Ashokan Bluegrass Camp launches this fall

Not long ago we reported on the Ashokan Center in New York’s Catskill Mountains celebrating 50 years operating as a locus for arts and traditional music education in the region. Formerly a campus of the State University of New York, it was purchased as a spillway for a nearby reservoir, but through the intervention of old time musician Jay Ungar, the buildings there were preserved and dedicated to environmental eduction, local history, and mountain music traditions.

For some time music workshops and camps have been held at the Center, but until this year, they have never hosted a bluegrass camp. The initial Ashokan Bluegrass Camp is scheduled to run October 26-28, with an all star faculty, and a heavy focus on jamming through the weekend. It will be managed by Boston’s bluegrass power couple, Tony Watt and Laura Orshaw, who have considerable experience teaching in group and private settings.

Their faculty will include Tony Trischka on banjo, Claire Lynch for vocals, Matt Flinner on mandolin, Becky Buller on fiddle, Scott Nygaard on guitar, and Mike Bub on bass. In addition to group classes, multiple jams will be scheduled each day, broken down according to skill and experience level. The beginner jams will be moderated and kept to slower tempos, and there is even a session the first night for people who have never been part of one before. The instrumental instruction sessions will also be broken down according to skill level.

Tuition (with meals) is $385 for adults, and $285 for 25 and under. Parents and guardians of young students can also attend at a reduced rate. Work exchange and scholarship programs are also available for younger musicians. Onsite lodging can be arranged for an additional fee.

Full details can be found online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.