Arrowbear Songs

Circle Game

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star


And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like, when you're older, must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams


Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels through the town
And they tell him,
Take your time, it won't be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down


So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through


And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Songwriter: Joni Mitchell


Little Cabin in the Woods

Little cabin in the woods,

Little man by the window stood,
Saw a rabbit hopping by
Knocking at his door.

“Help me! Help me!" he said
“For the hunter shoots me dead!"
“Little rabbit come inside,
Quickly to be fried.*

Songwriter:  unknown

This song is sung with hand motions to act out the plot. With each repetition of the song, another line of the song is left out while the hand motions continue. By the end of the song, there is complete silence and only the hand motions remain. Today, this tradition continues, BUT there are now sound effects that accompany many of the hand motions. (“boing, boing, boing, boing” while the rabbit hops.)

*There is still a hot debate over the fate of the rabbit in the last line of this song. Some campers prefer the line stated above; others prefer a more humane destiny for the rabbit and sing, “Safely to abide.” Which fate do you think faces the rabbit?

Every year we receive a couple of requests for the lyrics to songs sung at Arrowbear. It seems logical to simply type them up and share them on our website so everyone has easy access. Here are two of the favorites. Let us know if there are any songs you’d like to see in future newsletters or on the website. Just email us or include your request when you send in a donation.

Traditional Arrowbear Song


We love life at Arrowbear

Nights are cool and days are fair

Not a worry, not a care

Just music, music, music.

We all dress in shorts and jeans

Feed ourselves on ham and beans                          

alternate line:   Feed ourselves on fine cuisine

Happiest days in all our teens

Just music, music, music.

Hours, we play for hours

And then we make the hills and mountains ring

They fairly tremble when we sing . . .

Arrowbear’s the place to be

Full of fun and harmony

Even when we get K.P.

It’s music, music, music.


Click on pictures to open full size in new window

Slow Arrowbear Song


Three kitchen staff workers, Betsy Osborne, K.C. Still, and Donna Fekjar, wanted to contribute to Skit Night along with the campers. They composed these alternate lyrics to a well-known tune having no idea that their version would become part of the camp repertoire sung by current campers every summer.

Arrowbear, Arrowbear

We’re so happy to be here

Where we share with those who care

Music and friendships so dear

Mountain air magic fills heart and soul

Clear bright skies so blue

Arrowbear, Arrowbear

We’ll be sorry to leave you.



Below is an archive of the old 'Conductors' page


Meet an Arrowbear Conductor - Fall 2003

We're pleased to share a little info about the conductors from Intermediate and Elementary Sessions from last summer. Both of them have worked at Arrowbear for numerous sessions. 

Michelle Chace Bass has been a part of Arrowbear Music Camp going on 38 years as a camper, counselor, staff member and Orchestra Conductor. She conducted at the Elementary and Second Intermediate Session last summer.

Michelle grew up in what she terms "the golden era" of music education in the Long Beach Unified School District in the 60s when Mr. Ohlendorf was the Superintendent of Music. Joe Burger started her on the violin. She was a student under Herb Burger, Mike Pappone, Bob Gibson, Vard Van Voris, Jack Palacios, and Roger Johnson - all great musicians and teachers. Michelle played in Mr. O's All District Orchestras each year and was the concert mistress in Junior High and High School. She performed the Bruch Violin Concerto with the High School All-District Orchestra, and the Mendelsohn Violin Concerto at the High School Session of Arrowbear under Akira Endo.

Michelle received her Bachelor of Music Degree from CSULB and her Master of Music Degree at USC. Mr. Ohlendorf gave Michelle her first teaching job at Newcomb Elementary (K-8) School directing the Junior High Orchestra. She also worked with Fran Harding at Demille Junior High School directing their orchestra for a couple of years. Michelle taught at Long Beach City College with Dr. Pappone and, after he retired, with Roger Johnson for many years until she moved to Lake Arrowhead in 1995. Michelle has taught private violin, viola and piano lessons to students in Long Beach for 32 years. This last year, she started a string program in the Rim of the World School District (which had not had a string program for 50 years!) She took 7 students with her on various scholarships to Elementary Session at Arrowbear this summer. Last year she started with about 38 students in four elementary schools, and this fall she has over 100 students in her Elementary String program as well as a Continuing Strings class in the Middle School and a Rim of the World Youth Orchestra for Middle and High School students. "I feel like I'm continuing the legacy that Mr. Ohlendorf started so many years ago: to spread the joy of music and all of the opportunity it offers to young people."

D. Anders Nelson has conducted Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Sessions at Arrowbear over the last nine years. During this time, he has also taught middle school and elementary music in San Gabriel and in Chatsworth, where he recently became the Band and Jazz Director at Lawrence Middle School.

