A Week At Camp
Swing Camp offers 5 days of music and dance classes, hands-on workshops, concerts, dances, and informal jamming that goes into the wee hours of the morning. People do not come to swing camp to sleep!
Campers learn in a friendly, supportive, non-competitive atmosphere. Seminar Leaders give their time generously to their students, often taking extra time to help them conquer an intricate passage in a song, or arranging a song for a nervous, first-time performer. Friendships are made and solidified through the language of music.
Although the emphasis is on swing music and dance, there are also seminars and workshops dedicated to Brazilian music (boss, samba, choro), more contemporary jazz, blues, percussion, vocal harmony, improv, and many other aspects of jazz.
A typical day at camp begins with a 90 minute seminar, followed by mid-morning sessions: Swingin’ in Harmony Jazz Choir, Swing-Blues Band, Swing Dancing, Songwriting, and a Focus on Improvising class for horn players. Some campers also find this a good time to jam, practise, or go for a swim.
The afternoon brings a variety of special workshops on topics as diverse as Vocal Master Classes, Western Swing Orchestra, Harmony Singing, Cuban Polyrhythms, Brazilian Choros, Improv Skills, How to Write a Contrafact, Duets for All Instruments, Chord Voicings, Alternative Vocal Techniques, Fun Harmony Duets and, of course, Swing Dancing. These are the afternoon sessions from 2019.
Daily daytime activities culminate with a swing dance class and Band Lab, a friendly, pressure-cooked event, where “instant” bands are formed. With instructor support, each band will learn, arrange, and perform a new song for an appreciative audience of their peers.
EVENINGS: Dances, Concerts, Jams
Evening activities include dances, where camp participants can play in a big band, including a full horn section, percussion and the camp’s vaunted “wall of wood”—a dozen acoustic guitars played hard! Singers live out the dream of singing one of their favourite swing tunes while backed by a big band of excellent musicians, all the while, surrounded by dancers. And those immersed in the daily beginner or advanced dance classes get to show off their moves.
Seminar leaders treat everyone to an evening concert, with a lineup of performers who would command a hefty ticket price in any other venue. Students also stage a concert, a marathon event that usually runs more than 4 hours. Here, campers showcase their talents, while being accompanied by their “dream band” of fellow students and instructors.
Several evenings a week, campers can join organized jams or get together on their own for high quality jams that go long into the night.