Our instructors are some of the top working musicians in their industry. Our alumni boast an impressive range of accomplishments, including working with the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, The Dixie Chicks and more. The skill required for them to play at this level takes diligence, patience and practice. Not only are they masters of their instruments, but they are also teachers, skilled at passing their knowledge on to learners both new and experienced. No matter your skill level or instrument of choice there will be a class and instructor for you!
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.
Beginner Guitar with TBA
This class is for those who are just starting to play guitar. You will expand your chord knowledge, work on good rhythm and learn to play some easy songs to really get you going.
Prerequisites – Students should be familiar with how the guitar is strung, how to tune, how to form the basic chords G, C and D and be ready to play with a pick.
Intermediate Guitar with Danny Knicely - (Five Mile Mountain Road)
Danny Knicely comes from a musical family steeped in a mountain music tradition for generations. He first learned music from his grandfather, A.O. Knicely, who played dances and social events in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia beginning in the 1930’s. Danny has won many awards for his mandolin, guitar, fiddle and flat-foot dance expertise.
Danny is an avid music educator whose students have gone on to attain degrees at institutions such as Berklee College of Music and Oberlin Conservatory. He has also taught at some of the leading music camps in the U.S. including Augusta Heritage Center, Common Ground on the Hill, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, and Millwood Blues Week.
As a very sought after session musician, producer, and arranger, Danny appears on countless recordings and has recorded with acts such as Michael Cleveland, O’Brien, Sarah Jarosz, Bruce Molsky, Riley Baugus, Chance McKoy and more!
Flat Picking For Beginners
This class is great for beginners or for those who know chords and strumming, but haven’t yet worked with single notes or melodies. We’ll work on basic right- and left-hand technique and take time to savor each note while we learn some melodies and chords at a very slow pace. This class is taught by ear and folks are welcome to bring small recording devices or take notes.
Intermediate Finger-style Guitar with Clayton Linthicum - (The Salt Licks)
Clayton Linthicum is one half of the Canadian folk/roots duo originating from Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan. Having played together for over a decade growing up, the duo consists of second cousins Clayton Linthicum on guitar and Kacy Anderson on vocals.
They released their second album Strange Country in 2015, In 2016, Kacy & Clayton signed to New West Records, which rereleased Strange Country that year.
The duo released their follow-up album, The Siren’s Song, in August 2017 via New West Records. After having toured with Wilco for their previous album, The Siren’s Song was produced and recorded by Jeff Tweedy in his studio The Loft in Chicago. The album was supported with a tour as opening act for The Decemberists.
The band received two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations at the 10th Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2014, for New/Emerging Artist of the Year and Young Performer of the Year. They won the Young Performer award.
In 2017, the band’s album The Siren’s Song was a shortlisted Juno Award finalist for Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year.
In 2018, The Siren’s Song was a longlisted nominee for the 2018 Polaris Music Prize.
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.
Advanced Guitar with Conner Steven Vlietstra - (The Price Sisters)
Conner Steven Vlietstra is a multi-instrumentalist from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He specializes in Old-Time Country music (or simply, Hillbilly Music) and has a love for Bluegrass music passed down from his family. He has a strong love for the Chattanooga and North Georgia music that encompassed the region he is from in the 1920s and 30s such as the Skillet Lickers and Georgia Yellow Hammers, as well as the timeless music of Bill Monroe, Reno & Smiley, the Stanley Brothers, and Flatt & Scruggs.
This class will focus on tone and timing with a flat pick, and how to bring out the best in your playing. Conner Steven Vlietstra plays in a very traditional Bluegrass style, focusing on the playing of Don Reno, Bill Napier, and George Shuffler. The playing includes usage of tremolo, cross-picking, and simple yet impactful phrases.
