Vinland Music Camp’19 will take place August 18-24, 2019. It’s the perfect opportunity for all ages to learn and perform traditional music, storytelling and folk dance. The event takes place in the beautiful natural setting of Killdevil Camp and Conference Centre in Lomond, Gros Morne National Park. The program includes daily workshops in instrumental and vocal techniques, as well as classes in traditional dancing, songwriting and storytelling. There are nightly concerts by visiting artists as well as Camp staff. The principal instruments of instruction are fiddle, button accordion, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, harp, tenor banjo, tin whistle, flute, bodhran, harmonica, bass guitar and cello.
Visit our Program page to view the daily schedule, workshop descriptions and Camp brochure. Registration and fees information can be found here. You can also read our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and Reviews & Comments as well as view our Photo Gallery. Information about meals and accommodation at the Killdevil Camp and Conference Centre can be found here.
This year’s Camp will focus on the folk arts of the United States and its influence on Newfoundland and Labrador’s culture. We have invited acoustic blues musician Michael Jerome Browne, singer/songwriter Shirley Montague and folklorist/banjo player Neil Rosenberg. The guest artists will be performing in concert as well as conducting workshops throughout the week.
Born in South Bend, Indiana, Michael Jerome Browne is the son of English professors whose love of music and poetry inspired them to take their nine year old son to the great jazz, blues and folk clubs in their adopted home of Montreal. Whether he’s gliding a slide across his national guitar, pulling his bow over the fiddle strings to play a lively Cajun waltz, or frailing away on his gourd banjo, Michael’s passion and virtuosity always shine through. In the true tradition of folk music, his performances inspire us to see the interconnections between the many cultures and influences that gave birth to American Roots Music. Gospel, Blues, Old-Time, Country, Soul and Cajun, expect to hear all of this and more from a performer who’s been called a street-smart archivist and an absolute treasure.
A musician’s musician, when he isn’t performing his own material he is in demand backing up and recording with other artists, most notably Eric Bibb, whose Grammy nominated CD “Migration Blues” he co-produced and played on.
“Arguably the finest acoustic blues artist in this country” – Globe and Mail
Born in North West River, Labrador, Shirley Montague now resides in Norris Point, in the midst of Gros Morne National Park, so no wonder her writings are filled with nature’s imagery. She has worked with many respected musicians from Atlantic Canada and is considered a pillar of the music industry, mentoring and inspiring others. Shirley is the founder of the annual Trails Tales Tunes Festival and she continues to be very instrumental in the growing arts and culture scene in the Gros Morne region.
Originally from the western US, Neil Rosenberg is Professor Emeritus of Folklore at Memorial University, where he taught from September 1968 until his retirement in September 2004. Rosenberg specialized in the study of contemporary folk music traditions, investigating the ways in which popular music interacts with local and regional folk music traditions, and examining processes of cultural revival. His book Bluegrass: A History (1985) is considered the definitive work on bluegrass music. An accomplished musician, Rosenberg utilized his skills and experiences in bluegrass, country, folk, jazz, classical and experimental music to gain a closer understanding of the processes he studied. Neil plays banjo in Crooked Stovepipe – a bluegrass band that formed in 1973.
Instructors at the Vinland Music Camp, collectively known as Lomond Sound, are among the most experienced and qualified in the province. Most workshops are divided into 2-3 levels, from beginners to advanced. Participants learn to perform solo as well as in groups and everyone comes away from camp feeling inspired to play music, dance and sing.
Besides instructional classes there are many other activities for Camp participants. These include jam sessions, campfire singalongs, nightly concerts, and traditional dancing. Since we are in a national park, there are plenty of opportunities for participants to go hiking, swimming, bird-watching and canoeing, at no extra charge. Throughout the week Killdevil staff lead interpretative hikes and canoe trips in the area; it’s a very inspiring place to explore. On Thursday night Campers let loose and create their own songs and skits for a special fun night called ‘Kill the Devil Night’ – a much anticipated event!
A brief history of the Camp
Vinland Music Camp was started in 2001 by Eric West after working as musician in residence in Gros Morne National Park the previous year. With the assistance of Daniel Payne and guest instructors Shirley Montague and Gayle Tapper, the first Camp started modestly with an enrollment of eleven students. Over the years the camp has grown in size and scope to include instruction in over a dozen instruments, as well as singing, songwriting, storytelling, and folk dancing. Presently about 50 people attend each year from across Canada, the US and other countries. The Camp now employs ten full-time instructors – some of the top professional artists in the province. Each year we also invite special guest artists to give workshops and concerts. Since 2009 Vinland Music Camp has been run by the Soundbone Traditional Arts Foundation – a non-profit organisation dedicated to teaching and preserving the folk arts of Newfoundland and Labrador. More information about our organisation can be found here.