Registration for 2020 Ukulele Band Camp will open on Wednesday, September 18, at 10 am Pacific time.
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.
2020 Faculty: Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, the Canote Brothers, Kevin Carroll, Aaron Keim, Nicole Keim, Matt Weiner, Nova Devonie
Artistic Director: Marianne Brogan, Portland Ukulele Association
Fun Article Featuring our Camp: Ukulele, a Four-Stringed Phenomenon
LIKE Menucha Ukulele Band Camp on Facebook
2020 Cost to Attend
Costs are per person, all-inclusive -classes, food, lodging, AND the Menucha-lele Concert!
The registration process begins with your name, address, and other information, then brings up an order form for payment.
|Community Lodging: 3-4 people to a room, bathroom in hall or room||Program Fee $370 + Meals $178 + Lodging $210 = $758||4 nights + 11 meals|
|Semi-Private: 3 people to a room, bathroom in room or hall||Program Fee $370 + Meals $178 + Lodging $310 = $858||4 nights + 11 meals|
|Semi-Private Plus: 2 people to a room, bathroom in room||Program Fee $370 + Meals $178 + Lodging $410 = $958||4 nights + 11 meals|
|Private 1 person to a room (13 available), bathroom in hall or room||Program Fee $370 + Meals $178 + Lodging $510 = $1058||4 nights + 11 meals|
|Commuter: no lodging; includes all lunches & dinners||Program Fee $370 + Meals $121 + Site Use Fee $150 = $641||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. Complete your registration and follow the link in the confirmation email to register your spouse/partner.|
|Non-participating Spouse (Semi-Private Plus housing, all meals)||Meals $178 + 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.
Greg and Jere Canote are identical twins whose music is all about having a good time. They do, and you will. It’s steeped in vintage Americana — forgotten fiddle tunes, swing classics, and quirky novelty songs — but with their own twists (and a few of their brilliant original takes on the world around us). They’re fabulous musicians, moving effortlessly among fiddle, guitar, banjo, ukulele, and various hybrids, and their genetically-matched voices recall brother duets from the Blue Sky Boys to the Everlys.
Greg and Jere were instructors at Menucha’s very first Ukulele Band Camp, and several after that…we’re thrilled that they’re returning for our 10th!
“The humor, good-natured mischief, and musical skills that the Canotes share are so infectious that it is impossible not to have a great time when they perform. They are always a treat, both as entertainers and musicians.” – John Miller, Guitar Guru
TWO-TIME GRAMMY® Award Winners, Cathy Fink and 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, cello banjo, ukulele, mandolin, and more. Their repertoire ranges from classic country to western swing, gypsy jazz to bluegrass, and old-time string band to contemporary folk. They have performed with Pete Seeger, been keynote singers for the AFL-CIO, appeared on the “Today Show” and played on National Public Radio.
Cathy and Marcy are consummate entertainers, master musicians and trailblazers in multiple genres of folk, country, swing and family music. They are also two fun loving gals of the ukulele. Each year, the duo organizes and performs in the UKEFEST at THE MUSIC CENTER at STRATHMORE, drawing 2,300 fans. This five-day camp and free community concert pulls together players of all levels and fans to fuel them! They have also taught/performed at Ashokan Uke Festival, Milwaukee Uke Fest, Uke Ceiliedh of Nova Scotia, Port Townsend Uke Fest & Camp, Midland Ukefest (Ont.), Richmond Ukefest, Mt. Airy Ukefest, Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp, Swannanoa Gathering and many more. As keynotes for the American Music Therapy Association, Cathy & Marcy brought the uke to hundreds of music therapists and as a result, there are university level music therapy courses in ukulele!
As performers, Cathy & Marcy have spent 38 years on tour worldwide from Japan to New Zealand, Vancouver to New York, China, Malaysia, and everywhere in between. Recent shows include the GRAMMY Museum (LA), Smithsonian Folklife Festival (Washington, DC) and Wolf Trap Theater in the Woods (VA), Tuscon Folk Festival and Chicago’s WFMT Folk Festival.
Cathy and Marcy’s first appearance at Menucha’s Ukulele Band Camp was in 2018 and we’re delighted they’re coming back for seconds!
“As close to flawless folk/bluegrass as it gets…” – Billboard magazine
“They are spellbinding acoustic musicians, with a rare mastery of American roots styles.” – Boston Globe
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 Musical Instruments since 2007. 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.
Menucha’s Ukulele Band Camp has been fortunate to include Aaron’s gifts since 2014 and Nicole’s since 2015!
