Summer Camps

This summer we’ll be offering a variety of fun and interactive camps in music and arts for all ages and skill levels!  Summer camps begin in June and run through July.  Check out our full listing below.  For more information or help registering, contact us at or call 434-806-7062.


3rd Annual Front Porch String Band Camp

Lovers of old-time string band music, fiddle tunes, songs, square dances, and jam sessions are invited to gather for Front Porch String Band Camp, July 16 – 20th, 2018. The camp is open to musicians of all ages who would like to gain experience playing in a string band. Students should be already familiar with their instrument and able to play some simple tunes or chords. Fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, and string bass will be featured, and players of autoharp and mountain dulcimer are also welcome. Tunes and songs in a variety of styles will be offered. Adults will have their own classes, with skilled instructors and exciting music to learn; younger students will be divided depending on age and skill level and will learn music which is challenging and consistent with their abilities. Our camp is affordable for families— some of the songs will be taught across all of the classes so that they can be played together and enjoyed by the whole family. Students will be formed into several string bands to obtain a good mix of age and instrumentation; on Friday, each band will have an opportunity to perform a tune or two for the rest of the campers and our guests in a short concert, followed by a traditional square dance.

Our instructors:
Pete Vigour – Pete is a familiar face at jam sessions, concerts, and music classes around central Virginia. Pete teaches music full-time at Stacy’s Music Shop and the Front Porch, plus classes at several local schools, and performs with Uncle Henry’s Favorites and Zuzu’s Hot 5. He has organized music camps for many years, and has taught at Augusta Heritage, Blue Ridge Old-Time Week, and Pinewoods.


Ellen Vigour – plays mandolin with Uncle Henry’s Favorites and is well-known as a square dance caller, able to engage students of all ages in music and dance. She has played old-time fiddle since her teenage years. Ellen is happy to be focused full-time on her music, having recently retired from her public school teaching career! She will focus her teaching this week on the younger campers.


Bill Wellington – Bill Wellington is a storyteller, folk musician, songwriter, and dance caller who has entertained audiences throughout America for over twenty five years.


Seth Swingle (Guest Instructor/Performer) – Seth Swingle is an award-winning musician and scholar. A curious and dedicated practitioner of traditional music, he has studied Southern banjo styles with noted folklorist Mike Seeger, given talks and performances of banjo history at universities throughout the South, and is 2-time Virginia State Banjo Champion. He can pick, strum, pluck, and beat upon the banjo in a half-dozen archaic and modern banjo styles and in over a dozen tunings. His new CD, Solo 5- & 6-String Banjo, features Seth playing everything from intricate Irish reels to 19th century waltzes to fiery Appalachian breakdowns. He explains, “the banjo was once the universal American instrument, played by men and women of every class. People used the banjo as a courting instrument, a dance instrument, a stage instrument, a parlor instrument. We have this image today of the banjo as a rural, Appalachian, white instrument, but it was played almost exclusively by African-Americans until the 1830’s, was hugely popular in the urban North-East as early as the 1840’s, and was a respectable middle-class instrument by the 1890’s.” Seth brings the wide and varied history of the banjo to life on stage with music that stretches across the centuries to the earliest transcriptions of banjo music and even to the banjo’s roots in W. Africa.



July 16, 2018 – July 20, 2018
Kids – Adults
9am – 3pm
20% Sibling/Family Discount 
*This camp will be held at the Charlottesville Friends Meeting House, 1104 Forest Street

Rock Out! 

Come Rock Out with Devon and Matt! You can experience the fun of writing and recording songs in a group setting. Students will brainstorm, edit, and record songs together. We will learn a variety of creative tools and skills in a fun, cooperative, and focused environment. This camp introduces songwriting through story-telling, poetic imagery, rhyme, meter, basic chord/music theory, jingle writing, and simple recording skills. Last year we had music makers from a wide range of genres including bluegrass, rock, and pop — all working together! Students of all skill levels are welcome, though some experience with an instrument or singing is required.

