Information for Attendees

Hello Campers! Welcome to Sierra Fiddle Camp 2024

This year we celebrate Sierra Fiddle Camp's 17th (in-person) camp with a wonderful adventure in music, dance and community—we are delighted that you'll be a part of it! This section provides vital information about the camp and what to bring. Please read it thoroughly, and contact us if you have additional questions or need clarification. There is a list of useful contacts on the final page.

A word about the camp “village”: Our goal is to develop an immersion experience that is creative, nurturing and comfortable for all the participants. Please don’t ask friends or family to visit you at camp during the week. Drop-in visitors or guests are not permitted – please don’t ask us to make exceptions.

ADDRESS of CAMP: Shady Creek Outdoor School & Conference Center 18601 Pathfinder Way, Nevada City, CA 95959

GETTING TO CAMP: see link here

Registration begins at 4:00 pm on Saturday June 15. Dinner, at 6:30, will be followed by an all-camp orientation and jam session. Classes start at 9 am on Sunday, June 16. We leave camp by 11:00 am, Sunday, June 23, following breakfast.

Cell phone reception is usually available from certain areas of the campus. Emergency contact # at the camp is (530) 913-8291 (Sally Ashcraft).

INTERNET: Internet connectivity is sometimes available at the camp but cannot be guaranteed.

The camp straddles Shady Creek in an oak/pine woodland. Some campers may find the sloping terrain challenging. Be prepared to walk up and down hillside paths, both paved and unpaved, and allow yourself enough time to get to class and meals. Mid-June weather tends to be sunny and dry, with temperatures ranging from mild to hot during the day, with cool star-lit evenings.

Each room sleeps 4-8 people in bunks and some queen beds (we do NOT have rooms/cabins for just 1 or 2 people). All rooms have electric lights and outlets, some rooms have a fan. Shared restroom and shower facilities are located nearby. Rooms will not be locked. Participants must provide their own bedding and towels. (see “What to Bring” below) For those who plan to bring and sleep in their own tents, there are several level, cleared tent sites near the shared restrooms (but there is no discount on your camp fee if you choose to sleep in a tent). Sites for trailers/RVs are very limited, we can accommodate only smaller vehicles, and those sites are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis; there are no electrical/water/waste hookups available. If you have roommate preferences, or plan on bringing a tent, or have other considerations, please indicate such on the Return (Payment) Form.

Meals will be served three times a day on the outdoor patio adjoining the beautiful Dining Room – outdoor seating will be available for all who are interested, or inside if you choose. Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets will feature a wholesome tasty menu designed to please both adults and children. A fresh salad bar will be available for lunches and dinners. Vegetarian meals or special meals will be available only for those who indicate that preference in advance, so please make sure you indicate special needs on the Return Form. We can accommodate many special dietary needs but if yours are more restricted than most, our foodie Heather Grove ( will be in touch with you sometime before the start of camp.

Second, meals will be served buffet style all week long; there will be sufficient vegetarian and other special-needs meals for those people who identified what they need on their Return (payment) Form. Fresh fruit will be available for snacking on between meals, and there will be some snacks available for purchase at the camp shop, but if you feel you usually need more snacks between meals you should be prepared to bring some of your own.

Beer, wine and sodas will be available for purchase; we encourage you to bring your own mugs or bottles (some will be available for purchase at the camp store), for water or other beverages. In an effort to reduce waste, we will not be providing disposable cups. There will be water jugs available near classes and coffee & tea will be provided at break times.

Our camp shop will carry special fiddle camp items, including a choice selection of CDs, music books, fiddle strings, batteries, camp t-shirts and other specialties. Credit cards will be accepted. Sierra Fiddle Camp participants who have released their own CDs or published tune books may place their wares on consignment at the shop. To arrange consignments contact Sally Ashcraft ( There will be a 15% commission on these sales.

LUTHIER & LUTHIER SHOP: NEW: We will have a luthier at camp this year! Brandon Godman, assisted by Fred Carpenter, will be providing services (urgent violin repairs, bow rehairs, etc) as well has selling some merchandise. We are very excited about this opportunity, and in Brandon’s words: "The Fiddle Mercantile (San Francisco, CA) and The Violin Shop (Nashville, TN) are excited to be part of the Sierra Fiddle Camp this year! They will bring a selection of accessories (strings, rosin, shoulder rests, cases, etc.) and a diverse assortment of instruments and bows, all available for trial and purchase. Brandon Godman and Fred Carpenter will be offering luthier services onsite for instruments and bows: -Repair and Sales Consultations -Setup/Tonal Adjustments -Instrument Repairs: cleaning, polishing, minor gluing, fingerboard plane, top nut, pegs, soundposts, endpins, bridges, etc. -Bow Rehairs: for violin, viola and cello All accessories and labor costs will be offered at a 15% discount off in-shop prices for the week of the camp! If you would like to get your name on the list for a bow rehair or instrument repair, please contact Brandon Godman with details at Please include "Sierra Fiddle Camp Repair Request" in the email subject."

NO PETS: Pets are not allowed at camp.

SMOKING: Is not permitted at Shady Creek Camp.

PARKING: Cars are not permitted to drive through camp or park next to rooms or cabins except while loading or unloading. Utility handcarts are available in the parking lot to transport your gear at the start and end of camp, and we’ll have volunteers available, also. Parking is limited at camp, and some vehicles may need to be parked remotely.

