- Alex Cumming
Alex Cumming is a traditional Singer, Accordionist, Pianist and dance caller hailing from Somerset, England, now living in Brattleboro VT, USA. He performs songs and tunes from around the United Kingdom and America with a great depth of knowledge of the tradition. Alex has made his mark on the folk scene with his rhythmic dance-able accordion style, strong voice and his fun and engaging stage presence. After over a decade of recording albums and touring with various bands, 2023 sees Alex record and release his debut solo album, ‘Homecoming’, featuring fiddler Audrey Jaber (Wake Up Robin, Free Raisins), guitarist Max Newman (Stringrays, Nor’Easter) and regular recording collaborator Pete Ord (Haystack Records).
Alex is a member of Celtic trio Bellwether (with Louise Bichan, Eric McDonald), award winning a capella quartet The Teacups and critically acclaimed duo Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley. You may also catch him playing for dances in many combos, including Stuart Kenney’s Red Case Band and trio Crossover. In 2020 Alex, Jeremiah McLane and Rachel Bell co-founded Virtual Accordion Camp together. He is also Artistic Director for Revels North and bookings manager Live To Your Living Room.
- Ando Anderson
My mother brought a ukulele on a family trip to Atlanta. The 7 hour drive was pretty stressful as three unruly bored brothers turned the backseat into a war zone. In addition to our battles this trip we each learned to play 5’2″ on the uke. My first experience with a stringed instrument. Of course we performed for Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. That was over 50 years ago.
Since then I’ve played guitar, upright bass, and uke in assorted bands and groups mostly in Mississippi and Maine. (more…)
- Elizabeth Anderson
Elizabeth Anderson is the 2020 US National Scottish Fiddle Champion and the 2016 Perth All-Scotland Fiddle Champion. Her stylish and vibrant fiddle playing has delighted audiences and dancers across the East Coast. As a duo with her brother Ben on cello, Elizabeth has played to full houses at iconic Boston venues The Burren and Club Passim, and has given popular performances and workshops as far away as France and Scotland. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, she teaches string instruments as a middle school and private instructor.
- Aidan BoardmanAidan Boardman is a vocalist/multi-instrumentalist and teacher, teaching primarily at Greene Hill School in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. He is also pursuing songwriting and recording under the pseudonyms, anguid and Dreamt. Aidan’s teaching focuses on developing guitar technique, posture, creative harmonies, and ear-training.
- Susie Burke
Susie Burke has been singing and performing since the early 80s, as a soloist, and a member of several bands and duos, the longest running being with David Surette. Her musical tastes and influences are varied, encompassing contemporary and traditional folk, swing, country, topical songs, and acapella singing, with detours along the way for Broadway showtunes and classic ballads. “She posesses one of the finest, purest ballad voices heard in folk music today” wrote Scott Alarik in the Boston Globe, noting that “her phrasing is unerringly devoted to the lyric…Burke displays a gift for pulling honest emotional chords – all too rare in these clever and cynical times.” (more…)
- Baron Collins-Hill
Baron grew up playing the mandolin in Maine and graduated from Hampshire College with a degree in music performance and ethnomusicology. Versed in traditional music, bluegrass, and jazz, he is known for his rhythmic experimentation and unique harmonic sense on both the mandolin and the tenor guitar. Baron plays with fiddler Julia Plumb in their duo Velocipede and runs MandoLessons, a website offering free online mandolin lessons.
