Join The Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Time Music Society August 12 - 16, 2024!

Early Bird Registration Ends June 30th! See our classes and instructor lineup below

northern lights music camp classes
northern lights music camp


The Northern Lights Music Camp provides a friendly, non-competitive environment for musicians of all ages and skill levels. Perhaps you are just getting started in music? Or you are a skilled player looking to hone your skills? We have a class for you.

Skill Level Descriptions –

Please sign up for the class that best describes your current skill level.  If you are uncomfortable on your first day of class, you’ll have the option to discuss changing classes. 

Please note that depending on demand and available instructors, not all skill levels are available for each instrument. 

You are relatively new to your instrument. You have been taking a few lessons or learning through how-to videos and are looking for a solid base to be established. You want to know about correct posture, how to best hold the pick or bow, how to improve chord formation, tips on tuning and intonation, and you want to begin playing songs. You need to be introduced to good study/practice habits, how to read music or tablature, and developing excellent technique.

You are progressing on your instrument. You are ready to start to play with other musicians and you can already play a few tunes from memory. You can play along with a CD if it is at medium speed. You are feeling that you need a booster to get you moving toward the next level. You have a solid grasp of all the basic techniques for your instrument and may be able to read tablature or music.

You are looking for fine tuning tips on how to improve your playing. You can jam with others, improvise fairly well on new tunes and are (or want to) play in an organized band. Your tab/music reading skills are great. You know some scales and how to use them in improvisation situations. Your speed is improving as you use your metronome. You have an arsenal of tunes you can play from memory. You play your instrument or practice almost every day.



wild sky - northern lightsCome escape to the forest with your Littles.

Our program will run parallel to the instruction provided to attendees of the music workshops.  Two instructors, experienced in exploring the boreal forest, will guide and support your young ones. We will spend adult “class” hours together learning, playing and building connections with the natural world.  Our instructors will come equipped with tools for wood craft; nets for pond dipping and hammocks for cloud gazing.  We will look for insects, build fairy houses and forts and wander and wonder amongst the trees.  

Children will need to bring: sturdy shoes, water bottles in backpacks and sun hats for shade.  Snacks will be provided as part of the meal plan and resources as part of our programming. 

The following hours will be “kids camp” hours.  For little ones, the afternoon session is optional, since they may well be napping. 
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9.15 – 12pm, and 2.30-3.45pm

If your child has any special educational needs, please let us know.  We can support their learning with additional, trained and experienced staff.  Funding is available for these circumstances.  Please enquire with us to find out more. 

If you have any questions about our programming, just send us an email.  

With love,
Wild Sky Adventure Learning
[email protected]

Youth Jam Class *ages 6 - 12 with: Emma Finch (Mary Liv)

Emma FinchAbout: Emma is a multi-instrumentalist who has been teaching for several years and playing since she was seven. She has a background in classical, blues and of course bluegrass and old-time music. Emma loves teaching children and helping new musicians to develop their skills. She performs with her sister as a part of the duo Mary-Liv and Emmy-Lou.

Class Description: The Beginner Jam Class is designed for children between the ages of 6-12 who have at least one year of experience on a stringed instrument. In addition to learning new tunes, we will learn the basics of what it is like to play with other musicians in a jam band situation.  The class will combine new songs and music skills with the freedom to move around and have fun.  The goal of the class is for young musicians to play together and develop their bluegrass and old-time skills while having a bit more freedom than what’s necessary to sit through the beginner level or adult classes. 


Raw Beginner Guitar with: Michael Taylor (Mary Liv)

Michael Taylor - northern lights music campAbout: A staple of the Saskatoon music scene, Michael Taylor has been a teacher for over 5 years. When he’s not attending jams or playing with Five Guys Named Dave, Michael can be found noodling around with any instrument that has strings attached but he mostly loves to play guitar, fiddle, and mandolin.

