Summer Camp Update
Covid 19 Response, 2020
Greetings…and WELCOME…to all Walker Family Band Camp Enthusiasts!
The Walker Family Band and Blowing Rock Conference Center are delighted to announce that we are planning to go forward with a LIVE EVENT at BRCC during our usual camp week…this year starting Sunday, June 28th and ending Saturday, July 4th!
The Board of Directors of the Blowing Rock Conference Center met on May 31st. After much discussion, the Board decided that the re-opening plan presented by Ted Wilson provides the initial steps necessary to ensure the health and safety of guests to the fullest degree possible, considering the nature of the facility. The Board voted to reopen BRCC to guests effective June 1st, assuming strict adherence to governmental restrictions and regulations set forth by BRCC for safe operations and guest services.
A required disclaimer will be provided to group leaders and the WFB Camp will distribute those to participants attending our event. The WFB camp administrators FULLY SUPPORT BRCC in their reopening plan and have the expectation that all family members and participants attending our on-site event will be 100% compliant with all regulations in place during the entirety of our stay at BRCC. Please copy this link below into your browser. It is a copy of the BRCC reopening plan initial draft is included here. Please be aware that changes and additions are likely forthcoming:
As previously announced, the original 2020 class schedule for our usual style camp event has been postponed until 2021. We are calling our 2020 on-site event, The Walker Family Band Safe and Sound Camp. The format will be very different than our usual camp structure, presented more like a big reunion. We welcome families who have made the WFB Summer Music Camp a family tradition in years past, and any new participants who would like to spend time with us at BRCC, getting a feel for the strong bonds of friendship and music that have brought us together for nearly two decades.
Since we are not offering a specific music schedule this year on site, we will not charge our regular tuition rates for participants. Rather, we hope interested musicians and families will confirm their intentions to come to a live camp event so that we might plan some classes and events that are entertaining and challenging for our on-site participants. We hope to schedule some daily classes specifically for the musicians in attendance…this could very well happen fluidly during camp week after camp is underway. The Walker Family Band will operate our camp entirely on DONATIONS this year. We are confident that strong support from our returning families and the generosity of those families excited to have their first WFB Summer Camp experience will donate sufficiently to offset the faculty expenses and to acknowledge their time and expertise as they provide instruction and facilitate a week of music and community for all who come together both on and off campus.
In an effort to extend the social and musical experience to the larger community, we are making plans for a number of virtual events during camp week. We will pursue musical collaborations through zoom, or other social media platforms. We are hoping to share interesting activities, including, jam sessions, talent shows, live streamed concerts, and more…keeping each contributor’s health as the priority when putting these events together!
As you can see, The Walker Family Band remains dedicated to our family of loyal camp participants who have enjoyed our musical mountain top retreat for many years. We remain hopeful that new families of musicians will make the decision to join us…even knowing the camp experience for 2020 will not go forward in the way that we originally hoped and planned. The Walker Family Band and the Blowing Rock Conference Center hold the health and safety of your families as our utmost priority. We understand that many of you are longing for meaningful social experiences yet question the timing for attending any group gathering in these scary and uncertain times. We too have struggled with our decision to go forward with a live event. Ultimately, the strong plan for reopening presented by Ted and the Board of Directors of the Blowing Rock Conference Center, and our own knowledge of the responsible and caring families who are the heart of our camp, has led us to the decision to host a gathering at BRCC during our scheduled week.
Whether you decide to join us on the mountaintop, virtually, or simply hold us dear in your hearts this year, we thank you. You are the reason we have deliberated so carefully. Please let us know if you would like to attend a live event by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org Please share this information with others you know who would love to connect with our camp through virtual events.
Be Well, Be Safe, and Keep Playing!
With love and gratitude to each of you!
The Walker Family Band Faculty and Staff
The Walker Family Band Summer Fiddle Camp
June 28 – July 4, 2020
Blowing Rock Conference Center, Blowing Rock, NC + Virtual Events
In 2020, we WILL be at the Blowing Rock Conference Center starting Sunday, June 28th! for our
“Walker Family Band Safe and Sound Camp”
We have a week of playing music together and staying apart!
We have a small but intreped group of souls!
We will be missing all our WFB camp friends!
Please join our FREE Zoom classes!
A word about zoom classes. You should be able to participate even if you don’t have a zoom account. Just click on the link, and follow the prompts. Please be early, so the class time is efficient. The better sound system you have, the better experience. I will put a link at the bottom here of a video that might help your sound. Please make sure your device is ready with sound and audio. Have your instrument and in tune.
11:15-12:05 Zoom Classes
Download Zoom Meeting link here (same for all 11:15 meetings):
Linda Minke - Suzuki Cello Play-in
11:15 to 12:05 – June 29th
(Starting as high in the books as possible to Twinkle)
Jennie Brunner - Suzuki Violin Play-in
(Starting as high in the books as possible to Twinkle)
Linda Minke & Scott Walker - Ukulele/Guitar Class
(Everyone with instruments invited!)
Jennie Brunner & Linda Minke - Suzuki Violin and Cello Play-in
(Common Tunes for both!)
Linda Minke - String Quartet Reading Session
(Intermediate to advanced)
1:00 & 2:00 – Zoom Classes
Monday thru Friday, (June 29th, 30th, July 1st 2nd, and 3rd)
1:00 to 1:50 – Canadian tunes
2:00 to 2:50 – NC Fiddle tunes
Download Zoom Meeting link here (same for all 1:00 AND 2:00 meetings):
Meeting ID: 829 6285 1272
Mon. Tues. Wed. and Friday, (June 29th, 30th, July 1st not July 2nd Yes to July 3rd)
NO LESSONS ON JULY 3rd
3:00 to 3:50 – Irish tunes
4:00 to 4:50 – Old time tunes
Download Zoom Meeting link here (same for all meetings):
Find all live streams at this link:
Evening Jam Session
Our regular evening Jam!
Gala Festival Concert
Thursday, July 2nd – 3:00 – 5:00 PM & 7:00 – 9:00 PM
A combination of live and pre-recorded music, featuring present and former faculty and staff members, some friends and family, and notable Alumnae musicians!
Final Jam Friday Night, July 3rd! - "Unity Jam"
Friday, July 3rd – 7:30 – 8:48
Live from Upper Shuford
We are celebrating Unity this 4th of July week. This is concert is dedicated to the people in this country who are oppressed, or suffer from cruelty from others for no reason, (#LivesMatter), AND to the heroes on the front lines fighting the Corona Virus (#besafe).
For many years, “Music, Peace, and Joy” are the words we have used to describe the Walker Family Band, and our Camp.
I suggest that we change the order to Peace, Joy and then Music. Peace must come first. Peace means safe, warm, loved. If this is so, then Joy will be a natural reaction, and not long after that, Music will follow!
Those attending our camp will be in a place that has created that Peace. So amazing that our salute to each other when signing off is almost universally,
Thank you for supporting
The Walker Family Band Safe and Sound Camp!
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.
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.
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!