Fiddle players of the Kootenays, a weekend just for you is approaching.
The inaugural Creston Weekend Fiddle Camp is being held in Creston on May 13, 14 and 15. The event is being organized by Velle Weitman of Velvet Strings and Creston Fiddlers.
Sue Trombley of Cranbrook, the camp’s assistant director, says four top fiddle instructors are lined up to impart knowledge, technique and repertoire. They include Velle Weitman herself, Karen Dignan of Sandpoint, Idaho; Mark Sullivan from Vancouver; and Austin Castle from Swift Current, Sask. All four are professional touring fiddler players, recording artists and instructors.
“We are encouraging people of all abilities and all ages from brand new to advanced to come,” Trombley said. “We’re looking for at least 40 students. “We will take 30 — we can go with three instructors — but we would like 40 so we can go with all four instructors.”
Students arrive on the Friday, staying in Creston and environs — there’s plenty of camping space, Trombley said — and checking in.
“We’ll be splitting them into approximately four different grade levels,” Trombley said. “When they register Friday night they will tell us what level they believe they’re in so we can give them the best group learning experience possible.”
The groups will be small, three or four instructors, depending on how many students register. All levels will be registered Friday night, and later that evening there will be an instructors concert, with intermission and refreshments, from 7 to 9 p.m. Students can come to the concert with their families, Trombley said. Admission is by donation.
On Saturday, students will learn four songs during the day, with breaks in between, and lunch.
“Saturday evening from 6:30 to 9 p.m., we’ll have an old-fashioned country barn dance, with callers and squares, jigs, reels and waltzes and everything,” Trombley said. “ It’s going to be led by the instructors, and the advanced students can join the orchestra if they want to.”
Saturday night’s dance is five dollars per person, 10 dollars per family.
“We’re hoping people come into our community with families — and these are events their families can come to.
The camp will be held in two locations: Prince Charles Secondary School for the classes, and the evening events will be held at St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church.
On Sunday, students will go for classes in the morning, and after lunch there will be a student performance back at the church.
Trombley said that Karen Dignan’s husband conducts percussion workshops, “so if there is a family member interested, they can take that elective workshop.”
Fiddle enthusiasts can register through Velle Weitman, camp director, via her email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, check out Velle Weitman’s website vwtrio.com (click on the ‘menu’ button and then on ‘fiddle workshop’). Or call Sue Trombley at 250-426-0808.