Intermediate/ Advanced Mandolin with Lauren Price Napier - (The Price Sisters)
Music has long been present in the life of Lauren Price Napier. Growing up she learned to sing duet-style harmony with her twin sister, Leanna, by listening to their parents sing together. Although Lauren and Leanna were gifted instruments as children, it wasn’t until they attended a few workshops and festivals in their high school years and saw some of their favorite artists performing live that the girls began to take a strong interest in bluegrass music.
Lauren holds the role of co-founder, mandolinist, and vocalist with The Price Sisters band – most of her professional work in the music industry comes from within that position.
Lauren has been a four-time instructor with the Monroe Mandolin Camp; has taught classes at Bean Blossom Bluegrass Bootcamp, the Bobby Osborne Mandolin Roundup, and at various festivals where The Price Sisters have performed. Lauren has worked as an artist-in-residence with the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum and in June of 2019, was featured for an interview on Mandolin Cafe. In 2019, she was nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Momentum Vocalist of the Year, in addition to The Price Sisters’ band nomination for Momentum Band of the Year, and in 2020 was nominated for Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year.
This class will offer a varied look at Bill Monroe’s dynamic playing style through demonstrations and break-downs of his stylistic techniques and tunes. The instructor will offer specific techniques, tips, and tricks to give you the tools to include Monroe’s style in your playing. We will choose a few different topics/themes to work on as well as specific pieces to demonstrate stylistic intricacies. Students will complete the class with a better understanding of the playing style Bill Monroe pioneered, and a few songs and tunes to add to their repetoire. While the course will be based upon Monroe material and that playing-perspective, general technical approaches discussed (i.e. chord forms, scales, double stops, right and left hand positions) will be useful for any style of bluegrass mandolin playing as well. Based on an intermediate to advanced playing level, questions and discussion welcome.
Intermediate Bluegrass Banjo with Trevor Holder - (Five mile Mountain Road and The Price Sisters)
Trevor grew up in Ringgold, GA, and got started on the banjo when he was 13 years old. Now 20, he has absorbed the music of many of the greats, and has been a fixture at the fiddlers conventions in the area ever since. In 2019 he was awarded first place on banjo at the prestigious Old Fiddlers Conventions in Galax, VA, as sure a citation as you could want on the five string.
Trevor will be teaching some older bluegrass styles and techniques that showed up on a lot of pre-1960’s recordings.
Beginner/Intermediate Clawhammer Banjo with Brennan Ernst - (Five Mile Mountain Road)
Brennen was born in Chipeta Park, Colorado, but spent most of his life in Virginia. In addition to music, his interests lie in just about anything old—old cars, vintage clothes, antique radios, vintage recording equipment. And Brennen is a versatile musician with an interest in many forms of old music. His “swing” guitar and “ragtime” piano playing are a regular feature on the Karl Shifflett and Big Country Show program.
Brennen Ernst is a multi-instrumental multi-genre musical daredevil.
Brennen will be exploring and teaching the essentials of traditional clawhammer banjo, including rhythms (such as the classic “bum-diddy”, and others), tunings, hand positions, different parts of the banjo and how they’re used in clawhammer, notable players and suggested listening, and how to play with other musicians. No prior musical experience, including reading tab or music, will be necessary for this course; he will start with the basics, and progress as the group and time allows.
Beginner/Intermediate Old Time Fiddle with Billy Hurt - (Five Mile Mountain Road)
Billy Hurt plays fiddle in and “old school” style. Born and raised and still lives in Boone’ s Mill Virgnia, he began playing fiddle in the late 1970’s . His Father was good friends with fiddle legend “Clark Kessinger” who was a major influence on Billy’s style and approach to fiddling. Billy grew up with a love and appreciation for Old-time fiddling, Classic Country and Bluegrass Music. The type of music we all refer to as “Real Country Music” .
Billy has worked with many groups in the business including The Bluegrass Brothers and David Parmley & Continental Divide. Recorded a Fiddle CD released on Patuxent Music called “Fiddlin’ Billy Hurt”.
Billy will be teaching bowing techniques, syncopated bowing and noting in Old Time Fiddle. He will also be teaching tunes that go along with these techniques!
