June 23-29, 2013

American Banjo Camp


NHMC will be back in 2013!
Dates: June 23-29, 2013
Place: Common Ground Center, Starksboro Vermont
Keep posted for further details.


Located in the heart of northern Vermont's Green Mountains
the Northeast Heritage Music Camp celebrates the acoustic music and folk dance traditions of New England and eastern Canada, along with related traditions from Scotland, Ireland, and the southeastern United States. Come join us next June for a week of music instruction by world class players from these great traditions, dance to their music at our nightly contras, hear them in concert, and -- if you're so inclined -- jam with them or fellow tunes-aficionados into the wee hours.


group 2011


Teaching Staff for 2012:

Click here for capsule bios of our entire staff, or click below on individual names.

Québecois Fiddle – Éric Favreau
Scottish Fiddle (Scottish & Cape Breton Repertoire): Iain Fraser (tentative)
Irish Fiddle - Matt Cranitch
Irish Accordion, Cork & Kerry Tunes, Irish Ensemble – Jackie Daly
Appalachian Fiddle – Alan Jabbour
Piano, Flute – Peter Barnes
DADGAD & Standard-Tuned Guitar, Mandolin - Jim Prendergast
Dance Caller, Swedish Fiddle, New Contra-dance Tunes – David Kaynor
Novice Fiddle & Banjo – Sarah Hotchkiss
Southern Stringband, Shape Note Sing, Improvisating on Fiddle – Pete Sutherland
Swing Band, Swing Chords for Guitar - Peter Langston
Clawhammer Banjo – Ken Perlman
Step-Dancing – Alice Bérubé

A note on our instructors: All of our teachers are extraordinary musicians who either grew up within their musical traditions, or have devoted a major proportion of their lives to learning it and understanding its subtleties. They are also highly gifted teachers who are eager to pass on their technical skills and lore to students. This being said, they don't think of themselves as "stars" they are approachable, personable, and prepared to deal with students' questions and concerns.

Don't miss this rare opportunity to study with world-famous teachers in a group small enough to guarantee personal attention.

jabbour class

jamGeneral Program: NHMC features four class sessions per day, each one hour and fifteen minutes long. Classes start at approximately 9 AM and continue until about 5:00 p.m. with breaks for lunch and an afternoon free period. Our evening program (Monday through Thursday) features staff-led jams and faculty concerts, followed by contra-dancing with music provided by our teachers. The Friday evening program features a concert of class-recitals, followed by contra-dancing with music provided by our students. Over the course of the week, you'll have the opportunity to hear in concert and dance to the music of all of our faculty members.


Note: You are free to attend any of the classes on these schedules, and to switch classes from day to day if you wish. The preferences you indicate on your registration form do not determine or limit your choices.

Levels: We offer three levels of fiddle - lower intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced - in four different styles: Cape Breton, Québecois, Irish, and Appalachian. There is also a novice fiddle program (see below). We also offer mulitple levels of banjo, piano, guitar and other instruments.

NHMC offers a highly diverse musical experience: In addition to fiddle, you can also study fretted instruments like guitar, banjo, and mandolin, not to mention flute, whistle, piano, piano accordion, and voice. We started out with a focus on Québecois music, Cape Breton music, New England music and other northeastern styles, but we soon broadened our scope to include such other traditional music styles as Irish music, Scottish music, old-timey (Appalachian) music, and Swedish music. We not only offer instruction in instrumental technique, but we also feature classes in specialized repertoires, singing and choruses, not to mention several ensemble and band classes such as Southern String Band, Celtic band, and Western Swing Band.

class concert

For Fiddlers: our format offers students the opportunity to study with four different teachers per day, each of whom is an expert in a different style of playing. Many students have informed us that by comparing differences among these various classes in bowing technique, ornamentation, and musical emphases, they have been able to substantially deepen their general understanding of how to express musical style on their instruments.

Novice Fiddle Program: NHMC offers a novice program aimed at both entry level and budding fiddlers, taught by Montpelier's own Sarah Hotchkiss of Woodbury Strings.