Class Description: The goal of this class is to get you from just starting to play the guitar to just starting to play the guitar with friends and confidence! In this class, we will learn the basic chords, how to sing and play at the same time, and the role of the guitar in a bluegrass jam. If time permits, we may try our hand at learning to flat pick a few fiddle tunes.

Beginner/Intermediate Guitar with: Dan Klingsberg (Golden Shoals)

dan-klingsbergAbout: Dan is an experienced jazz, roots and bluegrass bass player based in Brooklyn, NY. He plays and tours with a number of groups including Mudskippers, PRNCX, Ben Krakauer, and The Ladles. He has performed with Darol Anger, Joe Morris, Peter Rowan, Stuart Duncan, and many others. He graduated from New England Conservatory in 2019.

Class Description: We will go over the fundamentals of bluegrass and old-time guitar rhythm, focusing on playing in time with others and learning basic runs and accent strums. We will also work on technique, using right and left hand exercises to build speed, timing and dexterity. We may even begin playing simple lead melodies to standard songs and tunes. 

Mark Kilianski - northern lights bluegrass campAbout:Mark Kilianski is a guitar flatpicker, banjo player, and singer songwriter, with home bases in Nashville, New Jersey, and Vancouver, BC.  But most of the time you’ll find him on the road with Americana/Old Time duo Golden Shoals.  In his formative years, Mark immersed himself in various styles of guitar music including classic rock, jazz, classical, and metal.  While pursuing a degree in Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music, he started meeting bluegrass and celtic fiddlers and took a stylistic left turn, falling in love with folk music’s raw aesthetic and ethos of anywhere/anytime jamming.  

Class Description: The groove is in your hands! Guitar is the glue of a string band’s collective rhythm. We’ll explore many elements of this broad style, including timing, tone, chord choices, bass runs, practice techniques, and more. We’ll listen to a wide array of approaches to guitar across the Old Time genre and discuss this world of possibilities, as well the history and development of the music.

Clayton Linthicum - Northern Lights Bluegrass Music CampAbout: Clayton Linthicum is a guitar player and singer living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He was introduced to folk music at a young age when he attended the Emma Lake Fiddle Camp. Since then, Clayton has spent his musical life absorbing influence from country blues guitarists, Scottish ballad singers, old time banjo players and other traditional musicians. As a member of the duo Kacy & Clayton, Clayton has performed on CBC Radio’s Q, NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, BBC Radio’s Cerys Matthews Show and appeared at such festivals as Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, MerleFest, Pickathon, and Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival. Kacy & Clayton have released 6 albums, receiving nominations for both the Juno Awards and the Polaris Music Prize

Class Description: Hi folks, my name is Clayton Linthicum and I’m thrilled to be teaching finger-style guitar at this year’s camp. My aim for the class is to steer students toward a general finger-style skill set, based on folk and country-blues techniques. The instruction will reference the music of players like Mississippi John Hurt, Doc Watson, Maybelle Carter, and others.

Skills that the sessions will focus on: Alternating thumb patterns, three-finger-roll patterns, clawhammer technique, finger-style playing in different time signatures, alternate tunings and some basics of improvisation.

Pre-requisite : MUST be at an intermediate guitar level to register.

Chevy Watson - Northern lights bluegrass music campAbout: Raised in Rutherfordton, NC. Chevy started playing at five years old and grew up in a bluegrass family. In his formative years, he traveled with his banjo-playing dad, performing at bluegrass festivals, where he first played on stage. He’s worked with many artists, including world-renowned banjo player Todd Taylor. He played on Todd’s Grammy-nominated project,  “Bringing it home”. In 2009, Chevy joined the Dove-nominated band “The Far City Boys” for a few years and released “Live Again” in 2011 before the band disbanded. 
In 2015, he joined Monroeville, performing in Gatlinburg.

After eight years of being a part of Monroeville, it was time for a new direction, which led him to team up with Seth Mulder and Midnight Run.  

