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First-ever Rossland Acoustic Music Camp

Attention musicians!  During the Rossland Acoustic Music Camp , from the evening of September 29  to October 1, 2017, the red-roofed church ―and now school ― at First Avenue and Queen Street  will ring with music, as musicians fill it with sound to sharpen their playing skills.  Seven Summits Centre for Learning hosts this first-ever event for Rossland  at its new home in the old church building.    

Starting on Friday evening, September 29, musicians will arrive, check in and select the classes that most interest them.  The camp winds up mid-afternoon on October 1.

Instructors include Brian Kalbfleisch, Darren Mahe, Gary Nielsen, Dave Scanlan, Barry Truter, and Bessie Wapp.

The schedule follows, below;  first, here's a summary of the credentials of each instructor:  

Brian Kalbfleisch has been playing music for over 30 years on piano, ukulele, and as a singer. He performs regularly with the bands Dirt Floor and The Devils You Don’t , and is a regular on the summer market/restaurant circuit around the Nelson area in various duos and trios. He has taught beginner ukulele privately and at Selkirk College for kids and adults since 2011.

Darren Mahe has been a musician for 40 years, having studied electric and classical guitar, composition, Chinese music, and Music Education with degrees from Capilano University and UBC. He has opened for acts such as Trooper, Prism, Haywire, Kickaxe, Great White, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Headpins, Streetheart, Lee Aaron, Jerry Doucette, Harlequin and others. Darren is also an instructor for Selkirk College’s Contemporary Music and Technology Program in Nelson where he’s taught since 2000.

Gary Nielsen  started playing guitar during the big Folk Music Scare of the 1960’s.  He learned by listening to records, poring through instruction books and from watching  and talking to other guitar players. Then in 1999 he discovered the Old Standards:  the great tunes by the likes of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin and many others whose work has survived the test of time. To play this new repertoire he had to expand his knowledge of swing chord shapes and rhythms, which he uses to play Western Swing, Gypsy Jazz and Bossa Novas.  He currently teaches Swing Guitar in Kamloops and is  a part of the band Doc and the Disorderlies.

Dave Scanlan  has been playing electric bass and acoustic guitar for decades, and holds a music diploma from David Thompson University Centre.  He has performed throughout southeastern B.C. as a singer/songwriter and also as a bassist in a variety of bands. Dave has taught bass, guitar, and songwriting in individual and group sessions, and is one of the organizers of the first Rossland Acoustic Music Camp.

Barry Truter teaches guitar privately and for music camps including Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Vancouver Island Music Workshop, Vancouver Moveable Music School, and Foothills Acoustic Music Institute. A co-founder of the Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop (GSGW), he performs solo and with folk trio, Fraser Union, blues duo, Jook Joint Jokers, and English Country Dance band, Whimsical.

Bessie Wapp is a musician, theatre artist, educator, and Nelson Cultural Ambassador (2015). While based in Vancouver Bessie created original work and toured internationally as a member of Mortal Coil and Zeellia. In 2006, Bessie returned to Nelson to develop a solo show about her family’s wartime experiences, Hello, I Must Be Going, which she’ll remount at the Capitol Theatre in October. This spring Bessie directed the Rossland Gold Fever Follies production, The Red Mountain.

 Here's the schedule:


5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Arrival and check-in.

7:00 to 8:30 p.m. (approximately) Orientation, “Common Language” presentation, and instructor demonstrations.

8:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Class selection and sign up; sign up for student concert.

9:00 p.m. to ??? Snack time, followed by organized jam sessions, various levels and themes, all students encouraged to participate


9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ― Part One of the following classes:

·         Ukulele 101

·         Demystifying the Pentatonic Scale

·         Intro To Swing Guitar

·         Jumping In At The Deep End

·         Song-crafting

·         Singing The Blues

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ― LUNCH (bring your own, go home for lunch, or support one of the great restaurants downtown!)

1:30 to 3:00 p.m. ― Part One of the following classes:

·         Campfire Classics (ukulele)

·         Expanding The Pentatonic Scale

·         Intro To Western Swing

·         Thumb Drive (intro to finger-picking)

·         Caribbean Rhythms

·         Balkan Choir         

3:30 p.m. ― Common Language Seminar, Part Two

3:45 p.m. ― Be. Hear. Now. (30 minute seminar on performance anxiety)

BREAK for dinner, and practice time for student concert.

7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. ― Student concert

10:00 to ??? ― Snack time, following by jam sessions.


9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ―  Part Two of previous morning classes.


1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ―  Part Two of previous afternoon classes.

And then home, refreshed and with new or reinforced skills ― but hopefully without that voice-tightening, knee-shaking performance anxiety!