March 30-April 3, 2020
WOW! 2019 was fun! We can’t wait for y’all to come back in 2020!
Registration for 2020 Ukulele Band Camp will open in Mid-September.
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.
2019 Faculty: Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Aaron Keim, Tracy Kim, Nicole Keim, Matt Weiner, Nova Devonie
2019 Artistic Director: Marianne Brogan, Portland Ukulele Association
Fun Article Featuring our Camp: Ukulele, a Four-Stringed Phenomenon
LIKE Menucha Ukulele Band Camp on Facebook
Updates added for Class Descriptions! Click on the words or + to open/close each section
2019 Class Descriptions!
Arranging Fingerstyle Melodies 3-Day Class, Intermediate
This class is for folks who want to go through the process of arranging your own pieces for fingerstyle ukulele. We will start a piece from scratch and layout the melody, accompaniment, harmony and picking. Must have experience with fingerstyle and be ready to work with tablature.
A Duet Waltz For Fingerstyle Beginners Drop-In Class, All Levels.
A new piece written just for Menucha, suitable to play by two players of any level.
Chord Melody Step-by-Step 3-Day Class, Intermediate and up
This class starts at the beginning of the process of putting together chord melodies. The ability to Barre across 2 and 3 strings is helpful. We’ll use Major Chord Scales and Dominant Chord Scales to play familiar songs.
Sing and Play the Hits of Motown Drop-in Class, All Levels
Sing and play the songs of Smokey Robinson, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Marvelettes, the Supremes and more. Is it “Just My Imagination” or do I hear the “Friendship Train”? “Stop In The Name of Love,” “Mr. Postman ,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours!”
Triads: Inversions and Embellishments 3-Day Class, Intermediate.
This class is for folks who want to go through the process of learning to improvise over classic swing tunes on the ukulele. We will start with Duke Ellington’s “C Jam Blues”. We will learn the basic melody and chords and then discuss the use of triads and embellishments to create a swinging lead improvisation. Django Reinhardt’s famous gypsy swing composition, “Minor Swing” and the old standard “All of Me” will also be taught during the three day class. By the end of the week, you will learn the tricks and skills to create jazzy single note improvisations. Must have some experience with movable chords including 6th and 7th chords. Also, a low g string is recommended but not required.
Solo Jazz Ukulele Drop-In Class, All Levels
A Chord Melody arrangement for “Dream A Little Dream”. Learn some techniques for harmonizing a melody from using triads to 13th chords and substitutions. Again, a low g string is recommended but not required.
Uke Bass Panorama – 3-Day Class during Serendipity hour (outside the regular class periods)
This class is for uke bass players of all levels, especially if you have never played the uke bass before. Slowly and methodically, we will figure out a system for finding bass lines and ideas that work with your ukulele groups and ensembles. Hand and body position, tuning, amplification etiquette, bass line construction and patterns for different styles of music will all be covered, and you will even leave with a beautiful melody to play on your bass (because you deserve a solo too!). You will be provided with a printed summary of everything we cover.
We will have 5 Ohana acoustic/electric Bass Ukuleles tuned EADG (normal bass tuning) for student use. Ohana is loaning us the instruments and they will be available for sale if you are interested. You may bring your own ukulele bass if is tuned the same way. We also need to borrow a few small amps. Marianne Brogan will make the request of local attendees as we get closer to camp.
Practice Techniques – Drop-In Class, All levels
Make the most of your practice time, become a better uke player (or other instrument) faster by being organized and thoughtful about when and how to practice. You’ll be surprised AND pleased at the difference it makes.
Clawhammer Ukulele – Level 2/3 3-Day Class – *Prerequisites listed below.
The classic banjo style adapts beautifully to ukuleles tuned with a high G. Improve your skills with the basic right hand technique and how it works with the left hand for a whole different sound. Think Pete Seeger or Grandpa Jones on ukulele! Please note prerequisites.
