• 10 New Mandolin Camps to Consider in 2019

    With Summer just around the corner, ten new mandolin camps combining unique, high quality educational experiences while doubling as great vacation destinations deserve greater recognition.

    Four newcomers look strong from the outset with experienced camp organizers and top-rated instructors. To top that off we've added six camps only a few years old you may have heard of still building on stellar reputations. All have something unique to offer which makes us think they'll be around for a long time.

    The Mandolin Cafe supports all camps, clinics and workshops and we invite you to peruse our comprehensive list on our Workshops & Camps page. There's literally a camp for everyone, and if you have a favorite you'd like to tell us about you're welcome to share in the comments section.

    Camp Tunefox
    Camp Tunefox
    Bennett Sullivan, the man behind the mandolin, banjo, guitar educational app Tunefox has put together a stellar line-up for their first annual camp. Instructors include the man Berklee College of Music has entrusted to lead the next generation of mandolin players: Joe K. Walsh. Add to that Mike Compton, who John Hartford once said knows more about Bill Monroe style mandolin than the Father of Bluegrass himself and you have a terrific small, intimate camp lineup.

    Danny Barnes & Wes Corbett fill out the camp instructors on banjo with Clay Hess & Grant Gordy on guitar. The iconic White Horse, Black Mountain concert venue places this camp in the middle of one of the most beautiful spots in the South where much of the acoustic music we hold dear originates.

    1st Annual
    May 15-19, 2019
    Black Mountain NC
    Web site: https://www.tunefox.com/camp/

    Choro Camp New England
    Choro Camp New England
    On the hunt for one of the few in-depth experiences in Choro in the U.S.? Look no further than the 1st Annual Choro Camp New England, the brainchild of long-time Django in June organizer Andrew Lawrence.

    Held on the beautiful campus of Smith College, Lawrence's experience in putting together one of the largest gypsy jazz gatherings in the U.S. (with mandolin tracks to boot) makes their first foray into Choro an instant winner. The diverse nature of instructors and instruments covered guarantees students experience the entire mix germane to this style of Brazilian music.

    The brilliant Elisa Meyer of Choro das 3 leads the mandolin tracks along with Oregon's Tim Connell, also an experienced Brazilian style mandolinist.

    1st Annual
    June 2430, 2019
    Northampton, Mass.
    Web site: http://chorocamp.com/

    Red Hot Strings Workshop
    Red Hot Strings Workshop
    Set in Port Townsend, Wash., one of the most beautiful cities in the Pacific Northwest, Red Hot Strings Workshop is administered by the staff at Centrum, long recognized as one of the premier arts organizations in the region. The workshop stresses the importance and joy of ensemble playing.

    With a focus on early jazz styles that make up The American Popular Songbook and a diverse line-up of professional instructors across a variety of stringed instruments combined with Centrum's proven track record, Red Hot Strings is the kind of camp we expect to see around for a long time.

    1st Annual
    May 15-19
    Port Townsend, Wash.
    Web site: https://centrum.org/vintage-jazz-workshop/

    Southwest Mandolin Camp
    Southwest Mandolin Camp
    We *adore* the American Southwest, the great national parks, the hiking, the epic scenery, and it was high time someone with the experience to lead a mandolin specific camp made the move. Props to long-time time mandolinist and seasoned instructor Steve Smith for leading the way.

    Steve's background managing and/or teaching at stringed music camps makes him the perfect person to bring a quality camp to the iconic Gila National Forest with its easy access from El Paso or Albuquerque. If you're looking for a vacation destination worthy mandolin camp hosted in a historic lodge where you can get your mandolin fix and enjoy the outdoors, look no further.

    1st Annual
    November 1-3
    Kingston, N.M.
    Web site: https://dnamusiccamp.com/southwest-m...mp-in-november

    Great Lakes Music Camp
    Great Lakes Music Camp
    Rave reviews from year one were all we needed to hear to recommend the 2019 version of the Great Lakes Music Camp, organized by Jason Wheeler who has put together an experience that includes intimate small groups under award winning musicians.

    Located on the shores of Lake Michigan at Camp Blodgett, yet another camp that manages to combine quality mandolin instruction with a vacation worthy destination. John Reischman, Joe K. Walsh and Wheeler himself leading mandolin tracks make this a camp of note. Easy access from Grand Rapids and Lansing (side trip to Elderly Instruments?).