Equally passionate about music, education and ukulele, Kevin seeks to inspire and empower students to exercise their birthright of making music. He has completed three years of course study in the James Hill Ukulele Initiative Teacher Certification Program and has been hired as an instructor for the program in Vancouver and Toronto. This training has served to make Ukulele in the Classroom a popular and successful learning approach in Austin. Note-reading, arranging, conducting and teacher training are areas of specialization for Kevin. Kevin’s scope of teaching includes Texas-based music, Blues, Jazz, Soul, Funk, Celtic, Classical, African-based music, and Mariachi.
Among his biggest passions in teaching are working with ukulele ensembles (with his differentiated Ukestra approach) and beginners of all ages. Kevin instructs at ukulele workshops internationally and teaches both private and group music lessons to all ages and levels in Austin, TX. He has published a book of traditional Celtic music titled Ukulele Ceilidh and is releasing a series of differentiated arrangements in Fall of 2019 The Art of the Ensemble for Ukulele and Bass.
Kevin is also a performing and recording artist in his own right. He is launching (Fall 2019) a ukulele-based music education company called edUKEcation.com which brings lessons and instruments to schools, youth groups and other ukulele communities. An experienced workshop leader, Kevin has taught at Menucha Ukulele Band Camp in 2016; he’s also taught at Port Townsend Ukulele Festival, Ashokan Ukulele Festival, Midwest Ukulele and Harmonica Festival, Harrison Hot Springs and numerous other fests and retreats. He has been a resident of Austin, TX for over 25 years where he has played guitar and toured across the globe with Americana artists such as the Flatlanders (Joe Ely, Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore), Jimmy LaFave, Alejandro Escovedo, Robyn Ludwick, Charlie and Bruce Robison and many others. In addition to leading his own groups as a singer/songwriter, Kevin has produced albums and written songs for several Austin artists.
“Kevin is a man on a ukulele mission. I’ve been playing the ukulele for 25 years, and I thought I’d heard it all. Then Kevin comes along with this ‘resolUKEtion’ album and brings a fresh perspective to the instrument. His love for folk, blues and roots music really comes out. Plus, he’s a really nice guy and a passionate teacher of the instrument.” – James Hill
Nova Karina Devonie hails originally from Vancouver BC. She has been delighting audiences with her sensitive (and sometimes humorous) accordion playing, sonorous singing style, and sideways fashion sense since the early 1980’s. Nova moved to Seattle to join swingabilly cowgirl supergroup “Ranch Romance,” and stayed to make it her home after that band ended its touring days. She now performs with several bands including “Miles and Karina,” “The Buckaroosters,” and ”The Rolling Blackouts.”
Besides gigging, Nova teaches private piano accordion lessons, and has been on staff as instrumentalist and instigator for several years at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop. We’re proud to say that she’s been a part of every single Menucha Ukulele Band Camp! She looks forward to hanging out and making music in the fabulous ukulele milieu.
Big tone and solid rhythm have made Matt Weiner one of the busiest bass players in the Northwest. Inspired by the “prebop” bass players and their music, he’s slapping out a syncopated jazz feel on one tune, on another bowing a folksy melody.
Matt frequently performs upward of 200 shows per year, He can be spotted around Seattle and other places plucking, bowing and slapping his gut-strung bass with Jacob Zimmerman, Ray Skjelbred, Del Rey, Barton Carroll, Bric-a-Brac Trio, Squirrel Butter, Wayne Horvitz, Eli Rosenblatt, Casey MacGill and many others. He has also recorded and performed with The Todalo Shakers, The Hot Club of Cowtown, The Asylum Street Spankers, Butch Thompson, Becky Kilgore, Danny Barnes, Matt Munisteri, Jon-Erik Kellso, Rani Arbo and James Hill.
He played the role of bass player Joe B. Mauldin in the 5th Avenue Theatre production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. At The Ukeshack #1, an album of bass and ukulele duets with Del Rey, was released in 2007.
Over two decades of experience has made Matt a highly sought-after teacher. He teaches bass (bass guitar and double bass) private lessons and workshops at Dusty Strings in Seattle. He’s also traveled widely to teach at camps and festivals: the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the Yukon Woodshed Acoustic Music Workshop, The Portland Ukulele Festival, and 4 different Centrum music camps: the Ukulele Festival, the Country Blues Festival, Voiceworks and the Hot Strings Vintage Jazz Workshop. He’s been a part of Menucha’s Ukulele Band Camp since the very beginning, not missing a year!
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.
2020 Class Descriptions coming soon
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 to give you an general overview – Will be updated for 2020
|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
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
|3-Day Class(Greenhouse)||Drop-in Class
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Serendipity 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||(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.