*Prerequisite Note from Marianne – For students who want to learn the clawhammer technique, it is often difficult to get beyond elementary level classes because the right-hand technique needs practice. We want to start the class with Cathy at a beyond beginner level. This requires that those who want to participate get some instruction and practice before camp. Cathy has graciously unlocked the first six lessons (of 15) from Module 1 of an instruction product from her web site store. Please take advantage of this by viewing these short 5-minute lessons and practicing before ukulele band camp. Cathy suggests that people get at least this far, confidently. Then we will not be working on right hand technique as much as “putting it together.” If you want to go through all of module 1, that would be even better.
The unlocked first six lessons from Module 1 on Youtube are as follows
Free Lessons from Module 2
Registered Participants – get the All-Camp Orchestra music here. See the email sent 3/1 for the password.All-Camp Orchestra music page
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.
Camp check-in begins at 3:00 pm on Monday. First official meeting is at 4:00 pm in Wright Hall!
Camp ends on Friday morning after breakfast.
|Daily Schedule 2019 – 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
Hits of Motown Sing & Play
Triads Inversions & Embellishments
A Duet Waltz
Clawhammer Ukulele Intermediate
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. (See the All-Camp Orchestra Piece)
2:30-3:45 p.m. Class Sessions
Chord Melody Step-by-Step
Solo Jazz Ukulele
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Serendipity workshops: check the whiteboard in the Wright Hall Foyer after lunch for descriptions and locations
Matt Weiner’s Bass Class will take place in the faculty lounge in Wright Hall.
|5:50 p.m.||Volunteer Servers report to dining room in Wright Hall|
|6-7 p.m. Dinner||(Dinner will be at 5:30 pm on Wednesday followed by the concert at the Grange Hall at 7pm)|
|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.
“As close to flawless folk-bluegrass as it gets.” – Billboard Magazine
TWO-TIME GRAMMY® Award Winners, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer are master musicians with a career spanning over 35 years. Their superb harmonies are backed by instrumental virtuosity on the guitar, five-string banjo, ukulele, mandolin, cello-banjo, and many other instruments. An eclectic folk festival on their own terms, their repertoire ranges from classic country to western swing, gypsy jazz to bluegrass, and old-time string band to contemporary folk including some original gems. Their versatility defies a brief description – perhaps “well rounded Americana” does it best.
In February 2017, the duo released their 45th recording, “GET UP AND DO RIGHT” which features duets of some of their favorite songs by songwriters such as Alice Gerrard, Tom Paxton, Ola Belle Reed and David Francey, with an original tune and song for good measure.
Cathy & Marcy have performed at hundreds of bluegrass and folk festivals and taught at close to 100 music camps. The Washington Area Music Association has recognized the duo with over 60 WAMMIE Awards for folk, bluegrass and children’s music. They have performed with Pete Seeger, Theodore Bikel, Tom Paxton, Patsy Montana, Riders in the Sky and a wide range of musical luminaries. They are happily known as “social music conductors” ready to start a jam session, a community sing or to create a music camp helping others learn to play and sing.
No stranger to the ukulele world, Aaron has been teaching ukulele techniques and performing at festivals since 2004. As an educator with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Musicology, his true talents lie in his ability to adapt instruction to fit a wide range of learners and learning styles. Aaron is an ambassador for old time folk music in the ukulele world, adapting banjo and guitar techniques to the ukulele (including playing in the “clawhammer” tradition). His YouTube instructional videos have gained a worldwide following and have led to teaching and performing opportunities in N. America, Europe and Australia. Aaron is also a luthier, building instruments for Mya-Moe ukuleles 2011-2018 and as Beansprout Musial Instruments from 2007-2018. www.thebeansprout.com
Nicole earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Education and taught K-5 elementary school music for nine years in the public schools while living in Colorado. She sang professionally for several years with the nationally recognized Ars Nova Singers and has taught private voice and piano lessons to students of all ages since 2002. In 2012 (after moving to Oregon), Nicole took a sabbatical from teaching elementary school in order focus on her fiber arts business and to perform and travel with Aaron as The Quiet American. She has taught several singing workshops and has developed a passion for teaching beginning ukulele instruction to adult learners.
