June Weekend I
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…)
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…)
Contact Greg at bowandstring @ gmail.com.
Jessie fiddles for contra and family dances across New England, and she sometimes sneaks the cello into dance sets. Jessie teaches fiddle to all ages at Maine Fiddle Camp, Sandy Island Suzuki Camp, at workshops, and in her private studio. Dancing her first contra dance as a child to the band Swallowtail in New Hampshire, Jessie later moved to Maine, where she happily resides. Jessie can be reached at (207) 344-3106.
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.
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…)
Noah Fishman is a multidimensional performer, composer, and educator who bends the lines between folk, chamber, and jazz. Raised in coastal Maine, Noah studied music at Princeton and the University of Michigan, and in 2019 was selected for the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency at The Kennedy Center. Noah attended and volunteered at Maine Fiddle Camp for many years before joining the staff, and adores the MFC community. For more information go to noahfishmanmusic.com.
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…)
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…)
John plays 5-string banjo, guitar, and piano and is the best bottom feeder in the business! When he isn’t smiling and putting on a roof, he is smiling and singing a Woody Guthrie song, accompanied by his wife, Ellen Gawler, or one of his daughters in the Gawler Family Band. Besides doing workshops, John helps host the camper concerts.
282 Guptill Rd. Belgrade ME O4917 207-495-2267
Molly Gawler grew up on Buttermilk Hill on a small farm in Maine. She plays fiddle, banjo and sings in the “Gawler Family Band” as well as her trio of sisters, “The Gawler Sisters.” She grew up playing music with the traditional roots passed on to her from her Mom and Dad – Ellen and John Gawler. Molly is also a professional dancer which has taken her around the world. At fiddle camp, Molly teaches the beginners, and often enjoys sharing movement of all kinds including dance and parkour.
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 New England Conservatory. After years with the Vermont Youth Orchestra, she joined the Boston Youth Symphony, and then the premier youth orchestra led by Ben Zander, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. With the BPYO, she toured Europe twice, playing in concert halls such as the Berlin Philharmonie and at the Alhambra in Spain. (more…)
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…)
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.
Vogue magazine calls musician Owen Marshall “A guitar/mandolin/banjo player rivaled in character only by the occasional three-pronged carrot” (Vogue 2009). Owen has accompanied and collaborated with many of traditional music’s top performers including Aoife Clancy, Liz Carroll, Darol Anger, John Doyle, Andrea Beaton, Jerry Holland, Ari & Mia Friedman and his own traditional Irish trio “The Press Gang”. (more…)
Eric McDonald has been instructing and performing on the mandolin for a number of years. In addition to his experience in the world of traditional music, Eric spent two and a half years studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he learned from some of the best including mandolinist John McGann and cellist Eugiene Friesen. Exposure to jazz and other styles come through in his playing. Eric has spent the last three years touring with bands such as The Dave Rowe Trio, Matching Orange, Jaded Mandolin and others. You can hear him on many independent recordings by Boston based artists, and you can catch him teaching at the Passim School of Music in Cambridge.
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…)
When Carter isn’t working on aquaculture projects he loves to play his fiddle with The Old Grey Goose, and with his wife Kaity and The Newell Family Band. He has collected tunes from old Maine fiddlers like Arnold Kennedy from Aroostook County, and has traveled extensively with his fiddle throughout the British Isles and the Maritime Provinces.
7 Creek Lane Damariscotta ME O44543 207-563-8440
Helen Newell started playing violin at the age of three, and has spent every year of her life at Maine Fiddle Camp, including in utero! Helen grew up playing both folk and classical fiddle, performing in notable orchestras and chamber groups, as well as playing gigs and contra dances with the Newell Family Band and her contra dance band, Volution. Helen is currently attending Berklee College of Music, studying jazz, folk, and classical violin. Helen also has a private violin studio and is also a personal trainer and nutrition coach.
