Colorado Roots Music Camp
Camp I


June 4-10 2023

Arrival: 4:00pm Sunday
Departure: 9:00am Saturday 


Colorado Roots Music
Camp I

June 4-10, 2023

Arrival: 4:00–5:00pm Sunday
Departure: 9:00am Saturday 


Daily Instrument Classes

taught by professionals

Daily Jams & Music Circles

Band Scramble

Class Schedule

Instructors & Classes

Susan Cattaneo


To sing or not to sing? SING, of course (All Levels)Susan Cattaneo
Whether you’re an experienced singer, a professional shower crooner or just beginning to share your sound, this class will focus on all things voice related! We will work on breath control, warming up, vocal health, stage performance techniques and interpretation tips, and most importantly, the mind/body connection to singing. Come prepared to make some beautiful noise!

You and Me and Harmony! (All Levels)Susan Cattaneo
Explore your vocal potential and try some harmony too! This class will explore basic music theory and ear training to get you singing. We’ll explore vocal control and range as well as experiment with harmony singing in one, two and three parts.

Joe Craven


Swing Yer Mando . . . do-si-do! (Level 2-4) – Joe Craven
Swing Yer Mando… do-si-do! In this class, “Dancing” with your mandolin means how the “right” hand rhythm gives you style; swing, blues, shuffles, stomps, 2 beat…and more. It’s all in the wrist – and how you play your hand – at not what you play but how it feels! We’ll learn some tunes and how they sound with your groovy self!

Fiddlin’ the First Day (Level 1-2) – Joe CravenFrom “which end of this thing do I hold to blow into” to beginners having already shaken hands with the bowed wonder, Joe focuses on the driven bow…getting folks comfortable in the engine room of the violin. Remember, the left hand is the steering wheel…but the bow arm gets you out of the driveway and delivers the eggs! It’s poultry in motion!  Oh… and we’ll learn a few tunes, too!

Dave Firestine


Mandolin Left Hand Literacy (Level 2-3) – Dave Firestine
In this class, we will learn how to build chords, and find efficient ways of moving from one to another. We will look at arpeggios, the series of notes that make up chords, and use this knowledge to help with improvisation. We will also look at left hand ornaments: slides, hammer-ons , pull-offs and.….there will also be fun.

Building a Fun and Rewarding Band (Level 2-4) – Dave Firestine
In this class we will build a band with the many talented individuals who dare to show up. Learning an instrument is rewarding by itself; this is an opportunity to take the next step: playing together, harmoniously, with like minded people.

Fiddle Tune Jam All Instruments (All Levels) – Dave Firestine
Roots is all about playing together! At this jam we will play tunes from many traditions but focusing on familiar tunes. Do not be surprised if we try some French Canadian and Irish tunes. In reality, the focus of this jam will be decided by You, the jammers! Let’s find a groove and ride it!

Martin Grosswendt


Fingerpicking 101 (Level 2) – Martin Grosswendt
Want to start fingerpicking? The big secret is that there’s no secret. It’s mostly about how to move the thumb and fingers on your picking hand independently. This class is set up to teach you just that. If you know a few chords, you can start learning. We’ll start with the basics and be playing a song by the end of the week. Our motto will be, “The left hand finds the notes, the right hand makes the music” (unless of course, you play left-handed — then it’s the other way ‘round).

Delta Blues Guitar (Level 3) – Martin Grosswendt
Mississippi Delta blues emerged around the beginning of the 20th century, and is thought to be among the earliest variants of the genre. Delta blues has arguably been one of the most influential forces in American popular music since the 1920s. In this class, we’ll look at some of the techniques of pre-WWII Mississippi Delta blues guitar, including Dead Thumb, damping, and rhythm styles. We will learn these techniques in the context of material from arrangements by Charlie Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson, and others from the region.

Sylvia Herald


Intro to Swing Guitar (Level 2-3) – Sylvia Herald
Explore the basics in this supportive introductory class. We’ll dig into chords, strums, fretboard navigation, and how to make it swing! Expect lots of in-class playing and a selection of hand-picked songs to get you started in this deeply satisfying style.

