June Week Fiddle
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…)
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…)
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.
Helen Newell is a fiddler hailing from the depths of Maine Fiddle Camp–she started playing violin at age 3, and grew up immersed in the folk world. Her parents, Kaity and Carter Newell are founding members of MFC, and Helen spent her entire childhood at camps, concerts, and contra dances.
Recently graduated from Berklee College of Music, Helen Newell pursued a Violin Performance major with a minor in American Roots. She was able to study with notable professors while at Berklee, including legendary Old-Time fiddler Bruce Molsky, jazz violinist Jason Anick, Arabic violinist Simon Shaheen, Turkish, Greek, Middle Eastern (and many others) violinist Beth Bahia Cohen, as well as violinist Mimi Rabson, Sharan Leventhal, Rob Thomas, and cellist Eugene Friesen. These amazing mentors have helped her expand her musical repertoire and technique and develop into a performer, composer and collaborator.
Helen has an active performing life, playing in orchestras, musicals, recording sessions, chamber groups, and bands. She has also been composing orchestral pieces—her most recent composition “7:08” was performed by Berklee World Strings in April 2022.
Another important aspect of Helen’s musical life is teaching. Helen is a certified Suzuki Method teacher, and she teaches both virtual and in-person violin lessons to a wide range of students. Because of her vast repertoire of styles, she likes to bring that exploration to her students and help them explore the world of different styles, repertoire, technique, improvisation, recording, and composing/arranging.
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.
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.