- Jim DiCarlo
A self-described “tune hound,” Jim DiCarlo has been playing Irish music on whistle and wooden flute for contra dances, at sessions, and in the hallways of music festivals for the past 25 years. He loves learning new tunes and has even composed a few of passable quality. A long-time member of the Maine-based, not-entirely-traditional group Wake the Neighbors, he played alongside Lissa Schneckenburger, John Cote, Jessie & Greg Boardman, Ed Howe, Anthony Shostak and Alfred Lund. (more…)
- Éric Favreau
Éric Favreau comes from a family of traditional musicians and has spent a great deal of time playing with other fiddlers, learning their repertoire and studying their varied styles. Éric has explored and exploited various sources including archives and personally made field recordings and has accumulated a rich and fascinating repertoire. Over the years, he has garnered a profound understanding and vast knowledge of Québécois traditional music. (more…)
- Alex FortierAlex has been playing piano since the age of six, even receiving instruction from our esteemed MFC staff at a young age. He now adds his experience with various styles of music to MFC as staff.Having graduated from University of Rochester’s Music program in 2019, Alex is now working both solo and with various projects out of Rochester, NY.Spotify Artist Link: https://open.spotify.com/artist/60n7vsNGsJxyNrpRoH0Om4?si=_s2_vlKLRr2XAIA6zwybMQ
- Benjamin FossBenjamin Foss is a musician and luthier based in Brooks, Maine. Benjamin grew up in southern New England attending and playing for contra dances and building fiddles and banjos out of everything he could find. He first came to Maine Fiddle Camp in 2012 and hasn’t missed a session since!Benjamin plays in several contra dance combinations on fiddle, guitar, tenor banjo, and occasionally other stringed instruments and on rare occasions can be found calling dances. When he’s not playing, he’s building and restoring guitars, banjos and mandolins in Brooks. Some of Benjamin’s other pursuits include restoring player pianos and reed organs, stacking firewood, and finding forgotten fiddle tunes and dances to bring back into circulation.
- Daniel Hawkins
Daniel is a Philadelphia-based cellist, student, and teacher. He’s played with the Richardson Chamber Players, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Philharmonic, and various other ensembles and contradance bands. He released “Ride EP,” a DVD of original multimedia art, in 2012. He co-founded and served as artistic director of the Ottsville Traditional Arts Center in Bucks County PA from 2013-6, and has also taught at Maine Fiddle Camp, Fiddle Hell, Summertrios, Princeton in Asia, and Open Access to Music Education. He endeavors to make his cello teaching as accessible as possible to all, and to emphasize the participatory nature of the traditions he teaches.
- Ed Howe
Born into a musical family, Ed started playing fiddle at the age of 4, learning Suzuki method. His musical interests cover a wide spectrum from Bluegrass to Celtic and beyond and he has been a regular instructor for Maine Fiddle Camp since 2003. Howe has an extensive electronics background, and took an interest in the electric violin. He plays a 5-string NS Design electronic violin and is a featured artist on the NS design artist page. (more…)
- McKinley James
McKinley James is a cellist studying at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. She has also played with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, Middlebury College Orchestra, McGill Symphony Orchestra, and the New England Conservatory Symphony, and soloed with the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra.
She is a founding member of the band Night Tree. The group, all students at NEC, were named the Conservatory’s WildCard Honors Ensemble for 2016-2017. Awards for this title included a sponsorship from NEC, a headlining performance at the historic Jordan Hall, and a year of working with Winifred Horan, fiddler and co-founder of Irish super-band, SOLAS. As acoustic sextet Night Tree, Brian O’Donovan, Senior DJ at Boston’s own radio station, WGBH, calls them “One of the most exciting roots-based music groups to emerge from the New England Conservatory in many years. Their individual chops and adventurous approach make Night Tree a band to watch for.” Together they have toured throughout the US, opened for Solas in Portsmouth Music Hall, and played in Jordan Hall, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Public Library, and Rockwood Music Hall. They released their debut album in 2017 and toured in Europe in 2018. She has also toured in China with her piano trio. She studied with Yeesun Kim at the New England Conservatory for her Bachelor’s Degree
- Stuart Kenney
One of the most in demand upright bass, and five-string banjo players on the US contradance circuit, Stuart Kenney’s regional musical interests sweep from Southwest Louisiana to Acadia. He has a long career in many traditional music genres. His interest in Quebecois music formed through the fiddling of Lisa Ornstein, and performances by La Bottine Souriante. The inclusion of French Canadian music into the living tradition of New England contradance music caught his attention early on. (more…)
- Jeff Lewis
Jeff Lewis is a native to Waldo County and has spent the greater portion of his life immersed in music, specializing on mandolin in a diverse range of styles. He attended MFC as a student for the first time in 2005. After a stint studying mandolin at Berklee College of Music in fall 2010, Jeff relocated to Portland, Maine to pursue music professionally in performance and composing, in addition to continued intense focus on the mandolin. You can hear Jeff playing with Bennett Konesni and Mia Friedman as Fireside, and with Konesni and David Lewis as Free Seedlings. Jeff can be reached at 46 Turner St. Portland, Maine, 207-930-0009 or visit him on line at jeffersonlewis.bandcamp.com or myspace.com/dingomandolin.