Cowboy Songs for Voice and Guitar (Level 2-3) – Sylvia Herald
Learn an assortment of lesser-known gems concerning cowboys, life on the range, and the beauties of the West. We’ll cover several styles, including early American songs of the trail, recently composed, and Hollywood cowboy songs.

Tim May


Bluegrass 5-String Banjo (Level 1-2) – Tim May
In this class we will look at the basics of bluegrass banjo from three-finger rolls and chords to harmonized scales. We will talk about how to approach a simple solo on any song as well as banjo ‘back-up’ open and ‘up-the-neck’. Hands-on, lots of playing.

Bluegrass Flatpicking Guitar (Level 3) – Tim May
In this class we will look at techniques needed to play bluegrass guitar, rhythm and lead. We will explore bass runs and alternating bass ideas for rhythm, chromatic runs and licks from Maybelle Carter to Tony Rice. We will get into all aspects of lead playing: how to create solos, improvising using the major scale, minor and major blues, introduction to ‘up-the neck- playing and more! Hands-on, lots of playing.

Gretchen Priest


Intermediate Old-Time Fiddle (Level 2-3) – Gretchen Priest
What makes fiddling so endearing? Rhythm is King and Melody is Queen! The bow is what drives good timing and what makes a melody sing! Learn tips on bow hold and flexibility for good tone. We will touch on the “Fun”damentals of Time signature, strong & weak beats. Listen and feel left hand frame for intonation in the keys (sound pattern vs finger pattern). We will cover a variety of OT tunes and we might learn an Irish tune too. Level 2 – 3

Advanced Bluegrass Fiddle Class: Vocal Bluegrass vs. Instrumental (Level 3-4) – Gretchen Priest
In will learn a variety of Instrumental “Fiddle” tunes; some with high-speed bowing and variations on the tune. Music theory simplified as we cover the “KEY issues” of the chord and scale patterns to know your harmony whether playing fiddle or singing. Learn How to improvise on the melodies of the Vocal Bluegrass Songs. Identify the song form, the key and chord tones with scale and arpeggios.Add in that lonesome sound using bluegrass techniques, and back up fiddle. Level 3 -4

Cindy Browne Rosefield

Basically Bass (Level 1-2)
Starting with the basics, we’ll work on left/right hand techniques. We will explore all the possibilities of the bassist role, from sideman to soloist, and even have some fun becoming a “melody” instrument through basic improvisation. Feel free to bring a song you’d like to explore. Open to all instrumentalists and vocalists to sit in and learn a few tricks of the bass trade.

Swinging, Groovin’ and Soloing Bass (Level 3-5)
We’ll work on making your bass lines dance in different styles including swinging 2-beat and walking bass, Latin grooves, funky R&B and rock bass lines. We’ll also ‘dig’ deeper into the harmonic and melodic function of tunes and work on soloing concepts via a tune a day.

Cosy Sheridan


Beginning Guitar and Ukulele (All Levels) – Cosy Sheridan
Bring your guitar or ukulele to this class and we will learn how to some easy songs! We will learn simple chords and a basic strumming pattern. If you’ve had a guitar ( or ukulele) in your closet for years and always wanted to know how to operate it, this is the class for you!

Songwriting (All Levels) – Cosy Sheridan
Songwriting is a craft – and  an art. There are moments of inspiration: when a song seems to be delivered into our ear and all we have to do is write it down. And then there is the rest of the time: when we need  tools and some knowledge of how to use them. This workshop will be a hands-on exploration of the tools we can use to build an effective vehicle for the song inside us. We will have in-class exercises. We might go off and write for 15 minutes and then come back and share it with the group. Bring your instrument and paper and a pen.

John Corzine


Camp Instrumentalist (All Levels) John will be our Man On The Porch and always available for a jam anytime of the day”

John Corzine has been part of the southern California acoustic music scene for more than 40 years. Festivals and contests, Disneyland and dance floors, coffee houses and concert halls — John has performed throughout the southland, having gathered a collection of some of the best bluegrass, old-time, country and folk music you’ll find.  Influenced and inspired for life by meeting Doc Watson at age of 9 years old, John spent his early years in local flatpicking and clawhammer banjo contests and began performing bluegrass and old-time music professionally shortly thereafter.  John performed and toured with Philo/Flying Fish recording artists Jim Ringer and Mary McCaslin, and was featured on Mary’s A Life and Time album.

