Blues Boot Camp – Connecting you to music

Got something to say but can’t express it?

The ability to express yourself in a positive and creative way in society is sometimes difficult with fewer outlets for young people to express the frustrations of modern life.

Many engage in drug and alcohol abuse bullying and violence as an outlet. Whether it is through interacting with others in a creative way or finding an outlet for their creativity, Blues Boot Camp helps to discover the fun, joy and pleasure that music can bring.

Blues Boot Camp is a fun and challenging, two day and one evening, highly interactive workshop, where participants will gain both theoretical and practical music industry skills from trained and experienced music industry professionals. The skills will then be practically applied during the public concert at the Echuca Moama Winter Blues Festival.

Blues Boot Camp is designed for all instruments and is for students from 12 – 25 years with an intermediate ability level for instrumentalists and beginner to intermediate level for vocalists.


Students with learning difficulties are encouraged to attend. Participants will be required to bring their own instruments. Drum kits, amplifiers, PA. Systems and Microphones will be provided but bring your own if you prefer.

Blues Boot Camp also deals with performance skills, industry skills, song writing, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). Our experienced, professional tutors have the knowledge to deal with and answer questions on every aspect of performance and the business side of music in a practical and useful way.

In the 19th century West African slaves were sent to America, Europe, and South America and began to use European instruments, combining them with their own traditional folk music. The earliest recordings we have of this music are from the early 20th Century.

This is the place this Blues boot camp will explore. It is a place that combines a simplistic form of music (e.g.: 12 bar blues) with freedom of expression.


Arguably the ‘blues form’ is the basis for all for styles of contemporary western music. Whether it is pop, rock, rap, hip-hop, jazz, soul, or funk, the roots are traced back to West African Tribal music. The communal, “call and response” influence of West African Tribal music is vast and significant and therefore worth understanding its application to contemporary music.

While having knowledge of the rules and theories of music is important, the ability to express yourself is equally so. Through Blues boot camp participants will gain a basic understanding of the mechanics of the blues and gospel forms of music as well as practical ways to apply this knowledge to modern forms of music. It encourages freedom of expression, combining knowledge and emotion, and fosters cooperation, social/community connectivity and team building.


Please note: Blues Boot Camp is a Drug and Alcohol free event.

Blues Boot Camp, Echuca – TUTORS 2017

Wayne Jury

Vocals, Guitar, Song writing, Facilitator and Coordinator, Cert IV Training and assessment, Cert IV in Music, Professional musician (40 years). Singing teacher (20 years) Music Coordinator Echuca Moama Winter Blues Festival 2008, 2009, 2010, & 2011. Facilitator of Blues Boot Camp at Echuca Moama Winter Blues 2009 – 2017 and Blues Boot Camp Bellarine, for the last six years.

During his 30 years of performing and touring while based in Sydney he gained experience as a singer/songwriter, guitarist, and vocal teacher while working with some of Australia’s best known musicians and producers.

Sarah Carroll

Choir/Vocal coach, guitar, ukulele. Sarah teaches ukulele at Ocean Grove Primary School and Barwon Heads Primary, singing for fun at Queenscliff Primary School, and conducts occasional singing and song writing workshops for young people in Geelong at The Courthouse Youth Arts Centre and at Bellarine Secondary College. She was the Director of The Tides of Welcome Choir, a 35 piece community choir based in Queenscliff, Victoria. She has worked in public radio for 20 years, and has been an announcer at 3RRR, 3CR and currently 94.7 The Pulse in Geelong. Sarah has performed music professionally for 20 years. She is known as the “Ukulele Queen of the Bellarine”

Michael Pollitt

Apart from running successful marketing campaigns on social media, performing as “Mr. Black and Blues” (Nationally and Internationally) and running a record label, Michael was a mentor /tutor for students during the highly successful 2014/15/16 Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society (MBAS) Youth in Blues program. He generously shares his knowledge of many things musical. His guitar playing was once described as rooted in the tradition of blues music but innovative and contemporary. The last few years have seen Michael win accolades such as: Australian Artist of the year, Best Australian Blues Album for “Blow these tracks – Live on The Blues Train with Chris Wilson”, and Best Australian Album for “Long road home”, by Rhythms Magazine Readers Poll.