Aaron and Nicole have also self published several educational ukulele books with topics ranging from jug band songs to fingerstyle technique. Many of their books include instructional videos on YouTube, which has contributed to the worldwide success of their products. Nicole’s handwritten notation and illustrations in these books are the perfect compliment to Aaron’s well planned scope and sequence of lessons, ukulele arrangements and original compositions.
Tracy Kim is one of Portland’s most popular performers and teachers for swing music. From Charlie Christian to Django Reinhardt, he has been performing and teaching this music for over two decades. He can be seen performing with his own trio, with the Kung Pao Chickens, 12th Avenue Hot Club, and most recently with James Mason and the Gypsy Hicks. Tracy performs on his archtop jazz guitar or his ukulele. He has recently opened his own music school, the Happy Valley School of Music, where he designs the music curriculum, including all the workshops, classes and private lessons.
Nova Karina Devonie, who once caused Garrison Keillor to blush and become tongue-tied as he attempted to pronounce her name, hails originally from Vancouver BC. This vile temptress of the accordion has been delighting audiences with her sensitive (and sometimes humorous) playing, sonorous singing style, and sideways fashion sense since the early 1980’s.
Nova moved to Seattle to join swingabilly cowgirl band “Ranch Romance,” and stayed to make it her home after that band ended their touring days. She now performs with several bands including Miles and Karina, The Buckaroosters, and The Rolling Blackouts.
Matt Weiner can be spotted in Seattle playing bass and singing in the Casey MacGill Trio, as well as with Eli Rosenblatt, Del Rey, Barton Carroll, Miles & Karina, Bric-a-Brac Trio, Wayne Horvitz’s “Painting The Town Red” Project, The New Orleans Quintet, The Tall Boys and many others. He has performed and recorded many other talented folks including with The Hot Club of Cowtown, The Asylum Street Spankers, The Flying Neutrinos, Butch Thompson, Lyle Ritz, Becky Kilgore, Danny Barnes, Suzy Thompson, Matt Munisteri and Rani Arbo. He played the role of bass player Joe B. Mauldin in the 5th Avenue Theatre production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, in which he wore a hairpiece. At The Ukeshack #1, an album of bass and ukulele duets he recorded with Del Rey, was released in 2007.
Matt has taught at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the Yukon Woodshed Acoustic Music Workshop, The Portland Ukulele Festival, The Menucha Ukulele Bandcamp, and 4 different Centrum music camps: the Ukulele Festival, the Country Blues Festival, Voice Works and the Hot Strings Vintage Jazz Workshop. He teaches bass (bass guitar and double bass) private lessons and workshops at Dusty Strings in Seattle.
“Menucha-lele”: Ukulele Masters Concert on Wednesday, March 27
(Camp participants already have tickets but please invite your friends! Tickets: https://menucha.org/tickets)
2019 Cost to Attend 2020 costs will be posted soon.
|Community Lodging: 3-4/room, bathroom in hall or room||Program Fee $370 + Meals $175 + Lodging $210 = $755||4 nights + 11 meals|
|Semi-Private: 3/room, bathroom in room or hall||Program Fee $370 + Meals $175 + Lodging $310 = $855||4 nights + 11 meals|
|Semi-Private Plus: 2/room, bathroom in room||Program Fee $370 + Meals $175 + Lodging $410 = $955||4 nights + 11 meals|
|Private 1/room (13 available), bathroom in hall or room||Program Fee $370 + Meals $175 + Lodging $510 = $1055||4 nights + 11 meals|
|Commuter: no lodging; includes all lunches & dinners||Program Fee $370 + Meals $118 + Site Use Fee $150 = $638||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 $175 + Lodging $410 = $585||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.
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.