June Weekend I Fiddle
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.
Louisa started playing violin as and eight-year-old through her public school’s strings program. In high school, she taught private violin lessons to younger students. Her music became more fiddley by the day. As a sophomore at Marlboro College, she founded a contra dance band, named “Wendy and the Lost Boys” by their admirers. The band studied with musician Keith Murphy. Louisa then hosted a monthly contra dance series that ran for four years. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
Carter Newell usually teaches the first weekend at Maine Fiddle camp which was the original weekend when the camp started. He played conta dances for 4 decades and is a big fan of Down East fiddling as well as French Canadian, Irish and Scottish styles. He currently farms oysters and mussels and plays in a trio The Oystermen as well as with members of his fiddling family ( 8 fiddles and counting including grandchildren) and currently resides in Bucksport, Maine. He recently released an album with 33 tunes called Passing it Down Down East fiddle joined with his daughters Maisie and Helen.
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.
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
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.
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.