- Carter Logan
Carter plays banjo with his band “Jerks of Grass” and also plays for dances. He has a unique repertoire and we are pleased to have him on staff at camp
- Glen Loper
Glen gives private lessons for mandolin and tenor banjo from his home in Portland, ME, and plays for contradances throughout the Northeast, and at festivals across the country with bands such as Frigate, Steampacket, Riptide, and Stomp Rocket. Visit Glen at www.glenloper.com.
49 Brackett St, Portland ME, 04102
- Elaine Malkin
Elaine Malkin has played the violin since the age of 5. She was part of the resurgence of contra dances in Maine in the early 70’s, having learned from Otto Soper and Dudley Laufman. She played New England contra dances until 2009, when she began an intensive study of Québécois fiddle with mainly Éric Favreau, but also with Lisa Ornstein, André Brunet, Yvon Mimeault, and Liette Remon. This music has completely captured her heart and she uses a traditional Québécois repertoire for contra dances, concerts, and other venues. Learning, teaching, and sharing this special music is her greatest joy.
- Nina MillerNina began her love affair with the ukulele at the tender age of 8, after her parents went to Hawaii and brought back a sweet little soprano with painted Hula dancers. Four decades later, she picked it up again and started the FLUKES (Fun-Loving Ukulele Society), a 30-member ukulele ensemble based in Portland, Maine, and has been blissfully plucking, strumming and singing at fairs, festivals, memory-care, rehab, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes around the state of Maine. She is a Teaching Artist at 317 Main Community Center in Yarmouth, Maine, offering ukulele classes and leading the CUKES (Community Ukes). When not parading around with ukulele in hand, Nina can be found tooting her own (French) horn in the Portland Symphony Orchestra. She can be reached at [email protected]. ALOHA!
- Helen Newell
Helen Newell grew up in Maine surrounded by the New England Folk scene. Her parents, Kaity and Carter Newell are founding members of Maine Fiddle Camp, and Helen has spent every year of her life at MFC, first as a camper and now as a staff member since 2018.
Helen graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2022, where she studied Western classical music, American roots, jazz, and traditional music from all over the world. She has an active performing life as a professional violinist—playing in orchestras, musicals, recording sessions, chamber groups, and folk bands.
An important aspect of Helen’s musical life is teaching. She currently teaches online violin lessons to students of all ages and abilities all over the US! Depending on her student’s goals, she likes to explore different genres, repertoire, and techniques such as improvisation, composing, and arranging. If you are looking for your next step in your musical journey, her teaching philosophy is to make playing the violin enjoyable and effortless, reduce tension, and find styles that make you love music even more!
- Kaity Newell
Kaity teaches fiddle in Damariscotta and has played for dances for many years with The Maine Country Dance Orchestra, and with the band The Lady Bugs. A native of Great Britain, Kaity has brought many a fine tune from the British Isles to our local dances. Kaity also plays viola in the local community orchestra and has four children, all of whom play music and come to camp every year.
7 Creek Lane Damariscotta ME 044543 207-563-8440
- Ed Pearlman
Ed Pearlman is based in South Portland, enjoys many styles of fiddle music, and is best known for Scottish and Cape Breton fiddling, often working with his son Neil, daughter Lillie, and his wife, dancer Laura Scott. He has taught in-person workshops and private lessons since the 1980s, and since 2014, has run www.fiddle-online.com, an instructional fiddle website offering many styles and techniques. Ed co-led music and walking trips to Scotland for 14 summers, and now writes weekly posts about them on substack.com, as well as weekly posts about learning fiddle. Ed has worked closely with many top fiddlers, wrote for Fiddler magazine for several yeas, and was the music columnist for Scottish Life magazine for 24 years. He directed the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club 1981-99, and the Roaring Jelly open contra dance band for several years. With Neil on piano, Ed has toured widely and recorded 3 CDs (one with Lillie on fiddle). Together, they published a book of 150 original tunes called the “Pine Street Collection”. Ed invented the popular Finger Finder, a slide rule for violin fingering in all keys. Contact: [email protected]
- John Pranio
John started his early musical life as a drummer, but by some miracle got hooked on traditional music in his teens.
