Aynsley Porchak

Aynsley began playing fiddle at the age of 9. She was introduced to bluegrass in her early teens, and quickly fell in love with the music. In order to further hone her craft, Aynsley enrolled in East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies degree program in 2013. She graduated in 2017 with an additional bachelor’s degree in English, and completed her master’s degree in Appalachian Studies in 2020.

Aynsley is also an experienced contest fiddler. She was Blessed to win the Grand Master Fiddler Championship in 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee, and in 2017, she also became the Canadian Grand Master Fiddle Champion, making her the first person to win both competitions. She also played in 2016 on the Grand Ole Opry.

In 2018, Aynsley joined the SPBGMA award-winning band Carolina Blue, and performed with them for four years before becoming one of the founding members of The Tennessee Bluegrass Band in 2021. She also received the 2018 IBMA Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year award. Aynsley spends her time off the road as a private fiddle instructor, session musician, and author. This is Aynsley’s second year teaching at the Monroe Mandolin Camp, and she is excited to share her love of old-school bluegrass fiddling with her students!

Vickie Vaughn

A Western Kentucky native, Vickie Vaughn stomped into Nashville with a fistful of original material and a desire to play bass and sing with the best of them. In 2015, Vaughn released her debut EP under the production of Bluegrass royalty Ronnie McCoury before heading out on the road singing background vocals with Patty Loveless. As a Kentuckian, Vickie is proud to serve on the Board of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Owensboro, KY, which presents Bluegrass fan favorite festival, ROMP. She has been sighted sharing the ROMP stage singing in a trio with fellow Kentuckians, Ricky Skaggs and Patty Loveless. Two Grand Ole Opry appearances later, Vickie now tours with Grammy-nominated Della Mae, who frequents the stage with comedic greats Steve Martin and Martin Short. Vickie is also proud to be on the Rebel Records roster with International Bluegrass Music Association Emerging Artist nominees, High Fidelity.

Chris Sharp

Chris Sharp (born 1973 in Asheville, North Carolina, United States) is an American musician, guitarist, singer, and record producer who participated in the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack of O Brother, Where Art Thou. He is considered to be an accomplished guitarist and has taken a special interest in advancing Lester Flatt’s guitar style. Among other accomplishments, Chris has been nominated twice for a Grammy Award as a guitarist and producer and has won once. Bob Piekiel’s seminal banjo instruction book describes Chris as “the finest bluegrass rhythm guitar player in existence today.” Willie Nelson also considers Chris to be among “the cream of the crop.”

Early life
Around age 11, Sharp took up the fiddle and banjo. As a teenager he met George Buckner and joined his band, The Tarheel Bluegrass Boys, and in 1995 moved to Nashville with Buckner and Kevin Sluder. After two years, Sharp returned to North Carolina where he started a band called the Tipton Hill Boys.

With John Hartford
In 1997, Sharp landed a job touring with John Hartford and played guitar in the style of Lester Flatt in the John Hartford Stringband. This gig enabled Chris to play the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium numerous times. Chris played guitar and sang on John’s 1999 album Good Old Boys and John’s final album Hamilton Ironworks which was released in 2001. Chris also produced his first solo record Good Fa’air Side which featured musicians such as Earl Scruggs, Kenny Baker, Josh Graves, and John Hartford. During his time with John, Chris participated on the O Brother Where Art Thou? and Down from the Mountain projects; the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou helped Chris to win a Grammy Award. The Down from the Mountain documentary, which was filmed at the Ryman Auditorium, featured Chris playing guitar and singing. Chris was also part of the subsequent Down from the Mountain tour which played such venues as Radio City Music Hall, Constitution Hall, Universal Amphitheatre, and Carnegie Hall.

Solo career
In 2001, after Hartford died, Sharp moved back to North Carolina. Chris joined Bobby Hicks, J.D. Crowe, and others to record on Josh Graves’s album Memories of Foggy Mountain. He would later form the Chris Sharp and David Long Band. This group released an album entitled One Hand on the Radio which was described as “something timeless—a record that sounds 50 years old and brand-new at the same time.” 2003 saw the release of the Tipton Hill Boys’ album Lucky whose ensemble (featuring drums, pedal steel guitar, and piano in addition to acoustic string instruments) was characterized in No Depression as reminiscent of “1960s Nashville bluegrass.” Chris played guitar and sang on Willie Nelson’s 2010 album Country Music and was featured on an episode of Soundstage as part of Willie’s band. The ensuing tour allowed Chris to make a return performance at the Ryman Auditorium. Also in 2010, Chris produced and performed on the Grammy-nominated recording Memories of John which reunited the John Hartford Stringband after nearly a decade. This album featured such artists as Tim O’Brien, Bela Fleck, Mike Compton, Alison Brown, Bob Carlin, George Buckner, and Alan O’Bryant as well as John Hartford himself (who was present in the form of previously-unreleased recordings).

