at the Summit Bechtel Reserve
Get ready for an acoustic experience in the heart of Appalachia!
If you love string music, pack your instrument and come to the beautiful Summit Bechtel Reserve from August 6-11, 2023. Renowned music teacher Gerald Jones and his talented instructors will host an inaugural Acoustic Music Camp, in the spectacular hills of West Virginia. You’ll receive world-class instruction in guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, and bass. Get set for lively classroom lessons, daily improv sessions, plus a nightly instructor jam that will challenge and inspire students to new levels of playing! Gerald has led acoustic music camps for over twenty years and will now offer this gorgeous destination experience at The Summit.
Instrument class sizes are limited, so register soon! We welcome you to this foot-stomping, chord-riffing, finger-picking event!
*Tuition & Food only – Affordable option if you live locally
Base Registration: $995
Includes: Food and all music program
*Note: Does NOT include Lodging
All Inclusive Packages
Stay at the Summit – “All inclusive”
Starting at $1220
All Music Program
Share a room for $1220
Private Room for $1445
Starting at $1370
All Music Program
Share a room for $1370
Private Room for $1745
Starting at $1370
All Music Program
Share a room for $1370
Private Room for $1745
During your time at the Acoustic Music Camp, you’ll have the opportunity to choose from 3 different adventure packages during one afternoon.
Sky High Adventures
Action Point Adventures
Includes: Gateway & Legacy Ziplines OR
Rock Climbing at Boulder Cove
Includes: BMX/skateboarding, Laser Shot virtual shooting gallery, Sustainability Treehouse tour
Add-on Hatchet & Knife throwing for $10 more
Includes: Stand-up Paddleboarding, Kayaking/Canoeing, Fishing
Meet the instructors...
Steve Martin describes Ned luberecki’s playing as “an absolutely joyous, riveting, beautifully syncopated example of the beauty of the banjo. “Ned is one of today’s leading players and teachers: a master of the five-string banjo who is adept in both modern and traditional styles. In 2018 he was voted Banjo Player of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). He has taught hundreds of players at most every major banjo and bluegrass music camp in the world and his Complete Banjo Method, in three volumes from Alfred Music, and video banjo courses from TrueFire.com are garnering rave reviews.
Ned tours internationally witht he award-winning Becky Buller Band and in Nedski & Mojo, his duo with Sam Bush band guitarist Stephen Mougin. Ned counts as his influences not only the usual banjo heroes with names like Earl, J.D. and Tony, but also Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Oscar Peterson and Dave Brubeck. These diverse influences emerge in his unique, sometimes whimsical approach that draws from rock, jazz and television themes(!) as well as bluegrass. Ned’s latest release is the critically acclaimed CD Take Five. Learn more about Ned at http://nedski.com.
Flatpicker Tim May, has been working in the Nashville area for over 20 years as a sideman, session player, band member and performer. Higher profile projects have included touring with Patty loveless and John Cowan, and working as a regular on the Grand Ole Opry with Mike Snider. Tim was the solo guitarist on Charlie Daniels’ recording of I’ll Fly Away, which was nominated for the Best country Instrumental Performance Grammy in 2005, the same year he was session leader on the critically acclaimed Moody Bluegrass album (he later played on Moody Bluegrass II as well).
The Nashville Scene selected Tim the Best Instrumentalist category in their 2012 Reader’s Choice Poll. Tim is co-author of the eight volume course ‘Flatpicking Essentials’, The Guitar Player’s Practical Guide to Scales and Arpeggios, The Flatpicker’s Guide to Old Time Music, and The Flatpicker’s Guide to Irish Music. He has taught regularly at Camp Bluegrass, Kaufman Kamp, Colorado Roots Music Camp, Nashcamp, and the Swannanoa Gathering. He and his wife Gretchen are owners of the Musical Heritage Center of Middle Tennessee.
Gretchen Priest divides her time between performing, teaching fiddle and running the Musical Heritage Center of Middle Tennessee (also known as the Fiddle and Pick) that she founded in 2008 in Pegram, Tennessee, just west of Nashville. Her school teaches traditional acoustic instruments with a staff of 35, many of whom are among Nashville’s leading recording and performing professionals.
Gretchen and her husband Tim May formed the band Plaidgrass by merging the traditions of Irish, old-Time, and bluegrass music and the instrumentation of fiddle, bouzouki, bodhran, bass, and banjo in a variety of configurations. Prior to opening the Fiddle and Pick, Gretchen toured with the bluegrass band Crucial Smith and the Celtic rock band, Ceili Rain. She is often a featured performer on the Grand Ole Opry, Mountain Stage, the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, and many festivals across the country.
BLUEGRASS TODAY calls Alan Tompkins “a true Renaissance man,” and the title certainly fits. A native of the farming and coal mining country of western Kentucky, Alan grew up steeped in the sounds of classic country, gospel, and bluegrass music. He performed in several bands in his home town of Madisonville, Kentucky before moving to Texas in 1983, where he earned MBA and law degrees at SMU. Alan was thrilled to produce and record his first album, No Part of Nothin’, released in 2012. The album features a lineup of incredibly talented musicians and singers, many of whom are Grammy® or IBMA award-winners or nominees. The list includes Sam Bush, Deryl Dodd, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Ron Stewart, Stephen Mougin, Gerald Jones, Greg Cahill, Ned Luberecki, Mike Bub, Randy Kohrs, Brad Davis, Nate Lee, Bobby Davis, and Steve Rhian.Alan is the founder and President of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of bluegrass music in America. The Foundation produced Fanning the Fire, an award-winning short film about bluegrass music that screened in more than 25 film festivals across the United States, in 2011. He’s a 2009 graduate of the IBMA Leadership Bluegrass program and presently serves as the chair of the planning committee for the program. Alan plays a Huber Banjo, some great, really old Gibson banjos, a 1961 Kay bass, a New Standard Cleveland bass, Bearddobros, and few other great instruments.
