Music Camps North, located in south central Massachusetts, will celebrate 20 years of 5 string instruction with their 2020 edition of Banjo Camp North. The camp, a three-day weekend banjo immersion experience, was started by Mike Holmes in 2001, and managed under his supervision until 2014 when the business was purchased by Mike Kropp, another northeastern banjo maven. It, and their similarly-themed Mandolin Camp North, are now run by Kelly Stockwell, under the authority of an all-vounteer Board of Directors.
It is a testament to Holmes’ determination and foresight that the camp has continued on beyond his retirement, and his passing in 2016. Or as current Camp management puts it, “20 years, 140 instructors, and a whole lot of G!”
An good many banjo pickers in New England got a leg up attending BCN over the years, and many lasting friendships were made on the campus of the Prindle Pond Convention Center in Charlton, MA where both camps are held.
Teachers for the banjo camp next year include Alan Munde, Bruce Molsky, Chris Coole, Tom Adams, Joe Newberry, Gina Furtado, John Herrmann, Ned Luberecki, Adam Hurt, Jeremy Stephens, Allison de Groot, Rich Stillman, Mac Benford, Bruce Stockwell, Michael Miles, Bob Altschuler, Sarah Grey, Eli Gilbert, Tim Rowell, Gabe Hirshfeld, Jane Rothfield, Lorraine Hammond, David Kiphuth, Gretchen Bowder, Howie Bursen, Dick Bowden, Patrick M’Gonigle, Lincoln Meyers, Bennett Hammond, Reed Stutz, Phil Zimmerman, Kelly Stockwell, Steve Roy, Ben Pearce, Beth Williams-Hartness, and Larry Marschall.
For mandolin camp, the faculty will include Alan Bibey, Don Stiernberg, Sharon Gilchrist, Tristan Scroggins, Shin Akimoto, Jim Richter, Carl Jones, Skip Gorman, Akira Otsuka, Ben Pearce, Lorraine Hammond, Tony Watt, Grant Gordy, Lincoln Meyers, Eli Gilbert, Erynn Marshall, Reed Stutz, Dick Bowden, Phil Zimmerman, Bruce Stockwell, Kelly Stockwell, Bennett Hammond, Larry Marschall, and Pete Kelly.
Banjo Camp North 2020 will run from May 15-17, and Mandolin Camp North from April 17-19. Many different styles and techniques are covered during the camps.
Registrations for 2020 open on October 30, and they typically fill up quickly. Tuition without accommodations start at $410 for all three days, with six meals included. A range of options exist for rooms on site, and single day registration, and full details are described online.