After hearing wonderful things about CAMMAC for many years, I finally had my first teaching and performing experience there last summer. I taught Scottish and Irish traditional singing and led the World Music choir during Celtic Week. I loved CAMMAC. It was everything I imagined and more. Now others are hearing all sorts of wonderful things about it from me!
Cammac gives people a fabulous opportunity to devote themselves to intensive, full-time music-making, to dig into all kinds of challenges and to learn as much as they can during their stay. I saw how happy everyone was to be there and witnessed a joyful enthusiasm to experiment and take risks. I was struck by how inclusive Cammac is, welcoming all ages and all levels. This is a nurturing community where strangers get to know each other and old friends reconnect. It was a pleasure to witness and join in spontaneous jam sessions featuring professionals and amateurs alike. When I wasn’t teaching, I enjoyed the opportunity to be a student too, taking part in Pat Abbott’s choir and sitting in on Genevieve Proulx’s voice class. There was a wonderful openness to musical diversity and I was thrilled to collaborate with string-playing faculty in a Robert Burns concert that brought together Classical as well as folk traditions.
The staff and faculty were very helpful and organized. The days were full, from the magical, musical wake-up call until bedtime when one got a moment to savour all those exciting new earworms. And thank you for the brilliant idea of a quiet hour every afternoon. Mealtimes gave us all a chance to relax, socialize and enjoy very good food that was nutritious and tasty, prepared with care and imagination by the wonderful kitchen staff.
CAMMAC is nestled in nature. My classroom was a beautiful boathouse with windows looking out over the water. Though I love nature hikes, I could never tear myself away from the music. Well… just long enough for some swims in Lake MacDonald. Though the week was very busy, I came home renewed and recharged. My great-aunt Annie who played the auto-harp and lived to the ripe old age of 108 used to say, “Music – it’s the life in you.” My experience at Cammac proved that to be true. I look forward to returning this summer.