|Every month we plan to tell you about one of the deserving programs or projects funded by Foundation for Bluegrass Music grants, starting with the Walker Creek Music Camp held October 6-9, 2016 in rural Marin County, California. Classes for aspiring musicians of all ages at Walker Creek Ranch, located an hour north of the San Francisco Bay area, included instruction in bluegrass and old-time fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, vocals, bass, Dobro, beginning jam sessions, and the “Music and More” (M&M) program for children. Electives included everything from flatfoot dancing to songwriting.
The camp’s goal is to celebrate and secure the future for bluegrass and old time music in the western United States. Realizing that most of their students in previous years were over 40, camp organizers applied for the Foundation grant to expand recruitment of and scholarship support for younger campers and families. Foundation for Bluegrass Music grants, combined with donations from other campers, allowed Director Ingrid Noyes and Assistant Director Kristell Moller to fund all requests for financial assistance for this session, with 85% of all scholarships awarded to their target demographic of young campers and families.
The M&M program designed for campers from age 5-12 included crafts, hiking, instrument building, family jug band activities and a nightly barn dance for the whole camp, in addition to music classes and preparation for the student concert at the end of the week. Scholarship recipients helped support the camp by assisting with set-up, registration, clean-up, working as teacher assistants and jam leaders, running the camp store and scooping ice cream for afternoon socials. For more information about the Walker Creek Music Camp, go to www.walkercreekmusiccamp.org.