Class Description: Chevy’s class will focus on Bluegrass Flatpicking, covering the basis on playing rhythm and how to build lyrical phrasing and staying with the melody during solos. Learn to be able to improvise during solos and fill in dead spaces rhythmically behind vocals. We will work on getting in touch with your inner pulse and listening to everyone equally in order to stay in time.


Justin Vilchez - Northern lights bluegrass music campAbout: Justin Vilchez, an Australian mandolinist, began his musical journey at eight and later pursued a bachelor’s degree in  jazz and contemporary music. His love for bluegrass music has seen him showcase all through Australia, United  States and Canada. Joining The Local Group in 2018, he’s recorded three albums with the band, touring extensively  around Canada as well as starting up his own project The High Street Drifters (AUS) and continues to entertain  audiences all around Australia.

Class Description: The Beginner mandolin class will look at the basic fundamentals of mandolin playing. We will cover  topics such as holding the pick/mandolin, pick strokes, learning basic melody and rhythm playing.  Focusing on developing fun, efficient practice techniques and learning tunes by ear to get you playing  with others in no time.  

Prerequisites: Students need not have a lot of experience with mandolin, but should know how the  instrument is strung, how to tune it and should be starting to form a few basic chords such as G, C and D.

Seth Mulder - Northern lights bluegrass music campAbout:The band leader and mandolin player, Seth Mulder, is a graduate of the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music where he studied under music legends, Bobby Osborne and Curtis Burch. Seth brings an exciting approach to his mandolin style with influences of Bill Monroe, Ronnie McCoury, Doyle Lawson, Bobby Osborne, and Chris Thile. Seth has toured the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, sharing the stage with the likes of Bobby Osborne, Little Roy Lewis, J.D. Crowe, Darrell Webb, Johnny Butten, and many others. A North Dakota native, he now makes his home in East Tennessee. You’ll see Seth singing lead and harmony as well as performing some of his original music.

Class Description: Traditional bluegrass Mandolin and Beyond. 

In our class, we will cover must know vocal and instrumental jam standards, playing in a band, playing with dynamics, and creating traditional solos.

Pre-requisite : MUST be at an intermediate guitar level to register.


Colton Powers - Northern lights bluegrass music campAbout: Colton Powers is a Tennessee native and recent graduate of East Tennessee State Universities’ Bluegrass, Old-Time, Celtic and Country Music Studies program. Though he’s only been playing the banjo for eight years, he has become a very accomplished musician and vocalist, bringing influences of Earl Scruggs, J.D. Crowe and Bill Emerson to create a sound all his own. You’ll hear Colton playing banjo and singing lead, baritone and tenor vocals. 

Class Description: Colton’s class will be focusing on the fundamentals of bluegrass banjo. In the duration of the course, we will also be discussing backup, banjo maintenance, improvisation, and building speed.

Brad Kolodner  - Northern lights bluegrass music campAbout: Brad was exposed to Folk and Roots music from birth. His father Ken Kolodner is a renowned hammered dulcimer player and fiddler who toured for many years in the folk trio Helicon. When Brad picked up the banjo at age 17, everything started to click into place. Since then, he’s charted a path centered on performing, recording, broadcasting and community organizing. He’s an acclaimed clawhammer banjo player who performs with the chart-topping Irish, Old-Time, Bluegrass fusion quartet Charm City Junction.  

Brad is a major driver behind the bustling Old-Time and Bluegrass scene in his hometown of Baltimore. He co-founded the bi-weekly Baltimore Old Time Jam, monthly Baltimore Square Dance and the annual Baltimore Old-Time Music Festival held at the Creative Alliance. He currently serves on the IBMA Board of Directors.

