Q&A

Questions & Answers

No, there is not. Smith does provide us with fans, however. Let us bow our heads in earnest prayer for friendly weather.

According to the letter of the law at Smith College, we are not allowed to drink on campus at Smith (except under circumstances that do not apply.) Smith has, so far, graciously allowed us to skirt that policy and the only—very rare—times it has been an issue were when people drank irresponsibly. So please don’t or you will be asked to leave.

As a matter of policy, we summer campers do not have access to Smith’s indoor athletic facilities. As a matter of fact, however, we do usually get a small number of gym passes we can make available for $20 for the entire time you are at Choro Camp. And of course no one will stop you from going for a run on the track or playing a game of tennis outdoors. Most campers really have no time for it, but if access to a gym or pool is really important to you we may be able to get you access. Just ask.

In general, especially for your own use, this is a good idea. That said, please check in with teachers before you record their classes. Some may have had bad experiences with people posting things online without permission, so as a matter of courtesy, offer them the opportunity to set the terms. For our part, we have no problem with you recording classes. We only ask that you if you make any of that material public that you credit Choro Camp New England as the venue.

Sure, but if you want to arrive before 3 pm on Saturday you still have to pay Camp tuition. Our great great jam scene would not exist without the many musicians on our staff or the Smith College facilities, all of which costs a lot of money. So everyone who wants to get in on the fun needs to help us cover those expenses. Having done so you can use your time here any way you’d like: jam, study, sleep…as you wish!

We do welcome visiting chorões after 3:00 on Saturday. Come play before and after our closing concert that night. The rest of the time, access to both our formal and informal activities is restricted to registered participants. Thanks for your cooperation in that regard.

  • Monday or Tuesday : You can check in at Tyler House on the Smith campus any time Monday between noon and 9 pm or Tuesday morning between 8 and 9:30 am.  Orientation is at 10 and you’ll want to be here for that. If you are a little too late to get registered before orientation on Tuesday we’ll continue registration afterwards, but keep in mind that the first class session is at 1:30.
  • Where: When you get to Smith, go to Tyler House to check in. (Campus maps)  Tyler is across the street from the Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, so if you need a street address for use in a GPS, use that building’s address: 122 Green Street, Northampton, MA 01063
  • $150 Key/Card Deposit: If you are staying in the dorms you’ll get both a key and swipe card to open various doors. Smith charges us $120 for every lost key (because they change the lock every time this happens, for security reasons.) So we are going to ask you for a $150 deposit (for both key and card) or a $30 deposit (for just the swipe card.) We will, of course, return that deposit to you on departure if you return whatever we’ve given you. To avoid having too much cash on site we would prefer you pay your deposit by check. You remember checks.

There are no scheduled activities on the last Sunday of Choro Camp. Breakfast is served (for those who opted for the meal plan) but no other meals. Smith asks that you be out of your dorm room by 10 AM, but you don’t need to be off campus by then. So if you want to hang around for some leisurely jamming or you need to wait on your airport shuttle you are welcome to do so in the common areas or outside.We do not have access to the dorms on Sunday night.

When you leave your room, please:

  • Strip the bed and leave the linens and towel either on the floor in the hall or in a basket the bathroom.
  • Put all trash in the trash basket.
  • Take any bottles or cans to the recycling bins on the first floor or basement of the dorm.
  • Return your keys and swipe card to our office in Tyler House and get your deposit back.

No concert tickets are NOT included in the cost of tuition.  We do it this way so that the Academy of Music can offer you reserved seating through their ticketing service, which we could not.

Seating for our concert at The Academy of Music is reserved. (See above for more on that.) So go enjoy a meal before the show; no need to wait in line to get a good seat.

The rooms are not set up for cooking of anything more complicated than an electric hot water pot (your own.) Although most dorms do have an accessible kitchen somewhere, most people seem to find it easier to go downtown for a sandwich than to deal with cooking during Choro Camp.

  • Staying in the dorms? If you are staying in the dorms you’ll get both a key and swipe card to open various doors in the dorms and dining hall. Smith charges us $120 for every lost key (because they change the lock every time this happens, for security reasons.) Lost swipe cards cost us $30. So we are going to ask you for a $150 deposit as we hand those over to you. We will, of course, return that deposit to you on departure if you return both the key and swipe card. To avoid having too much cash on site we would prefer you pay your deposit by check. (Made out to Andrew Lawrence or Choro camp New England.) Thanks.
  • Got the meal plan but no housing? You’ll need a swipe card to get into the dining hall. There’s $30 deposit for those cards.