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
Bill Olson teaches both guitar and upright bass at Maine Fiddle Camp. He is probably best known at home and abroad as a contradance caller and choreographer. Bill has played and called for dances in 25 states and his dance compositions, known for their high potential energy and excellent flow, and are called by contradance callers all over the world. Bill started playing guitar in 1958, dancing in 1976, calling in 1985, and playing bass in 1993. He has been singing all his life.
Hannah Otten grew up in upstate New York, living both near the banks of the Hudson River and within the Catskill Mountains. She began playing classical viola at the age of 9, picked up a violin at age 15, arrived at Maine Fiddle Camp, and kept on playing traditional fiddle styles from there. Hannah has a clear and playful teaching style that serves camp well as a member of the beginner team. (more…)
Gordon Peery started playing contra dance piano in the late 1970’s He was fortunate to be in the neighborhood of Bob McQuillen, who was an inspiration and mentor. Though Gordon quickly evolved his own style of playing, he was permanently influenced by Bob’s commitment to providing a solid bass line for dances. Gordon was the piano player for the band Fresh Fish, (with fiddler Kerry Elkin), which became a nationally prominent contra dance band. They toured the country extensively between 1985 and 1995, and produced a recording, “Turning of the Tide”. (more…)
Darryn Petersen began playing the whistle and uilleann pipes twenty four years ago, after being inspired by a Seamus Ennis album he bought on a whim. His first lessons were with Jim Daily and the St James The Great chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann in Glasgow, Scotland, and then with All-Ireland piper Patrick Hutchinson in Providence RI. He is greatly interested in the musical styles of the great pipers of the early and mid twentieth century, such as Seamus Ennis, Tommy Reck, and Willie Clancy. Although his day job restoring Maine’s early homes keeps him quite busy, he still finds time to haunt local sessions, and particularly enjoys sharing tunes with Fiddle Camp instructors Tamora Goltz, David Stimson, and Sharon Pyne.
Julia lives in Belfast, Maine where she plays music, grows a yard full of spring bulbs and miniature fruit trees, and teaches fifth grade at Captain Albert Stevens School. Julia has always loved the percussive interplay between traditional music and dance forms and has enjoyed soaking up bits and pieces from players and dancers throughout New England and in Québec, Ireland, Brittany, and the southern Appalachians. Julia performs with Baron Collins-Hill in their duo Velocipede (www.velocipedemusic.com). In addition to teaching at Maine Fiddle Camp, Julia hosts freefiddlelessons.com, a site with YouTube fiddle lesson videos and learning materials.
John started his very early musical life as a drummer, but by some miracle got hooked on traditional music in his teens.
Upon moving to Maine in1989, he helped establish the North Whitefield Contra Dance with famed caller Ted Sannella and the bands Calliope and The Usual Suspects, and continues playing for dances today with Henry Road and Sassafras Stomp.
John’s been teaching fiddle at Maine Fiddle Camp from the start, and more recently offering beginning/intermediate harmonica. 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@example.com 338-0296.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. He taught an afternoon workshop in 2016 and Doug spied on him. He must have liked what he saw, because lo and behold, he put him on the staff! 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, his wife Joanna and their son Evan are perennial campers at August week 1.
Alden Robinson learned to play the fiddle as a child growing up in coastal Maine. His earliest lessons came from Tamora Goltz, Katie Newell, and from the teachers at Maine Fiddle Camp. In college, he studied Irish fiddle in Ireland at University College Cork, and in several pubs.
For the past five years or so he has toured and recorded with The Press Gang, an Irish trad band from Portland. (more…)
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.
Fred ‘s (guitar, percussion, vocals) musical debut occurred on the floor of his parents’ kitchen, surrounded by pots and pans, long before he ever heard of Ginger Baker or Gene Krupa. For the most recent 45 years he has been performing and recording oldtime, string band, hillbilly, rockabilly, blues, bluegrass, jazz, swing, minstrels, ragtime and Americana music. His trio, Waxlips, made award winning waves in North Carolina in the mid-80’s and (more…)