Who’s Ooo?: Staff Bios & Camper Musings

Current Staff

Malcolm Dalglish

MDMalcolm Dalglish attended The American Boychoir School at age ten and graduated from The National Outdoor Leadership School at fifteen. He’s a choral composer, director, and raconteur who plays hammer dulcimer, spoons, bones, and his face. A founding member of the popular folk trio Metamora, Malcolm has made over 12 recordings, including solo offerings on the Windham Hill Label. He strives to create songs that are “playgrounds for singers”. Audiences are engaged by the storytelling, poetry and theater of these works. Choirs throughout the world have commissioned his music, and he performs with them everywhere from schools and festivals to Carnegie Hall. His folk choir, The Ooolites, is known for its earthy, ethereal sound. He’s been called a pied piper of youth choirs (and his flair for pie making hasn’t hurt his reputation either!).

Joshua Stephen Kartes

JSKJoshua Stephen Kartes, a New York City–based freelance composer and performer, has been working with Malcolm and the rest of the Dalglish family since meeting Malcolm in 1998 at his high school in Muskegon, Michigan. He graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2004 with a degree in Music Composition and Piano Performance, and worked as a freelance musician and director for four years in Chicago before his recent move to New York. Joshua is a seasoned composer, arranger, performer and clinician, and has had many opportunities to work with a variety of ensembles. Most recently, Joshua co-created, musical directed and premiered a new musical review featuring the music of French/Belgian folk singer Jacques Brel. Joshua was awarded a Joseph Jefferson Award for Musical Direction for his work on a previous Chicago production of “Cabaret”. During his time in Chicago, he was also on staff at Columbia College Chicago, the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and Northwestern University.

Rachel Schlafer-Parton

rachelRachel Schlafer-Parton‘s first musical experience began at an early age when she crawled into the kitchen, opened the bottom drawer of the stove, and started playing the pots and pans. She has been playing everything she can get her hands on ever since. As a sign language interpreter she also uses those hands to sing. Her performing experience, (vocal, instrumental, and movement) ranges from early music to jazz ensemble, classical trio to theater, and mime to modern dance. As a magician’s assistant, she is likely to disappear or levitate at any moment! Rachel is perhaps best known for her performance on the syringe on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. These eclectic experiences have enhanced her artistic sign language interpreting for theater, concerts, opera, and other artistic productions. Venues where Rachel has performed range from the National Gallery of Art to the Blue Bird Cafe. At Bonnaroo, she interpreted for a number of Rock artists and was also an instrumentalist with the Band of Humans. As an RID certified interpreter she interprets in the Knoxville area where she lives with her husband Joel and their menagerie of goats, bees, cats, and dogs.

Liz Wu

LWLiz Wu learned at the age of three how to turn any ordinary object into a percussive instrument. Danish cookie tins and chopsticks worked particularly well … but have since been replaced by djembes, dumbeks, congas and surdos. Liz graduated from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a degree in Jazz Vibraphone and currently plays in six projects: Acarya (Tribal Rock), Poco Loco (Latin Jazz), Wabi Sabi (Ambient Jazz), Orquesta Kandela (Salsa), Toca Madera (Flamenco and Bossa Nova) and The Three Casseroles (Gypsy Jazz). When offstage, she enjoys writing, making jewelry, hiking, cooking and teaching fitness classes- she is stoked to return for another year at Ooolation!

Janiece Jaffe

JJJaniece Jaffe started her career as a pre-school teacher and mother of 4, serving her well in finding love as the foundation for everything! Going back to Indiana University in her 30’s, she acquired a degree in Vocal Jazz Performance and has been an improvisational singer and vocal coach since. You can find her singing and recording Big Band music, backing up Motown, Reggae, Americana and all else in between! Recently, she has been co-piloting with Elise Witt for Rhiannon’s (singer in Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra) All the Way In program of vocal improvisation. For about a decade she has been ‘playing’ and studying sound healing in the realm of toning with crystal and Tibetan bowls and offers workshops in the voice as a healing instrument. When she’s not singing she is most likely dancing to funk music!

Previous Ooolation teachers & staff have included:

Moira Smiley
Evie Ladin & Keith Terry
Georgia Rose Armstrong Park

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Ooo! Musings

Past Campers, Parents, and Fans talk about Ooolation!


“Last summer, Ooolation! gave my voice wings, and it’s still flying!”
-Christie Burns, Sherman Oaks, CA

“The camp is perfect, full of music and warmth.”
-Anna Ardizzone, Bloomington, IN

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“I’ve always loved to sing… But Ooo taught me to appreciate music in a new way. The feel of creating effortless harmonies in an Aspen grove, surrounded by people I love, is an experience that can be replicated only once a year, but a memory I will never forget.”

-Mary Ardery, Bloomington IN


“I came to a concert-what I got was a show-a real show-that had me smiling with watery eyes.”
-Margie van Auken, fan

“In two summers I have found that Ooolation! is where voices are heard, raised in song and laughter, our shared languages. It is where all the senses are explored and made stronger as you dance and drum, shout and sing, touch the hands of others in a friendly squeeze, see the beauty of the nature around you and in the talents and feelings of other people.”
-Bronwen Davies, Trenton, NJ


“The only reason I would want to be a teenager again is to go to an Ooolation! Camp. There’s such an abundance of magnificence, music, energy and fun!”
-Cindy Kallet, fan

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“Ooo is an incredible, magical place for music lovers like myself. I started attending Malcolm’s camps when I was 14, and continued for the next decade. The camp is a place away from time, away from stress. We sing and play all day. You are appreciated for being you.”
Sophie Kanter, San Francisco, CA

“The greatest values of Ooolation! are the things we parents want so desperately for our children to understand: the benefits of hard work and healthy living, and the pure joy of working and being together. Out of it all comes love: love of the shared experience, love of nature, love of our many individual and collective gifts, and love of music. Thank you for sharing your gifts with our children. You have enriched their lives and ours.”
-Laura Jesseph, parent of Ooolation! Participant


“Ooolation! can’t really be called a camp. It’s an experience unlike any other. Not only is it a creative and inspiring musical production, but the fun, easygoing, natural atmosphere conjures the happiest emotions out of me every summer. I could go on and on…”

-Lily Hamburger, Silver Spring, MD

“I have wished there was a way to express the gift of your music… We never get enough of feeling inspired by young people engaging their passions. Just being in their presence fills me with renewed peace for the future.”
-Connie Millar, San Francisco, CA

“The aspens are all connected. I like to think of a big, green giant that lives under ground poking it’s fingers and toes up into the air and we are allowed to live and sing for a week under those shimmering branches. The music has given me another way to experience nature. Coming here always feels like raindrops coming together to form a river that flows to the sea. People feel at home, loved, and free to be themselves. The people here will always be my family.”
-Taylor Smith, Sunnyvale, CA