each deposit is retained for administrative costs and the remaining $40.00 will be applied as a credit toward your total invoiced costs.
A finalized invoice confirming your remaining balance will be emailed to you once we confirm your registration.
Payment is full is due by June 15th.
Students who are rising 9th grade or older are invited to attend camp as a member of the High School Group without a parent or guardian present. All participants in this group MUST attend 5 classes per day. Reservations for students attending solo should be made using BRCC’s lodging and meal online reservation link, HOWEVER, you will be billed for the entire package including lodging and meals by The Walker Family Band.
The package price of $875.00 includes all meals, lodging at Calvin Lodge, transportation to off campus events, a T-shirt, and full class tuition.
High school students reside in Calvin Lodge, a chaperoned, co-ed cottage. High School students are NOT permitted to drive their vehicle during camp week even if the student is over age 18. (See pricing options available for young adults 18 and over who do not qualify for the high school group or may wish to stay in the main lodge.)
The Walker Family Band reminds all our High School Group participants: You come to camp not only as a student, but as a teacher and mentor to younger students as well.
Would you like to bring your WHOLE FAMILY to summer camp? It’s a great vacation with plenty of activities for student and adult musicians. Additional classes and events are also scheduled for the youngest members of your family and parents who may not play a musical instrument. The WFB Summer Camp is an inclusive and enjoyable experience for the whole family!
If the financial commitment for Corriher Lodge accommodations feels just a bit out of reach, we invite your family to consider “roughing it” in the rustic cabins of Rowe Dorm. Whether family group or studio group, there’s plenty of cabins, bunk beds and all, and you can’t beat the rent for a week-long vacation at this lovely mountain resort where the joyful sounds of music and laughter fill your days. There are nearby campgrounds, but if you prefer a sure dry bed and hot coffee only a few steps away, consider camping at Rowe Dorm and keep those blankets…and instruments…dry!
Inquire about the pricing for this option by calling the reservation desk at BRCC or using their online registration tool.
STUDIO GROUPS model the High School Group but are designed to allow younger students the opportunity to attend camp in a group setting. It is sometimes disappointing for younger musicians who want to come to camp but perhaps parents cannot leave work for a week or maybe the cost is prohibitive for the whole family to attend. Teachers and parents can collaborate to send more young musicians to camp from your hometown studio by organizing a studio group. The group experience will inspire and excite your student participants and infuse new energy into your entire studio! And, because the WFB Summer Fiddle Camp enjoys a non-profit status as one of BRCC‘s Special Programs, studios can organize fundraisers to minimize the cost for students and chaperones even more!
EACH STUDIO GROUP IS RESPONSIBLE TO PROVIDE ONE ADULT CHAPERONE FOR EACH GROUP OF 4 STUDENTS ATTENDING CAMP WITH YOUR STUDIO GROUP.
Studio Groups are housed in Rowe Dorm during camp week, a rustic group cabin setting with bunk beds and shared baths. An age appropriate meal package for the week is also included in the studio group pricing. Just select the choice that is right for your student.
LODGING, MEALS, AND A REDUCED PROGRAM FEE IS BILLED BY THE BLOWING ROCK CONFERENCE CENTER. (Please register with BRCC by calling their reservations manager, Amy Stamey, or by using their online registration tool.)
TUITION AND T-SHIRTS ARE BILLED BY THE WALKER FAMILY BAND FOR STUDIO GROUP PARTICIPANTS. (Please register for classes using the WFB’s online registration form below.)
Because there could be a wide variance of ages and music levels within each studio group, we think it works best to leave the class schedule options flexible. Once the age appropriate lodging and meal package is selected, students, or parents, can choose a class schedule that fits their interests. Some more advanced or older students will want the full tuition package offering 4 or 5 classes each day while students with less experience or younger kids may prefer a more relaxed day with only 2 to 3 classes. Of course, chaperones are also encouraged to take a class or two or five!
Important to Remember:
Deposits of $50.00 per participant (person registering for classes) must be submitted to secure your registration. $10.00 of each deposit is retained for administrative costs and the remaining $40.00 will be applied as a credit toward your total invoiced costs.
A finalized invoice confirming your remaining balance will be emailed to you once we confirm your registration. (Please be patient, it might take a few days…our Camp Administrator, Teresja Poole, also has 2 other full-time jobs!)
Payment is full is due by June 15th.