Laurelyn Dossett

Singer/songwriter Laurelyn Dossett lives and writes in Stokes County, NC. Her songs have appeared in film and television (Hell on Wheels, Ain’t In it for My Health) and have been recorded by many artists including Grammy-winning Levon Helm (Anna Lee) and Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops (Leaving Eden).

She has partnered with Triad Stage’s Preston Lane on six plays-with-music: Brother Wolf (2006), Beautiful Star:An Appalachian Nativity (2006), Bloody Blackbeard (2008), Providence Gap(2010), Snow Queen (2013, and Radiunt Abundunt (2016). In 2018 she wrote the songs for playwright Mike Wiley’s Leaving Eden; it premiered at Playmaker’s Repertory in 2018.

Her song cycle, The Gathering: A Winter’s Tale in Six Songs was commissioned by the North Carolina Symphony and premiered in Raleigh in 2011, Grant Llewellyn conducting. Guest artists on that project included Mike Compton, Rhiannon Giddens, Joe Newberry and Jason Sypher. The cd “The Gathering” made many of the top 10 holiday cds in 2011, including the NY Times, the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. The Wall Street Journal said “It’s what the holidays were before shopping and Irving Berlin.” It was reprised by the Winston-Salem Symphony in 2019, Timothy Redmond conducting.

Laurelyn has written songs for various protest movements in North Carolina including My Beloved Enemy and Vote Against Amendment One. She remains a voice for social justice and environmental activism in North Carolina and beyond. The River’s Lament is her testament to the devastation of the Dan River coal ash spill. She founded and continues to host the annual “Songs of Hope and Justice” at the North Carolina Folk Festival.

Laurelyn has taught songwriting and singing at the Augusta Heritage Center, as well as at many universities, workshops and festivals. She is the recipient of the Betty Cone Medal of Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship for songwriting, the Chris Austin songwriting contest at Merlefest, and has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts.

Carl Jones

(Old-Time Mandolin/Old-Time):
Carl Jones is an American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist born in Macon, Georgia. He presently lives in Hillsville, Virginia and is widely respected for his instrumental talents and original songs about the joys and tribulations of life in the south.

Carl’s songs have been recorded by The Nashville Bluegrass Band, Kate Campbell, Rickie Simpkins w/ Tony Rice, and others. His song Last Time On The Road was on the grammy award winning album Unleashed by The Nashville Bluegrass Band.

He has recordings with Beverly Smith, James Bryan, and also with The Rising Fawn String ensemble (James along w/ Norman & Nancy Blake). For many years now he has recorded and tours with his wife, fiddler Erynn Marshall. Their latest releases are entitled Old Tin and Old Time Sweethearts Vol 1 & 2. www.dittyville.com

Mission Statement

Preserving and Promoting the Music and Cultural Heritage of Authentic First Generation Bluegrass

Committed to building community from around the world, as well as forging platforms and connections for the next generation of musicians, the MonManCamp presents programs that ensure the continuation of this truly original and powerful American art form called Bluegrass Music. At MMC, our missions are to:

  • Preserve the music created and recorded by Bill Monroe
  • Use the transformative power of music to foster relationships while building communities worldwide
  • Educate contemporary music enthusiasts about fundamental building blocks, stylistic elements, and techniques that are unique to this music
  • Present a curriculum that forwards an understanding of the players and culture that created Bluegrass music
  • Cultivating:
  1. Creativity through collaboration;
  2. Self-Compassion & Resilient Spirit:letting go of perfectionism and taking a journey based upon one note, one tune, or one song at a time;
  3. Brain Development via self-assessment, critical thinking skills, engagement of non-verbal brain activities for fine motor skills, mathematical reasoning (via chord progressions, rhythm, melodic intervals, etc.)
  4. Folklore or the traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community passed through the generations by word of mouth
  5. Connection:
    • via facilitating cross-generational gatherings and one generation passing it down to the next;
    • laughter and joy through music;
    • continuation and longevity of this music by growing the branches of future players and appreciators;
    • using the stories and roots of bluegrass music with all of its rich history, context, narratives of hardships, triumphs, and musical history to demonstrate our connectedness and similarities

Scholarships

  • MANDOLIN Video Competition: Video Submission between February 1-15. Winner announced February 28, 2020.
  • BANJO Video Competition: Video Submission between
    March 1 – March 15 Winner Announced April 1, 2020.
  • FIDDLE Video Competition: Video Submission between
    April 1- April 15. (New Dates): Winner announced April 30, 2020.
  • NEW for 2020! GUITAR Video Competition: Video Submission
    April 15 – April 30, 2020. Winner announced May 15, 2020.

