Dick Bowden

Maine native Dick Bowden has been playing hillbilly and bluegrass guitar since 1961, having learned by ear and eye from his parents. (And that’s how he teaches.) By 1966 they had The Bowden Family bluegrass band which evolved by 1975 into The Fort Knox Volunteers. In the mid-1980s Dick played banjo and lead guitar with Herb Applin’s Berkshire Mt. Boys and got to observe Bea Lilly’s guitar style “close up”. In the 1990s Dick appeared as “Martin Case” in The Case Brothers mandolin-guitar brother duet, releasing two recordings. He played banjo on fiddler Joe Meadows’ final recording “Cotton Eyed Joe”. Dick pitched the song “52 Vincent Black Lightning” to the Del McCoury Band. In the early years of the 21st century Dick played guitar and banjo with The Old Time Bluegrass Singers featuring IBMM Bluegrass Pioneer Herb Applin, releasing two recordings. During this period he also played some Dobro with The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band at northeastern festivals and on WSM’s Grand Ole Opry!

Dick plays guitar with a thumb pick and finger pick, a la Lester Flatt, but also can play with a flat pick when the situation calls for it. His favorite guitar heroes are Charlie Monroe, Lester Flatt, Jimmy Martin, Charlie Waller and Del McCoury.
Welcome, Dick!

Jeff Burke

Jeff Burke is a professional musician and instructor who teaches bluegrass music and improvisation to individuals and groups. He plays Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo and has performed and recorded with a number of bands over his 23 year career. Jeff has worked both independently and in connection with the Wernick Method to bring group jamming classes to both Nashville, TN and Chicago, IL. He founded the popular bluegrass jamming class at the World famous Stayion Inn and works extensively with the Country Music Hall of Fame to provide hands on acoustic instrument and jamming workshops for their youth and family programs.

In 2020 Jeff Became the general Manager of The Station Inn in Nashville, handling day to day duties and booking the bands. In 2021 he left Station Inn to join the management and booking team at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge in Madison, TN where he is currently employed. He is also involved with Bluegrass Wednesdays at American Legion Post 82 in Nashville. Jeff also produces 2-3 day jam camps at festivals around the country and has been a faculty member at numerous music camps.

Jim Watson

Jim Watson was a founding member of the Red Clay Ramblers in 1972, and was with them for 14 years, playing mandolin, guitar, and bass. He played bass with Robin & Linda Williams from 1988-2015, and also played jobs during that time in and around Chapel Hill NC with Craver, Hicks, Watson & Newberry, playing bass with the Williamson Brothers Band, and bass and guitar with the Piedmont Melody Makers, which featured IBMA Hall of Famer Alice Gerrard.

Katelyn Buckley

Originally residing on a cattle ranch in Eastern Montana, Katelyn moved to Nashville in 2019 to pursue her dream as a professional musician. She grew up playing in the family band with her parents and two older brothers, which transitioned into 26 years of building the legendary Montana Fiddle Camp. Katelyn is known for her powerful vocals and soulful work on bass but also holds 2 Montana State Fiddle Championships.

Even though she works full time in real estate accounting, Katelyn can be seen performing at the Station Inn or as an opening act at the Ryman Auditorium. She currently plays with the Jim Hurst Band, as well as her own headlining band, the Katelyn Buckley Band. Katelyn is also proud to be featured as a vocalist on Greg Blake’s upcoming duet “Not Far From Hope”.

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!

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


  • 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.


  • 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.