Seward Bluegrass Camp for Kids (ages 8-16)

Seward, AK


July 10, 2017 - July 14, 2017


Contact Information:

Kate Hamre & Shiloh Parkerson

Kate - 907.350.2562

Shiloh - 650.745.6190


Bluegrass Camps for Kids offers young people an opportunity to explore a diverse range of traditional music styles and instruments 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, as well as morning and afternoon all-campus activities that include square dancing, sing-a-longs, jams, and blackboard concerts. We teach everything from individual instruments (beginning through advanced guitar, bass, mandolin, fiddle, and banjo), to dance, singing, jamming, songwriting, and performing. This is a great event to foster new friendships and old, and bring the enjoyment of playing music into your life!

Ages 8-16. We request that campers have completed Second Grade or equivalent prior to registration for the camp. We will make exceptions for children who are 7 that have been through Second Grade. Please speak with your child about behavior expectations while at camp.

We also run a camp for children ages 5-7. Please click here for more information.

Registration and online payment is available online or by downloading the registration form and mailing it to the address listed below. Class sizes are limited and preferences are honored by registration arrival. Your schedule, songbook, and other information will be given to you when you arrive at camp. Forms and payment are due by Friday, July 7th.

Forms can be mailed to:
Kate Hamre
Attn: Bluegrass Camps For Kids
3107 W. 33rd Ave. #2
Anchorage, AK 99517

Students will be taking a different instrument class during each Block for a total of three instrument classes, plus a band class. Although your student will only be taking three classes, please indicate your top five choices in order of importance on the Registration Form. We will make every effort to give each student his or her top three choices for the three Blocks. If you have questions about what classes to sign up for, please email us at

Please spend a few moments on your Registration Form to tell us about your ability: How many years you have played, what your favorite song is, what song you are currently working on, other capabilities, and your goals for camp. If you are signing up online, you may fill this out in the “Additional Comments” section.

We highly recommend that students that sign up to be in an Intermediate or Advanced level class also sign up to be in a Jamming class. One of the great things about being able to play and learn music is to able to play songs with one another and our peers, and our Jamming classes encourage that growth in our more advanced students.

Class Choices
Please click here to view our class choices.

We feel that playing multiple instruments is a great asset to a child’s musical education, and that is why we encourage children to take multiple instrument classes. Understandably, many children may not have those instruments readily at hand. We will do our best to find an instrument for your child’s use during camp, however we cannot guarantee that there will be extra instruments available for your child during their chosen class. If it is critical that your child have his/her own instrument we highly recommend renting one from your local music store.

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 to the main tent and sign the child out each day. If no one signs a child out, Bluegrass Camps for Kids calls the parents around 4:00 pm. 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.

Resurrection Lutheran Church
400 3rd Ave.
Seward, AK 99664
Phone - 907.224.3628

Please bring your own sack lunches to camp. Healthy snacks will be provided. Water bottles and recorded devices are welcome, but please leave electronic games at home.

Daily Schedule
*Family members are welcome and encouraged to attend Morning Activities! Morning and Afternoon Activities are all-campus activities, in which students get to meet and interact with their fellow campers, doing activities such as jamming, sing-a-longs, band performance workshops lead by the teachers, blackboard concerts, and square dances.

9:30am- 10:30am – Registration-First Morning Only!
10:00am – Morning Activity
10:30am – Block 1
11:15am – Snack Time
11:30am – Block 2
12:30pm – Lunch
1:00pm – Band
2:00pm – Block 3
3:00pm – Afternoon Activity
3:30pm – Done for the Day! (4:00pm on Thursday)

On Thursday, we will be doing “Bands Around Town” for our Afternoon Activity. “Bands Around Town” is an opportunity for bands to busk around town at different local venues for the tourists and lunch-hour crowd. Locations and more details will be announced during camp. Pick-up time on Thursday is at 4:00pm.