COMPETITION RULES

  • Music submitted must be a Bill Monroe tune or instrumental.
  • Submissions open to candidates of any age.
  • Participants to write a 500 word essay on their musical pursuits, why they are interested in Monroe’s prolific music and their goals in attending this camp.
  • Video must remain under 4 minutes.
  • Announce your name and song title on the video. You may play solo or with accompaniment-just make sure video camera is pointing on person submitting video. Please make sure we can see both left and right hands!
  • A maximum of 25 submissions accepted (you will receive an email with confirmation if your video is accepted.)
  • Upload video to YouTube, and email the link to: monroemandolincamp@gmail.com . In subject line of email, please write “2020 (Insert Instrument ) MonManCamp Video Scholarship Competition.”
  • The winner of each Video Scholarship Competition to be awarded a full tuition scholarship including camp T-shirt.
  • Transportation, meals and lodging are separate and not included in the award, and the responsibility of the winner.
  • Winning video may be used in promotional materials.
  • Entries will be judged on 4 categories including: Authenticity, Execution, Difficulty, and Technique.
  • Previous Video Scholarship winners are not eligible for consecutive years on the same instrument.
  • Video Scholarship Winners are limited to instrument classes for whicht they won the scholarship.

Raynae Redman

My name is Raynae Redman and this is the second time I have attended Monroe Mandolin Camp.
In 2016, the camp was expanded to include banjo, and in 2017, a fiddle track was also added. Each year there’ll be another instrument track added until each of the 5 bluegrass instruments in Monroe’s band will be offered. It’s going to be exciting as each year the next instrument added will make it a full Monroe Bluegrass experience.

I was intrigued and stoked to attend because I wanted to take the banjo track. it was taught by the famous Alan O’Bryant of the Nashville Bluegrass Band fame-Very exciting. All techniques and songs taught were Monroe songs and styles even on the banjo, keeping with the theme of this being a Monroe camp.

A very nice spiral bound book was given to us with tabs and tips from each instructor for what they were teaching, and even though I took the banjo track, our book contained all the mandolin instructions and tabs too, which was a bonus. The book was nicely done and is about 3/4″ thick with a lot of useful information.

The camp is well run and a lot of fun to attend. They offer fun evening activities as an added interest to the camp too.

The food package offered was unbelievably good. i almost decided to not pay for the food package thinking I’d walk to eat elsewhere, but I decided to add it on to my camp tuition. i can tell you right now that that was a great decision! The food is so good and all you can eat; full meals that offer you anything you’d possibly want plus it’s very convenient and more fun eating right there with your fellow campers. I’m sure I gained ten pounds and it was definitely a good value.

My classes were fun and a challenge but I found that recording the lessons on my iPad was the greatest help of all, so if your considering attending, it’s very helpful to bring a recording device (after getting the ok from my instructor that recording was ok!) I was able to come home where I had plenty of time to decipher what was taught in the comfort of my home, and spend as much time as I needed to improve each tune. There were five tunes that were harder tunes that I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be playing, and I’m proud to say I’ve learned several of them already! TIt was easy to match my videos to the tabs where I was having trouble, and then to figure the parts out.

If you’re interested in traditional bluegrass and in particular Monroe’s style which defined early bluegrass, I would highly recommend this camp.

You’ll make lifelong friends and be able to network with them afterwards for even more help. Everyone attending this camp shares our same passion and they’re just good ole bluegrass folks from around the world making it a really fun experience.

Evenings that I didn’t feel like jamming were spent at The Station Inn or other interesting Nashville sites.

I highly recommend this camp! —Raynae Redman, September 16, 2017

Diane Cross

Traveling from Australia, I’ve attended many Monroe Mandolin Camps and at every camp I’ve learnt a lot. Each time following the camp, I’ve had many hours of practice developing my skills as a mandolin player.

Tuition has been excellent featuring a diverse team of professional Mandolin players. Mike Compton, David Davis, Roland White, Skip Gorman, Richie Brown and many more, offering unique inside into the great Bill Monroe’s fundamental mandolin style. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge about Bill Monroe and his history, talent, passion, contribution, motivation. After all, he was the founder of bluegrass music and “Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys.”

Luthiers attend the camp and are invaluable twerking, repairing, and attending to minor adjustments, along with gibing advice into setting up and any major repairs that your mandolin may need.

Some highlights at the Monroe Mandolin Camps have been:
Previous Bluegrass Boys musicians who played with Bill Monroe
Playing in the Country Music Hall of Fame Rotunda, representing women of Bluegrass and the Monroe Mandolin Camp (and as one of their international attendees!)

The Monroe Mandolin Camp has developed and become more inclusive of other bluegrass instruments, which is exciting, as well as incorporating other influences such as the blues, old-time mandolin, banjo and fiddle.
At every camp the food has been scrumptious and plentiful!

I love playing mandolin and through my mandolin I found Bill Monroe and a style of music which was developed by him. I would highly recommend the Monroe Mandolin Camp for enthusiastic mandolin or other bluegrass instrument players! —Diane Cross, September 17, 2017