The Monroe Mandolin Camp, hosted the past five years by Mike Compton and Heidi Herzog, will also hold a series of Mini-Mon-Camp retreats in 2019 at various locations around the US. When they started, the focus was on presenting the music and playing style of Bill Monroe to serious students of the mandolin, but they have since expanded to also provide instruction for fiddle, banjo, singing, guitar, and bass – still centered around the music of the founder.
Cities chosen for these two-and-a-half day mini-seminars include Chicago, Kalamazoo, Nashville, and Shelbyville, NC where the first will run in April at the Earl Scruggs Center. Instruments offered at each Mini-Mon-Camp may differ from one location to the next, but all will have a mandolin component. Organizers will release further details in the coming weeks.
Herzog tells us that the goal is to offer a more intimate instructional setting than the longer main camp in September, that can reduce the travel time students endure to attend. She and Mike are also keen to expand the community of bluegrass players in different cities around the country.
A new location for the main camp has been selected for 2019, the DuBose Conference Center in Monteagle, TN, about an hour outside of Nashville. Heidi and Mike feel that students will enjoy this new site for the advantages it offers, including being able to hold all classes in the same large building, a variety of lodging options for students, and hot catered meals each day.
A number of scholarships are available each year, with two reserved for young students and three more offered as part of their Video Scholarship Competition. Students are encouraged to enter by sending in a video of them performing a Bill Monroe song on banjo, mandolin, or guitar, along with a 500 word essay on their musical goals and why they would like to attend. The video competition is open to all ages.
The primary 2019 Monroe Mandolin Camp will be held September 18-22, the week prior to the IBMA World of Bluegrass Convention in Raleigh. It is an immersive Monroe experience, with his history explored alongside the music, and all sorts of daily activities on site like morning and evening yoga, pool and gym, and special classes in addition to instrument-focus, more than 120 in total to choose among.
A staff of fine instructors have been chosen for this year’s faculty, and you can see all the details online, or in the poster below.