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NGI Recipient: Anayis Wright

Session Attended: Folk Music Society of New York and others - TradMaD (2016)

I have taken some time trying to write this letter and have come to the conclusion that there is no good way I can summarize the experience I had at TradMad camp 2016 in a short letter. Although I attended and enjoyed many of the workshops I had expected to, the amount of time available and the fantastic staff pushed me to attend several events that I never would have in a typical weekend event. Workshops like Quebecois foot tapping were so exciting and out of the realm of what I usually seek out– as someone who has historically avoided dance, I was even persuaded to do a little Breton dancing.
What I am most thankful for about TradMad is how it expanded my horizons.
The quality of staff for the week was also astonishing. I have never been to an event before where I was captivated by everything on offer. The spotlight events daily were great in this regard– although I didn’t get the opportunity to attend every staff member’s workshops, I was still able to hear and see what they all had to offer. Additionally, the casual setting of the camp meant that there was the opportunity to converse with all the staff members one-on-one, and ask questions or hear about their other areas of expertise that would have been missed if the interaction stopped with the workshops. These lunchtime conversations were some of my favorite moments I had during camp– it was such a good break in the day to talk with old friends and new, and to build these relationships as the week went on. As a first time Pinewoods attendee, I was also delighted by the consistently high quality of the food.
The camp itself is stunning. One particular moment that stands out for me is sitting in the camphouse late one night as the next day’s rains began to roll in, singing rain songs, including one that I would later perform with a friend in the camper concert. After our performance, another camper came up to us and showed us a recording from years ago of the same song sung in the same place by past campers, on the same kind of day– you could even hear the rain! It seems as though the camp creates its own traditions.
I am so thankful to have had this experience. The camp was extremely welcoming, and the whole week of TradMad was very fulfilling.
Thank you again, & I hope to return!