Cordova 4H Bluegrass and Old Time Music Camp (ages 9-18)

Cordova, AK


July 17, 2017 - July 21, 2017


Contact Information:

Kathy Zamudio & Kate Hamre

907.424.3111 - Kathy

907.350.2562 - Kate


Our new website is Please register at that website.


The Cordova 4H Music Camp offers young people an opportunity to explore a diverse range of traditional acoustic music styles in a supportive and encouraging environment. Throughout the week, students will engage in four classes during the day, one of which will be performing at the end of camp, in addition to family events that are held around town. Special guests artists, as well as local Alaskan musicians teach classes. This is a great event to foster new friendships and old, and bring the enjoyment of playing music into your life! 

Camp is open to students ages 9-18 (must have completed Second Grade).  Your schedule and other pertinent information will be emailed to you a week prior to camp, but you must also check in on the first morning of camp to pick up your name tag, songbook, schedule, and other information. A completed Registration Form, signed Release Form, and 4H Code of Conduct Form, as well as payment, are all due by Friday, July 14th.

Ukulele Camp
Ages 6-8 (must have completed Kindergarten). Students will engage and learn about Hawaiian culture through music. Ukulele introduction and instruction, hula instruction, Hawaiian arts and crafts, culminating in a final performance of songs and dance from Hawaii. Campers learn about Hawaiian food and culture and the Aloha Spirit. Please clik here for more online information and registration.

Adult Workshops:
In conjunction with the Cordova 4H Music Camp, we will be hosting Adult Workshops during the week for all instruments and levels. Please click here for more online information and registration. 

Belle Mickelson

Tuition is $250 if paid in full before June 30th. If paid after June 30th, tuition is $300.

If you are filling out a hard copy of the Registration Form, please mail completed forms with payment to:
Cordova 4H Music Camp
P.O. Box 1053
Cordova, AK 99574

Students are welcome to use our Camp Instruments while at camp, or bring their own. We are very careful about instrument care at camp, and one of these aspects includes keeping instruments well labeled. When students arrive at camp, there is an Instrument Tagging Station where students may label their instruments and cases. Please remember to label the instrument, case, bow, and shoulder rest. There will also be a volunteer there to help. The tagging system works like this: On one side you will put your name. On the other side you may put one of two options. If you are not loaning your instrument, write “No”. If you are loaning your instrument, write a “Yes” and put a numbered sticker/s for which Block/s the instrument is available for loan. For example, if your instrument is available for loan during Block 1 and 3, please put a "1" and a "3" sticker on the tag. Please allow us to help you with the Instrument Tagging by tagging the instrument at camp, and not at home. Tags, stickers, and pens will be available at the Instrument Tagging Station. Again, there will be a volunteer there to help, so you can direct any questions to them when you arrive at camp. After camp, students that live in Cordova may have the opportunity to rent instruments for the year, for a small fee.

Closed Campus Policy
We have a closed campus policy meaning students are to be signed out at the end of the day. On the Release Form, parents may choose to not sign their child out, which means the child may leave camp without a parent signature after the day ends. If a parent indicates that they would like to sign their child out, they must come inside and sign the child out each day, or provide a handwritten note at the beginning of the day. If no ones signs a child out, Cordova 4H Camp calls the parents around 4:30pm. We do NOT require a sign-in for the morning as we take roll each day and a phone call is made to the parents if there is a child absent. If you would like to call in a student absent before or during camp, please contact Kate at 907.350.2562.

Students 13 and older may choose, with parent permission, to leave campus during lunch. They must have permission from a parent, and must sign in and out for lunch. Students must return to class on time. Parents may give permission through the “Additional Comments” section on the online form, on this form, or with a handwritten note or phone call on the first day of camp.

Students from Ukulele Camp are dismissed at 3pm, but may choose to stay with parent permission until 4pm to join the 4H Music Camp for Afternoon Activities. Staff will bring Ukulele Camp Campers over to 4H Music Camp, and back over to Ukulele Camp at 4pm for pickup.

We are pleased to announce that Barefoot Movement will be joining us for camp!

Please check back for updates on Faculty, as we will be adding further instructors soon!

The Cordova 4H Music Camp will be centrally located at Mt. Eccles Elementary School, 201 Adams St, as well as other locations around town. Ukulele Camp will be located at St. Joseph’s Parish, 220 Adams St. Details on other locations will be on student’s schedules, as well as available at camp.

What to Bring to Camp
Please bring your instruments, water bottle, and a coat or rain gear. Lunch is provided by the Cordova School District, but you are welcome to bring your own. Students are expected to be responsible and prepared for every class: bring their instrument and songbook to each class, and tune their instrument, or if they are still learning how to tune, bring it to the Instrument Table to be tuned by a volunteer.