Sweet Felicia

Sweet Felicia is Australia’s darling of the Blues. Voted Blues Performer of the Year (Victoria) and Semi-Finalist at the International Blues Challenge 2011 Memphis Tenn. USA. She recently undertook her third successful overseas tour through Europe. Her experience is vast, performing with Phil Manning, Jeff Lang, a Lil’ Fi and The Chris Wilson Band as well as coaching and mentoring youth music programs (including for the MBAS Youth in Blues program). She is a passionate Singer, Bassist, recording artist, band leader, and manager and she knows not only how to win over any audience but also what it takes to survive in the industry. She is a genuine, powerful artist and engaging mentor.

Fenn Wilson

Fenn Wilson is an award-winning and captivating young singer-songwriter and drummer who expresses pure feeling through storytelling. His debut album features his powerful yet gentle, deep voice and strong, rhythmic guitar. He grew up in a professional musical family, learning not only how to play and perform but also the ‘ins and outs’ of the music industry, through the experience of his parents. In his own right, Fenn now performs at festivals, bars, and venues around Victoria and never fails to hold his audience spellbound. He is also a sought after drummer and can be seen accompanying father Chris Wilson at shows. Fenn’s addition to the Blues Boot Camp Tutors adds youthful experience beyond his years.

Claire Hedger

Claire Hedger is a writer, producer, and commentator who specialises in music. With over 30 years of experience, she works across the radio, television, and entertainment industries. Her work in Radio (3RRR) and TV (ABC) has been much awarded. She enjoys challenging young adults to develop their lateral thinking and to expand their perspectives of the world. Claire is a qualified lecturer (RMIT University), social worker, drug counsellor music therapist, event manager, NLP results coach, artist, and tour manager. She is completing a PhD in music, feminist and cultural theory and has been a member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) since 2000, presenting and chairing papers at international conferences.

Blues Boot Camp, Echuca – TIMETABLE 2017



Participants to arrive by 9.00am. Prepare instruments, get seated in venue.


Introductions. Briefing and outline of the Blues Boot Camp. OH&S instructions.

Tutors brief students on methods and outcomes for Blues Boot camp.


A brief history of blues music and the origins of music and rhythm, discussing call and response and singing the news. Discuss chord progressions in blues and contemporary music.


Entire ensemble. Jamming and writing an original composition using the 1, 4, 5 chord progression. Singers – Lyrics/melody.


Morning break (15 min)


Tutor ensemble groups – Fenn, Sarah, Michael, Felicia, and Wayne – practice sessions with tutor mentors choosing and working on songs for performance.

12.00 noon

Workshops – Song writing, including lyrics and basic chord structures with substitutions. Supervised practice sessions at Radcliffe’s and above Beechworth Bakery.




Vocal and Stagecraft workshop with Wayne Jury and Sarah Carroll – vocal students.


Rhythm section workshop. ‘The groove is king’ (Students not in Vocal w/shop) Michael, Fenn, Felicia.


“Social Media in the music biz” workshop with Michael Pollitt. (With tutor support)


“Preparing for performance”. 2 hours with Tutor ensemble groups and duos, trios etc.




Participants to arrive by 9.00am.


Group get together – Revise yesterday’s work, questions, requests from participants.


Building confidence. Workshop Claire Hedger


Vocal/percussion workshop with – all tutors and students.


Morning break (15 min)


Relocate to various practice rooms for section tuition. Choir/ harmonies – Wayne and Sarah. Guitar, Bass, drums, and keyboard – Michael, Felicia and Fenn.

12.00 Noon



Blues Boot Camp Games. Equipment Olympics. Including OH&S.


Ensemble and group performance rehearsal. All participants all tutors. Final practice sessions.


Group discussion of performance format, presentation, and clothes to be worn for performance.




Arrive at venue (Radcliffe’s) by 4.15pm for sound check and dress rehearsal.


Performance to public audience, parents and relatives by entire ensemble and various groups (duos. trios, quartets etc) that will form over the duration of Boot camp.


Show finishes at approx.9.30pm

Wayne Jury. E: [email protected]
Blues Boot Camp Coordinator Echuca Moama Winter Blues 2017