We Celebrated
30 Years of
Fiddlin' Fun!
Bethel Fiddle Camp 2016
Looking for this year's camp info? Here 'tis
WOW! Did we have a good time in 2016 or what! Our kids camp was an absolute blast and the adult camp boasted our best attendance ever!
2016 Photo Album
2016 Videos
LOCATION: Bethel is small hamlet of 122 people (2010 U.S. Census) nestled in the rolling farm land in Shelby County, Northeast Missouri. It's an ideal location for studying the old tunes and immersing yourself in its history.
Where is Bethel Missouri
The town was founded as a utopian colony in 1844 by Dr Wilhelm Keil, a Prussian-born preacher. He and his followers, who were almost exclusively German immigrants to America, believed that the Christians should hold all property and means of production in common and they organized their Colony accordingly. No longer a religious organization, the Colony organization exists now to insure the preservation of the many historic buildings, of which Bethel is "chock-full". These historic structures from the 1800 along with the performance "barn" serve as the teaching spaces.

Vesta Johnson of Kirkwood, MO grew up surrounded by traditional music. Her driving fiddling inspires dancers and musicians of all ages. Vesta started playing the fiddle at age seven and has a repertoire comprised of both standard rare tunes and familiar hoedowns.


Steve Hall is a talented multi-instrumentalist. As Vesta’s grandson, he grew immersed in Missouri’s musical traditions. Whether playing fiddle, mandolin or guitar he is a fantastic addition to any band or jam session.


John White from Hallsville, MO is an accomplished old time fiddler. He is an exceptional instructor who inspires and motivates young musicians to do their best.


Angela Lennie from Ottumwa, Iowa a former Bethel camper not only brings her talent, but a background of experience and tunes learned at former camps from some of the best Masters in the field. They travel the United States taking old time music to audiences of all ages at festivals, fairs, concerts, dances, schools, libraries, camps, radio and TV programs.


Liz Amos followed Bob Holt and the Ava dancers home from Bethel years ago and spent the following five years fiddling and dancing twenty-seven hours a day (according to some.)  Guided by Bob's principle that "you've gotta give the dancers a place to put their foot down," her fiddling is driven by her love of dancing.


John Williams, a former camper has been teaching fiddle for several years. He studied with some of the best Masters in the Midwest and has developed his own unique style.


Charlie Walden, or “possum” as his friends call him is the reason for the Bethel Fiddle Camp. He had the vision many years ago and it has continued with success. 


Kenny Applebee is one of the most sought after guitar players at fiddle contests in Missouri and the Mid-South. His tasteful choice of chords and impeccable rhythm make him the accompanist of choice for many of today’s traditional fiddlers.


Matt Cartier will be returning as the dance instructor by popular demand.  A very talented performer that relates well to students and gets them involved to the utmost.  Dancing is fun when led by Matt.  

The information on this website is provided for informational and educational purposes only by the Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers Association. All content subject to change without notice. For any issues related to its content please contact the webmaster at