HEALTH CARE: Limited first aid supplies and assistance are available at camp. In the event of accident or illness, the nearest EMT/Fire Station is seven minutes away. The nearest hospital is in Grass Valley, about 25 minutes by car.

Fiddle Classes: All fiddle classes are taught by ear. There will be four levels of fiddle instruction available: Basic Beginning, Slow, Moderate and Fast. Students choose their own level based on experience and ability to learn by ear. You’re free to try different classes, but we encourage you to find your class level early in the week.
Basic Beginning lessons are for those who have never played the fiddle. Adult basic beginners and beginning children will be in separate classes. Slow class is for people who have some playing experience, but need extra time to learn tunes by ear. Each of these classes will meet twice a day. Instructors include: Janette Duncan, Caroline McCaskey, Meghan Perdue, and Katie Le Sesne.
One Moderate and two Fast classes (each with three sessions a day) will be taught in rotation by Alasdair Fraser, Maura Shawn Scanlin and Elias Alexander. Cello (Natalie Haas, Daniel Delaney, Erin Esses), Piano (Neil Pearlman) and Guitar (Conor Hearn and Eamon Sefton) classes will focus on techniques for accompanying fiddle tunes; participants are expected to have had experience playing those instruments to participate in any of these classes; Ensemble will be taught by Cullen Luper and Zoe Schlussel will offer instruction in Violin Ergonomics for those who are interested. Our Special Guest of 2024 is Giovanni Kiyingi who will bring us into his world of song and groove from Uganda and beyond. Summer McCall will lead Social Dance in the evenings, in her inimitable style. We will be led in song and songwriting by Paper Wings (Wila Frank and Emily Mann)

OTHER DAYTIME ACTIVITIES: The swimming pool will be open most of the day and some evenings. There’s a basketball court and volleyball net, siesta, and the creek!

EVENING ACTIVITIES: Before dinner each evening, we gather informally at the “Village Gathering” for a rousing song circle and to listen to cameo performances by some of our younger campers. After dinner, there will be dances, impromptu jam sessions and song-sharing throughout the week. Special events include:
• Instructors’ Concert Sunday evening
• Evening Dances
• Camp Ceilidh (talent night)
• Pool Party
• Themed party (theme: “Wonderland” (as in Alice in Wonderland) hosted by the teens & tweens
• Banquet and Costume party Friday night – Midsummer Celebration is our theme! Some people plan ahead and bring a costume; others will improvise from what’s on hand at camp.

__ musical instruments
__ clothing for warm days and sometimes cool nights (sweatshirt/sweater) __ water bottle / mug (we won’t have disposable cups)
__ personal articles / toiletries (there’s a nearby store if you’ve forgotten something)
__ bedding (sleeping bag & pillow or sheets & blanket)
__ towels (bath, pool)
__ flashlight for each member of the family
__ bathing suit
__ comfortable shoes for walking and dancing
__ shoes for wading in the creek
__ recording device for classes
__ extra strings, batteries, tapes
__ hat, sunglasses (parasol?)
__ sunscreen, insect repellent
__ extra money for purchasing items in the camp store or drinks from the cantina

FINAL CAMP CONCERT: "Ceilidh in the Park" will take place in Pioneer Park, Nevada City, CA on June 22 at 7:30pm. This will be a fundriser concert - donations requested. Concert information and donations

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: The camaraderie that develops as we all study, play and live together makes fiddle camp very special, and it wouldn’t work so well, or be as much fun, without everyone pitching in. There are many ways to get involved, from helping other participants with their luggage on arrival, to staying for the final clean up, making sure we all get out of camp on time with all our belongings, and everything in between. Check the list on the “Return (Payment) Form” (which you’ll return with your payment in full by May1st) for these and other things you can do to help make the camp run smoothly. If you have a special service or idea you’d like to add, please let us know that, too. Your involvement is not only appreciated, it’s essential!

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION: Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp, like its older sister camp, the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School, is sponsored by Scottish Fiddlers of California, a California non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, and is organized by volunteers.

DONATIONS: Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp uses tax-deductible contributions to enrich the camp experience and provide assistance to musicians who need some financial support to attend camp. With the generosity of folks in our community who appreciate and support the vision of Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp, we can provide financial aid to campers, bring in extraordinary international faculty, build dance floors and much more. Please consider making a donation to AFSFC by mailing a check (made out to Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp) to: AFSFC, PO Box 219, Nevada City, CA 95959. During camp, we will have a silent auction with delightful, distinct and unusual items and services. If you would like to donate something, please contact Christine Ingersoll at at least two weeks prior to camp. Other opportunities to support this fund will be available during camp; you will find a detailed information sheet in your registration packet upon arrival. The spirit of generosity between us is what creates the magic in our musical village. Thank you!

The organizing committee:
Alasdair Fraser • Sally Ashcraft • Connie Gaulter Muir • Brian Longmire • Heather Grove • Meghan Perdue • Katie Le Sesne

Send forms & balance due to: Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp, PO Box 219, Nevada City, CA 95959
Questions on accommodations, billing & general info: Connie Gaulter Muir, email:; ph: (530) 478-9004
Transportation information & to book airport shuttle: Heather Grove (
Camp shop consignments & information:
Sally Ashcraft: 530 913 8291
Concert information:, or email:; (530) 477-0708









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