August Week I
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.
Mia Bertelli grew up in the mountains of New Mexico, singing at every chance she could get. Her love of song led her to Vermont at the age of fifteen, where she dove into the polyphonic singing camps of Village Harmony like a penguin into the sea. Since then she has been filling kitchens, streets, concert halls, vegetable gardens, and public restrooms with song, both in the northeast and overseas. Her irrepressible inclination to harmonize and great love of playful nuance have mostly gotten her into all the right sorts of trouble, so she counts them among her blessings. (more…)
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.
A trained teacher, Andrea Cooper has taught everything from computers to clawhammer banjo. Andrea caught the Irish music bug while she was living in Toronto. Since then, her tin whistle teaching and playing has taken her to places as far as Eek, Alaska and Weiser, Idaho.
Andrea was the resident tin whistle teacher at Randal Bays’ Friday Harbor Irish Music Week in the Pacific Northwest for 7 years where a student described her classes as “the icing on the Jackie Daley cake”.
Andrea has been on staff at various music and dance camps including Pinewoods and Algoma Trad. She is thrilled to be back at Maine Fiddle Camp.
Sandy has been playing for contra dances for over 50 years. In the 70’s, he was a founding member of the Roaring Jelly dance band and the Common Ground quintet. Back then, he played occasionally with Dudley Laufman and the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra. He spent over 20 years as the hired music director of two long-standing community dance bands (the Berlin Country Dance Orchestra and Oh, CONTRAire!), and has recorded with a number of traditional musicians, including Tony Saletan, Jay Unger, Jerry Robichaud, and Trapezoid. He has played for many well-known dance callers, including Dudley Laufman, Ted Sanella, Larry Jenkins, Tony Parkes, and Lisa Greenleaf
He was a co-founder of The Music School at the Emporium, then in Cambridge, MA, and was the Director of the school for the first four years. As the lead old-time banjo instructor, he taught over 400 musicians how to frail a banjo. He has been on staff several times at Pinewoods, and has led instructional workshops at many festivals including: Fox Hollow, the National Folk Festival at Wolftrap, NEFFA, the Five College Folk Festival, and the DEFFA Festival.
In the past at Fiddle Camp, Sandy has taught pennywhistle and five-string banjo. This summer he will be leading the Great Horned Ukestra in its daily late-afternoon rehearsals, and also leading them at the Country Dances each evening. (Remember to bring a ukulele and/or a horn!)
15 Pipers Way, New Harbor, ME 04554 • Landline: (207) 677-6647
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…)
Mary Fraser began her musical life by training in classical violin for thirteen years, concluding with a Suzuki method violin teacher certification. She then left the classical music world and traveled extensively throughout the UK, immersing in the traditional music of her heritage. Carrying right on into the southern US states to study the old time fiddle styles of eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina. (more…)
Mia Friedman is a virtuosic fiddler and singer. She is largely influenced by American roots music and old-time Appalachian traditions, and blends this with contemporary experimental music in her compositions. She graduated from New England Conservatory in 2012 where she studied with Anthony Coleman, Carla Kihlstedt, and Hankus Netsky, and is an active composer, performer, and educator. Mia has a private studio of fiddle students, and also teaches at two El Sistema inspired music programs in the Berkshires. (more…)
Ellen Gawler is a celebrated fiddler, masterful in many styles, including Irish, French-Canadian, Maritime, Shetland and New England. Her fiddling possesses sparkling clarity, authentically rooted in tradition while at the same time inventive and playful. Her lively delivery of traditional fiddling has sent many a contra dance hall into whirling delight with soaring melodies and driving rhythms. (more…)
Elsie Gawler is a multi-instrumentalist and songster rooted in Maine’s traditional folk music and culture. With her family, the Gawler Family Band, she has played throughout the state and beyond, sharing traditional fiddle tunes, songs, and original works since she was 6 years old. From this foundation she has branched out and launched her debut solo album, Sweet As Honey. The album is a collection of 9 original songs inspired by sacred connection to earth and community. While continuing to play regularly with The Gawler Family Band, her other projects include duo Elsie & Ethan, and trio The Gawler Sisters. She has also been a long-time member of the group Childsplay. (more…)
Pascal Gemme has a degree from St-Laurent College (Montreal) in arranging and classical/jazz guitar, he has since been searching for seldom-heard songs and melodies, interpreting them in his unique and unmistakable style. Originally inspired by his fiddling grandfather, he has played with (and learned from), most of today’s great Quebecois fiddlers and singers. On top of teaching fiddle lessons on a weekly basis in his village of Waterville, QC, his teaching highlights include the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick, Ireland, the Goderich Celtic College in Ontario, Quasitrad Music Camp in Australia, The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Alasdair Fraser’s Fiddle Train, Sierra Fiddle Camp and Valley of the moon…AND Maine Fiddle camp of course (the best one of them all)!