John has played in many area bands over the years, often with his wife Peggy Corzine on bass and vocals. John and Peggy currently perform with their youngest son Cody as the Corzines, and you can hear him this summer with the Coyote Brothers at the California Bluegrass Association’s Father’s Day Festival in Grass Valley, CA.  John comes to Camp for the first time this year to share his teaching and performing experience in the use of the guitar as a lead instrument, as the rhythmic foundation in a bluegrass and old-time band setting, and as the melodic and complementary background to vocal performance.

Jam Classes & Informal

There will be jam classes and a lot of spontaneous jamming during the camp, so join in as they are big fun. If you’re a newbie and experiencing the (unfounded) “Jam Fear” that everyone does, don’t be intimidated. Everyone experiences Jam Fear when they start, if they have any sense. At first it may be a little scary, but it’ll soon turn into a lot of fun. Some reasons you might hesitate:

  • “They’re going to hear me mess up.” No, they’re all busy trying to do their own thing. Very rarely in the average jam does anyone even hear the stuff you’re doing, since they’re worried about their own.
  • “I’ll make mistakes.” Yes, you will, as everyone does, and if you’re not beating the daylights out of your instrument, you’re the only one who will hear them.
  • “I’ll be put on the spot.”  No, in a jam, you can always choose to hang back. If anyone calls on you to take a solo, a shake of your head is a perfectly legitimate response.
  • “I can’t keep up.”  Maybe so, maybe not. If you can’t, you can still play the chords or notes that sound OK to you as the music passes by.

The fact is that just like that cold water, it’s sometimes a bit scary to jump in the first time, but once you’re used to it, you’re telling everyone that they should jump in; what a bunch of weenies! Please, give the jams a try which may include: Swing Jams, Slow Jams, Bluegrass Jams, Acapella Jams, Honkey Tonk Jams or Old Time Jams.

Registration Fees

Online registration opens one year prior to the retreat.

Camp Staff

Cosy Sheridan, Co-Director

Cosy Sheridan has been called “one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful singer-songwriters.” She first caught the attention of national folk audiences in 1992 when she won both the Kerrville Folk Festival’s NewFolk Award and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Contest, then released her critically-acclaimed debut CD Quietly Led on Waterbug Records. She has released nine CDs, her music is featured in the Robert Fulghum multi-media novel The Third Wish and she tours consistently throughout the US. Her concerts are wide-ranging explorations of modern mythology (meet Hades the Biker), love songs for adults, contemporary philosophy for the thoughtfully-minded and her signature parody on aging and women. Throughout this journey, her lyrical dexterity is backed by her distinctive, percussive bluesy-gospel guitar style. A guitar student of instrumental luminaries such as Guy Van Duser and Eric Schoenberg and a voice student at The Berklee School of Music, she brings a depth of experience to her craft. For the past 18 years, she has taught classes in songwriting, performance and guitar at workshops and adult music camps across the country including The Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and The Swannanoa Gathering. In 2008 she co-founded The Moab Folk Camp.

Dave Firestine, Co-Director

Dave pulls out the “take no prisoners” style of playing at every dance – bringing the tunes to their full potential and beyond. He is a tune-meister and music jams are super fun when he is in the driver’s seat.

Originally a drummer, his strong sense of rhythm and syncopation is the foundation of his playing and tune writing, and truthfully he is never happier than when he gets to pull out the laptop drum kit to back swing and honky tonk tunes. Don’t worry, he can access his sensitive side when playing waltzes and beautiful melodies.

Dave is a music vagrant retiree now, but before that, he was Senior Gyzmologist building lightning detection systems. He is currently playing with the dance bands STEAM! ( and The Privy Tippers.