Intermediate/Advanced Bluegrass Fiddle with Leanna Price - (The Price Sisters)
Music has always had a resounding presence in the life of Leanna Price. Both Leanna and Lauren began taking lessons on fiddle and mandolin, respectively, at age nine, though neither took too strong of an interest until mid-high school years after attending “bluegrass week” at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV, in 2010. Both she and Lauren were recipients of Bill Vernon Memorial Scholarships at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in 2014 and in 2017, completed their Bachelor degrees in Traditional Music from Morehead State University.
During the spring of 2016, both Leanna and Lauren signed to Rebel Records and subsequently recorded and released an EP that August, thus beginning the pursuit to tour professionally as The Price Sisters. The Price Sisters have now performed at numerous events and festivals across the United States including the University of Chicago National Folk Festival and Nashville, Tennessee’s ‘world famous’ Station Inn. The band has shared billing with country music icons like Marty Stuart and the Del McCoury Band and in 2019 were included in a month-long tour of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Leanna is experienced in and enjoys facilitating workshops and lessons for those interested in learning the techniques and stylings surrounding country and folk fiddle music and/or vocal training and harmony singing. As well as offering private lessons, she has conducted and assisted in numerous workshops including Colorado’s Mid-Winter Bluegrass Festival, Boston’s Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, and a two-week residency with the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum for their “Bluegrass in the Schools,” program. Leanna is especially known for teaching techniques to build skills in harmony singing as well as improving vocal range. Leanna was also a nominee for the 2020 International Bluegrass Music Association’s “Momentum Vocalist of the Year.” Leanna oversees management duties for The Price Sisters group, and in addition to her work with the band she is employed at Nashville’s The Violin Shop as manager of student rentals, and has taken on an apprenticeship with the shop to learn violin setup and repair.
Join Leanna for this intermediate to advanced fiddle course! Classes will include a break-down of several classic fiddle licks vital to any player’s repertoire, double-stop exercises, a look at patterns and licks across multiple keys, standard bluegrass/old-time fiddle tunes, as well as familiar ideas to keep in mind when building a break. This class will be extremely hands-on – questions are highly encouraged and topics are very much open to discussion.
All Levels Upright Bass with Bobby Osborne Jr. - (The Price Sisters)
Bobby Osborne Jr was born June 9, 1987 in Nashville, TN., into one of the first families of Bluegrass Music. His father is Grand Ole Opry Legend, and two-time member of The Bluegrass Hall Of Fame, Bobby Osborne, easily one of the most important performers in Country and Bluegrass Music history. A musician whose contributions are so large and varied, that he truly changed the musical world.
His uncle is Bluegrass Hall Of Famer Sonny Osborne, one of the most important and innovative banjo players and baritone singers in history. His first cousin is Dana Williams, a member of The Grand Ole Opry with the group Diamond Rio. His Aunt Louise wrote the bluegrass classic “New Freedom Bell”, his Aunt Judy wrote the bluegrass classic “One Tear”. His brothers Robbie and Wynn were both members of The Osborne Brothers Band for years.
Bobby literally grew up in Dressing Room #2 at the Grand Ole Opry House.That Dressing Room was home to The Osborne Brothers, Bill Monroe & The Blue Grass Boys, and Jim & Jesse & The Virginia Boys. He grew up knowing, and hearing the true Giants of the Bluegrass Music business of the Twentieth Century. He got to witness and study up close how they went about their craft as professional musicians AND entertainers.
He started as a member of The Osborne Brothers Band on The Grand Ole Opry at the age of 17, and is an original member of Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press, the band Bobby Osborne formed when Sonny Osborne retired. Bobby has recorded 66 songs as a member of his dad’s band, playing guitar, acoustic & electric bass, singing the baritone part, and on 30 of the songs, recording and mixing them as well! As impressive as Bobby’s credentials already are, even more impressive is the amount of study, preparation and dedication he has given to his craft, and his work ethic as a touring professional musician today.
