2023 Camp in history books/2024 Camp on the horizon

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.

Laurelyn Dossett added as associate instructor to this year’s Richter Mandolin Camp for the Rest of Us

The 2023 Richter Camp for the Rest of Us is excited to announce that Laurelyn Dossett has been added as an associate instructor. Laurelyn (https://www.laurelyndossett.com/) is a brilliant singer/songwriter from North Carolina whose original material has been recorded by Levon Helm and Rhiannon Giddens. Laurelyn will be available for singing/songwriting help before and after mandolin classes. She’ll also help with with evening jams, the student recital, and will perform at the faculty concert. Laurelyn has taught songwriting and singing at the Augusta Heritage Center and the Monroe Mandolin Camp, as well as at many universities, workshops and festivals. She is the recipient of the Betty Cone Medal of Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship for songwriting, the Chris Austin songwriting contest at Merlefest, and has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. You can learn more about her on the Instructor Bios Page.


Due to high demand, the 10th Annual Richter Mandolin Camp for the Rest of Us featuring Don Julin and Mike Compton is near capacity! We’re so excited that the mandolin community is excited by this celebration of alternative mandolin. If you’re interested in attending camp, please email Jim at [email protected] to confirm availability. Jim will start a waitlist when capacity has been reached.

January is done–little over 5 months until the 10th Richter Mandolin Camp

We are getting closer and closer to the summer, which means the 10th Annual Richter Mandolin Camp for the Rest of Us with mandolinists extraordinaire Don Julin and Mike Compton. Both of these guys mean a lot to me as musicians, mentors, and friends. More than a camp, this is a reconvening of friends and I always strive to ensure that the camp is imbued with that spirit.

Fun things for the 10th camp:

  • A third instructor: the master, Mike Compton!
  • A community-based concert that will be opened to select additional attendees. Confirmed musicians:
    • Banister Bluegrass Band
    • Don Julin
    • Mike Compton
    • Jim Richter and Gordon Bonham (blues)
    • and more to come!
  • Swag from GHS Strings
  • Individual and classroom instruction
  • Wednesday meet and greet, camp orientation
  • Late night jamming every night of camp
  • AND, our requisite bourbon and whiskey tasting of fine spirits

This camp is always one of the highlights of my year. And, given the 10th anniversary and seemingly out of the pandemic, attendance is already very high with less than a handful of spots left. If interested in attending, please email Jim Richter at [email protected]

Excited to add GHS Strings as a sponsor!

GHS Strings will be a sponsor of the Richter Mandolin Camp for the Rest of Us in 2023. Jim has used GHS Strings his entire 40 year career and has exclusively used GHS Silk and Steel Strings on his mandolins since 2022. It’s very exciting for GHS to support the 10th year of camp/1

What an incredible camp the 2022 Camp was!

The 2022 Richter Mandolin Camp is over and boy was it fun. From great classes on blues, arranging rock tunes, pentatonic scales, and other assorted mischief, we had a wonderful visit from master luthier Will Kimble and the roots-deep blues guitar of Gordon Bonham.

2023 will be the 10th Richter Mandolin Camp (though started in 2011, took a break for a couple years to work on PhD quals). The dates will be announced soon. Looking to make the 10th year extra special!