Covering Kentucky

Aug 4, 2012 3:58 PM

Museum Considers Offering More Music Camps

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) - With people travelling from across the globe to attend mandolin camp at the International Bluegrass Music Museum, officials are thinking of adding more music camps to the repertoire.

Citing the success of the Bill Monroe-style Mandolin Camp, museum board chairman Terry Woodward told the Messenger-Inquirer (http://bit.ly/MNtTzY) that he could imagine camps dedicated to Dobro, guitar, fiddle and banjo.

Woodward said he thinks the interest is there, but the museum would need more space for the additional classes. Currently it is conducting a fundraising drive to convert an office building into a bluegrass music center.

Meanwhile, museum Marketing Director Danny Clark said an upcoming mandolin camp in September has attracted mandolin players from 14 states and as far away as Canada.

"We still have spots open, so I am sure those states will increase as we go," he said.

Gabrielle Gray, the museum's executive director, said people come for the experience and have traveled from South America, Europe and Japan to attend previous camps.

"We're the only mandolin camp in the world that specializes in the (Bill) Monroe style," Gray said. "They're surrounded by the sights and sounds of the music's history in the museum. And they go to Jerusalem Ridge and breath the rarefied air" at Monroe's boyhood home.

With such a wide following, Woodward said he thinks there would be enough interest to hold five more camps, which would bring 250 more people to Owensboro each year as long as classes remain capped at 50.

Ross Leazenby, one of the museum's trustees, said one main reason for the success if because "the teachers at our camp are some of the best in the country."

Camp director Mike Compton has performed professionally for more than 30 years and is current a member of the Nashville Bluegrass Band. Dr. Richard Brown, associate director, plays mandolin and sings in the Boston-based Reunion Band. Other teachers include David Davis, Skip Gorman and Chris Henry.

"This wasn't something we had to build slowly," Woodward said of the camp. "It sold out the first year."

___

Information from: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, http://www.messenger-inquirer.com

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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