Music Camp on the Canal 2013

Music Camp is just over for 2013. The original notices appear directly below. We are pleased to report that 50 campers from California to Cape Breton registered for a very full weekend of music workshops, jam sessions, a concert - with great food and in great company. As a follow up for those still in the area, we will host a jam session on the camp tune St. Peter's Pennies, with composer Barbara White, at 7 pm Friday, June 14. P.S. Please join us at the Bonnie Brae Seniors Centre in St. Peter's for this little postscript to Music Camp.



Original Music Camp notice:


Kitchen Rackets is proud to announce that the Second Annual Music Camp on the Canal will be held in St. Peter's from Friday May 31 to Sunday June 2.


Last year at our first Music Camp, we were delighted to have 30 campers from 3 Maritime provinces, and New England. We are expecting many to return, and a larger crowd this year, and have increased the size of our faculty and the range of workshops they will teach.


Music Camp is a weekend experience beginning with a reception/jam session on Friday evening; a Saturday full of workshops; a Saturday night All Star Concert featuring our faculty and special guests... followed by a Kitchen Racket with campers and players from the St. Peter's community. On Sunday, a closing luncheon features performances by Band Lab participants (which could be you!). There is more: a used instrument swap and sale, on-site instrument repairs, close-up encounters with your instructors and fellow players from far and near; great food - lunches and supper are included.


Virtually every camper gave us high marks for providing a fun and worthwhile musical and social experience last year. We got some great suggestions for improvements that we've tried to incorporate this year. Kitchen Rackets 'cooks' have been doing some musical taste-testing and menu planning. Watch this web site for updates.


Music Camp is all about the people, so we are delighted to announce our faculty for Music Camp on the Canal, 2013 and hoping YOU will join us. Below, a brief introduction to our faculty, in alphabetical order after our Music Director.


Workshop descriptions.

Download a registration form.

Download a brochure: Instructors and Workshops
This brochure introduces instructors and workshop offerings for Music Camp 2013. Please feel free to share this with anybody you know who may be interested.
Music Camp on the Canal 2013.brochure1.p[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [402.3 KB]

Music Camp 2013 Faculty

Roger Stone, Music Director

Roger is a veteran Camp faculty member and an important link to the musical traditions of Richmond County. A native of St. Peter's, he is an accomplished singer/songwriter, a talented and versatile multi-instrumentalist, one of Halifax's busiest musicians, and a very experienced music teacher operating his own school. As Camp Music Director this year, Roger will be co-ordinating the overall workshop program. Campers are offered  a rich mix of learning experiences. He will also  teach our new Singing 101 voice workshop, a new bodhran workshop, and a banjo workshop. He will also lead a session on Celtic music traditions in Cape Breton, assisted by local players. Roger is also tasked with organizing the All Star Concert which will feature our faculty and – maybe – some surprise special guest stars!

Allie Bennett, Celtic Bass (did we mention, fiddle and guitar?)

Allie has been at the epicentre of Cape Breton's music revival and its rise in international recognition over the past four decades. With over 125 album projects to his credit as a studio musician, he has recorded and toured with Atlantic Canadian musicians including John Allan Cameron, Rita MacNeil, Ashley MacIsaac, The Rankin Family, Natalie MacMaster, Ron Hynes, Stan Rogers ... just to name a very few. He has been a Music Director for the East Coast Music Awards (1995), and band leader for two editions of the iconic Cape Breton Summertime Review.He is currently touring with Dave Gunning and working on studio projects. Allie is a highly accomplished teacher and operates a private music school. We are very pleased to welcome Allie to his first Music Camp on the Canal.

John Campbelljohn, Celtic Bluesman

We are very excited to announce that John will join our faculty this year. A native Cape Bretoner with family roots very close to St. Peter's, his unique blend of Celtic and Blues traditions has made him one of Atlantic Canada's most in-demand international performers. He has spent much of his time touring in Europe these past few years so we haven't had the chance to see him often. His recent tour through St. Peter's with the Honky Tonk Blues Show in December got us all fired up once again, and we are looking forward to buzzing and twanging along with him on dobro, slide and steel guitars.

Dwayne Coté

It's hard to know where to start when it comes to introducing Dwayne Coté.  Fortunately he doesn't need an introduction to anybody in Cape Breton, or to many people who are enthusiasts of contemporary traditional fiddle music. For some it would be enough to say he is Gordon's son. For the rest of you: Dwayne is a unique musician who has taken Celtic music to new plateaus on a global scale. He is a true virtuoso, and one who has infected gypsy, old time, swing, country, bluegrass and many other genres – including classical music – with the Celtic traditions that are his roots. Dwayne loves to teach people - especially the young 'uns - to play the fiddle, and to help guitar players feel and play Celtic rhythms.

