Hi everyone, Well it looks like “summer” is about over and it’s time to hunker down for another Maine winter.. Of course, Maine Fiddle Camp is really only 7 months away (can that actually be true??). Once again the calendar favors us with the dates. Camp begins with the first June weekend on June 16, and the final August week starts August 13 and ends the 18th. Find the dates for all five sessions at the top of this web page.
So, aside from next year’s Camps being the “best Fiddle Camps ever”, what do we have to look forward to?? The staff at camp will be similar to what it was this year, but there will be some changes and obviously it is not all settled yet. To see the 2016 staff list click here: http://www.mainefiddlecamp.org/staff-all/staff-schedule/ We do have a few things already nailed down, though. I’ll start with June. There are 3 sessions in June, two weekends separated by a week and all three sessions are right together. The first June weekend is what we call the original Fiddle Camp. The staff for the original weekend is mostly made up of Maine’s own, mostly unheralded but very talented, traditional musicians. But,.. Pascal Gemme, from Quebec’s Eastern Townships, will be back once again with the family: partner Marie-Soleil and kids Leo and Blanche. It’s so great have the international flavor at Camp and Pascal is one of the finest Quebecois fiddlers and teachers around. We are honored to have him back at camp.. Here’s his website for more info: http://pascalgemme.com/. We also welcome back Don and Cindy Roy. Don and Cindy are part of the “Maine French” tradition and it will be great to have these two local and unbelievably talented musicians back for the first weekend. The June week will continue with the French Canadian theme. Pascal will be staying on, AND Sabin Jacques, Rachel Aucoin and Eric Favreau will be joining us to teach button accordion, piano and fiddle respectively. As most of you know these three and bassist/banjo player Stuart Kenney are the Quebec/American band “Raz de Marée”. They have been wowing audiences and contradancers in the US and Canada for many years and it’s always fun to have them in camp.. click here for a short reminder.. Raz will be staying on for the 2nd June weekend which is also know as the “Giant Maine Fiddle Camp Squeezebox Weekend”. This weekend features instruction in piano accordion, button accordion (in Quebecois, New England, Irish and Cajun styles), Anglo and English concertina.. What else is new in June? Well, we will be offering piano accordion for more sessions than just the second weekend. The ukulele track during the June week will be expanded as well with the addition of Kenny Raskin to our staff, possibly we will start offering uke during the first weekend. Also, don’t forget about Mountain Dulcimer week during the June week. Pam Weeks will be back and this session has been growing every year!!
OK, so that’s a start.. August 2017 is only NINE months away, and we know some about that as well. Raz de Marée will be back in Camp. Piano Accordion will be back with Sylvia Miskoe the first week and Jeremiah McLane the second. Both times Julie Vallimont will be sharing the teaching, possibly offering a second class. Let me throw out a few more names that we only see one week of each year in August: David Surette and Susie Burke (guitar, mando, singing), Steve Weiss (harmonica), Carter Logan (banjo), Beth Robinson and McKinley James (cello). There is talk about expanding uke to August as well, and finally don’t forget MFC’s newest track, VOICE with Bennett Konesni, which will be offered during ALL Camp sessions.
Don’t forget – old time barn dances (including great horned owls and the ukestra), campfire singing, evening concerts and skits, special surprise guests and other visits by touring musicians and bands, maestro bistro, games, jamming, GREAT FOOD, and just having time to hang out and play music with old friends that you may not have seen for a year. We’d love to hear from YOU too! If you have some suggestions or comments, contact Doug or Jo-Anne. If you have something good to say about Maine Fiddle camp, think about writing a testimonial and sending it in.. Registration is now open.. Never too early!! – bill o.