Class Description: Take your clawhammer banjo playing to the next level in this workshop with Brad Kolodner. He will help you explore the versatile nature of clawhammer banjo and help you go “Beyond the Bum Ditty.” This workshop is geared towards players of all levels. Regardless of your skill level, you will walk out the workshop with a handful of new tips and tricks to implement when you play your banjo. A new tune will be taught as a vehicle to reinforce the basic technique while learning and applying a handful of more advanced techniques. Topics may include drop-thumb, incorporating variations, playing up the neck, learning by ear, playing in group settings and more.


Mary Liv - Northern Lights Bluegrass Music CampAbout: Mary Liv has been playing music for over 10 years. She started in classical and Canadian old time music and grew up going to John Arcand Fiddle Fest. She has been teaching music privately for five years. In 2022, she started working for CAMP and got to work in Buffalo Narrows and Stanley Mission schools. She now works for Fiddles North as well, spending January 2024 in Nunavut teaching traditional fiddle to underserved youth. Through her years of experience, she has learned how to teach to different ages, levels, and learning styles. Mary Liv has a strong focus on the value of community and music, she has started and supported many music programs in her community and others. Mary Liv just released her debut album, Fiddlin’ Around, and has been touring this past year. Mary Liv also plays banjo and fiddle in Five Guys Named Dave and fiddles for Jake Vaadeland and The Local Group.

Class Description: This will be a welcoming class for those of all ages to get a good grip on the basics of fiddle! I will share info on basic upkeep of your instrument. We will work on basic tunes and fiddle techniques, practice how to jam with others, and the Nashville Numbering System overview. You will learn techniques and tunes to help you when jamming and to just get more confidence in your playing!

Amy Alvey - Northern lights bluegrass music campAbout: Amy Alvey is a fiddler, singer and songwriter who tours the country as half of the duo Golden Shoals. She’s a Berklee graduate who’s spent the better part of a decade immersed in the old-time scene, performing and picking into the wee hours at the nation’s fiddle gatherings and music festivals. She hosts the weekly Sunday night old-time jam at Dee’s Country Lounge in Madison.

Class Description: Tune up your fiddle, rosin up your bow, and let’s bust down! We’ll learn a few fiddle tunes that will introduce techniques to help get that old time groove. Specific attention will be placed on bowing and articulation as we go. We’ll work on execution, drive, and melodic variations to pay homage to source fiddlers while developing your unique sound. Other concepts may be explored based on interest, including but not limited to: alternate tunings, tone, and music theory.

Sold Out: There are currently no spaces available for this class. If you would like to be added to the waiting list for this class, please email [email protected]

Tristen DurocherAbout:  Tristen Durocher is a Metis Fiddle player from Buffalo Narrows Saskatchewan who started playing the fiddle at the age of 9, inspired by his great-grandfather Marius Cummings who was a northern Metis fiddler. Since begging, Durocher has received instruction at various fiddle camps in western Canada, Camp Calvin in St Paul Alberta, The Kenosee Lake Kitchen Party in Kenosee Lake Saskatchewan, and The John Arcand Fiddle Fest in Saskatoon. Teaching music is how he spends most of his time, with occasional breaks to follow his passion of photography and travel.

Class Description: Students can expect to learn some fun old time Metis Fiddle tunes, along with some bow technique exercises and warmups that will help them feel comfortable with the dance rhythms Metis fiddle traditionally accompanied. We will learn by ear in a group setting, as is the practice of fiddle camps in western Canada. 

Max Silverstein - northern lights bluegrass music campAbout: Playing the Fiddle is Max Silverstein from Bangor, Maine. Max is the most recent graduate in the band of East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass Major. He spent time playing both  Guitar and Fiddle in the E.T.S.U. Bluegrass Pride Band during his Junior and Senior years, and has played Fiddle with many other touring groups playing all around the United States and Internationally as well. Max’s biggest influences include Stuart Duncan, Michael Cleveland, Jason Carter, Vassar Clements, and Brittany Haas. Come see one of our shows and you’ll hear why we love Max!