Camp Concert - TBD

The Early Bird price for the Seward Bluegrass Camp for Kids is $250 if the payment and forms are mailed in by Friday, June 30th. If forms and payment are sent in after June 30th, the tuition is $275. You may pay securely online with a credit card, pay with a major credit card when you arrive at camp, or write a check to Bluegrass Camps For Kids.  To apply for a scholarship (including multiple-sibling families), please email us at Please include: 1) Your musical history, 2) Why you want to come to camp, 3) What do you want to focus on or learn when you come to camp.

Skype Private Lessons
If you would like to set up private lessons via Skype pre- or post-camp, please register here.

Music camps take a lot of time and energy to put on, and parent volunteers are much needed and appreciated. If you would like to volunteer, please indicate so on your student's registration form. Volunteer Job Descriptions are available on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Frequently Asked Questions
Our FAQ page has more details about camp, and you can always email us at

Thank you for your generous donation! Our scholarship fund helps students that may not otherwise be able to go to camp, as well as helps to pay for our Instrument Fund, which buys new instruments, picks, capos, straps, strings, and repairs "wear and tear" on our camp instruments. To donate, please write a separate check with your donation amount to Bluegrass Camps for Kids and mail it in with your registration, or you can donate online when you register.

Additional Questions
Kate Hamre

More to be announced!!!

Tyson Alteri - guitar, mandolin

American rambler, mountain climber and nature lover Tyson James has lived a life of music. Raised in a musical family he went to college for biology and soon after started traveling in search of music and the mountains. He grew up playing early American Blues with his uncles, studied Flamenco in Spain and Son Cubano in Cuba. He has played music from coast to coast in New York, Colorado, San Francisco, and Nashville. He’s been to the top of America’s most beautiful mountains, walked in her oldest forests and sailed her western seas. He’s enamored with American Folk movements including those driven by Bill Monroe, Woody Guthrie, David Grisman extending to the likes of Willie, Waylon, Ray Charles and Chuck Berry. While residing in San Francisco in 2009 he was a founding member in the award winning San Francisco based Bluegrass Band, 49 Special. In 2011 he relocated to Nashville in search of a new sound. There he has had the opportunity to play and record with a number of Nashville Cats such as acclaimed bassist Mike Bub and George Jones' fiddler Billy Contreras. With them he recently recorded his first solo album entitled “Tyson James and The Nashville Players” which can be described as Bluegrass, Country, Rock and Soul. He can be found playing on Broadway in Nashville and elsewhere throughout the country. He is currently working on a project of his second album and a related short novel both entitled "American Gypsy".

Kate Hamre - Program 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 San Francisco at a private girls school, The Hamlin School, after leaving Bearfoot in April 2010.

Amanda Kerr - fiddle, guitar

Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Amanda Kerr grew up in a musical family. She began her fiddling career at the age of 3 with a Cracker Jack box with a ruler taped to it. A few hundred "Mississippi Hot Dogs" later, Amanda began competing in fiddle contests around the country. After winning the Alaska State Fair Grand Champion title 4 times, Amanda went on to win the Junior Division at the National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest in Weiser, Idaho. She is now the current Western Open Fiddle Champion, a title she recieved in Red Bluff, California this past October. Amanda began teaching private music lessons in 2003. What started out as a couple of students a week in the living room quickly turned into a full-time teaching studio. Amanda completed her Suzuki Violin Method training for Book 1 at the Anchorage Suzuki Institute in 2007. The method that gave her the technique she uses today is now being passed on to the next generation of musicians. Besides teaching private lessons, Amanda has had a lot of experience in teaching workshops and group classes. In 2009, Amanda spent 2 years teaching violin, viola, cello and bass at the Aurora Waldorf School in Anchorage. She has also taught fiddle, guitar and even banjo at many music camps around the country. In addition to teaching, Amanda also enjoys performing. In Anchorage, she was a member of the well-known Bluegrass and Old-Timey dance band, High Lonesome Sound. She also played in Hot Dish, Red Elk, and The Emeralds. As teenagers, The Emeralds produced two CDs: "The Emerald Edge" in 2003 and "Off The Edge" in 2005. Now living in Alexandria, Virginia, Amanda still loves to perform and loves to play just for fun even more!

Garren Volper - Camp Manager

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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