Bill Monroe Style Mandolin Camp in September ’06

The International Bluegrass Music Museum (IBMM) in Owensboro, KY will host a unique 3 day mandolin workshop this fall, the first of what they hope will become an annual event. The Monroe Style Mandolin Camp will be held September 8-10 at the Museum, with intensive instruction offered for mandolinists at any level in the specific music and style of the originator of bluegrass mandolin, Bill Monroe. Instructors for the camp are Frank Wakefield, Mike Compton, Skip Gorman, David Long, and Red Henry – all well known and highly regarded for their knowledge of the Monroe style of playing.

Registration is limited to 40 students, and multiple classes will be held simultaneously with the students grouped according to ability. These classes are arranged to ensure that each student, regardless of skill level, will get to spend time with each instructor. Full tuition also includes accommodations and a daily shuttle to and from the Museum, and commuter tuition rates are also available for folks who don’t need a hotel room or the shuttle.

The Monroe Mandolin Camp was the brainchild of Justin Holt, of the IBMM.

“I guess I started thinking about the camp this past summer. I tend to obsess over things and Bill Monroe has been my obsession for the last three years. I believe wholeheartedly in his musical and cultural importance and decided to create an event to honor and promote his legacy. I also wanted to bring more exposure to those folks playing and preserving his style of mandolin.”

Workshops will be organized around many specific areas of Monroe’s mandolin style, including his method for playing melodies out of closed chord forms, cross tuning, his use of pentatonic scales, twin mandolin playing and Monroe’s style of mandolin accompaniment. There will also be a panel discussion on Bill Monroe’s music, a Monroe-style mandolin competition and a faculty concert as a part of the weekend. Of course, jamming on site goes without saying.

“We’ve already had a number of calls about the camp. I just talked with one man who’d named the street where he lives after Monroe. That’s great stuff. In creating this camp, I’m betting that there are 40 people out there that would name their street Bill Monroe Avenue if they had the chance.”

You can find more details on the faculty, the schedule and the tuition rates – or register online – on the The Monroe Style Mandolin Camp web site.

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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.