The Meredith Jam Camps are run by Andrea Calwell and Dave Peters who are both keen pickers and bluegrass music fans. The camps started in 2012 as a way of drawing from the fabulous festival workshop and jam session experience and extending it to provide an intensive three day camp.
The camp runs twice yearly in March and October, and each camp has a maximum of approximately 30 participants to ensure that everyone is continually involved and has access to the tutors. Workshop numbers are normally no more than 8-10, so campers are encouraged to participate to the maximum. One to one sessions are also available with all of the camp tutors and are included in the camp cost. Structured jam sessions run at the beginning of each day, leading on to a full program of instrument workshops and free for all jamming into the small hours..
The camp is held in Meredith, Victoria on a beautiful homestead just outside Meredith township. It's BYO camping accommodation and self catering, although a fully catered meet and great BBQ dinner is provided on the Friday night with morning teas over the weekend. The homestead provides a multitude of verandas, workshop rooms and picking places, with access to showers and toilets for all campers. Power to campsites is very limited, so we suggest a large esky for food and drink, ice can be purchased locally in Meredith.
Our tutors are a great bunch.. Coming from Australia's bluegrass and old time scene they bring with them a wealth of musical knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to pass on their experience.
Banjo - Dave Helens and Dave Peters
Guitar - Kev Parsell
Mandolin - Heath Joyce
Fiddle - Maureen Beggs
Bass - Don Gula
*please note that Dave Hellens will not be available to tutor at the October 2015 camp
The camp cost is $120 per participant with a charge of $30 for non-participating partners. The cost includes a full program of workshops and structured sessions, Friday night BBQ, weekend morning tea with 24/7 tea and coffee, BYO camping accommodation and use of showers and toilets. Participants are welcome to arrive from Friday midday and the camp concludes on Sunday afternoon. Participants are asked to take all their rubbish home with them and leave their camping areas as they found them. As the homestead we use is a working farm, for safety reasons we have to restrict the camp to adults only (16+ if accompanied by a responsible adult), and we ask that all campers close gates behind them and only access the farm areas we use for the camp.
Sample Program - October 2015
Arrive and setup camp
7pm Dinner “Meet and get acquainted BBQ” (fully catered)
Jam 'til the small hours..
9:00 – 9:15 Welcome and program overview
9:15 – 10:15 Slow Jam – jam techniques
10:45 – 12pm Instrument workshops (banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass, fiddle)
1:30 – 3:00pm Instrument workshops (guitar, banjo, bass, mandolin, fiddle)
3:30pm onwards – One to One tuition with the tutors, informal jams, relax, dinner and pick on..
9:30 – 10:30 Structured slow jam and jam skills
11:00 – 12:30pm Instrument specific workshops (guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass, mandolin)
12:30 – 12:45 Program round up
Pack up, clear up and head home, vacating venue by 4pm. Until next time :)