Workshop FAQs

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We are thrilled to host the tenth Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas workshop on beautiful Whidbey Island! We thought sharing some of the more frequently heard questions and comments might help you better prepare for this wonderful weekend in January, 2018!

General

Instruction

Registration

Concert

How to Contact

 


 

General

When is the workshop being held?
Friday January 12th -Sunday January the 14th, 2018.

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When is check in?
4-6pm on Friday January 12th at Camp Casey’s Auditorium A. See map. If you can’t make check-in contact the registrar: at weekend@nwscottishfiddlers.org.

****COME EARLY!! We will once again, get the ball rolling with the first session of the day, BEFORE dinner! Yes, that’s right, you’ve asked for it, and we have put together just that! Our fiddler friend extraordinaire, Susan Burke, will be there to keep the session going- starting about 4:30-4:45, in classroom B. Look for the signs!

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Can I stay Sunday night?

We looked in to this idea. Many of you travel great distances and find it difficult to head home after such an exciting day. Others just want to linger, and perhaps get together with some friends later on, for some last tunes, maybe dinner somewhere… We totally understand!

We can not give you extended lodging in the dorms and other housing that we provide, due to a number of issues.  We can, however, suggest that you browse the Fort Casey Inn, many of the units have 2 bedrooms, with capacities ranging from 4-6 people, and one unit has room for 2. Air B & B is popular in Coupeville as well, and places will be available for that extra night. Make your reservation early- they could go quickly!!

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Where is the workshop being held?
Camp Casey Whidbey Island, Washington. Camp Casey is part of a coastal fort decommissioned in the late 1950s after more than 50 years of operation.

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You can find more information about it at camp Casey’s website.

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How do I get to the workshop?
You can get directions via Google Maps by clicking here.

Directions from the North…
Exit off I-5 at the Anacortes/ Whidbey Island exit (#230) and continue through Oak Harbor to Coupeville. At the pedestrian overpass and traffic light, turn south (right) on South Main. Follow signs to Fort Casey State Park. You will arrive at Camp Casey Conference Center before reaching the state park.

Directions From the South…
Exit off I-5 at Highway 525 West (exit #182). Cross the sound on the Mukilteo Ferry. Travel North 22 miles on Highway 525. Turn left at sign for Fort Casey State Park. Continue past Keystone Ferry until you see Camp Casey Conference Center sign.

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What can I expect the weather to be like?
There won’t be any reason to bring suntan lotion, but we will be warmer than you might expect since we’re so close to the Pacific Ocean! Temperatures will probably be between the mid 30’s -40’s. We can hope for sunshine, but most likely it might rain, we could throw some wind in, too! Please check the Coupeville, WA  forecast prior to camp so you can be prepared.

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What are the accommodations like?
Housing itself is in several barracks converted into dorm-style housing.Please note: linens are not included, and must be rented in advance! (includes one pillow, one towel, a blanket, and sheet set).

Alternatively, there are nearby officers’ quarters that can be reserved through Fort Casey Inn. There is limited availability, and these units go quickly! A number of bed and breakfast establishments are also in nearby Coupeville. Check out the possibilities at: http://www.cometocoupeville.com/coupeville_lodging.html and http://www.coupevillelodging.com/lodging/!

Dining: Returning for their third year, we will have a highly recommended catering service from Coupeville to provide our meals. We look forward to fabulous, healthy food from Serendipity Caterers.  You can check out their website at: http://www.serendipitytogo.com .

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What should I bring besides my instrument?
Click here for details.

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What is the daily schedule like?

Here’s the typical schedule- we’ll provide more details at camp:

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What other activities might I be able to participate in besides the workshop?
There’s something for everyone! You can hike around Ft. Casey and check out the enormous gun placements, and grounds. A lighthouse nearby will also beckon to you. If the weather cooperates, many folks enjoy hanging out on the beach- the sunsets can be spectacular! There’s a gymnasium for a quick pick up game of hoops. There’ll be opportunities for late night jamming (until curfew hours), and jamming about any other time of the day when we aren’t in class. You’ll also want to plan on the ceilidh Saturday night- there’ll be Scottish country dancing, a talent show, and more! Coupeville, is a quaint little town nearby for picking up things you might have forgotten or if you’re in the mood to shop.

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Instruction

Who is teaching at the Workshop?
The amazing Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas will be teaching during the workshop. Tutors and assistants will be available for breakout sessions in classroom B, for help with  the tunes Alasdair and Natalie are teaching.