Daily Schedule
Monday through Thursday:
9:00am–10:00am Registration (First Morning Only)
9:30am – 10:00am – Morning Activity
10:00am – 11:00am – Class 1
11:00am – 12:00pm – Class 2
12:00pm – 12:45pm – Lunch
12:45pm – 1:45pm – Class 3
1:45pm - 3:00pm – Band Practice
3:00pm – 4:00pm – Afternoon Activity

Friday Schedule: 
9:30am - 10:30am - Class 1
10:30am - 11:30am - Class 2
11:30am - 12:30pm - Class 3
12:30pm - 1:00pm - Lunch
1:00pm - 2:00pm - Bands Around Town

Morning and Afternoon Activities are a variety of all-campus activities, in which students get to meet and interact with their fellow campers doing activities such as jamming, square dances, blackboard concerts, performance workshops lead by the guest artists, and sing-a-longs. Ukulele Campers are welcome to join with parent permission. “Bands Around Town” is an opportunity for the bands to travel around town to play their performance songs and other jam tunes for tourists and the lunch hour crowd. Donations to the bands will be given to the camp to help for next years’ expenses: new instruments, fixes to older instruments, new strings and picks, songbooks, etc. The Cordova Music Camp Board will select locations for each band, which will be listed at camp and on students’ schedules.

Morning Activities: 
Mon.- Registration and Sing-a-long 
Tues. - Square Dance or Sing-a-long/Jamming 
Wed. - Square Dance or Sing-a-long/Jamming 
Thurs. - Square Dance or Sing-a-long/Jamming 

Afternoon Activities:
Mon. – Band Workshop with Barefoot Movement
Tues. – Jamming or Blackboard Concert
Wed. – Camp Picture at 3:00pm/Jamming or Blackboard Concert 
Thurs. – Jamming or Blackboard Concert 
Family Events
Family activities are held in the evening during the camp, and are a big part of the Cordova Camp community!! Further details, including locations, times, staff, etc, will be listed on the students’ schedules.

Monday - Square Dance, 7pm at the Library Parking Lot; Teen Jam at Baja Taco, 7:30pm
Tuesday - Staff Concert & Dance Recital - 7pm, Mt. Eccles Elementary School
Wednesday - Off
Thursday - Squirt Gun Battle, Potluck and Blackboard Concert, 5:30pm, Skater's Cabin
                  Teen Jam, Baja Taco, 7:30pm
Friday - Camp Concert!  Mt. Eccles Elementary School
            Ukulele - 5pm
            Bands - 5:30pm

We have many opportunities for parents to volunteer and become involved in the camp. You may choose to sign up on this registration form, online when you register, or anytime during camp. Someone will contact you to confirm, as well as put your name on the Volunteer Board located at camp. When you arrive at camp, please find Kate or Kathy to receive your job duties.

We would also appreciate donations of fish, meat, or veggies (fresh or frozen) for staff meals. If you would like to donate any of these items, please indicate so on the Registration Form.

Additional Questions
Phone: Kathy Zamudio 907.424.3111



Kate Hamre - Camp Director

Kate grew up in Anchorage, Alaska listening to her parents and friends play bluegrass, old tyme, and folk music. At the age of 14, she joined Bearfoot, a nationally touring band, and played festival such as Merlefest, Greyfox, Wintergrass, Rockygrass, and Telluride to name a few. As a Compass recording artist, Bearfoot cut their 4th album, called "Doors and Windows" in April 2009, which quickly rose to #1 in the Billboard Bluegrass Charts. Kate is also the director of the renowned bluegrass music education program, "Bluegrass Camps for Kids", which has taught thousands of children internationally in the last decade. Kate has a B.S. in Elementary Education through the University of Idaho and is currently obtaining a M.Ed. in Language and Literacy at San Francisco State University. She is teaching Kindergarten in Kenai, AK.

