Sorry because it sounds so cliche, but 2023 Richter Mandolin Camp for the Rest of Us was magical. Yes, I said it, magical. We had a tight-knit supportive community of mandolinists who encouraged each other in a way that produced moments of joy, poignancy, and sublimation. From classroom work to student recital, this cohort of students was incomparable.
And, speaking of incomparable, having Mike Compton, Don Julin, and Laurelyn Dossett on staff was nothing short of remarkable. Don has been my compadre going back to 2012. His voice is very much in the fabric of this camp. But so is Mike’s, as Mike is really the only person I could site as a mandolin mentor–someone who I actively sought out to learn more about this wonderful 8-string instrument. And the breakout star was Laurelyn. Campers were very appreciative of having a break from the male mandolin know-it-all instruction to have time with her for harmony vocalizing and songwriting. Plus her performance of Zeppelin’s “Rain Song” at the concert left individuals speechless.
The concert. Wow. From the Banister Family Bluegrass Band (Roger Banister, Denise Kocur, Daryl Jones, and yours truly), to Laurelyn, Mike, Don, and Gordon Bonham, we covered a wide array of mandolin music in a little under 2 and 1/2 hours.
So where are we for 2024? The 11th Annual Richter Mandolin Camp for the Rest of Us will be Wednesday July 10th through Saturday July 13th, 2024 in Bloomington Indiana. You can learn more at the information page. Registration is live.