CBA Music Camp and Ingrid Noyes

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Dear friends,

After such a momentous month, the high point being the Father’s Day Festival, I could use this space to speak of any of a whole slew of topics. But I will write about the CBA Music Camp today.

This was Ingrid Noyes’ last time to be the director of the Camp. She and Elena Corey came up with the idea 13 years ago and convinced the CBA to give it a chance. After all, what is more important to this association than seeing more people play instruments and/or sing? Bluegrass is a participation-based art form. Even when we’re watching performers on stage we’re collecting songs and licks to use later in the campground or in our own amateur bands. What better opportunity to become friends and plug into a community than jamming? The board of directors is cautious, I can tell you that. That seems to be one constant, from my perspective. And it took some convincing, but Ingrid has certainly shown how right she and Elena were and what a benefit it has been to our association.

The Camp is largely about young people. (The rest of us Campers tend to be young at heart. There’s nothing better for a person-of-a-certain-age than getting down in the trenches with 16 year olds to learn something new and exciting.) And that is something Ingrid nourished with brilliance. She channeled the very generous gifts of Music Camp donors into scholarships for many young people. She created jams and activities just for teens and younger. She offered activities that the kids loved, like dances and the afternoon ice cream break.

In fact what I want to say here is how special Ingrid and her volunteers have made the CBA Music Camp. It has a personality that any new director is going to have to work hard and be clever to clone. It’s just fun (you took your first break at an organized jam!), and challenging (you have one of the best music teachers in the nation telling you what to do with your fingers!), and scary (you just got up on stage for the first time ever!).

There’s something very “Ingrid” about the feel of the camp for me. Ingrid changes things around constantly. As opposed to the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude I, or others of my gender go by. She embraced change as part of an enhanced Camp experience. (We have many, many repeat offenders… I mean return customers at our Camps. Very addictive. So mixing it up is a good thing.) Ingrid also showered us with details to make a fun time more fun. She was a superb host. This year we had a Happy Hour in conjunction with a Cliff Compton poetry reading! (Folks, if you have not heard Cliff read, it’s an experience not to be missed. His fine poems come alive and you will be drawn in to the web he spins.)

She always treated us volunteers very well too. We got professional massages, directions to the “secret” swimming hole, and an end-of-camp dinner where we mixed with the famous teachers in celebration of 3-1/2 days of hard work and crazy fun.

Yes, I am very sad to see her go. But the CBA Music Camp will go on, with a new director. We have amazing candidates who are anxious to be part of what we do. And Ingrid will be starting her own camp soon and we will have details for you in the Bluegrass Breakdown.

Thanks, Ingrid! We love you!

To me nothing is more enjoyable and rewarding than our Music Camp. I hope you all will think about attending the next one at the Father’s Day Festival 2013.

Your pal,
Mark Varner
[email protected]

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