    2nd Annual
    October 3-6, 2019
    Grand Rapids, Mich.
    Web site: https://greatlakesmusic.org/

    Marshall Mando Summit
    Marshall Mando Summit
    World class instruction from Summit regulars Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg would be enough, but add Sierra Hull, John Reischman and Don Stiernberg and you get an idea of what the folks at Northfield Mandolins are all about — they spare nothing!

    Not just about music, the Northfield made sure this is part food and beverage experience beyond other camps, something the folks at the Food Network could get excited about. Tours of the Northfield Mandolins facility, concerts in a historic theater, jams, epic meals and more make the Marshall Mando Summit one of the premier mandolin events in the U.S.

    3rd Annual
    August 8-11, 2019
    Marshall, Mich.

    Alan Bibey Mandolin and Guitar Camp
    Alan Bibey Mandolin and Guitar Camp
    Looking to catch some rays on the beach before or after your next mandolin camp? Maybe a few rounds of golf in the warm coastal sun? Like to hang out and bask in the experience of hard-core bluegrass mandolin types like legendary camp leader himself?

    You can get it all at this year's Alan Bibey Mandolin and Guitar Camp.

    Located at the popular Ocean Lakes Bluegrass Festival and Ocean Lakes Campground, this small, high quality, excellent student to teacher ratio option is now in its fourth year of successful operation and already gathering a regular crowd.

    Combine your experience with the great bluegrass festival that follows camp and you have the ultimate mandolin vacation getaway.

    4th Annual
    August 21-23, 2019
    Surfside, S.C.
    Web site: http://alanbibey.com/mandolin-camp-registration/

    Old School Bluegrass Camp
    Old School Bluegrass Camp
    A frequent complaint heard more than a few times, "not enough true Bluegrass camps!"

    Organizers Jenny Whiteley and Alysa Hawkins concurred a few years ago and acted, giving launch to this popular and growing camp located in the heart of beautiful Prince Edward County, just North of the U.S. and Canada border above New York State.

    With a limited enrollment of 50 campers, OSBC is a high quality, diverse experience with top-notch instruction led by world-class Ontario based musicians. Yet another camp located in a beautiful location. Looking to beat the heat and soak up some real bluegrass in an idyllic setting? This is your ticket!

    5th Annual
    June 30 - July 5, 2019
    Milford, Canada
    Web site: https://oldschoolbluegrasscamp.wordpress.com/

    Jim Richter Mandolin Camp for the Rest of Us
    Jim Richter Mandolin Camp for the Rest of Us
    The only camp we know that specializes in genres of music most other camps only touch on or gloss over. Looking for some rock 'n roll, a bit of blues, some funk, emando, not-your-typical-experience that revolves around bluegrass?

    Lead instructor Don Julin, author of two mandolin books for Wiley Publishing's Dummy series is the perfect choice to lead along with camp organizer Jim Richter, both seasoned, thoughtful teachers.

    Centrally located in the college town of Bloomington, Ind. makes for easy access to a lot of mandolin players wishing to hang with their own crowd. And don't discount the Midwest for pre- and post-vacation activities as there are a number of popular state forests, parks and wildlife refuges within easy access of camp headquarters, the comfortable Grant Street Inn.

    6th Annual
    July 10-13, 2019
    Bloomington, Ind.
    Web site: http://www.jimrichter.com/?page_id=1147

    The American Mandolin & Guitar School
    The American Mandolin & Guitar School
    Returning for its third year after a long hiatus, Marilynn Mair's AMGuSS deserves an honorary spot on our new camp list as catering to the classical mandolin community, particularly those in the Northeast, an area of heavy concentration for mandolin orchestras.

    Play in small ensembles, be part of larger orchestra, receive coaching and training in small groups and enjoy forays into Brazilian music. Mair, long one of the leading educators and authors in classical and Brazilian mandolin styles in the U.S. has assembled a spectacular group of instructors that includes for the first time, mandolinist Matt Flinner, known for leading his own groups and his work as part of the Modern Mandolin Quartet.

    Located on the beautiful waterfront campus of Roger Williams University.

    3rd Annual*
    June 24-29, 2019
    Bristol, Rhode Island
    Web site: https://www.marilynnmair.com/about/workshops/amguss/