Posted by Mandogryl on Sunday, August 29, 2010
We arrived mid-afternoon on a sunny Sunday, August 15th, and registered at the first tent in. The group we’d be in was established, and we reiterated that we wanted to be in the same group, as Danielle and I are at about the same level of violin competency. Even though she has many years of Suzuki violin experience under her belt, she did not know many fiddle tunes when we met. So we are very compatible musically and play together just about all of the time, so now she is picking up quite a few new songs to play. So, it only made sense that we be in the same Fiddle Camp group, which was accommodated. We then set off to locate a tent sight and were delighted to find a location on the edge of the lake. After spending an hour setting up our little camp, we walked around to become acquainted with the layout of the land – locating the showers, bathrooms, and kitchen area, main tent where the performances and meetings would take place. The Maine Fiddle Camp is located along side a lake amidst a forest of Eastern White Pines. We were told that there would only be ‘light snacks’ the first night, but they fed us well. Danielle and I are both very picky when it comes to food as we are both vegetarians, and when we checked off the ‘vegetarian’ box we figured we’d be in for a week of white pasta. We planned ahead accordingly bringing cooking equipment and figured we’d be making our own first cup of coffee each morning. Coffee, as it turned out, very much to our delight, was organic, free-traded, and served beginning at 6:30. The food was excellent. There are not enough superlatives to describe the food. We did not have to cook for ourselves.
We were assigned to a learning group called the ‘Egrets’. The group began with nine students, but a few found it too difficult and were sent to an easier group, and a couple thought it too easy and upgraded. This done, we set out to learning tunes. Elaine, our instructor, first made sure every students instrument was in tune. Right away someone’s E-string broke and someone else’s A broke and luckily I had a couple of extra sets of Prims. The way you learn tunes at Maine Fiddle Camp is by ear. The instructor plays the tune to speed and then we break it down and learn it passage by passage. On the second day Danielle and I each began writing down notes, because you learn a new tune in an hour and after lunch the tune is forgotten. We soon learned to play the recordings back that we had made, during free time, and we wrote the notes out in little notebooks. This became very handy. Our classes were from nine till ten forth-five, fifteen minute break, and then a guest instructor from eleven till noon. Lunch from noon till one, concert one till two, then class review for another hour, and then specialized workshops from three till five or just free time.
After supper at seven is another concert and then eight-thirty till ten are slow, medium and fast jams. We participated in a slow jam one night and another time we attended a fast Irish Jig jam, which was interesting.
All in all a great time and well worth the money. Good friendly people, good instructors, good food – what more can I say. Definitely going back next year.
I uploaded a few pics at my homepage.
Sunday, August 29, 2010 @5:55:06 PM
I enjoyed reading your description of your Maine Fiddle Camp adventure. This was my fourth year at MFC, but I attended the week before you. I was in Guy Bouchard's "Cormorant" group and had a terrific time.
I happened to come across some fabulous photos of the week that you and four of my friends attended.
Here's the link - what a great job Gregg did photographing the event.
Monday, August 30, 2010 @7:00:04 AM
Sounds like you and Danielle had a great time! I know Art Bryan was up there, he always is, I hope you got to play with him, he's a treasure! I will hopefully be playing with him this weekend at Lake Genero. Why don't you come on down for it? It's a great event.
Sunday, September 19, 2010 @3:27:05 PM
Congratulations on figuring out how to adjust your soundpost to achieve a great tone, esp the E string.
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