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 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
Jim Joseph, from Phippsburg,ME, was actually on staff a couple years ago for the inaugural June week. That was before we had an actual accordion track, and now he is back as an accordion teacher. Jim plays button accordion in the Quebecois, New England, and Cajun styles and also plays 5 string banjo, mandolin, fiddle, percussion (foot and otherwise) and is a member of several Maine bands including, T-Acadie, Scrod Pudding, and JimmyJo and the Jumbol’ayuhs, with Fiddle Camp staffers Pam Weeks and Bill Olson. Jim plays single row Cajun accordions (built by Marc Savoy and Junior Martin) and a 2 row Saltarelle D/G box. Here are some videos of Jim in action: A Cajun song with the Jumbol’Ayuhs, and a set of Quebecois reels with T-Acadie.
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…)
Bennett Konesni grew up in Appleton, Maine, 10 miles downstream of Maine Fiddle Camp. He was naturally drawn into the strong communities of old-time music, sailing, and farming in the area. At thirteen he shipped as a deckhand aboard local schooners, sailing Penobscot Bay and learning the traditional work songs of the tall ships as he raised sails and hauled anchor. Later, at Middlebury College, Bennett co-founded the student farm and spent six months studying Zulu farming songs in South Africa. (more…)
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.
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 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.
Steve Muise has been fiddling his family’s Downeast Style for many years. (His parents are 1st and 2nd generation Nova Scotians) He founded the Franklin County Fiddlers, a group of high school musicians that tours around Maine and way beyond displaying, promoting and learning about fiddle styles. Steve is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, and is a stringed instrument teacher in the MBRSD schools (Farmington area). Steve was honored with the “Maine Music Educator of the Year” award in 2007 from MMEA. Steve enjoys playing all styles, ranging from Downeast (maritime), Québécois, Celtic, and jazz, and can be seen playing music with his dad Paul, Boréal Tordu, Frigate, Muisette and the Franklin County (more…)
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 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
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 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 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.
Kenny first picked up a ukulele at age 8, when a family friend bought him one. Now 50 plus years later, he’s not half bad! He’s got a menagerie of them, from soprano to baritone, and plays a variety of styles, swing music being his favorite. Kenny has been an actor and physical comedian for 35 years, and has performed internationally, as well as on Broadway. He also starred as the lead clown in Cirque du Soleil’s Nouvelle Experience. He and Francis Berks make the acoustic duo The Doppelgangers.
Mark Roberts has been part of a number of groundbreaking bands in traditional music including; The Red Clay Ramblers, Touchstone, The Sevens, The Clayfoot Strutters and Childsplay. His flute and whistle playing also features prominently in the soundtrack to John Sayles’s film The Secret of Roan Inish. Mark can be heard on numerous recordings including his duo recording with Dan Compton, The High Caul Cap. Mark is excited to be helping out with the whistle class at this years MFC, you can also find him and his mop in the dinning hall after lunch, don’t worry there are plenty of mops.
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 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 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.