Here is what this year’s campers commented about their experience at the 2011 Northwoods Jazz Camp.

Kim: Just a quick note to tell you what a great time I had at your camp again this year. The best part is being able to sit and talk with everyone and exchange ideas. Looking forward to seeing everyone next year or before.

Terry Brennan, piano

Thanks for the experience; I feel so fortunate to have been part of the camp. Especially to the staff, thanks for your kindness. I know I was instrumental in developing your patience.

Rusty Dawson, trumpet

Thanks to all faculty, students and Holiday Acres staff for another great experience. Regards to all and have a good year.

Elmer Pierre, saxophone

The talent and great abilities of the musical educators is obvious to all who attended, but what really makes Kim’s camp so special is the mutual respect between both the staff and the students.

Joe Swierczek, trumpet



For some things, I learn best by doing; music performance is one of those things. The NW Jazz Camp was excellent for me. I made some music and was able to learn the how and why at camp. I was helped to discover the bag of “tools” I had not recognized. I am enthused to work with these tools.

All your staff are knowledgeable. More importantly, they were interested in my progress and what it takes to make progress. I never felt demeaned or talked down to. Embarrassment of ones ignorance is a legitimate fear if one is ignorant. I was ignorant, less so now thank you very much, but your staff was focused on teaching me. Pretty darned patient and kind! Please thank them for me. Kristin was especially good at getting me out of my comfort zone, away from my crutches, but helping me feel comfortable in the new musical neighborhood. Wow!

Damn, I really enjoyed myself.

Neill Merck, bass



This year’s camp was the best so far. Great faculty, great music, great students and great fun!!!

Best wishes,

Don Murphey, trumpet

Kim and all the Northwoods campers

2011 was absolutely the best week ever. Can’t wait for next spring. We are all, not only fortunate, to have such wonderful instructors, but Holiday Acres takes such wonderful care of us what’s not to like about being in residence!

Carolyn Jackson, piano

Hello, Kim …


Thank you for the faculty list.

I really enjoyed the Jazz Camp this year. We have a great group of both students and faculty. I am sure that we all picked up new skills and concepts this year. I look forward to participating again next year.


Gary Kavalar, saxophone

Kim –


We had a great time at camp. An idea – offer people an opportunity to come in a day early ($50 extra?) to just come in and stretch out, jam, or just relax and reaquaint with other campers? We sure enjoy doing that!

Margie and Duane Fait, vocal/guitar

Thanks Kim et al for a great camp this year! Had to leave early on Sunday so those I didn’t say good-bye to on Saturday night — bye. It was a lot of fun. See everyone next year, if not sooner.

Joe Tondu, trumpet

Hey fellow jazz cats,


Allow me to echo the glowing comments about this year’s jazz camp. Best yet, in my book. Not only do we have the privilege of learning from the highest caliber of faculty, but the support and encouragement of fellow campers brings the learning experience to a new level. I am grateful and humbled by both.

I took a leap out of my comfort zone this year to sit in on a master class outside of my primary instrument and found the experience greatly enhanced my learning ability. I don’t imagine this is something the staff would want to encourage, in general, but the freedom to do so allowed me to surpass a road block I’d built in my head and opened up a whole new way of hearing and feeling the music. (Although I told Clay it was because I’d already absorbed most of what he had to offer, so don’t tell him, please. You know how fragile those trumpet egos can be. ha ha!!)

Speaking of unique learning techniques, I’ll go on record now and promise Tom that, by next year, I will have such a solid understanding of phrasing, I won’t even need to ask Joe S. to give me a swift shin kick when I’m supposed to end my solo! Hey, whatever works, right? Don’t you say there are no rules in jazz?? (Besides, I’m a tactile learner, right Betty? 🙂

Connie Fellman, trumpet

I add my comment about a great camp to all the others. I really enjoyed it and found the effort needed was about right with skipping combos. If I am stronger next year I can add that back.


May I suggest scheduling the big band rehearsal more realistically? Rarely has it been as short as 1 hour,and it often goes well beyond an hour and a half, so try scheduling for 2 hours, with a 15-minute scheduled break after the first hour, and 45 minutes left for the rehearsal. This is the way our concert band does 2 hours, which seems to be satisfactory to all, even those with small bladders. The conductor is quite prompt with the schedule and closing times. Thus schedule 2:30 to 4:30, with the break at 3:30. It also allows for running over half an hour without reaching the time length that threatens leg veins with inducing DVT (deep vein thrombosis-the middle seat syndrome known to air travelers- a very painful clotting result). I can handle up to an hour and a half without getting up and moving around, but no more, and preferably less.

Best regards–Don Wood, trumpet

I also wanted to express my gratitude to the faculty and participants for a great time. I was really impressed by the generosity of Kim Richmond and the rest of the faculty. I feel I learned a lot and had a few revelations about my playing. This all in a beautiful setting. All in all a wonderful celebration of jazz and the American songbook.

Chris Wren, saxophone

Hey guys,

I realize this is the most geeky trumpet thing ever, but I soooooo need to share this and you dudes are the only few who may appreciate it and why…

So, tonight I hit my very first high D. (Thank you, thank you, … I’m taking a bow now…) I realize this is mere child’s play for my fellow trumpeters at camp, but also know you guys will recognize how huge this is for me. You see, I never even tried for a high D, even in my hey day as the “bomb” chick trumpet player…(ok, so we’re talking Regan era, for Don M.. 🙂 We ‘cornet artists’ strive for the richness of our melodic tones and phrase interpretation, over the strength of our range and endurance. However, in light of the kudos given for the support of our fellow campers, it was a genlteman, by the name of Don Woods, who told me, in Clay’s master class, that I didn’t need to stop at a high A during our exercise… he felt I could hit a high C easily. While I felt Don’s comment was kind, I also knew it was sincere. This guy knows his stuff and he wasn’t giving me lip service, so to speak. However, it did take the privacy of my own home for me to experiment with the squeaks and squalls, which are my sounds of Clay’s triad exercises, for me to attempt this lofty goal. (See, Clay, I do, indeed pratice that chicken stratch you write out for us! Thank You!)


So, the east side of Green Bay, WI, thanks you, as does my 4 year old daughter, who was my only other audience, for the honor of hearing ‘mom’ nail the solo in “Requiem for Jake.” Film at 11.




p.s. I have named my high D “Don,” in honor of you both, and that is how I will always know it. 🙂