• Choro Camp New England Returns June 22-28

    Choro Camp New England Returns June 22-28

    NORTHAMPTON, MASS. — Organizers of the popular Django in June have announced year 2 of Choro Camp New England, to be held June 22–28, 2020 on the campus of Smith College. Registration is now open.

    The lead mandolin instructor this year will be Fábio Peron of São Paulo, Brazil, ably assisted by Grant Ziolkowski, who plays regularly with members of the Regional de New York. You can learn more about them and the rest of the Choro Camp staff on the event's Artists page.

    The camp offers instructional tracks for 6- and 7-string guitar, winds, fretless strings, cavaquinho, accordion and pandeiro in addition to mandolin/bandolim.

    Camp classes and rodas are organized by level of ability, so both experienced chorões and newcomers to the genre can move at an appropriate pace. A typical day will consist of three 90-minute sessions devoted to:

    • Repertoire study, organized by the tune's underlying rhythmic style.
    • Sheet music for the Core Repertoire is available for download below.
    • Facilitated rodas de choro, (choro jams for mixed instrumentation)
    • Special topics (idiomatic improvisation, intros to other Brazilian music, etc.)
    • Unorganized activities will consist of jamming, sharing, and mutual encouragement.

    Housing and food is available on campus. At week's end, enjoy a concert by the artists on staff at Northampton’s exquisite Academy of Music Theater.

    Additional Information

    Fábio Peron, Lead Mandolin/Bandolim Instructor

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      Here's an update for anyone considering this. Some really fine choro information in their camp email blast:

      I want to be sure you know about all the resources we have recently made available online for students of choro. Our primary motivation is to make them available for people who will be attending Choro Camp New England, of course, but they are available for free to all. So help yourself and enjoy!

      Here's the bullet list of what we have for you, with links to where you can access each:

      Sheet music for the 10 tunes in this year's Core Repertoire.
      Video accompaniments for all 10 of those tunes.
      Intros to 5 rhythms on pandeiro by Brian Rice.

      Details are further down the page. But first...

      Have you registered for Choro Camp yet? You can do so right here!!

      Now, on with more information about the resources we've prepared for you:

      About the Sheet Music
      Sheet music for the 10 tunes that will make up this year's Core Repertoire has been available on the website for some time now. But in case you've missed it, you'll find it here: https://chorocamp.com/repertoire/

      Please, oh please note: Choro cannot be learned solely from the written page, especially if you are not already intimately familiar with the genre. Your first step to learning any tune should be to listen carefully to performances of it. Doing so, you quickly learn that there are various approaches to the melody, harmony and rhythm of virtually all these tunes. This is one of the things the teachers will be exploring with us at Choro Camp.

      All of this is to say that if you think you have found a mistake in the sheet music, by all means let us know. But please familiarize yourself with various versions of the tune before you do so. The difference between what you hear in a recording and what we've provided on the page often represents a perfectly legit alternate approach.

      About the Video Accompaniments
      We've just uploaded a collection of 5 videos -- with another 5 to soon follow -- each of which offers you one possible accompaniment to a tune in this year's Core Repertoire. These performances do not include the melody; we figure you can clearly hear that in many other available videos and recordings. These accompaniment videos are intended to serve two purposes:
      To back you up as you practice playing the melody. These accompaniments were played at performance tempos, so you'll probably want to use a slow-downer at first. (And maybe forever!) Youtube offers a basic video slow-downer, but you may want to experiment with others that offer more flexibility.
      To help accompanists better understand their roles. In many recordings and videos, the accompanists are hard to see or hear. Well, here they are, center stage. Again, a slow-downer can be really useful when trying to catch what they are doing!
      Muito obrigado to Roberta Valente (pandeiro), Henrique Araújo (cavaquinho) and Gian Correa (guitar) for preparing these videos for us. All three will be teaching at Choro Camp New England this summer.

      You'll find the full playlist of videos here.

      About the Intros to 5 Rhythms on Pandeiro by Brian Rice.
      At Choro Camp New England 2020 we will focus on tunes played in 5 different rhythms: polca, choro, samba, maxixe and baião. One of this year's Choro Camp instructors, Brian Rice, has prepared a series of introductory videos demonstrating each of these rhythms on pandeiro. If you've been wanting to get started on pandeiro here's your starter kit!
      You'll find all five of Brian's videos here.

      And that's it! Thanks to those of you who have already registered. It's such a big help.

      Forte abraço!

      PS. Follow us on Facebook why don't you: @ChoroCampNewEngland.
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      No surprise here. This camp has officially been cancelled. The host college where it was to be has said they have shut down all events for the entire summer.