For more information about Alan, visit: AlanTompkins.com
Gerald Jones, a native Texan, has been involved with the performance, production, and teaching of music for more than 40 years. He’s played live or recorded with Jerry Douglas, Mark O’Connor, Vince Gill, Sam Bush, Tanya Tucker, Grand Master Fiddle Champion Jim “Texas Shorty” Chancellor, Hank Thompson, Red Steagall, and many others of many genres. Gerald edits Mel Bay’s web magazine Banjo Sessions and frequently contributed to Joe Carr’s web magazine Mandolin Sessions. Gerald is on the board of the Allegro Guitar Society, which presents classical guitar performances in Dallas, Fort Worth and Las Vegas. He also writes and performs many Allegro Guitar Society outreach programs each year. He invented the Acoustic Plus electronic banjo pickup used by Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck, Alan Munde, Bill Keith, and others. A multi-instrumentalist on banjo, mandolin, guitar, violin and dobro, Gerald has won banjos at the Winfield Banjo Championship. Gerald co-founded the Frisco Bluegrass Festival and Acoustic Music Camp, an instructional institute for acoustic musicians. Plus he teaches at many other camps across the country each year. For more about Gerald, see TheGeraldJones.com.
What will I learn?
with Tim May
Creating Solos: How to come up with a solo, where to start, how to tweak and improve it
Improvisation: Anyone can improvise at any level and we will look at how to do it over any tune, even ones you have never heard
Maybelle Carter style: Maybelle’s style influenced ALL of our flatpicking heroes and we will look at how she combined rhythm and lead into one style
Crosspicking: Crosspicking is a great way to simulate a banjo roll and fill up the room without having to do too much scale work: we’ll look at the masters and how they did it: George Shuffler, Doc Watson, Clarence White
The Blues: All original American music styles incorporate the blues: we will look at the Minor Blues scale, Major Blues scale and mixolydian
Harmonized Scales: These scales are made up of pairs of notes (‘double stops’) and are useful for more than just playing Jimmy Buffett music: we will look at how they can enhance rhythm AND lead
Rhythm: We spend most of our time in the real music world playing rhythm as guitar players; we will look at how to make it more interesting for you AND whomever may be listening: from Jimmy Martin’s ‘rumble rhythm’ to swing vs. not-swing and how to create different moods and dynamic interest’
Introduction to Swing: We will look at basic swing chords and how to survive soloing over a typical swing (jazz) chord progression
with Gretchen Priest
Fiddle Basics: What makes fiddling exciting?
Rhythm is King and Melody is Queen! The bow is what drives good timing and what makes a melody sing! Learn tips on bow hold and flexibility for good tone. Slight adjustments make you play strong with less effort. Dress up a melody with bowings that rock, loop, drones and syncopation. We will touch on the “Fun”damentals of Time signature, strong & weak beats. Aim for the strong beats and the little ones find their own way! Listen and feel left hand frame for intonation in the keys (sound pattern vs finger pattern). We will cover a variety of OT tunes and we might learn an Irish tune too. Good hand position can lead to more double stops and cleaner drones.
Bluegrass Fiddle Class: Vocal Bluegrass vs Instrumental…
We will learn a variety of Instrumental “Fiddle” tunes; some with high-speed bowing and variations on the tune. Talk about how to play to the vocal songs. Vocal melodies on fiddle need more movement and tricks. Music theory simplified as we cover the “KEY issues” of the chord and scale patterns to know your harmony whether playing fiddle or singing. Learn How to improvise on the melodies of the Vocal Bluegrass Songs.
Identify the song form, the key and chord tones with scale and arpeggios. Add in that lonesome sound using bluegrass techniques: patterns that have blue notes. Sliding and Double stops. Less notes with more feeling vs many notes. Shifting up the neck can be simpler than you think.
Back up fiddle
Learn about different “chop” style back up, shuffle & long bow back up. Learn easy “One finger wonder chords”; cause you can do a lot with one finger!
with Alan Tompkins
Learning to Enjoy Blisters: learning the right techniques to minimize them
The Nashville Number System: impress others by telling them what chord to play on the fly, in any key
How to Play Every Note In Tune without Frets: using your ears and eyes to get it right
Why A Little Music Theory isn’t So Bad: because knowing which notes to play is more fun than the alternative
How to Break Your Upright Bass: learning how to avoid it, while making the bass sound the way you want
Why You Should Never Use a Bow on a Bass: unless you want to play long smooth notes that fit some songs
Play and Sound Like a Pro: learning how to practice like a pro (and then doing it)
Frequently Asked Questions
Traveling to the Summit
Address for Google Maps or Waze:
Summit Bechtel Reserve
2550 Jack Furst Drive
Glen Jean, WV 25846
The Summit is accessible by bus or vehicle via I-77 and I-64 (via SR-19) just outside of Beckley, WV.
The closest major airport is Yeager Airport in Charleston, WV (about 1 hour 15 minutes from The Summit). Airports in Charlotte, NC and Pittsburgh, PA (3.5-4 hours) may also be an option.
About the Summit...
Nestled in the wilds of West Virginia, the Summit Bechtel Reserve is an expansive 10,000-acre property boasting world-class facilities, scenic views, lodging, and recreational activities that are second to none. You are sure to have a “mountain top” experience when you host your next event at the Summit. Strategically located close to major highways, the Summit is within 500 miles of 63% of the US Population and easily reached by all surrounding States.