Nancy Galambush

Known in Eastern North Carolina, where she lives, as a respected mountain dulcimer instructor, 
Nancy Galambush has gotten many off to a good start on this American folk instrument.  
She has taught for over 10 years and recently completed her course work for a certificate in 
teachingthe dulcimer through Western Carolina University. In addition to teaching, she coordinates
 a dulcimer club and a regional workshop and plays in two performing groups ­ Dolce Dulcimers and Flat Mountain Dulcimers. The latter has recorded two CDs. 
Nancy began playing the dulcimer over 15 years ago when her husband built her first
 instrument from a kit

Alyssa Kleissler - dance

Alyssa Kleissler started dancing when she was 3 years old in her hometown studio in Union, NJ. Encouraged by her dance teacher, she completed the Dance Teacher’s of America summer intensives in NYC and began teaching at the studio when she was 16 years old. Although she didn’t major in dance in college, she continued to take classes in ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance. At 23 she joined the group Up With People and traveled around the country and the world as one of the lead dancers. Upon moving to Cordova, AK, where there was no dance going on other than on the barroom dance floor, she decided to open her own dance business, then called Cordova Danceworks. She has remained in Cordova, now teaching all styles of dance to all ages out of her home studio, Current Rhythms. Before she became a mom of 2 girls, who so far LOVE to dance, she enjoyed going to dance intensives. She has gone to the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, studied with Anne Green Gilbert in Seattle, WA and attended the Bill Evans’ Dance Teacher’s Intensive in Bellingham, WA.

Matthew Pustina - mandolin, guitar
Matthew Pustina is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator from Anchorage, AK. Originally from Wisconsin (Go Packers!), Matthew began his musical life at the age of 10 when he and his identical twin brother joined the school band on trumpet. When it came time to go to college, he decided that he wanted to be involved in music for life, so he got a degree in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He played lead trumpet in the University Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, and Orchestra. After graduation, he has taught mariachi at a high school in New Mexico, and then moved to Alaska to teach Elementary Music. Matthew can play over 20 different instruments, and can even play kazoo! However, it took him awhile to catch the bluegrass bug. But in the fall of 2009, Matthew started playing mandolin at the request of his friend. After picking it up and messing around with it, he realized he had finally found the instrument that made him the happiest - the mandolin. He plays mandolin and is one of the vocalists for Alaska's strangest "bluegrass" band, Hot Dish. Matthew is looking forward to teaching at bluegrass camps and sharing his passion for music with kids for the second summer in a row.

Dusty Rider - banjo, sound, songwriting, bass

Born in upstate New York, Dusty has developed a love for trains, airplanes, and banjos. After spending many years in his cozy hometown, he moved to Anchorage, Alaska where he worked for the railroad as a brakeman. By night he picked the banjo for the AK band High Lonesome Sound. His stay in Alaska came to an end when he moved to Oklahoma City to join the Byron Berline Band. He lived there only for a short time as he soon made the trek to Colorado where he knew there would be many good musical opportunities awaiting. Since he moved to the front range in September 2011, Dusty has become well know for his abilities on the 5-string. The Railsplitters are happy to call him one of their own. Dusty is currently playing the Gibson Mastertone that his friend Bill Hayes from Maine recently pieced together for him.

Peter Sharpe - mandolin

The band's longest-time Boulder local, all the way from the shores of Connecticut, Peter has been playing stringed instruments since he was only in grade school. He first picked up the mandolin in college when he found his great-grandfather's pre-war Gibson stashed under his parents' bed. Around that time, he and a group of friends decided to pack up all their instruments and fly overseas. For a few months they earned their lunch money by busking the streets of Europe. It wasn't until the year 1999 that he decided to try Boulder on for size, following his love of climbing and telemark skiing. It just so happened that Peter fit right in and soon he found a great group of musicians to team up with! He has played with numerous local bands including The Wolftones and Jeremy Dion and The Buck Fifty. After working many odd jobs, he finally decided to enroll at Naropa University to pursue his masters degree in Psychology. He now works as a therapist and is currently incorporating music into his work. Peter plays a unique, innovative, and tasteful style on his Collings MF mandonlin in The Railsplitters and is a great song writer as well.

Lauren Stovall - guitar, vocals, songwriting

Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, Lauren has been enjoying the Rocky Mountains since 2005, when she moved to Aspen, CO to learn the art of snowboarding. During her stay there, she met a great group of bluegrass pickers and also acquired her first high quality guitar, purchased from the beloved (and not forgotten) former Great Divide Music shop right in the heart of town. She has since received her license to practice as a beauty operator during the day to help support her habit of late-night bluegrass picking. She also spends a lot of her time with her favorite Jack Russell Terrier, Skippy. Today Lauren is playing a smaller but just as powerful guitar in the band- a Santa Cruz OM-as she delves into the old, timeless tunes she loves. Lauren continues to write her own material that can be heard performed by The Railsplitters.

Garren Volper - bass, guitar

Garren Volper is a bassist/guitarist, born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He began playing traditional music when he was 11 years old and has played with a number of young Anchorage based bands including Seek Bob and Folkadelic and is currently playing in an old timey/bluegrass band called High Lonesome Sound.


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