I attended, had a great time, just wish there was more singing, lol but I guess you have to play your banjo first lol, and yes I will go again, lots of info, dorm was livable, I must be spoiled LOL, food was great, gotta get back on my diet LOL , met some great people new and previously met. The only thing I think would make it better is if you let John Hempel in free, Thank You John Hempel
I was there, but wasn't ready for it. Still too green. It's a great camp. Seemed very well ran...very smooth. The instructors were amazing. The jams, demos and concerts alone made the trip worthwhile.
Can't say enough about Don Vappie. I have heard his band before, but hearing him perform solo and listening to his instruction was a real treat. He's a real cool cat. Baumann was great too. He must have drove a uhaul to camp to carry all the instruments he brought.
Ryan Cavanaugh performing jazz on his five string was incredible.
I plan to go again next year and hope to be more experienced by then.
I'll second what Greg and John said. This was my second time for this camp. I wasn't too well prepared the first time (did some mando and guitar sessions), but I learned a lot this year. I really liked the sessions with Joe Newberry and Dan Walsh. (And, Don Vappie IS the coolest cucumber in the salad.)
Lily Werbin mentioned that they had 230 students for the camp. You can see the list of instructors and classes at the web site: midwestbanjocamp.com/
At one point, there were as many as 11 or 12 tenors. On Saturday we had some 5 stringers and a guitarist sit in.
Instruction was in chunks a little over an hour each. 4 classes per day. Started off pretty basic with chord forms and strumming technique then progressed from there. Other topics were single string improv, don's approach to jazz, chord melody, variations in rhythm/solos in western swing, etc etc.
There was ample opportunity to ask questions and get clarification. Don and Keith were both fine with audio recording in class. There were handouts to take home as well.
I believe to get the most out of it, it would have been best if I would have known all the chord inversions, inside chords (without having to think) and able to play some of the repertoire.
If you are interested i can send you the repertoire sheet.