The Story of CCMC

Many people were involved in birthing CCMC. This story of what it took to get CCMC started is from the perspective of one of the founders, Lissy Abraham. There are, most definitely, many other untold stories and people over the 25 years of CCMC that have been critical in the longevity of and building the love for CCMC. If you know of other CCMC milestones or people you think should be included in this chronicle, please let us know, we would love to keep this history alive for others to share!

 

Milestones

July 1989: Carol McComb teaches at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop (PSGW) for the first time. Several others from the Bay Area—including Mimi Hills, Steve Stielstra, Karen Cole, and Sandy Lynn—attend as students. When they return, they regale everyone with stories about how incredible it was. Even though PSGW has three one-week sessions, it is hard to get into unless you sign up right away. Someone says, “We should start our own camp down here.” Lots of people agree.

 

July 1990: Ed Johnson teaches at PSGW for the first time. Lissy Abraham attempts to go to PSGW but she is too far down the waiting list. People keep saying, “We should start our own camp down here.”

July 1991: Lissy attends PSGW for the first time. Before she goes, she and Mimi decide they want to find out what’s involved in starting and running such a camp. Mimi and Lissy pump Flip Breskin and others for information about PSGW. Everyone from PSGW is helpful and encouraging. Richard Scholtz helps immensely with business aspects such as incorporation and campsite rental. In the wake of post-camp enthusiasm, Lissy and Mimi decide they’re going to drive the formation of a new Bay Area music camp modeled after PSGW.

September 1991: Lissy, Mimi, and Ed tour several campsites in the area, decide on Monte Toyon in Santa Cruz, and reserve it for July 5 – 10, 1992. PSGW acts as our sponsor until CCMC obtains nonprofit status. We estimate that we will need approximately 60 paying students by May 1 or we’ll have to cancel.

October 26, 1991: The very first planning meeting takes place at Lissy’s house in Palo Alto. In addition to Mimi, Lissy, and Ed, attendees include Denée Deckert, Anita Grunwald, Lynne Haynes, Carol McComb, and Ellen Silva. Mimi presents an overview of attaining nonprofit status and a sample budget. Notes from the first meeting: “If we want to keep camp affordable, we need to keep costs down and raise other funds. We need to accomplish as much work as possible through volunteers.” We discuss fundraising ideas. We brainstorm names for the camp, possible teachers, and our vision of what we want camp to be. We decide to establish ourselves as a membership organization. The first board of directors is elected: Ed, Carol, Lynne, Mimi as Secretary/Treasurer, and Lissy as President.

From this point on, the core group of Lissy, Dave Campbell, Anita, Lynne, Mimi, Ed, Carol, and Ellen (and Sandy for a while) continues to meet weekly or biweekly until camp. Nearly every decision, from what classes will be offered to who should receive a scholarship, is made by consensus. Lissy and Mimi maintain endless lists, notes, budgets, and minutes. Mimi fills out endless forms and paperwork to incorporate and achieve nonprofit status.

November 1991: We decide on a name; Ellen designs the CCMC logo. We begin calling prospective instructors to invite them to teach at camp. Verlene Schermer becomes the first (besides Carol and Ed) teacher to make a commitment to come.

December 1991: Gryphon agrees to be the CCMC store and repair shop.

January 1992: CCMC gets its first camp phone number.

February 1992: The first brochures are mailed to teachers and music stores throughout California, and placed in every Bay Area public location we can think of. The first CCMC ad runs in Acoustic Guitar magazine.

February 10, 1992: Gary Sanborn becomes the first person (outside of the core committee) to register for CCMC. By the end of the month, 20 people have registered.

March 1992: California recognizes CCMC as a 501c(3) nonprofit educational arts organization.

March 14, 1992: CCMC produces its first benefit concert starring Ed and Carol (and others, including Kathy Kallick). John Treacy and Karen Gibson are in the audience and hear CCMC’s request for volunteers.

March 22, 1992: John Treacy attends his first meeting. This meeting is also the first for Mike Sorey, who also attends camp.

April 1, 1992: Cats and Jammers does a benefit concert for CCMC at the Country Store Café in Saratoga.

April 1992: Registrations are up to 76 by April 12. But Mimi redoes the budget and determines that our break-even enrollment number is 93.

April 1992: CCMC gets a grant from the Varian Foundation. (After the first successful camp, Varian donates another grant.)

May 1, 1992: Enrollment is high enough that we decide to pass the deadline to cancel (and get our Monte Toyon deposit refunded).

May 16, 1992: The first Jamathon is held at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto, Local businesses including Swain's House of Music, the Country Store (a restaurant in Saratoga), Joplin and Sweeney, Whole Foods, and Tower Records donate prizes. The grand prize, for the most money raised (not counting board members), is two tickets to the fall Strawberry Music Festival.

June 7, 1992: Ed and Rick Vandivier do a benefit concert at the University Lutheran Church in Palo Alto.

