Registration for our first Fiddle School Summer Mountain Retreat opens at 10 am (MT) on Monday, March 16th to previous campers. Fiddle School members will receive the 2nd invitation on Monday, March 30th.

The Fiddle School Mountain Retreats are intimate adult fiddle camps nestled in the mountains of Colorado featuring small group classes in Texas-style fiddling and Western Swing in a spectacular setting.

The Summer Mountain Retreat is open to 25 students (18+) who get to work with four national champion fiddle teachers and three or more teacher’s assistants. We’ll offer four levels of core classes and students will be grouped with fiddlers at or around their level.

This premium camp experience is special! You’ll receive videos of all your class songs to learn in advance. In addition to daily core classes, each student will get individual feedback in a masterclass setting, nightly guided jams and optional electives covering topics such as improvisation, fiddle listening, back-up guitar and mandolin. Plus, there’s an outdoor hot tub, on sight hiking and plenty of practice and jam areas both inside and outdoors.

YOU can be a part of the Fiddle School Summer Mountain Retreat this year. Check out the video below to get a glimpse of the amazing time we had last year!

Join Fiddle School to receive a Retreat Invitation

Previous campers receive the 1st retreat invitation, and Fiddle School members receive the 2nd wave of invitations. Join the jam! 

Thursday, August 20

6 pm – Arrival
7 pm – Dinner & Welcome
8 pm – Group Jam Session

Friday – Sunday, August 21, 22, 23 

10 am – 5 pm: Class Time (2-3 core classes with 30 min breaks, plus 1 hr daily siesta and electives) 

Saturday, August 22

7 pm – Student Coffeehouse Open Mic

Sunday, August 23

7 pm – Fiddle School Retreat Concert Extravaganza!

Monday, August 24

9 am – Breakfast

10 am – Pack-up and Farewells

Flight pick-up times: 

Denver International Airport: Pick-Up 10 am – 2 pm on Thursday, August 20.

Flight drop-off times:

Arrange Monday drop off with us.

Pricing & Details 

The Summer Mountain Retreat 2020 is open to 25 students. All-inclusive pricing includes lodging, meals, and classes.

Earlybird Price – $1150 (through April 20th)

Full Price – $1275

Retreat Prep 

Before the retreat, we’ll ask you to send a video or recording of yourself playing one fiddle tune in order for us to place you in the appropriate class level. We’ll send out learning videos for the retreat songs 4 weeks in advance for you to prepare before arriving. We’ll give you the tools to participate so that you feel prepared to jam.

Once again, we’ll provide healthy homemade meals prepared by our superchef Brian Kenney. But don’t just come for the food, feast yourselves with fiddle music in the splendor of the Rocky Mountains!

Refund Policy   

50% refund until 6/1/20
25% refund until 6/30/20
No refunds after 6/30/20

*COVID-19 Refund Policy: In the circumstance that there are continued travel and health concerns which either lead to individual student — or event — cancellation, 100% of registration fees will be credited toward a future retreat within two years.
































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 Denver, Colorado, Katie played with The Western Flyers, and currently 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 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 method, which opened it’s doors in 2018!

In 2018, Katie won her 4th 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 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.

Natalie Padilla

Born into a family of acclaimed roots musicians, Natalie Padilla was immersed in fiddle and violin music at a very young age. She has grown into a musician of astounding depth and breadth, as well as a performer and educator fluent in a wide variety of genres.

Natalie initially studied Texas-Style fiddle under the tutelage of her mother, award-winning fiddler Nancy Padilla, and began winning contests on her own at the age of 6. She was named Montana State Pee Wee Fiddle Champion and soon went on to become National Small Fry Fiddle Champion at the National Old Time Fiddler’s Contest (1994), National Young Adult Fiddle Champion (2015), National Twin Fiddling Champion (2015), Rocky Mountain Regional Grand Champion (2015), and RockyGrass Fiddle Champion (2015).

Steeped in the traditions of Old-Time, Bluegrass, and Texas-Style Fiddle music, Natalie also has deep roots in classical violin. In 2011, after winning several prestigious student awards, she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Northern Colorado. Natalie has continued to explore her love of classical music and has performed with the National Repertory Orchestra, Breckenridge Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, Colorado Bach Ensemble, Opera Colorado, Boulder Philharmonic, Fort Collins Symphony, Greeley Philharmonic and Sphere Ensemble. 

Throughout her deep and diverse musical career Natalie has always been a devoted educator, and has maintained an active studio of private fiddle and violin students since her early teens. As an adjunct fiddle professor at the University of Northern Colorado, she teaches and leads ensembles in the Folk & Bluegrass program.


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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