Charlie Hall, Founder

After earning a bachelor’s degree in Music Education with emphasis in French horn, Charlie Hall started out as a member of the 6th US Army Band in San Francisco.  When real life reared its ugly head, he found he needed a day job, which he found in computers from 1983 to 2003.  From 2003 to his retirement in 2017, he was a full-time guitar, mandolin and bass teacher.  He’s taught high school band as well as classes in beginning guitar, fingerpicking, bluegrass guitar, music theory and jamming. Charlie was a founder and driving force of the Black Rose Acoustic Society in Colorado Springs, a favorite destination for roots musicians and roots music fans.  He performed for ten years with the popular folk/bluegrass band Black Rose, was a finalist in the 2000 National Fingerpicking Championship and was nominated Bluegrass Guitarist of the Year in 1996 by the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society. With his wife Marianne Danehy, Charlie was creator & co-director of the Colorado Roots Music Camp from 2006-2017.  He and Marianne are thrilled to hand off management of the Roots Camp to the folks at the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp as well as Cosy Sheridan and Raul Reynoso.

December 11, 2018, we said goodby to Charlie who passed away after a valiant battle with brain cancer. He leaves behind a large legacy of music and education and those who knew him are better for it.  May we all carry on his legacy of life, love and life-long music!

Marianne Danehy, Founder

Marianne Danehy discovered “her people” around 2002; that is, those who played roots music.  From 2005 to 2014, she taught violin and fiddling in Colorado Springs, and is a registered instructor with the Suzuki Association of the Americas.  Undaunted by two degrees and a former life in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics, she’s the mother of two nearly-grown kids, William and Anna. Marianne is an excellent teacher and an expert at getting folks started both on violin and fiddle styles.  From 2006-2017, along with her husband Charlie Hall, she was co-director of the Colorado Roots Music Camp.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Charlie Hall Scholarship Fund?

As the founder of Colorado Roots Music Camp, Charlie Hall was a trail blazer in bringing quality music instruction to the Pikes Peak region. In pursuit of this, he also gathered informal scholarship money to support younger students who were unable to financially afford attendance at Roots. In recognition of this forward thinking approach to growing young musicians, the Charlie Hall Scholarship Fund was officially launched at the end of the June 2018 camp. Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp (RMMC), which has been home to Roots since its beginning in 2006, has taken the opportunity to continue Charlie’s outreach by formalizing the scholarship. As a 501(c)3, RMMC is able to offer a charitable receipt for contributions to the scholarship fund. GO DONORS!


  • How to give: Donors can support the next generation of musicians by writing a check to Roots Music Camp earmarked “Charlie Hall Scholarship Fund” and sending to: Roots Music Camp, 709 County Rd 62, Divide CO, 80814. Donations accepted by credit card as well by calling the camp office (719-687-9506).
  • Who my apply: College age and younger (age 25), preference to first time campers.
  • How to apply: Contact the Colorado Roots Camp Office by email at ([email protected]) for application details.
  • Scholarship amount: Full Registration for Chalet, Rustic Cabin or Campground accommodations. Commuters too!
  • Number of scholarships: As funds allow for student interest, our goal is for 1-2 scholarships per camp session. Unfortunately, if there are no donors, there is no scholarship. Again, GO DONORS!
  • Awarded Scholarships: Scholarship applications will be reviewed and awarded by the Colorado Roots Music Camp Leadership Team.

Do you have wi-fi or cell phone reception?

A wi-fi signal is available in most facilities. Because of camp’s remote location and limited availability of high internet speeds, video or music streaming is not available. With cell phone reception limited at main camp, a land line phone is available in the office foyer of the Dining Hall/Lodge. Ridge accommodations (Eagle’s Nest, Rocky Ridge, Sky-Hi-View, Solitude Center) have limited service based on individual carriers.

What foodservice is offered? Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?

Camp is pleased to offer a great selection of food choices which include a main dish option, vegetarian option, salad (lunch & supper), and dessert (lunch & supper). Cold beverages (water, orange, apple, grape, crabapple) and hot beverages (coffee, tea, hot chocolate) are also provided.

As much as possible, the camp will accommodate dietary restrictions. An option will be given to list all of your dietary restrictions during registration. We cannot accommodate dietary preferences.

RMMC is not a peanut/nut free location since we serve a variety of campers and guest groups utilizing their own kitchen facilities.

What should I bring to camp?