Our instructors:
Devon Sproule

Devon Sproule is a Canadian/American musician living in rural Virginia, raised on eco-villages near Kingston, Ontario and Louisa, Virginia.  Since 2007, Sproule’s recordings have been released by Tin Angel Records, based in Coventry, England.  She tours regularly in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia, and teaches songwriting and guitar lessons when not on tour.  Past releases have garnered praise from Village Voice, New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Observer, Guardian, and have featured collaborations with (among others) fellow Virginians Mary Chapin Carpenter and the late Jesse Winchester.  The 34-year-old, in addition to being a musician, is a bird enthusiast, doula, and a student of Deaf Culture and sign language.  She has been married to producer / videographer Paul Curreri for 11 years. As a teacher, Devon’s specialty is one-on-one “musical mentoring” for younger students, usually aged around 10-30.  These lessons often take the form of informal conversation about a student’s current joys and pains in school, work, family, and relationships, and then an informal co-writing session that helps the student gather these thoughts into song.  Guitar work usually goes hand-in-hand with these creative sessions. Lessons with older students are similar but are often directed by the student’s own goals.  These adult lessons work to find a way to inspire and motivate the student to practice, progress, and have fun within the limits a busy schedule. Student’s looking for more traditional guitar lessons will learn new picking and strumming techniques through study of other songwriters’ material. Devon also offers guidance in performance and music business. In general, Devon’s approach is intuitive and revolving around ear and feel, though there can be some simple music theory incorporated as well.  In addition to personal reflecting and storytelling, her songwriting lessons also include practical tools and tricks that she has developed over the years.

Matt Curreri
Matt is a Richmond, VA-native but spent a decade out in California teaching math and starting the rock band program at The Winston School in Del Mar.  He is the longtime frontguy of Matt Curreri & The Exfriends, who have made five records and toured in America & Europe.  Matt has taught, played, or arranged for guitar, bass, voice, horns, drums, and keys.  Since moving back to Virginia, he’s been teaching at the Charlottesville Waldorf School and at The Front Porch, while playing shows, and being dad to his very stubborn, stylish, shimmying daughter Harper.


Monday, July 16, 2018 – Friday, July 27, 2018
Kids Ages 10-18 (students will be divided by age 10-13, 14+)
9am – 12pm
Students are able to choose to attend one, or both weeks of camp
One Week: $162.50
Two Weeks: $325
20% sibling discount

Live Electronic Looping – Wes Swing

Looping allows a performer or group to record and layer sounds during performance. We will introduce ideas and overview of looping technology and how looping applies to writing music, improvisation, and expressing ideas. We will learn how to loop instruments and voice, creating improvised music in small groups and individually. This camp will be part songwriting and improvisation, part experimenting with cool technology, and the rest layering loops upon loops upon loops.

Wes Swing is a singer, cellist, songwriter, and composer. His musical journey began as a four-year-old violinist when he developed a life-long appreciation for classical music. He later found his true musical love in playing and composing for cello and voice while studying classical studies in college. Wes currently tours nationally and internationally with his band, combining looping cello technology and voice with synthesizers and electronic beats. His music is featured regularly on NPR and by several modern dance companies.


8/6/2018 – 8/10/2018
Ages: Middle – High School
Instrument: Any and all
Experience: Some musical experience required
9am – 12pm

Ukulele Camp

Uke Camp invites young musicians and beginner ukulele enthusiasts to have fun making music together and make some new friends. We will incorporate creative play, listening activities, body awareness & movement, instruments, and singing into this two day camp. Ages 6-8 years. Students should bring ukuleles.

Instructor Bio

Molly’s love of music came at an early age, singing in choirs from age 4, participating in all the school musicals, and making music with her family for as long as she can remember. She attended Stuart Hall School in Staunton VA as a music student in the Visual and Performing Arts program from 1999-2003, and attended James Madison University where she continued to study music. Her performing career in music began with her first band, The Bourbon Specials, based out of Charlottesville, VA in 2005. A few years later, she and a group of friends formed The Judy Chops, and have been performing regionally, as well as up and down the east coast since 2007.  “Molly’s solid musicianship and dedication have been the background for the band’s solid arrangements.” She plays rhythm guitar, sings, writes, and arranges. Molly also performs in a duo ensemble, The Marvelous Murphy Sisters with her sister Sally Murphy, in which their mother (Lorie Lichtenwalner) and younger sister also occasionally join. She has performed  and/or recorded with several musicians including Michael Glabicky of Rusted Root, Midnight Spaghetti and the Chocolate G-strings, Acme Swing Mfg. Co, Pete Stallings,  Lost Indian, Sally Rose Band, Sarah Lynna and the Misfit Toys, Brian Patrick Band, Ludwell Joseph, and Den Fruman. She loves to share in making music as a jam host in Staunton, as well as in old time/ neo-trad gatherings such as at the Appalachian String Band Festival, and will be attending the Swannanoa Gathering as a camp counselor for the children’s camp for the first time this year.

August 20th & 21st, 2018
Kids ages 6-8yrs
1pm – 4pm