We are thrilled to announce the 1st Annual Fiddle School Mountain Retreat August 23 – 26, 2019!

This will be an intimate adult fiddle camp nestled in the mountains of Estes Park featuring small group classes in Texas style fiddling and Western Swing in a spectacular setting.

The Mountain Retreat is open to 12 students who will work with three national champion fiddle teachers and two teacher’s assistants. There will be three levels for core classes, beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

This will be a premium camp experience. In addition to 3 core classes each day, each student will be offered individual feedback in a masterclass setting, a camp songbook, nightly guided jams and optional electives covering back-up guitar, improvisation, fiddle listening and daily hikes.

Students and teachers will stay together in the elegant lodge, in small shared rooms or the adjacent bunkhouse. We’ll share healthy homemade meals prepared on site each day. The early-bird special (until May 15th) is $925. The full price is $990. The price includes lodging, meals, and classes. While we will have a waiting list, we recommend you sign up early to reserve your spot. Students will be asked to send a video or recording of yourself playing one fiddle tune in order to be placed in the appropriate group.

Learning videos for the camp tunes will be sent out one month in advance. Students are expected to learn the material to the best of their ability. You’ll be given the tools to participate so that you feel prepared to jam. No fiddler left behind!

Immerse yourself with fiddle music in paradise!

Travel logistics

Camp begins Friday, August 23rd at 3:00 pm
and ends Monday, August 26 at 11:00 am  

If you’re driving:

Plan to arrive to Performance Park in Estes Park on Friday, August 23rd at 3:00 pm for a meet and greet and opening jam session. We’ll send you a map when we send out the welcome packet. From there we’ll caravan over to the camp lodge at 4:30 pm.

If you’re flying:

We can provide your transportation to and from the airport. We recommend arriving between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm on Friday, August 23rd and departing between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm on Monday, August 26th.

Fiddle School Mountain Retreat Waiting List

Sign up here to be placed on the waiting list. We will contact you if a spot opens up!

The Teachers

Our teachers are not only nationally renowned as players, but they’re dedicated educators as well. We are intentionally keeping the camp size small to give maximize your access to our wonderful staff. Meet your teachers:

Katie Glassman

You all know me but just in case, here’s a bit about my background:

Founder of Fiddle School and the Fiddle School Mountain Retreat, Katie Glassman is that rare musician who possesses a combination of instrumental virtuosity and powerful musical expression. She is one of the country’s most renowned and decorated Texas-style and swing fiddlers, as well as an accomplished songwriter, singer, and a highly sought-after teacher.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Katie currently tours and records with The Western Flyers, and leads her own band, Katie Glassman and Snapshot. She also maintains a thriving private teaching practice and travels to teach at music camps throughout the country. Since she began her Fiddle Parlor teaching studio in 1994, Katie has been enthusiastically educating Texas-style fiddlers of all ages, many of whom have gone on to become National and state champions. She is the founder of Fiddle School and method, which opened it’s doors in 2018!

In 2017, Katie won her 3rd consecutive National Swing Fiddle Championship in Weiser, Idaho. She also took first in both the Bob Wills and Open divisions at the Bob Wills Festival and Fiddle Contest in Greenville, Texas and is the three-time reigning Colorado state fiddle champion. Other notable victories were in 2013 at Rockygrass in Lyons, Colorado, and Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, to name but a few.

Katie holds a Bachelor’s in Performance with a Jazz Certificate from University of Colorado, Boulder, and in 2007 spent a year studying jazz violin at the world-renowned Centre Musique Didier Lockwood in Dammarie-Les-Lys, France, though her true musical education came at the feet of the Texas greats she heard and learned from at decades of fiddle contests. Jimmie Don Bates, Dale Morris, Wes Wesmoreland and Joey McKenzie are Katie’s living links to the great tradition of Texas style fiddling.

Celeste Johnson

Celeste Johnson is a nationally recognized musician with deep roots in Texas-style fiddling. She grew up in Arvada, Colorado, where she discovered her passion for fiddling at the young age of five. Throughout her musical career, Celeste has studied with multiple renowned national champion fiddlers and master musicians who continue to shape and inspire her.