Bobby’s class will serve to help you grasp proper technique and stylistic variances for bluegrass and classic country upright bass playing. Establishing a good sense of rhythm, tasteful playing via note selection and phrasing, and, simply, timing are essential components for any bass player. Questions and discussions welcome as the course will be open to all playing levels.
Vocal Harmony with Ellen Froese and Jaxon Lalonde - (The Salt Licks)
Ellen Froese and Jaxon Lalonde met at Northern Lights in 2013, where they and their friend Kasia formed a bluegrass/folk band called In With The Old. This led them all over Western Canada and the US, playing festivals like Merlefest, Winnipeg Folk Fest, and Folk Alliance International. The band has since branched off into their own musical directions; Ellen is a solo musician and Jaxon plays with The Local Group as well as Jake Vaadeland. Both are excited to be taking the main stage this year with their country band, the Salt Licks! Years of singing together has given these two a special instinct for harmonizing, and a long-lasting friendship to boot. They had so much fun as vocal harmony instructors last summer, so they’re both very excited to teach at Northern Lights again and get around the fire for some tasty cantina jams!
This is sure to be a super fun and spontaneous class, meant for singers of all levels, ages, and experience levels (a bit of experience holding a tune is an asset)! Being a vocal harmony class, the focus will be on learning to sing in tune with other people, and how different notes can sound good together. Theory will be touched on, but you’ll spend lots of time just learning and singing a variety of songs in different styles, including (but not limited to) bluegrass quartet, 60s folk, barbershop, and gospel. This class is for folks who have always wondered how to sing in harmony, but never quite knew how to take the leap. The instructors hope to inspire you to do it confidently, and to see how fun it can be to sing with others!
Songwriting 101 and Beyond with Eliza Doyle, LJ Tyson, Kacy Anderson, and Micah Erenberg - (Eliza's C.A.M.P. Showcase)
With everyone in the band coming together through their mutual love of teaching with CAMP SASK ARTS, this Supergroup consists of some of the best teachers and musicians around! Eliza Doyle (banjo, dobro), LJ Tyson (guitar), Mitch Dureault (Fiddle), Tristen Durocher (Fiddle), Kacy Anderson (guitar), and Micah Erenberg (guitar, bass) make this group an eclectic mix. This set will have all kinds of twists and turns, so settle in for the ride!
Whether you are just beginning your songwriting journey, or are an experienced songwriter looking for some new inspiration and tricks, this is the class for you! With 4 experienced songwriters to help guide this class, you will receive plenty of one-on-one instructor time, and gain an understanding of how melody and lyrics can come together to create the masterpiece you are striving for. We will be giving you tons of tips and songwriting exercises you can take with you moving forward, and you are guaranteed to leave feeling more confident in taking chances with your songwriting. Eliza Doyle, LJ Tyson, Kacy Anderson and Micah Erenberg will be leading this class, and you definitely don’t want to miss this amazing opportunity!
Fungrass with Jody Giesbrecht and Lauren Tastad - (The Salt Licks)
Jody Giesbrecht is a multi-instrumentalist, a working cowboy, and a proud father of three young kids: Hannah (8), Wendell (4), and Russell (<1 year). He’s been active in the Saskatchewan music scene for 25 years and currently plays with The Salt Licks and The Barrelmen. Jody looks forward to sharing his love of music, nature, and having fun with the children at Fungrass.
Lauren Tastad is a lifelong musician who is thrilled to share her love of music at this year’s Fungrass camp. You can also catch her playing fiddle alongside Jody with The Salt Licks
Children’s Music for ages 5-9
The class will focus on many different and fun elements of Bluegrass and Old Time music. In this class, students will explore music through the use of rhythm, art, dance, play, singing and songwriting. Try an array of musical instruments, make homemade ones too, and go on musical treasure hunts. Children will visit the various classes held around the site and have a great time being introduced to the bluegrass and old time music genres.