Class Description: Max’s class will mostly be about improvising within the melody, whether for building solos for songs, playing fills behind vocals, or playing fiddle tunes. We will also talk about fitting in as a member of a band.


Tyler Griffith - Northern Lights bluegrass music campAbout: Starting on stage at four in a family band, Tyler has acquired the skill of many instruments. Although he sticks primarily to the upright bass with Seth Mulder and Midnight Run, he also plays guitar, mandolin, banjo, and trumpet.

He has participated in many professional bands in multiple countries. Tyler toured with Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper for eight years, playing bass on Mike’s “On Down the Line” and the Grammy-winning “Tall Fiddler” album. Along with the rest of Flamekeeper, he garnered 3 IBMA awards for Instrumental Group of the Year.

Class Description: This course will focus on standard bluegrass timing along with the basics of the Doghouse Bass. We will run over techniques such as walks and runs and implement them into some driving Bluegrass songs.

Prerequisite: Students should understand basic timing. This is an all levels class, however some familiarity with the upright bass is encouraged. 


Gil and Wil - northern lights bluegrass music campAbout: Holly Gilroy (she/her) loves to play around with her voice and see what it’s capable of. From bluegrass, to classical music, to Broadway show tunes, she enjoys exploring different genres and styles. Holly’s professional singing experience includes country/folk project Gil & Wil (catch them at Northern Lights Bluegrass & Old Time Festival), classical soloist with the Regina Philharmonic Chorus (works include Jenkins’ Gloria, Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, and Forrest’s Jubilate Deo), and various background vocals for live shows and studio recordings. She loves to teach voice to students of all levels and help folks find a similar passion for singing!

Class Description: The class will focus on exploring different singing styles/voices and finding the one you feel most confident in while learning some bluegrass and old-time songs. Throughout the week we will learn how the voice works, how to “play” it, and how to fine tune it! We’ll also focus on how best to manage nerves when we are singing in front of people (believe it or not, picturing everyone in their underwear doesn’t always work), as butterflies and the sweats get in the way sometimes! 

 This class will cover:

  • How the voice works (what makes up this instrument)
  • How to find your range (soprano, alto, tenor, bass … aka high/low)
  • Singing with different tones
  • Singing solo versus singing with other people and/or instruments
  • How to get your voice “in shape”
  • What to do when the nerves kick in! 

 You don’t need to know how to read music for this class! Sheet music will be provided for those that want it, but it is not necessary. This class is open to anyone and everyone!! Come learn how to have fun with your voice!

Sing Out Strong is a good foundation for the next-level Vocal Harmony class

Vocal Harmony with: Jaxon and Oli

Jaxon and Oli - Northern Lights bluegrass music campAbout: Jaxon Lalonde has many years of experience performing as a multi-instrumentalist in different musical outfits, recording, and touring across Canada, the US and Europe. He is the lead singer and songwriter for bluegrass band The Local Group and banjo player for Jake Vaadeland and the Sturgeon River Boys.  This summer will be his third time teaching the vocal harmony class at Northern Lights.

Oli Guselle (They/Them) has a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from The University of Toronto and works as a multigenre singer, composer, music director, and voice teacher. With classical technique at the core of everything they sing, Oli performs a diverse range of music from opera with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra to wailing with their punk band Checkout Queens.

Class Description: This class is set to be a blast, offering a laid-back and spontaneous atmosphere for singers of all ages, and experiences (though having some experience in holding a tune is advantageous)! Being a vocal harmony class, you’ll get to explore the joy of singing with others and learn how different notes, chords and melodies can sound good together. While we’ll touch on some theory, most of our time will be spent singing a range of songs in various styles including (but not limited to) bluegrass quartet, barbershop, country sibling harmony and classical chorale singing. This class is for folks who have always wondered how to sing in harmony, but never quite knew how to take the leap. Our aim is to inspire confidence and show you just how much fun it can be to sing with others!