July 5–10, 1992: The first CCMC takes place at Monte Toyon in Santa Cruz. Mimi and Lissy are site coordinators, Lynne is the camp medical person, Dave is the sound guy, Richard Johnston runs the store and repair shop, Ellen Silva and Steve Swain assist. John Treacy and Karen Gibson also help with setup.

September 1992: The first CCMC newsletter is published.

September 26, 1992: The first membership meeting is held at Melanie Ramsey's house in Palo Alto. Discussion topics included finding another campsite, moving camp to another time of year (like May), and whether to split the student concert into two nights or start it in the afternoon. A concert committee, comprising Ed, Carol, Anita, and John, is formed.

February 19–21, 1993: The first winter retreat is held at Camp Campbell in Boulder Creek. Approximately 50 people attend.

July 1993: By the time the second CCMC starts, there is still a waiting list of approximately 30 people.

October 1993: So that we don't have to worry about a noise curfew, we decide to have CCMC '94 at Camp Gualala instead of Monte Toyon. We re-organize to form sub-committees responsible for certain tasks, such as teacher hiring, so that the whole group isnÕt involved in every decision.

July 2004: With campers eagerly awaiting their registration brochures arriving in their mail to immediately return for sell out camps and long waiting lists, CCMC expands to two one-week sessions, allowing many new campers to attend.

July 2009: The beloved Camp Gualala property was in need of some serious repairs and was about to change hands. So to help make camp more accessible to persons of all mobilities, CCMC moves to its new home in the Gold Country at the Community of the Great Commission in Foresthill, CA near Auburn.

July 2011: CCMC celebrates its 20th camp year!

July 2017: CCMC celebrates its 25th year with its 26th annual camp!

 

Boards of Directors

Where two people are listed on the same line, the second name indicates who completed the term.

1991–1993

Lissy Abraham

Lynne Haynes

Mimi Hills

Ed Johnson

Carol McComb

1994

Lissy Abraham

Bill Barnard

Mimi Hills

Ed Johnson

John Treacy

1995

Lissy Abraham

Bill Barnard

Preston Carter

Ed Johnson

John Treacy

1999

Lucy Carter

Charlie Cutten

Brian Lawley

Jeff Lionz

Dan Rosenberg

2000

Jayme Kelly Curtis

Charlie Cutten

Karen Gibson

Dan Rosenberg

John Treacy

2001

Jayme Kelly Curtis

Karen Gibson

Lowell Moulton

Steve Stielstra

John Treacy

2004

Topher Gayle

Karen Gibson

Janet Lenore McCallister

Mike Simpson

John Treacy

2005

Lissy Abraham

Karen Gibson

Janet Lenore McCallister

Mike Simpson

John Treacy

1996

Lissy Abraham

Phil Campbell

Preston Carter

Ed Johnson

John Treacy

1997

Preston Carter

Stacey Erdman

Ed Johnson

Terry McCune

John Treacy

1998

Preston Carter

Stacey Erdman

Ed Johnson

Terry McCune/Karen Gibson

Ellen Silva

2002

Karen Gibson

Janet Lenore McCallister

Lowell Moulton

Steve Stielstra

John Treacy

2003

Topher Gayle

Janet Lenore McCallister

Lowell Moulton

Mike Simpson

John Treacy

2006

Lissy Abraham

Lucy Carter/Topher Gayle

Karen Gibson

Janet Lenore McCallister

John Treacy

2007

Lissy Abraham

Karen Gibson

Janet Lenore McCallister

Jane Skoler

Barbara Slone

2008

Lissy Abraham

Mimi Hills

Carol Lewandowski

Jane Skoler

Barbara Slone

2009

Mimi Hills

Mike Hitchcock

Janet Lenore McCallister

Carol Lewandowski

Jane Skoler/Heather Stewart

2010

Mimi Hills

Mike Hitchcock

Janet Lenore McCallister

Carol Lewandowski

Heather Stewart

John Wagner

2011-2012

Mimi Hills

Mike Hitchcock

Janet Lenore McCallister

Carol Lewandowski

John Wagner

2013-2014

Mimi Hills

Mike Hitchcock

Peter Langston

Janet Lenore McCallister

Carol Lewandowski

2015

Mimi Hills

Jylian Crandall Freas

Mike Hitchcock

Peter Langston

Janet Lenore McCallister

Carol Lewandowski

2016

Mimi Hills

Jylian Crandall Freas

Peter Langston/Jane Skoler

Janet Lenore McCallister

Carol Lewandowski

2017

Mimi Hills

Jylian Crandall Freas

Janet Lenore McCallister

Carol Lewandowski

Jane Skoler

2018-2019

Mimi Hills

Jylian Crandall Freas

Steve Eckert

Bob Richard

Jane Skoler

California Coast Music Camp

P.O. Box 60875

Palo Alto, CA 94306-0875

650-306-0399    

​info@musiccamp.org

© 2019 California Coast Music Camp

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