The Smith College website makes available not only a campus map but also detailed floor plans of most of the buildings we’ll be using: Tyler, Morris, Lawrence, and maybe a couple others nearby. We’ll have printed copies of these maps and floor plans available on site, but if you are online you can access the maps and pdf floor plans from anywhere. Just search for Smith College and name the specific building you want. You’ll find the link to floor plans of the building you’ve searched for at the bottom of the page devoted to that building. Isn’t the internet lovely?

About a 10 minute walk. The address is 1 Roundhouse Plaza, Northampton, MA 01060.

If you are arriving after 10 PM on Monday, we’ll need to find a way to get you your keys. (We can deal with the rest of registration the next morning.) The best arrangement is to have someone already on site get your keys for you. So if you already know someone else coming to Choro Camp and you know they are arriving before you, have them pick up your keys and then you deal directly with them to get the keys.  If you see no other option, let us know you’ll be arriving late and we’ll make other arrangements one way or another. In that case,

  1. Please pay your $150 deposit in advance either by check (which we won’t cash) or by Paypal (which we’ll refund.)
  2. Make sure we have a cell number for you so we can call or text with instructions.

Smith does not provide these for us, so you may want to bring your own.

Although we suggest you arrive much earlier, the first thing you really need  to be here for is the orientation on Tuesday morning, at 10 am. The purpose of the orientation is to help you get, uh, oriented: to campus, to the daily schedule, to the class levels, to the teachers, etc. We’ll send details on the location, etc. to registered participants.

Especially if you are staying in the dorms you do not need a car while at Choro Camp. We suggest you park your car for free at the Smith parking garage for the whole event. Even if you are eating downtown, it’s a short walk and will take less time than trying to find parking.

The free (to us) parking garage is on West St, right across from Arnold St. You can find it on the Smith College maps.

 If you want to try to maintain access to your vehicle you have two options:

  1. We may have a few parking passes for people with special needs (broken legs qualify; broken strings…no.) Theoretically these allow you to use student parking slots on campus. Parking near dorms and other much-used Smith buildings is in high demand, however, so a pass of this sort only guarantees you a spot in the competition for convenient parking; it does not guarantee that an empty spot will be easily available nearby.
  2. Everyone will also have access to Northampton parking spots, some of which are close to the dorms. This is mostly metered parking. Even if it is not, parking may be limited to only certain times of day so pay attention to the street signs, as this quaint town supports itself in the manner to which it has become accustomed by nailing visitors with traffic tickets.

We cannot control how long you stay at Choro Camp, right?  You are free to come and go as you please. So the real question here is whether you can pay less than than the full fees to be here for a shorter stay. The answer to that comes in two parts:

Regarding tuition… sorry, but no. Everyone attending must pay full tuition. Regardless of whether you arrive late or leave early, we have taken on all the expenses of bringing in these artists and reserving space at Smith for the week and we need to cover those costs.

Regarding Housing and Meals…sure. If you let us know more than 30 days in advance that you will be arriving late or leaving early, we can prorate the cost of meals and/or housing. Smith will charge us accordingly.

For basic of info on flying in for Choro Camp and links to ride boards, just follow this link: Transportation

The dorms have very substantial doors and good locks, so if you use them (the door provides the most security in the “closed” position) that is the least of your potential areas of concern. The reality is, however, that there’s no “gate” for this event. We are on a college campus with all sorts of unfamiliar people walking by and checking out what we’re up to. It is entirely possible that someone could be in our midst at any point just looking for an easy opportunity for theft. Please don’t provide them with one. Keep your instrument nearby, in your room, or know who has it.

The Smith meal plan can accommodate most diets—Paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, common allergies—so long as you get that this is not a foodie retreat center. If you are super particular about your diet, downtown Northampton offers you lots of options and maximal control. If you want to give it a go in the dining hall and have special dietary needs, please let us know so we can give Smith a heads up.

Not yet…but we will! We’ll let registered Campers know when we’ve started taking pre-orders.

For all but trans-Atlantic (or Pacific) flights, Bradley International is best. If flying into Bradley is not an option, know that Boston is a lot closer than New York, but not necessarily cheaper or easier to travel from.

Linens, pillow, blanket, towels (which are not changed daily) a fan (not air conditioning), soap, a cup.  So, all you should need are basic toiletries. Please understand that this is a dorm, not a hotel, so bathrooms are shared. Unless otherwise requested, you can assume you have your own room.

Yes, we will all have access to wifi.

Stay in touch

Contact us — chorocamp@gmail.com

Subscribe for very occasional updates