Camp is full! Join the Waiting List
Do you love the ukulele? Want to play and learn with the best? Then the Menucha Ukulele Band Camp is for you. Four nights and three days of intense fun, ukulele instruction, and merry music-making within the structure of a band, led by some of the ukulele world’s finest band masters.
Each morning begins with a short singing session to warm up our voices and a third session is offered each day in extra-curricular musical skills – acoustic bass, singing, accordion, improvising, claw-hammer technique, etc. There will also be time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Menucha, and get to know your fellow students in evening entertainment, jam sessions and open mic.
Band Camp is truly a unique and wonderful experience, and registrations are limited to help provide an intimate and in depth educational experience. It’s also a lot of fun. Our goal is to provide you with exciting challenges by learning to be in a band, playing together and taking risks. This can happen more easily if you have a solid foundation. Click the “FAQ” tab below for more information about Ukulele Band Camp.
2018 Faculty: Craig Chee, Sarah Maisel, Del Rey, Aaron Keim!
2018 Artistic Director: Marianne Brogan, Portland Ukulele Association
Additional Faculty: Nicole, Keim, Nova Karina Devonie, and Matt Weiner
Fun Article Featuring our Camp: Ukulele, a Four-Stringed Phenomenon
LIKE Menucha Ukulele Band Camp on Facebook
This is the 2018 schedule. We’ll post the 2019 as soon as we can!
Camp check-in begins at 3:00 pm on Monday, March 26. First official meeting is at 4:00 pm in Wright Hall!
Camp ends on Friday morning after breakfast.
|Daily Schedule 2018 – Menucha Ukulele Band Camp|
|Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday|
Volunteer Servers report to dining room in Wright Hall
|8-8:45 a.m. Breakfast|
9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Choral Warm up in Wright Hall
10:00 – 11:15 a.m. Class Sessions
Music of WC Handy
Advanced Picking and Strums
Songs of American Work
Volunteer Servers report to dining room in Wright Hall
|Noon – 1:00 p.m. Lunch||Nom, nom, nom|
All Camp band session in Wright Hall
2:30-3:45 p.m. Class Sessions
Percussive Side of Ukulele
Intro to Jazz Ukulele
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Serendipty workshops: check the whiteboard in the Wright Hall Foyer after lunch for descriptions and locations
|5:50 p.m.||Volunteer Servers report to dining room in Wright Hall|
|6-7 p.m. Dinner|
|7:30 p.m. Entertainment||Starts with one hour of open mic, followed by activities and entertainment, then jams|
|notes||3-day classes are level 3/4, talk to the teacher you have questions.
Drop-in classes are all levels.
2018 Class descriptions
Advanced Picking and Strums (3 DAY CLASS)
Craig will be going through an arrangement of Toccata showcasing many of the advanced picking techniques used. Breaking down each element, Craig will be sure you walk out with the tools and know how to master the song and techniques at your own pace.
The Percussive Side of ‘Ukulele (All Levels, DROP-IN Class)
High G tuning recommended
Craig loves showcasing how percussive the ukulele can be. We take a look at muting, scratching, golpe and everything in between to bring a whole new element to your ukulele playing! A fun and addicting workshop to create more sound and texture with your ukulele.
Chord Melody (Levels 3-4 Advanced Beginner-Advanced, 3 DAY CLASS)
If you have already been fooling with Chord Melody, but want to be pushed farther, this is the perfect class for you. Our focus will be on different chord voicings, and how to accomplish the right feel for your song- going beyond your basic Major, minor, and Dominant chords. Be prepared to play 2nd position chords, and a variety of barre chords. We will also discuss the use of a High G string verses Low G for certain arrangements.
Intro to Jazz ‘Ukulele (level 2-4, DROP-IN)
Ever been intimidated by Jazz? Don’t worry, this class will be a lot of fun as we go through some popular Standards and progressions. We’ll show you how easy (or hard) you can make these tunes. You must be able to play all of your basic chords in order to get the most out of this class.
Songs From The Grand Old Opry (All Levels, DROP-IN class) Bluegrass, country, folk and blues straight from the Opry stage! We will learn a few songs as well as the history and culture of the artists who sang them. Throw in a little picking while we are at it for a well rounded class.
Ukulele Duets (Intermediate/Advanced- 3 DAY CLASS) Three new duets for you to take home and share with a friend. Must have experience with tablature and picking single note melodies.
Two Waltzes (3 DAY CLASS)
Ah, the waltz. Once the daring new dance that excited the ballrooms of Austria, now it makes the old folks feel young again and the young folks feel so unnecessary. A raggedy waltz from the Memphis Jug Band in C “The Mississippi Waltz” and a pleasantly melancholy waltz based on a birdsong, “Thank You Bird” in Em. We’ll learn the melodies, the chords and make a nice arrangement.
The Music of WC Handy (Drop-in class)
Handy’s study of folk blues in the early 20th century and the way he used what he heard in published music continues to shape melodies and influence music today. Learn about the ‘spanish tinge’ playing St Louis Blues in G. Then explore the mythologies of Beale Street and play Beale Street Blues in B Flat. Then we’ll learn “Atlanta Blues” in F.
What about Class Levels?
Differing levels of ability are expected at Band Camp. Teachers will describe their classes on the first evening and you’ll have an opportunity to talk to them and, if needed, change your class selection. One strategy might be to select one class where you’ll be challenged, because that’s where the learning occurs, and one class where you already have an established level of comfort.
