Pop~Up Camps

This past fall 2020, we held a Pop-Up Songwriting Camp featuring David Francey. In summer of 2021, we added TWO fantastic three-day Pop-Up Camps (Fiddle & Banjo and Old Time) alongside our main camp full week. Stay tuned to this page for updates about a Songwriting Camp this season coming soon! You can read below about our 2021 camps; so much music and fun this year!!

We are making the most of outdoor music and learning this summer by adding two INCREDIBLE pop-up camps! We will be running our Fiddle and Banjo Camp, and our Old-Time Camp here in July. Both camps feature world-class musicians as your instructors and new best friends! Camps offer intensive learning and skill-building that can be developed at any level! All outdoors, limited numbers and safety protocols in place.

Fiddle and Banjo – July 2nd to 4th

You can expect: lots of instruction on your chosen instrument, workshops focused on timing, phrasing and communicating with each other, covering genres such as Bluegrass, Celtic, Swing, Old Time and Country. We continue the long and storied relationship of fiddle and banjo. You will enjoy TONS of playing, guided sessions, and jamming with each other and your instructors.

Old-Time – July 9th to 11th

You can expect: Interactive and instructive workshops on subjects such as playing together, dynamics, rhythm, harmonies, repertoire, technique and feel. You will enjoy OODLES of sessions guided by your instructors and with your fellow campers, with your fingers on fret-boards all weekend long!

Both camps will feature music and more from Jenny Whiteley, Dan Whiteley, Joey Wright, and Allison Brown.


Shane Cook ~ Fiddle ~ https://www.shanecook.com


A Canadian and US National fiddle champion, Shane Cook captivates audiences with technically thrilling and adventurous performances. Noted by The Canadian Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame as one of the “finest fiddlers in the world today,” Cook has distinguished himself as a master of the Canadian old-time fiddle tradition. He also excels at styles ranging from Irish and Scottish to French-Canadian and Bluegrass. After a concert at The Opera House in Boston, the Boston Herald proclaimed “Shane Cook’s Celtic fiddling was enough to break hearts.” Shane teaches both privately and at several annual fiddle camps, sharing his deep understanding of Canadian fiddle. He is a graduate of Western University and resides in London, Ontario with his wife and son.

Rob McLaren ~ Clawhammer And Bluegrass Banjo ~ https://robmclaren.ca/


An active member of folk-rockers Union Duke and folk-grassers The Barrel Boys, Rob McLaren’s quirky songwriting style has always stood apart from the crowd. His 2019 debut release “Rob McLaren II,” is the first full-length album of original material from the multi-instrumentalist. Named for his great-grandfather (making him Rob V for those keeping track at home), Rob McLaren II showcases the breadth of Rob’s musical aptitudes and experiences, occupying a cozy nook between old-time, honky-tonk, and newgrass, while featuring dizzying chops on a small heap of instruments. The songwriting is alternatingly sincere and silly, at times giving a nod to John Hartford, elsewhere evoking the subtlety of Red Headed Stranger-era Willie Nelson, or the tradition-minded collaborative spontaneity of the Highwoods Stringband.

Nathan Smith ~ Fiddle ~ https://www.nathansmithmusic.net/

nathanNathan is a Toronto-based fiddle player and singer-songwriter, originally hailing from North Bay, ON. His upbeat and soulful original songs and fiddle tunes combine his bluegrass and old-time experience with his upbringing playing celtic and traditional Canadian fiddle music. He performs with a number of ensembles in the Toronto area, including bluegrass band The Barrel Boys, western swing outfit The Double Cuts, Métis fiddle trio The Red River Ramblers, and his dynamic, multi-instrumental duo with Emilyn Stam.  His debut solo album, “Let It Rest, Let It Rise” was released in February of 2020. It features an ensemble of veteran Toronto musicians and a full complement of his new original material. Nathan’s evocative lyrics and melodies roll over hilltops, echo off mountainsides, and flow down freshwater streams to excite the ears and touch the souls of audiences across Canada.

Sam Allison ~ Clawhammer Banjo

sam-16Sam Allison is a gifted teacher of stringed instruments.  His students include Kerri Ough of The Good Lovelies and Tim O’Reilly of the Barrel Boys.  He has been featured on recordings with many Canadian artists such as Sarah Harmer and John Southworth.  Allison attended the Humber Jazz Program for Double Bass and has performed and taught all over the world.  From engagements with the Danish Royal Family to the City Jazz Festival in Istanbul, Allison’s presence is always musical and delightful.  

Chris Coole ~ Banjo & Guitar ~ https://www.chriscoole.com/

chris-cooleChris Coole got his first banjo when he was 17 years old after falling in love with the sounds of folk and early country music. Today, Chris is known internationally for his clawhammer banjo style, songwriting, and singing. Coole is a sought-after teacher of both banjo and guitar at workshops and festivals across Canada and the U.S.  His teaching approach is featured in the instructional DVD “The Elements of Clawhammer Banjo” (Woodhall Music). Chris is a founding member of many Ontario Bluegrass Bands including One Horse Town, The Foggy Hogtown Boys, and the Lonesome Ace Stringband among many more. He has released several solo albums and performs regularly with Ivan Rosenberg and David Francey as well as backing up several all-star folk and bluegrass performers.

Teilhard Frost ~ Fiddle, Banjo, Harmonica, Percussion ~ https://tfrostmusic.com/

Teilhard+Frost+SOLOTeilhard Frost is a multi-instrumentalist, specializing in traditional fiddle tunes, with a particular interest in the Appalachian Mountains. He has spent the last twelve years touring with critically acclaimed band Sheesham, Lotus and ‘Son, and is currently touring his new solo album, As the Crow Flies. Living on Wolfe Island, he makes banjos, supper, and his bed.

Kristine Schmitt ~ Vocals, Performance ~ https://www.kristineschmitt.com/


Equally at home in a rowdy string band, an intimate duo, or roving out into an audience a cappella, she loves collaboration most of all.  Currently, she’s taking the time to build two new projects: working with producer Andrew Penner (Harrow Fair, Sunparlour Players) on her next solo album, and developing a brand new performance coaching program for private students as well as for the Old School Bluegrass Camp.  Kristine’s big voice and joyous presence are simply transformative.  Somebody once called her “the bluegrass Billie Holiday”, though she thinks that “the swingin’ Minnie Pearl” might be a bit closer to the truth.  Whatever you call it, she writes bracing, original songs infused with a deep love of rhythm and language, that are playfully spiked with doses of early country, blues and jazz. 

Luke Mercier, Fiddle & Banjo


Born in Toronto, Canada in 1972, Luke took to music at a very young age. While completing his classical piano studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music with Antonin Kubalek in Toronto, Luke began his apprenticeship in Violin restoration at Geo. Heinl & Co. Ltd., in 1991. As a violin restorer of nearly 22 years, he has come to treasure his experience of having handled, studied and restored many rare and important violins, violas and cellos. His most cherished restoration projects to date are of the 1689 ‘Baumgartner’ Antonio Stradivari, works by Francesco Stradivari, J. B. Guadagninni, J.B. Vuillaume, Amati, Guarnieri and Tononi and the list goes on… In January of 2006, Luke and his better-half Janet relocated their family to Hastings County where they set up a home based workshop / studio in Springbrook.