Mr. Nelson grew up in Poway, CA (north San Diego County) and was fortunate to be a part of outstanding bands at Twin Peaks Middle School and Poway High School. He continued his formal music education at Cal State Northridge and Cal State Los Angeles. His most influential teachers have included Dr. Charles Bay on clarinet and Dr. Tom Verrier in music education.
Although continually active as a performer, his major focus is in music education. He has taught private lessons since his high school years, coached chamber ensembles, and directed bands. Recently he worked for a time as a freelance performer and teacher in San Diego. Mr. Nelson has been honored to be a presenter at state and regional professional conferences, university music education classes, and school district in-services. He has also been an auditioner for the All Southern California Middle School Honor Band, conducted honor bands, and adjudicated marching band competitions and concert festivals.

Mr. Nelson's primary goal in any teaching situation is to nurture each student's natural affinity for and enjoyment of music, both as a performer and as a listener. A favorite quote: "If it's no fun - it's not really music!" The real joy in music, he believes, comes from continual exploration, refinement, and self-discovery.

Meet an Arrowbear Conductor

Albert Jeung has conducted at Arrowbear for several years. He is a former camper and counselor. He is the Director of Orchestras at Aliso Niguel High School, which possesses one of the most extensive high school orchestra programs in the state with three orchestras and over 130 participants. Albert is also the principal conductor of the La Primavera Orchestra in South Orange County and is the Vice-President of String Education for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. Albert has taught string method courses at C.S.U.L.B., is the former orchestra director at Santa Ana College, and has been a guest clinician at the past two CMEA State Conferences.

Albert has guest conducted many honor orchestras including: the CMEA Central Coast Middle School Honor Orchestra, The Kern County High School and Middle School Honor Orchestras, the Irvine Unified Middle School Honor Orchestra, and the Yorba Linda/Placentia Unified Middle School Honor Orchestra. Just last March, he had the joy of conducting the Long Beach All-District Ohlendorf Honor Orchestra, which he was a member of in the 80s. He has been a camper and staff member at Arrowbear Music Camp since 1978. He holds a Bachelors and Masters of Music Degrees from California State University, Long Beach, with graduate work from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Arrowbear is so fortunate that is has not only inspired students to pursue careers in music, but that these talented people also want to give back to Arrowbear and continue the traditions.

Meet the Conductors of Advanced II

Val Jamora conducted the band during the session. He received a dual degree in Music Education and Psychology from California State University at San Bernardino in 1994. He studied saxophone performance with Jack Fuesler (Imperial Valley College), Paul Kardos (CSU San Bernardino), Charles Richard (CSU San Bernardino), and Dr. Jeff Benedict (CSU Los Angeles). Mr. Jamora received conducting instruction with Luis Gonzalez (CSUSB) and has done workshops with Allan McMurray and Michael Haithcock. He recently completed a Master's degree in instrumental conducting from the California State University at Los Angeles, under the instruction of Dr. Thomas Verrier.

Mr. Jamora began his teaching career in 1994 in the Colton Joint Unified School District as the director of bands at Ruth O Harris Middle School and Bloomington High School. He became the primary music instructor at Corona del Mar High School (Newport Beach) in 1998. Since then he has promoted growth all of CdM's performing ensembles, (vocal and instrumental) and has developed interdisciplinary instructional units for a variety of classes at CdMHS. He has received several distinctions, including "Teacher of the Year" (2000-2001) and the PTA Honorary Service Award (2001-2002).

Mr. Jamora is a long time staff member and supporter of Arrowbear Music Camp, where he attended summer sessions as a student from 1982 - 1989. He has since filled a variety of roles, including counseling, coaching, and conducting. He continues to spend part of his summer there every year, teaching music students from around the country.

Stephen Tucker has led the University of California, Irvine Symphony Orchestra since 2000; first as Interim Conductor, and since Fall of 2002, as Assistant Professor in Music. Before joining the faculty at UCI, Tucker was a doctoral student at UCLA, leading that school’s Musical Theater Orchestra and serving as assistant conductor of Opera UCLA. Having studied at the Vienna Conservatory, Austria, and the Conductors’ Institute in Hartford, Connecticut, and the International Institute for Symphonic Music, Tucker has had extensive training in conducting, a subject which he presently teaches both privately and at UCI. In 1993, he became Music Director of the Neumark Ensemble, a Southern California based Chamber Orchestra and Chorale, at the same time leading the Southern California Young Artists’ Symphony. Since 1998, Tucker has served as conductor of the Arrowbear Symphonic and Advanced Orchestras, while continuing to guest conduct in Europe and the United States. He was also the conductor of the Long Beach All-City High School Honor Orchestra two years ago, and the conductor of the All-Southern Honor Orchestra last year.Current Arrowbearites are extremely fortunate to have such high caliber conductors leading the musical groups at Arrowbear.

Current Arrowbearites are extremely fortunate to have such high caliber conductors leading the musical groups at Arrowbear.