Ensembles are an integral part of the CCMC experience. Students will spend almost four hours of the weekend in ensemble rehearsals, followed by a performance on the Grange Hall stage early Sunday afternoon.

Students may wait until the camp to choose an ensemble, or they may choose in advance. Some ensembles will rely on students’ advance preparation, while others will not. Both reading and non-reading approaches will be used. For students who do not read standard notation or tablature, “by-ear-only” ensembles are offered — although these ensembles may also appeal to readers.
Students who are interested in advance preparation of written music should email the instructor. Ensembles directed toward these students will be of varying levels. All of the written arrangements will contain easy parts as well as more difficult parts — so don’t hesitate to choose the ensemble that interests you most! Once you’ve chosen an ensemble you’ll receive more music, in standard notation and/or tablature (if you’ve chosen a reading ensemble!).
CCMC 2014 Ensembles

Bluegrass Ensemble
Leader: Jesse Cobb
Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Jess Cobb will lead the bluegrass band this year. We’ll work on melody, harmony parts, improvisation, and ensemble playing skills. All tunes will be taught by ear, so no notation will be available in advance. Guitar, banjo, fiddle and bass players are welcome in this ensemble (and some others, just ask).

Italian Folk Ensemble
Leader: John T. LaBarbera
Level: All

The Italian folk music ensemble group will play the lively “Tarantella dell’600” and a “Pizzica Tarantata.” Arranged for beginners thru intermediate/advanced levels and will include melodic parts and chordal accompaniment.

Traditional Music Ensemble
(taught by-ear only)
Leader: Shana Aisenberg
Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Shana Aisenberg will lead a multi-genre by-ear ensemble this year. Styles could include Appalachian old time, Celtic, contradance, blues, bluegrass, klezmer, Balkan and more. We’ll work on melody, harmony parts, improvisation, and ensemble playing skills. All pieces will be taught and arranged by ear, no notation will be available in advance.

Guitar, banjo, fiddle and bass players are welcome in this ensemble (and some others, just ask).

By-Ear Ensemble for Beginners
Leader: Beverly Woods
Level: All

These ensembles will learn to play tunes and songs in various styles by ear, with each participant taking an active role in creating their own parts, as is typically done in performing acoustic bands. There will be plenty of guidance and coaching from the instructor on how to come up with your own parts, improvisation, creating solo breaks, fills, harmonies, bass lines and chordal accompaniments; how to listen and respond to what everyone else is playing, and how to blend in effectively as a band. Repertoire may include Appalachian, Celtic, bluegrass, blues, klezmer, Scandinavian, Balkan, etc., depending on interest of the participants. Previous experience or expertise in playing by ear isn’t required to take part in these ensembles, just a willingness to try.

A Note about Guitar (and other instruments): There is some room in most of these ensembles for guitarists. Other instruments such as fiddle, banjo, dulcimer, autoharp, pennywhistle and bass are also welcome in some ensembles. Not all the workshops are mandolin-specific, so these other instrumentalists will find opportunities to study theory and style. In addition, many of our faculty are multi-instrumentalists, and can help with fitting these instruments into the ensembles. If you have questions, please email us.