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Rock On!

Ladies Rock Camp Rules!


I attended Ladies Rock Camp - run by Beth Kille and Beth Dohrn (saints!) - which is a part of the Madison Girls Rock Camp organization. It was Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. with a sound check at 5:30 p.m. and performances at 7 p.m. at the Brink Lounge in downtown Madison. We were divided into four bands, each having participants pick their instrument of choice for the weekend. Some of the band members had previously been to the camp, but some hadn’t picked up an instrument or even played it before. I chose the electric guitar because I wanted to learn how to play mine. There were introductions, classes on your instrument, how to write songs, vocal health, music theory and more!

Once our band was formed, named Closer to Indigo (I MIGHT have told them about my Indigo Girls experience), we had to write and perform a song. I’d struggled to write songs on my own. It seems like it would be a natural fit since I write poetry, but it’s a different structure. However, I threw out a couple of lines from my poem Narcissus and BOOM! We had our first lyric for the chorus! I’m glad you’re in love with yourself, saves one of us the trouble.


I was blessed with a wonderful, loving, smart band: Jennifer was our steady coach, Maria on bass, Lynda on drums and Lisa our fearless lead singer. We didn’t put the finishing touches on the song, Taking Out the Trash until Sunday. Thankfully, my guitar teacher Helen Avakian was a coach, so she helped me tweak a guitar solo and Melissa helped me nail the vocals. I also chose to do a side project and wanted to play and sing, My Hero by Foo Fighters. Jenna on drums, Danica on bass and Helen on guitar, made my experience the best it could possibly be. It’s hard to put into words what it's like to sing and play with a band behind you that makes you look good and rocks the house!


It meant the world to me that my daughter Sydney saw me perform and greeted me with tears in her eyes, proud of her mama.

I’m eternally grateful to all of the wonderful women I met at camp. I know I’ve made new friends and musical connections that will last a lifetime. I saw people transformed by music. It was the best, most encouraging setting one could imagine. I would recommend the camp to any woman or girl (they have rock camps for girls of all ages). Besides Madison, they have camps like this around the country. I’m sure it won’t be the last time I go to camp! To the women at the camp – you are all my heroes and I hope to see you again. For all those that couldn’t attend the event, visit the Ladies Rock Camp YouTube channel to get inspired!


Also, thank you to Shahayra Majumder and Leopold's Books Bar Caffè for hosting our first event in April for National Poetry Month.

It was so great to be back where our friendship started. We truly appreciate all of those folks that make time to come out and even share their art. I have some additional events in April and May, so stay in touch on my social media channels so you can attend. Shahayra and I will also be at Mystery to Me Bookstore in Madison on May 17th at 6 p.m. I hope to see you very soon!

Let’s chat soon.

With affection,

Carrie VS

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