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August 22-24 2018

Fiddle camp in the High Rockies

  Jollification: (n.) the act of making more merriment.

Evening Events: 

Thursday Aug 23: 

Square Dance 


billy barr community center

Gothic, CO 


Friday Aug 24: 

Jolli Camp Concert 


Union Congregational Church (parlor room)

Crested Butte, CO 


Join us for a celebratory night of dancing with a live s​quare dance band and caller Andrea Earley-Coen. No previous experience necessary! Bring the family and friends. Please park along Gothic Road. 

An intimate night of music featuring fiddler/songwriter Natalie Padilla, Lizzy Plotkin, Natalie Spears, Sophia Chudacoff and the Jollification Campers. Light beverages and snacks served! Family friendly.  

Join world-class fiddle instructors for the 2nd annual Jollification Camp: an intimate weekend of learning tunes, exploring, collaborating and merriment in the unique setting of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory.
Ages: Adults (16+)
Level: Beginner - Intermediate/advanced
Class size : 7 - 15
Evening Events


Announcing our teachers for 2018

Check out our 2018 staff!

Natalie Padilla (fiddle instructor)

Born into a family of acclaimed roots musicians, Natalie Padilla was immersed in fiddle and violin music at a very young age. She has grown into a musician of astounding depth and breadth, as well as a performer and educator fluent in a wide variety of genres.


Building on her Old-Time roots and her rich background in classical music, Natalie has devoted herself to creative roots music in recent years. In 2015 she founded the original new acoustic band Masontown, composing and singing for the group, as well as playing fiddle and clawhammer banjo. May 2017, she released her debut solo album, "Paths and Places," produced by mandolinist Joe K. Walsh, with an all star lineup of musicians, including Darol Anger. 


Natalie is currently the fiddle professor at the University of Northern Colorado's new Folk and Bluegrass program and teaches at fiddle camps across the country. Along with eduction and performing, exercise, outdoor fun, good food, friends and shared music make up Natalie’s rich life (she’s a very lucky lady). 

 Coleman Smith (fiddle instructor)

Coleman started playing the violin at 3 years old. In his youth Coleman traveled across the country studying various styles of fiddle music and competing in some of the nation's most prestigious fiddle contests. Coleman was awarded a Presidential scholarship to the music department at Marywood University where he studied music performance and minored in music pedagogy. Coleman has a unique style that fuses Gypsy Swing, Jazz, Celtic, Bluegrass and Texas Fiddle, all from a classical perspective. Currently, Coleman travels the world, including an annual tour with Rapidgrass throughout Europe where he both performs and leads workshops for Europe’s largest bluegrass festival. When Coleman is not performing with Rapidgrass he is either teaching at his music school Coletrain Music Academy, performing with his side project, Gypsy Cattle Drive, or guest appearing with a wide variety of popular bands including but not limited to The Drew Emmit Band, David Grisman, Billy Cardine, Jeff Austin Band, Peter Rowan, Pete Wernick, and Pheobe Hunt & The Gatherers.

 Lizzy Plotkin (director, instructor, naturalist)

 Lizzy was raised in Nashville, TN and since the age of 4, she has played the violin. Lizzy is deeply in love with musical melodies and has a passion for learning and teaching diverse fiddle traditions. Following in her late father’s footsteps, her training and teaching is based in the Suzuki method and now includes gypsy jazz, swing, blues, celtic, Swedish, klezmer, old-time and bluegrass. Lizzy fills her days teaching private music lessons, performing and spending lots of time in nature. She has a passion for songwriting and enjoys teaching her students the art of true listening, improvisation, and creativity. She was a founding member of Colorado folk trio Free the Honey and is currently singing and playing in the Gypsy Jazz Social Club, Ragged Mountain Bluegrass, The Jollification Project, her duo projects with Natalie Spears and songwriting partner Sophia Chudacoff, as well as freelancing in jam and eclectic ensembles around the West. Currently residing in Crested Butte, CO, she is working on her debut solo record and enjoying life in the mountains. She is the co-founder of Jollification Camp and can't wait to spend another beautiful week sharing her passion for fiddling and the place she calls home.

Natalie Spears (roaming player  on bass + banjo , naturalist)

History stores itself in the old time tunes and folk songs that Natalie brings to life. Blue notes and syncopation from years of listening to her father’s piano fold into her music. The raw rhythms of Natalie's banjo, bass, and piano groove beneath her soulful voice, singing of life’s joys and sorrows.