Paul Davis, Tinwhistle

Paul is an experienced tinwhistle instructor who offers his students an animated workshop, and plenty of take-home resources to practice new skills. A transplant to Cape Breton from his native Ireland, Paul has been active in bringing contemporary Celtic, and especially Irish music to the Strait area of Cape Breton and to the world via the internet. He created and hosted a weekly radio show, The Music of Ireland, for 30 years, while becoming an accomplished tin whistle player with a long list of local performances. He participates in local music projects as an MC for Celtic Colours International Festival; for the St. Peter's Summer Ceilidhs and Jams; and as a whistle instructor for Kitchen Rackets events over the past 7 years or so.

Darren MacMullen, Mandolin & Tenor Banjo

Last year we were thrilled when Darren accepted our invitation to join the first Music Camp faculty. He taught a couple of dynamite mandolin workshops. He delivered an introspective interpretive performance, and had a magical banjo story for us in between stellar mandolin performances at our All Star Concert. Since then he's been busy touring and recording his own multi-instrumental buffet; as a member of the amazing Sprag Session (with Colin Grant & Co.); and providing masterful and energetic bass guitar work for Matt Andersen. We are privileged to have Darren back on our faculty this year. Darren will offer tenor banjo and mandolin workshops.

Roddie's Square Dance Society - Roddie's Sets & more

This St. Peter's and Area square dance group loves to share their joy and experience in the traditional Cape Breton sets. Novice dancers can come early and learn the steps, then join in to practice with experienced local dancers. Live local musicians provide the horsepower for these rollicking sets. The Society is dedicated to keeping alive the unique and proper steps and style of legendary dancer and caller Roddie MacKenzie of Northside St. Peter's. Singles and couples welcome. This year the dances will be called by veteran Reg Landry, with live music by Meagan Burke on fiddle, Al Martin on guitar and Kevin LeVesconte on keyboards.

Johannes Sturm, Luthier

Johannes is a veteran workshop leader from our first Music Camp, and from its inception 7 years ago, as our on-site luthier during Kitchen Rackets at Celtic Colours  International Music Festival. A native of the Black Forest in Germany, Johannes was schooled and apprenticed in the European tradition. Discovering Cape Breton as a land of opportunity for a luthier - we have more fiddles per household than anywhere in the world- he has operated his Fiddle Shop for over 30 years in Grand Anse, Richmond County. He brings his tools and instrument examples to Music Camp to demonstrate and describe the techniques of evaluation and caring for stringed instruments with particular emphasis on his specialty building and restoring violins. Johannes will deliver a workshop for instrument owners and enthusiasts, and will provide on-site luthier services to campers, including assessment of their instruments, tunings, minor adjustments and emergency repairs.

Barbara White, Composition Lab

Barbara came to Music Camp last year to learn about Celtic tinwhistle. An experienced flute and clarinet player, we at Kitchen Rackets learned that Barbara's day job is Professor of Music and Curator of the Princeton Sound Kitchen at Princeton University. How synchronous does it get? Last year she brought her traditional slow flute, a Japanese Shakuhachi, to some lively jigs and reels. This year promises even more interesting surprises as she brings campers into the realm of the Composer. There will be a call for campers to bring a tune they have created, or are dreaming of writing to her workshop. And...Barbara is composing our first official Camp Tune. All campers will receive, in advance of Camp, her original 16 bar composition which everyone can learn, and bring to share at our jams. We can expect it will also be deconstructed in one of Barbara's workshops. Those of you in Barbara's whistle class (with instructor Paul Davis) last year will be very interested to hear what she has learned to do with the tinwhistle!

Please stay tuned for updates.

If you would like to receive email notices about this and our other Kitchen Rackets events, just ask by sending an email to us at:


New this year:

- Composition workshops with Professor Barbara (info coming soon)

- Singing 101 voice workshop with Roger

- Blues guitar workshops with John Campbelljohn

- Expanded Band Lab Program - we want YOU!

- Used Instrument Swap & Sale with our Greater St. Peter's and Area market

- Recreational outings, hiking, biking and waterways activities


Click here for this year's workshop descriptions.

Click here to download a registration form.

Thank you to our funding sponsors

....our organizing sponsor

...our media sponsor

...and our venue sponsor

Music Camp on the Canal is produced by your friends at