John’s been teaching fiddle and harmonica at MF Camp since its start in the mid 90’s. He’s been known to get a few silly skits going for the evening variety show. He teaches fiddle, guitar and harmonica privately and can be contacted at [email protected] 338-0296 (cell 213-3294).
- Doug Protsik
Doug likes to play the “old-time piano” for dances, melodramas, honky tonk saloons, and silent movies. He learned his style from Otto Soper, Geneva Walton, and Danny Patt among many others. He plays with Old Grey Goose and produced all three of their recordings, including the group’s first recording in 1978 for Folkways, “Old Time Country Dance Tunes and Songs from Maine”, now available again on CD. Doug also plays piano, accordion, and fiddle. He is the Camp Director again this year.
116 Pleasant Cove Dr. Woolwich ME 04579 207-522-3800
- Sharon Pyne
Sharon has been a student of tin whistle and wooden flute since 1977 when she attended the Willy Clancy Summer School while working in Ireland for the year. On her return to Boston to care for her grandmother, she studied with master flute players in the Hanafin /Cooley Comhalthus branch. She move to Maine to raise her children and became a member of the Portland Ceili Band and Ladies of the Lake. She runs a music studio in Bath, Maine where she teaches flute and whistle and Music Together. For a few months every year since 2000, she happily lives and breathes Maine Fiddle alongside director Doug Protsik. Sharon can be contacted at [email protected] or 207-522-3900.
- Maggie Robinson
Maggie Robinson has been teaching fiddle since 2003. She began taking fiddle lessons the age of 10 and became concert mistress of her school orchestra during her senior year. Many years later she discovered Contradancing and fell in love with the music She took the violin out of the closet and began learning fiddle tunes. She completed a course in 2003 at the Hartt College of Music, Theater, & Dance on “Teaching Fiddling”.
Currently she is teaching at several locations in greater Portland, and also regularly calls for contra dances around the state.
- Bethany Waickman
Bethany Waickman is a guitarist based out of Portland, Maine. She grew up in a musical family in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York state. After college she spent some time traveling, hiking, and playing music in Ireland. Upon returning, she moved to Boston to focus on music. She co-founded the contra dance trio, Anadama, and is the guitarist for VT-based fiddler/singer Lissa Schneckenburger. (more…)
- Pam Weeks
Pam sings and plays several instruments in the folk trio, T-Acadie, is fiddler and singer for the Maine-based Cajun dance band, Jimmyjo & the Jumbol’Ayuhs, plays fiddle and mountain dulcimer in the contradance band, Scrod Pudding, and performs solo or with guitar player and caller Bill Olson. She is an accomplished tunesmith and has composed scores of tunes, from lively jigs and reels, to entrancing airs and beautiful waltzes.
- Steven Weiss
Dr Steven Weiss (he is an osteopathic physician) began blowing harmonica when he was four years old. His father and his grandfather both played the mouth organ as well.
Growing up in the more popular “cross-harp” rock/blues/boogies styles, he began playing “straight harp” style (melodies rather than chords or blues): traditional, mostly old-timey, tunes on the harmonica in 1970, hanging out with southern tow boat pilots on the Ohio River near where he went to college. This was followed by many years living in Maine playing for contradances, folk clubs, concerts, festivals and playing to back-up other performers.
Although he is perhaps best known for his playing of fiddle tunes and traditional music (he has won fiddle and traditional music contests playing tunes on the harmonica), he loves pushing the instrument’s musical envelope playing rhythm vamps (known in Piedmont Blues style as “The Wind Chops,” accompaniment, blues, jazz, classical and old swing standards. He has performed extensively with various bands, including most recently the nine piece funk band “The Truthseekers” based in New York City.