Although her foundation is in Texas-style fiddling, Celeste plays with a variety of bands whose repertoires include western swing, gypsy jazz, country, Americana, and more. She continues to pursue her passion for Texas-style fiddling, competing in fiddle contests throughout the nation. Celeste has won her division at the National Old-Time Fiddle Championship four times, earning the first of these titles when she was just eleven years old. She is also the two-time Rocky Mountain Regional Champion and a multiple-time Colorado State junior fiddle champion.

Since she was fourteen, Celeste has been sharing her expertise and enthusiasm for fiddle through teaching. Her aural teaching method gives students the tools to learn songs by ear and develop their independence as musicians through better understanding of music theory. Celeste emphasizes elements that make up the core of good musicianship, including technique, listening skills, and musicality.

Over the years, she has played on a variety of stages including fiddle contests, radio, western music shows, private events, and local venues in and around her current home of Boulder, Colorado and beyond. Grounded in the traditional American music of those who have come before her, Celeste continues to expand her creativity and skill as she reaches into the future.

Cody Stadelmaier

Cody is the 2016 National Adult Fiddle Champion. As a performer, recording artist and teacher, she has been a staple in the Colorado fiddling scene for over 30 years. Cody’s teaching studio is in Fort Collins, Colorado where she teaches both classical and fiddling. As a teacher, Cody has a keen sense of technique practices and how to help students improve their fiddling quickly. Her dry sense of humor will have you laughing in no time. Cody has performed with Western Swing, bluegrass, and country bands, as well as the Wyoming Symphony, CSU Symphony, and multiple quartets.

Cody has competed in and judged many fiddle contests across the U.S. Her titles include the Wyoming Junior State Champion, Wyoming State Champion, 8-time Colorado State Champion, Colorado State Twin Fiddle Champion, Rocky Mountain Regional Champion, Grand Master Finalist and most recently she became the 2016 National Adult Fiddle Champion!

“I love to teach and provide a safe, fun environment for my students. I tailor feedback to specific needs and wishes of my students. My goal is to instill a love of music that will last a lifetime no matter where your music takes you.” – Cody Stadelmaier

Teaching Assistants

I have hand-picked two of my very best young adult students who are great fiddlers and guitar players to join us. They love playing the music, passing it on to others and sharing the history. The teacher’s assistants will be in classes to help with guitar back-up, they’ll share an elective each day, and they’ll be jam instigators. Meet your teacher’s assistants:

Chad Matthews

Chad Matthews

Teaching Assistant

Chad Matthews is 21 years old and lives in Morrison, Colorado. Growing up in rural Kansas, his love of fiddle and classic country music came from listening to the Grand Ole Opry every Saturday night over the farm truck’s radio.

After moving to Colorado, Chad was randomly gifted a fiddle by his older brother. He started taking lessons with Katie Glassman in August of 2014, and has since become a common figure at local, state, and national fiddle contests. He has placed in the top five on fiddle and guitar at the National Old Time Fiddler’s Contest, the Bob Wills Fiddle Festival and Contest, the Colorado State Fiddle Championships, and many other contests. He enjoys listening to such greats as: Terry Morris, Benny Thomasson, Tommy Jackson, Johnny Gimble, Joey McKenzie, and of course, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. Chad loves passing on fiddle music and its history to others, so teaching is a passion for him at all levels.

Julian Oliver

Julian Oliver

Teaching Assistant

Julian Oliver started taking violin lessons when he was 6. Not long after, he started his love affair with western music, listening to the greats such as The Sons of the Pioneers and Gene Autry. This led him to Texas fiddle and he has been following his passion for the music ever since. Shortly after his discovery of fiddling, Julian entered his first contest which helped introduce him into the fiddle community. Since then he has won a handful of Colorado contests including becoming the two-time Colorado state Junior champion.

Julian started attending the National Oldtime Fiddle Contest in 2015. This experience of friends, family, and competition inspired him and so far, he has placed in the top three of his division twice.

Today, Julian models his fiddling after the greats such as Terry Morris, Jimmie Don Bates, Joey Mackenzie, and Benny Thomasson.

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