LEVEL 1 beginner: Ukulele Band Camp is not providing a jump start track this year. (these are students at level 1). Depending on your musical background and confidence you may still decide to attend. The LEVEL 1 beginner has been playing for 3-6 months and has learned 3-4 chords but hesitates in-between chord changes to move the fingers to the next location. This student will want to “bone up” and reach for level two skills to give you a better foundation for classes. Suggested chords to memorize: C, Am, F, G7 (key of C family). And G, Em, C, D7 (Key of G family).
LEVEL 2 advanced beginner: This player knows a handful of chords and can move from one chord to another without pausing. May have trouble with barre chords, and has developed a strum or two or a finger pattern for picking. Level 3 players in these bands can practice leads and chord inversions.
LEVEL 3 intermediate: This player can hold a steady rhythm, and is competent with a variety of basic chords (for example: A, Am, B7, C, C7, D, Dm, E7, Em, G, and G7). Understands simple chord progressions (such as I, IV, V chords), can sing and strum at the same time, and learns chords to simple tunes fairly quickly.
LEVEL 4 intermediate/advanced: This player can hear I, IV, and V chords, has mastered some chord inversions, knows there is life above the fifth fret, and has visited there with movable chords. Plays lead and backup easily with others (well, maybe not lead), and keeps a steady rhythm.
PACING: Classes usually pace themselves to match the participants’ abilities.
Ukulele Band Camp Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What skill levels are required for camp?
If you are wondering if this camp is for you, please read on. Band Camp is offered for the advanced-beginner, intermediate, and advanced players. The word “Beginner” covers a lot of ground, and the faculty recognize that there will be a range of skills in class and usually provide different parts to accommodate the students. Most teachers expect that the students know more than a few chords, and are capable of changing chords smoothly and in rhythm. We have devised an exercise to help you evaluate what you might want to work on before camp so you get the most our of your musical experience. Try the following exercise in three different keys. Use a metronome!
At 60 beats per minute, play each chord four times (four beats per chord). Play the chords without diagrams, that is, by heart.
C – Am – F – G7 – C
It should take 20 seconds. Try it in this key as well:
G – Em – C – D7 – G
Extra Credit: F – Dm – Bb – C7 – F
If you can do this, then you will get the most out of your classroom experience! You might have difficulty making the chord sound beautiful, even though you know how to play it (B-flat anyone?). Not to worry – the teachers can help you with that.
If you need to look up any of the chords, then you know what you may want to work on before the camp starts.
For more help deciding what level you’ve reached, please click here for our Uke Class Levels page.
Q: I understand that private lodging gets booked fast.
You’re right – register early and snag one of these highly sought-after accommodations. There are 9 available.
Q: Tell me about semi-private: can I specify the person I share with? Some members of my Uke group may be coming, so perhaps I could room with them if we can’t get private.
Menucha has several semi-private rooms, which means 2-3 people per room (twin or queen beds) and usually (but not always) your own bathroom. If you and your spouse/partner both want to attend, you can be placed in a semi-private room together with the other beds blocked out.
There are also community lodging rooms, our most affordable. They can house 3-5 people per room, depending on size; a few of these have private bathrooms while most others have a bathroom next door or down the hall. Menucha’s community lodgings are bunk rooms. (You would not be required to sleep in a top bunk if you don’t want to; each guest gets one “set” so you’d be able to sleep on the bottom bed and store your stuff on the bunk above or vice-versa).
If you have a group you regularly jam with and want to room near each other, in most cases this can be arranged. Please contact our office. 503-695-2243.
Q: I have other instruments that I would like to bring – what is the policy?
A: Any acoustic instrument is acceptable. Volume may be an issue and please note: band camp is an acoustic environment. Professional musicians have been hired to provide band accompaniment. Instruments that must be plugged into an amplifier, such as the “ukulele bass,” are not allowed in the band classes, and may only be used outside of class in groups that allow it.
2019 Costs will be posted soon!
Camp is full! Join the Waiting List
These are the 2018 costs for reference…
|Community Lodging: 3-4/room, bathroom in hall or room||Program Fee $370 + Meals $169 + Lodging $210 = $749||4 nights + 11 meals|
|Semi-Private 3/room, bathroom in room||Program Fee $370 + Meals $169 + Lodging $310 = $849||4 nights + 11 meals|
|Semi-Private 2/room, bathroom in room||Program Fee $370 + Meals $169 + Lodging $410 = $949||4 nights + 11 meals|
|Private (Sold out), bathroom in hall or room||Program Fee $370 + Meals $169 + Lodging $510 = $1049||4 nights + 11 meals|
|Commuter: no lodging; includes all lunches & dinners||Program Fee $370 + Meals $115 + Site Use Fee $150 = $635||3 lunches, 4 dinners|
|Want to bring your spouse who doesn’t play ukulele? They get meals and lodging but don’t take the classes.|
|Non-participating Spouse (semi-private housing, all meals)||Meals $169 + Lodging $410 = $579||4 nights + 11 meals|
If 90+ days out, canceling a registration results in a full refund minus a $50 handling fee.
If 46-90 days out, 65% refund.
If 30-45 days out, 50% refund.
If fewer than 30 days out, there is no refund available.
Payment Plan Option
You may choose to divide the cost across several months, depending upon how far in advance you are registering. Options will automatically appear in the online registration process. The cost is only $5 per month.