Western Swing Music Camp
May 23-27, 2024


Spend Memorial weekend in the beautiful Little Belt Mountains at St. Thomas Camp near Monarch, Montana. We’re excited to welcome our special guest instructors, the Western Flyers and Friends.  Meet with these masters of the Western swing genre and enjoy a fully immersive experience.  You will have an opportunity to study with each instructor if you choose.

Upon registration, students will be given access to download a packet of materials. If you have already registered, please be on the lookout for an email with the download link! 



Intermediate-Advanced Lead Guitar (Redd Volkaert)

For my portion of the Western swing camp, I will be teaching lead guitar techniques, showing a couple of different positions to play melodies out of, as well as scales to practice and work on that you can create solos and find melodies out of. For all the diehard guitar nerds, we can work on some extra lead guitar, flips, spills and tricks to do between the melody lines as fills.
I am sure looking forward to coming up to Montana again this year, as I had a real blast last year meeting and jamming and playing with a bunch of wonderful people. -Redd Volkaert

Intermediate-Advanced Rhythm Guitar (Joey McKenzie)

I am downright giddy to be back with the amazing staff for the 2nd Annual “Stompin the West” Western Swing Music Camp in beautiful Monarch, Montana! In my classes I will be teaching the finer points of Western Swing rhythm guitar in the tradition of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. We will learn the classic swing chord voicings, bass runs and passing chords that make Western Swing songs sound authentic. We will also work on important right hand skills such as strumming technique, how to keep time and create a solid groove, right hand accuracy, and how to strum different types of songs and tempos to sound like your rhythm guitar heroes! We will work on classic tunes that I pick out for you, and also I will take requests for other appropriate Western Swing songs that y’all may want to learn! Our class (and the other classes) will work out a few tunes that we can all play together in a big band for a concert on the last night of camp. I am also happy to work with students individually during class breaks as time allows. All of the instructors will be jamming with students every evening. The inaugural 2023 “Stompin’ the West” camp was an absolute blast and I am so proud of what my students (and the students of the other teachers) were able to accomplish last year in just a few days. Come on out and we’ll PARTY LIKE IT’S 1949!! -Joey

Intermediate-Advanced Bass (Matthew Mefford)

This class is for intermediate-advanced bass players that are comfortable with basic bluegrass/folk/fiddle tune bass lines and chord structures. We will be looking at different ways to navigate chord changes and create cool and interesting bass lines using a few simple techniques. I’ll be on hand for evening jam sessions and will always be available for questions. I am really looking forward to round two of ‘Stompin’ the West’!


Intermediate-Advanced Twin Fiddle (Ridge Roberts & Sherry McKenzie)

The only thing more fun than a fiddle is two fiddles! We will team up for authentic arrangements of classic fiddle and Western swing tunes, with detailed bowings and ideas, tips and techniques to help make your fiddle playing feel and sound authentic. The lead part for some tunes will be sent out ahead of time with an emphasis on learning to play by ear. Audio tracks for all songs will be sent out ahead of time. We highly suggest students are comfortable playing in third position, comfortable playing 4th finger and know how to play two and three note slurs with ease. If you have a question if the level is too hard for you feel free to reach out before registering. Thanks! –Sherry & Ridge


Intermediate-Advanced Mandolin (Paul Glasse)

Our class will bring a hands-on approach to how we can all play western swing style music on the mandolin. My goal is to build on what you may already know on your instrument and add the elements that help this great music come to life for us — and have some fun in the process! Along the way we’ll look at the contributions of western swing legends Tiny Moore and Johnny Gimble. We will explore soloing, backup strategies, chord concepts, playing in a band with others, and plenty more. I’m looking forward to seeing you there! –Paul



In addition to scheduled group class instruction we’ll offer a Nashville Number System class, evening jam sessions, listening session, Q&A, Top 10 Western swing classics jam class and the camp performance.


INSTRUCTORS (classes are intermediate/advanced levels)

Sherry McKenzie – fiddle and twin fiddle

Ridge Roberts – fiddle and twin fiddle

Joey McKenzie – rhythm guitar

Redd Volkaert – lead guitar

Paul Glasse – mandolin

Matthew Mefford – bass



$460 – Includes all classes and workshops, instructors’ concert, and band lab concert.


MEALS (Available to students and/or those accompanying a student.)

Regular – $120

Gluten free – $140

Vegetarian – $140

G/F and Veg. – $140


Meals will be served in the main lodge.  Three hearty, home-cooked meals will be served each day.  Meals include a wide variety of meats, vegetables, and fresh fruit.  Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available for an additional fee.  Coffee is available in the lodge.  Meal availability is limited.  Meals will be served from Friday morning breakfast through lunch on Monday.  There is a small kitchen located in Providence available for student use.  There are restaurants located in Monarch and Neihart.



Dorm – no additional charge

Tent – $20 per unit

RV without hookups – $20 per unit

RV with power and water – $50 per unit


There are three dorms located on campus:  male, female, and family.  Each dorm contains ten sets of bunk beds and will be limited to ten residents each.  You may use the top bunk for storage.  Private shower stalls are available in each dorm and available to all campers.  There is plenty of space for RVs and tents.  Please stop at the entrance to the camp for guidance to an appropriate spot.  All vehicles must be parked in the meadow once unloaded.


Additional accommodations:

Cougar Canyon Lodge (Monarch)

Bob’s Motel (Neihart)



St. Thomas Church Camp

4806 US Hwy 89

Monarch MT 59463


The camp is located between Great Falls and White Sulphur Springs, near mile marker 48.  The nearest airport is Great Falls International Airport, approximately 50 miles from camp.  There will be a $40 charge for round-trip pick up and delivery.  Contact Camp Director Fred Buckley at 406-320-1150 for arrangements.



Registration is available online beginning January 15, 2024.  There is a required deposit of $100 per student.  The camp is limited to 75 students.  Meal options are also limited.  We will close registration options as they fill.  You may request to be placed on the waiting list if your chosen options have filled.  Deposits will not be refunded for cancellations after March 15, 2024.



Students under the age of 18 are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Unacceptable behavior by children or adults is not tolerated and will result in immediate dismissal.  Tuition will not be refunded.  We reserve the right to refuse service.



Recording devices and ID tags for your instrument cases are highly recommended.  Dorm residents must provide bedding, towels, and toiletries.  You may need warm clothing.  The weather can be unpredictable in the mountains.  Most importantly, bring your enthusiasm.



Classes will begin Friday morning with group classes.  You will choose one group instructor for the week.  The second and third class sessions will be in workshop format.  You may choose any of the instructors.  The fourth and final class of the day will be a band lab format.  Band lab participants will have an opportunity to perform on Sunday evening.


Three full days of classes will be held Friday through Sunday.  Monday morning classes will be followed by lunch and departure.



You may arrive any time after 1:00 PM Thursday.  Camp begins with orientation Thursday evening at 7:00PM. Please note:  the first meal served will be breakfast on Friday morning.  Thursday meals are on your own.  Departure is Monday afternoon.



Fred Buckley, Camp Director; 406-320-1150

Jill Flikkema, Camp Coordinator; 406-539-4860


*Subject to change. We’re still working out the schedule.  Check back for updates.