Last week, the High 48’s were once again honored to teach the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association‘s Bluegrass Jam Camp in conjunction with their annual summer bluegrass festival. It consisted of three days of intense group instruction on individual instruments as well as ensemble playing. These students started out as strangers and in just a few days ended up on stage together, amazing!
The students were put into five ensembles with at least one of each instrument (guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and bass), and each group had to choose two songs for the final recital. We acted as facilitators in the “band experience,” helping with arrangements, individual instrument parts and giving performance advice. It was fascinating to watch each group mature in such a short time- seeing the band leaders, soloists, singers and MC’s emerge. It was also great to see the students meet-up with each other after our sessions were over, to keep working and picking together around the camp fire. We know at least a few new festival friendships were born and maybe even a future band…
Some of our group learning sessions included “Bluegrass Harmony Singing” “Arranging Songs as a Band,” and “Performing Around One Microphone and Performance Tips.” It was wonderful to see each band incorporate these lessons in their final performances, they all did extremely well and it was a very rewarding experience for all of us in the band.
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to play in a bluegrass band or you would like to get some real-life performance experience, we would highly recommend taking a look at joining this camp, it will be an experience that will last your musical life!
For information on future camps, check out the Jam Camp webpage in the winter months to see what band will be hosting the camp the following summer and learn how to reserve your spot.