Born and raised in the heart of Washington DC, Natalie began playing piano at age five and by fifth grade was lugging the upright bass on the school bus. Her music fell by the wayside after high school, however the vibrant folk scene of a small mountain town in Colorado reconnected Natalie with music in her early twenties. She went onto study at Naropa University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Music.

While playing bass in an Old-Time band, Natalie fell in love with the sound of the clawhammer banjo, and since then, has dedicated herself to learning  the instrument 

She plays and sings with a variety of bands spanning a range of genres. Her collaborators have included Pearl & Wood, Free the Honey, Lizzy Plotkin, at. Play, Wild Mountain Old Thyme Band, Jackson Emmer, Slidewhistle, and the Crowlin’ Furlies.

 When she is not playing music, Natalie can be found on the swing dance floor, skiing to back country huts, running around with kids in outdoor programs, listening to birds, trying new soup recipes, and jumping into ice cold mountain lakes —something which she hopes to still be doing when she is 80.

Natalie is excited to share her love of jamming and making music in the mountains with this year's Jolli students! 


Throughout the weekend we will be joined by dancers. Students will get a chance to collaborate with these special rhythmic creatives and learn body-movement tools to help with their fiddling!

 Sophia Chudakoff aims to create an investigatory learning environment to nurture curiosity and sensitivity to the mind-body connection. Her teaching is influenced by The Axis Syllabus, a repository of bio-mechanical and kinetic information. She has studied many different forms of dance and music from around the world, which continue to inform her knowledge of human movement, pedagogy and the inextricable languages of music and dance. She teaches Pilates, Dance    and Functional Movement to all ages.

 Adge Marz Lindsey has an ever-growing love for dance that she likes to think is contagious! With extensive training in various styles, she is the Executive Director and a lead instructor for the wonderful CB School of Dance and Dance Collective, the latter of which she co-founded in 2008. Adge has been integral in developing curriculum for students with disabilities and greatly enjoys teaching dance through the Adaptive Sports Center, a calling she takes most seriously. A fiery passion for dance emanates from her very soul, down her arms and legs and shines from her whole body…she loves to MOVE and always invites everyone to join her!


The Setting: RMBL

We are so pleased to be hosting our camp in the unique high alpine setting of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, CO!

Classes will be held in the historic and new buildings in the town site of Gothic, CO! 

You can choose to stay in one of the rustic historic cabins in Gothic, CO and eat meals with the scientists for the full RMBL experience! 

Here's a bit about RMBL:


Western Colorado College professor, Dr. John Johnson, first visited the abandoned mining town of Gothic, Colorado on July 14, 1919. Recognizing the rich diversity of the local ecosystems, he began bringing students to study amid Gothic’s ruins. Since 1928, when RMBL was officially founded, thousands of students and scientists have followed in Dr. Johnson’s footsteps, making the ecosystems around Gothic some of the most intensively studied in the world and making RMBL an internationally renowned center for scientific research and education.


Home to one of the largest annual migrations of field biologists, RMBL provides logistical support for scientists and students, including access to living quarters, research laboratories, and protected research sites. RMBL focuses on the importance of preserving and providing access to historical data about the local ecosystems. As scientists address ever more sophisticated questions about a dynamic world, RMBL is a vital resource for discovering nature’s fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes.


RMBL invests in its people and places, its communications systems, and its physical plant. Scientists take full advantage of the research done by previous RMBL scientists using modern bioinformatics tools. They track the environment year-round using automated sensors. While training the next generation, they develop a comprehensive understanding of biological processes that illuminates all ecosystems. RMBL serves as a unique resource for policy makers who need to understand a changing and complex world.

"Hiking up through the aspens...and, for that matter, stepping out the door, any door, into glorious Gothic!"

- lisa (2017 camper)

highlights from 2017


Don't hesitate to reach out with Questions!

Dispersed camping will be open but not guaranteed available in the Gunnison National Forest up the dirt road 2 miles from Gothic, if you'd like to attend camp and eat camp meals and then retreat to a campsight at night, see 3 day camp pass + meals.


The cabins in gothic have refrigerators and rustic cooking set ups. if you are interested in staying in a cabin and cooking your own breakfast and dinners while at camp, See Overnight Camp Pass.

registration closes aug 16!


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