Annual Youth Fiddle Camp to be held in Bethel, Missouri

June 9 to 14, 2019

The camp is held in Bethel, Shelby County, Missouri, a quaint rural hamlet situated in the rolling farm country of Northeast Missouri.

Open to aspiring fiddle and guitar players from the ages of 7 to 18.

Structure: Participants learn in both group and one-on-one sessions that concentrate on technique and the challenging Missouri repertoire of hoedowns and waltzes. Continuing the Bethel tradition, instruction will emphasize dance as well as contest type fiddling. All students will be given the opportunity to learn to square dance, two-step and waltz at nightly dance workshops.

The camp opens with registration and get-acquainted activities beginning at 3:00 PM on Sunday, June 9 and ends on Friday, June 14 with a fish fry and recognition ceremony in the barn. All campers will perform tunes they have learned at camp. Campers will be housed in the somewhat rustic Bethel Bed and Breakfast facilities and take all meals together in the dining hall. The historical environment is as educational as the camp itself.


Information and registration forms available for download (click links below for PDF download):
2019 Youth Fiddle Camp Registration Form
2019 Youth Fiddle Camp Health Information Form
2019 Youth Fiddle Camp Potential Camper Letter
2019 Youth Fiddle Camp Statement of Permission
2019 Youth Fiddle Camp Information
2019 Youth Fiddle Camp Missouri Fiddler Events

Pay now to reserve your spot (enrollment is limited to 35 campers). Contact Wendy Brumbaugh at 573-633-2640 or e-mail for more information.

Invited Masters for 2018:

Vesta Johnson of Kirkwood, MO grew up surrounded by traditional music. Her driving fiddling inspires dancers and musicians of all ages. Vesta started playing the fiddle at age seven and has a repertoire comprised of both standard rare tunes and familiar hoedowns.

Steve Hallis a talented multi-instrumentalist. As Vesta’s grandson, he grew up immersed in Missouri’s musical traditions. Whether playing fiddle, mandolin or guitar he is a fantastic addition to any band or jam session.

Angela Lennie from Ottumwa, Iowa a former Bethel camper not only brings her talent, but a background of experience and tunes learned at former camps from some of the best Masters in the field.

Liz Amos, now residing in Pennsylvania, followed Bob Holt and the Ava dancers home from Bethel years ago and spent the following five years fiddling and dancing twenty-seven hours a day (according to some.)  Guided by Bob’s principle that “you’ve gotta give the dancers a place to put their foot down,” her fiddling is driven by her love of dancing.

John Williams, a former camper has been teaching fiddle for several years. He studied with some of the best Masters in the Midwest and has developed his own unique style.

Kenny Applebee is one of the most sought after guitar players at fiddle contests in Missouri and the Mid-South. His tasteful choice of chords and impeccable rhythm make him the accompanist of choice for many of today’s traditional fiddlers.


2019 Missouri Fiddlers Gathering

Saturday June 15, 2019, All Day in Bethel, Missouri. Workshops, Jam Sessions, Performances, and Dances led by some of Missouri’s finest traditional artists. Saturday evening there will be a performance by the Cowboys Sweethearts, an all-female band.  Cowboys Sweethearts are on the touring roster for the Missouri Arts Council and are a definite crowd pleaser. Bring the Family—plenty of camping available or stay in one of the Bed & Breakfasts. Rooms are limited so call 660-284-6493 early. There is a Best Value Inn in Shelbina, which is 15 miles from Bethel, call 573-588-0020 for reservations. Located about 45 miles from Bethel are hotels in Quincy, IL, Hannibal, Kirksville, and Macon, MO.