Celia Ramsay

Vocalist, Dance Caller, Songwriter, Teacher

What A Lark!

What an amazing summer. Lark Camp was everything I'd hoped it would be and then some. My workshop, Get Your Voice Out of the Closet, was very well attended, and I got excellent feedback from students who seemed to feel my class was valuable for them. New this year, there were two additional singing sessions held in the morning: Appalachian tunes led by Rachel Goodman & Steve Coulter, and Sharon Carl and Jeremy Friedenthal also hosted a wonderful song circle. Clearly, more people are looking for opportunities to sing! You can imagine how happy that makes me!

Every year, I look forward to hearing the songs people bring to camp to share, so the two evening song sessions that Shay Black leads are a must for me.

Danny Carnahan's Songwriting workshop got the creative juices flowing and I have several new songs in the pipeline. It was wonderful to see old friends and many new faces. I found the late afternoon Swedish/Nordic music class for all instruments led by Aryeh Frankfurter on his nyckelharpa (you MUST listen to this link!) to be the most entrancing thing to hear just before the cocktail hour. I wish I could convey the magic of being among redwoods with nothing but music, dance & friends.

There was one supreme tragedy; Bulgarian music instructor, Vassil Bebelekov, died on the secondday of camp - on his 56th birthday. He'd recently had heart surgery and suffered a cardiac arrest while napping between workshops. It made every one of us acutely feel our own mortality and none could pass another withoutstopping to hug. Vassil was a master at playing gaida, a Bulgarian bagpipe made from the entireskin of a goat or sheep; watch the video to hear the sound of this haunting instrument as he accompanies his wife, Maria, at the Drone Magic Festival of Bagpipes. I did not know Vassil personally, but his music followed you around camp. We took some small comfort in thinking that if you could choose how and where to go, dying in your sleep while camping amidst redwood trees surrounded by music you love would be a pretty good choice. 


We only have a few more things to fix before Carmony recording studio medicine cabinet we put on our editing/mixing hats for Carmony: Learn to Sing Harmony While You Drive. We have to plan our album cover, and organize notes and written material, but we're hopeful we're on schedule for a late fall release! Most of all, we are feeling very proud of our work at creating three sets of lessons that are different from each other, but are logical stair steps of progress for singers who are new to harmony singing. Now we're toying with the idea of leading workshops together. Interested? 


Fortunate Strangers, my wonderful Celtic band with Kathy and Joe Bly, will be performing at the Reno Celtic Festival on Sunday, October 2. I'll be in Grass Valley for the KVMR Celtic Festival on Saturday, October 1, to join the song circle that day, and will be calling a Contra dance that night in Nevada City, so I will probably eat my breakfast while I drive to Reno on Sunday morning! If you're in Reno, be sure to look (or listen?) for us. We're also very much looking forward to performing at Sharon and Jaya Carl's house on Sunday, September 25 in Auburn! 7:00pm, $20 and you'll need to make a reservation by calling 530-885-4292 or emailing info@auburnhouseconcerts.org. We'll see YOU there!