  • Warm casual clothing (sweatshirts, jeans, etc.)
  • Light coat/jacket
  • Rain gear
  • Cap or hat for sun protection
  • Comfortable hiking shoes or boots
  • Warm sleepwear
  • Bedding is only required for chalet and rustic cabin accomidations unless requested as a part of online camp registration
  • Bathroom items (soap, shampoo, towel, etc.)
  • Flashlight
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle
  • Money for Trading Post: Roots Camp
  • Camera
  • Instruments

What should I NOT bring to camp?

  • Pets (large or small)
  • Firearms
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Illicit drugs
  • Marijuana
  • Dirt bikes
  • Firework
  • Four Wheelers
  • Drones

How can I prepare for altitude and weather at camp?

ALTITUDE – Camp’s elevation is 9,620 feet so it is important for campers and guests to take time to adjust to the high altitude. About one in four visitors to Colorado suffer from acute mountain sickness, the mildest form of altitude illness. Common symptoms include headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue and dry throat. Things you can do to minimize or avoid altitude sickness include:

Drink plenty of water before and during your time here to prevent dehydration.
Avoid strenuous exercise (hiking, jogging, etc.) and salty foods when you first arrive.
A good first night’s rest is very helpful in giving your body time to acclimate.
If coming from sea level or low elevation, a day or night spent in Colorado Springs (6,035 ft) will help allow your body more time to adjust to the change in altitude.

SUNBURN – The sun is more intense at this altitude so be mindful of how quickly sunburn can occur. Use adequate sun protection including sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) or clothing (long sleeves, hat or cap) for outdoor activities. Reapply sunscreen periodically throughout the day as needed.

SUMMER WEATHER – Each day offers a sample of the seasons: spring in the morning; summer in the afternoon; fall in the evening. Even winter can be represented in early June with snow! Rain and hail storms can also come at a moment’s notice just to keep things interesting. Being prepared with appropriate clothing is the key to enjoying the variety of weather the Rocky Mountains offer!

WINTER WEATHER – Colorado winter temperatures range from -10°-0°F at night to a high of 35°-45°F during the day. Because of low humidity (8-10%) temperatures feel like 45°-65°F. Sunshine makes all the difference with an average of 300 days of sun per year. Clothing items to bring include: warm winter coat, snow pants, gloves, snow boots, and hat.

PATHS & WALKWAYS (WINTER) – Be aware that paths and walkway conditions (especially on slopes) are a direct result of changing weather conditions (snow, melting & freezing temperatures). While the camp will do its best to remove snow and spread gravel, we need your help to take care and caution as you walk.

WINTER DRIVING CONDITIONS – Be aware that road conditions are a direct result of changing weather conditions (snow, melting and freezing temperatures). While we plow the road to camp and to facilities, plan for the conditions to be snow packed and slick. Four-wheel drive vehicles and two-wheel drive vehicles with chains or bands are recommended.

LOST & FOUND – Any item left behind by a guest will be kept for two weeks and then donated to charity.

QUIET HOURS – In consideration of others, noise should be kept to a minimum between 10:30 p.m. – 8:00 a.m.

SMOKING – RMMC is a smoke free facility. Smoking is only permitted in the outside designated areas, and only when a fire restriction is not in place. Every precaution must be taken to prevent a forest fire.

What are your creation care practices?

STREAMS & POND – Please keep the mountain streams clean and do nothing that would pollute them. While clean, it is unsafe to drink from the stream and pond.

TRAILS – Please stay on trails and roadways when hiking. This allows the plants to maintain a strong root system and prevents the fragile hillsides from eroding away.

TRASH & RECYCLING – Litter should be put in trash receptacles to maintain the natural beauty of the mountains. Recycling bins are located in the foyer by the Dining Halls and in cabins with kitchens or kitchenettes.

WILDFLOWERS, TREES, & ROCKS – Please do not pick wildflowers or other plants. Leave natural and historical objects in their place for others to observe and enjoy. Standing trees, living or dead, must not be cut or carved. Rocks are not to be rolled or thrown from high places or thrown at any time.

WILDLIFE – Please enjoy wildlife from a distance and leave wildlife alone in their habitat. Do not leave food outside for animals of any size (chipmunks, foxes, deer, bear) for your safety and theirs.

Do you have to be Mennonite to attend camp?

While teachings during the retreat are Bible-based and from a Mennonite perspective, campers of all faiths are respected and welcome to attend.