Alasdair Fraser:

Alasdair Fraser

Alasdair Fraser

A consummate performer, Alasdair’s dynamic fiddling, engaging stage presence, and deep understanding of Scotland’s music, creates a constant and international demand for his solo appearances and concerts with a variety of ensembles. Born in the county of Clackmannan, Scotland, Alasdair now lives in California and tours regularly. He has been a major force behind the resurgence of traditional Scottish fiddling in his homeland and the United States, inspiring legions of listeners and learners through his recordings, annual fiddle camps, and concerts. You can find more about Alasdair at alasdairfraser.com.

Natalie Haas:

Natalie Haas

Natalie Haas

Vibrant young cellist Natalie Haas is a seasoned performer, recording artist, and teacher. A graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City, Natalie discovered the cello at age nine. In addition to having extensive classical music training, she is accomplished in a broad array of fiddle genres. Her musical journey found purpose when she fell in love with Celtic music at the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School at age 11. Inspired and encouraged by Alasdair Fraser, she began to investigate the cello’s potential for rhythmic accompaniment to fiddle tunes. Her and Fraser’s duo release, Fire & Grace, was awarded the Best Album of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards 2004. More information about Natalie can be found at nataliehass.com.

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 I am a beginner fiddle player, will this be too tough for me?

Intermediate to advanced players will get the most out of this workshop because of the fast pace, and learning by ear.  Keep in mind, we usually learn a several tunes, maybe one slower tune, such as an air, in addition to a march, strathspey, a jig or two, and at least one reel. See comments below on related questions! We will have some wonderful helpers available- and some time set aside for those needing help with the tunes.

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My son has taken music lessons for a couple years. It’s mostly been classical training. Will this workshop be right for him?
The most important skill besides having a basic command of your instrument, is the ability to learn by ear. This is a skill that will become easier, the more it is practiced. Some people very naturally play (and learn) by ear, and others find it more challenging, especially classically trained, music-reading musicians.  For cellos, a little theory background could be helpful when discussing chords.

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Will we get sheet music to help us learn the tunes?
Sorry- for the workshop, itself, there’ll be no sheet music. All music is taught by ear, in a group setting, and taught in the traditional manner. Bring a recording device (some people bring staff paper and pencils, too!). After the workshop, music will be posted on our website.

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What if I am used to learning music by reading it first?
This will be a new experience for you. We will identify fiddle tutors and helpers that will be on hand to offer help learning the tunes in special break out classes. There will be people picking up their instruments at all times of day, trying to get those tunes down, so just join in, because you never know where it might take you!

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Registration

How do I register? What is the cost of registering?
All information regarding registration can be found on our registration page, including step by step instructions, prices and policies.

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I’ve sent in my registration but I am wondering if I’ve been accepted…
We will make it our goal to respond to you in less than 10 days. If you haven’t heard from us regarding your registration, remember all primary contacts will be notified via e-mail unless they cannot be reached by that means. Be sure to set your e-mail account so that messages from weekend@nwscottishfiddlers.org will not be intercepted by spam filters.

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What is the Chaperone Policy? Can I come by myself?
Anyone under the age of 18 requires a chaperone or a proxy to be on site at all times. Please indicate whom to contact in the event of an emergency. Send details to weekend@nwscottishfiddlers.org. Chaperones are not required to pay the registration and workshop fee, but will need to pay for lodging and meals (if staying at Camp Casey), and the concert (if attending).

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Concert

When is the Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas concert?
The concert is 2pm (same as last year) on Sunday, January 14th at camp Casey’s Auditorium A (see map.) Admission is included with camp registration. Look for tickets to be available to the general public later this fall, through Brown Paper tickets , and  concertsonthecove.org,and at the front door (if not sold out).

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How do I get into the final concert?
You will use your workshop name tag as your ticket- so just keep track of it! Let Cindy Scheyer, our registrar know if you misplace your name tag.

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What if my family or friends want to come to the concert?
Additional tickets for family and friends can be purchased at the same time you register for the workshop.

Concert tickets for the general public are available through Brown Paper Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2647304.

If the concert is not sold out, tickets will also be available at the door on a first come, first serve basis.

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How to Contact

If I have special concerns about the camp that haven’t been addressed elsewhere on the website, whom can I contact?
For questions directly related to your registration: write to the registrar. You may also call Cindy, at 206-545-1955. For general camp questions write to Marcia Thumma: m.thumma@mac.com.

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