Fiddle Levels. Our Novice level in fiddle is for true beginners: those who have barely touched the instrument before coming to camp. Our Lower Intermediate level is for students who can play with some confidence but still need a fair amount of technical help in terms of bowing and noting. Both Upper Intermediate and Advanced levels offer a strong focus on achieving stylistic authenticity. Naturally, students can expect that tunes in advanced-level classes would demand a higher level of technical skill.

If you don't have a violin of your own, no problem! Oren Kronick of Vermont Violins has offered to provide free "loaner" violins to our novice students. He only has two requirements: students must reserve their instruments by May 15, and must take responsibility for returning them in good condition.

Beginners in General: We firmly believe that having the opportunity to hear and observe world-renowned masters at close quarters provides sufficient inspiration to keep beginners firmly committed to progressing on the instrument for months or even years to come!

devilish students

Concerts: Many students have told us that our faculty concerts alone are worth the price of admission. All our staff are wonderful performers, and - because featured performers often rope their fellow instructors into the act - you'll experience some very special musical moments that simply can't be encountered in other kinds of settings.

Contra Dances: We run six contra dances during the course of camp -- one at the conclusion of each evening activity. Our long-term caller caller David Kaynor provides an extremely rich dancing experience; he is terrific both at initiating beginners and creating interest for experienced dancers. For the first five nights of camp, each night dancers will experience a different style of music -- New England, Irish, Cape Breton, Appalachian, and Québecois. On the last night the dances are accompanied by our own students (and if last year is any guide, the level of intensity didn't go down one bit).

Jamming: Each day we schedule a period of faculty-led jams at several levels -- "Slow jams" for those who are just beginning to grow on their instruments, "Up-to-Speed" jams for advanced or adventurous players, "Intermediate" jams for tweeners, and "Vocal" jams for singers at all levels. Alternatively, there is plenty of space for small or medium sized groups to organize their own jams during our afternoon free periods, or after the conclusion of the evening program.

Opening Night Program: Following dinner on Sunday night, we will hold a general orientation and "Meet the Faculty" event, followed by a get-acquainted contra dance and jams. We strongly recommend that all commuters should attend the opening night program, in order to become fully integrated in the camp.



Northeast Heritage Music Camp is headed up by two established musicians with extensive experience in working at and running similar events in other parts of the US. Ken Perlman (on the right), who doubles as clawhammer banjo instructor, has helped design and operate the Maryland Banjo Academy, Banjo Camp North (Groton, Mass.), the Suwannee Banjo Camp (High Springs, Florida), the Midwest Banjo Camp (Olivet, Michigan), and is co-director of the American Banjo Camp (Seattle area). Peter Langston, who doubles as guitar instructor and swing band leader, has been a director of the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop for over ten years, and he co-directs the American Banjo Camp. Among the many other camps at which Ken or Peter have served on staff are the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, the California Coast Music Camp, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, Alta Sierra Dance Camp, Common Ground on the Hill, the Tennessee Banjo Institute, Sierra Swing Dance Camp, the Santa Barbara Harvest Festival, Smokey Mountains Banjo Academy, Camp Bluegrass, and Lark in the Morning Music Camp.

instructor concert

Facebook & MySpace: Are you on Facebook or MySpace? If you are, why not visit our Facebook Page or our MySpace Page and befriend us? You can also use those pages to establish dialogues with other friends of NHMC.

NHMC Flyer You can print out your own copies of the NHMC Flyer to give to friends, to pass out at a jam or dance, or to leave at a local music store. Help us get the word out -- the more the merrier!

Set the orientation to Landscape. Set the margins to 0.5 inch. (To set print orientation and margins in most versions of Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Netscape, click on "Page Setup..." in the "File" menu.)

NHMC Poster We have a letter-size (8.5" x 11") NHMC Poster that you can print out and post anywhere that other musicians might see it - a local music store, a dance, a neighborhood bulletin board, etc. For this poster you should set the orientation to Portrait, set the print margins to 0.5", and enable Fit To Page, if you have it. (To set print margins and Orientation in most versions of Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Netscape, click on "Page Setup..." in the "File" menu.)

This was our 2011 Staff

2011 Staff