SIERRA FIDDLE CAMP
FACULTY 2022
S C O T L A N D - Q U E B E C

FIDDLE
Alasdair Fraser ▪ Lisa Ornstein ▪ Alasdair White
Meghan Perdue ▪ Caroline McCaskey ▪ Janette Duncan ▪ Zoe Schlussel

CELLO

Natalie Haas ▪ Aria DiSalvio ▪ Erin Esses ▪ Katie Le Sesne

GUITAR
Conor Hearn ▪ Eamon Sefton

MANDOLIN
Kaden Hurst

SOCIAL DANCE

Summer McCall

ENSEMBLE, RHYTHM & GROOVE
Evie Ladin ▪ Keith Terry

PIANO

Neil Pearlman

PIPER & BARD
Elias Alexander

Class: Strings (Fiddle, Cello):

Fiddle classes are scheduled in the morning and early afternoon and allow participants to study the various styles taught by each instructor. All tunes are taught by ear, and class divisions, ranging from advanced to those who have never played before, are based on students’ rate of learning by ear.

Alasdair Fraser is recognized throughout the world as one of the finest fiddle players Scotland has ever produced; [his] name is synonymous with the vibrant cultural renaissance which is transforming the Scottish musical scene." —Scots Magazine

Renowned performer and master teacher of the rich fiddling tradition of Scotland, Alasdair inspires us to higher and deeper levels of self-expression within an embracing community of listeners, learners and like-minded folk. The variety and expressivity of Alasdair's playing is evident in his numerous recordings—from intimate fiddle/guitar duets, to a more contemporary interpretation of tradition, to high energy original tunes with his Skyedance band. Recent, highly acclaimed albums include "Legacy of the Scottish Fiddle, Vols. 1 and 2," and "Fire and Grace, " which was named Scots Trad Album of the Year for 2004. In Alasdair's class, you will learn a variety of Scottish tune types and how to use special bowings, ornaments and a rhythmic drive to make the tunes come alive.

Lisa Ornstein: Fiddle virtuoso Lisa Ornstein is an outstanding interpreter of the traditional music of French Canada and Appalachia, blending compelling and inventive playing with impeccable tune choice. When La Bottine Souriante — Quebec’s internationally renowned traditional supergroup — invited her to join the band, Lisa’s projected six-month stay began to stretch, eventually lasting twelve years. While in Quebec, Lisa spent countless hours visiting with older musicians and playing in kitchens and dance halls. She also squeezed in a master’s in folklore on the life and music of master fiddler Louis “Pitou” Boudreault. She has taught, concertized, and toured extensively in North America and Europe with some of Quebec’s finest musicians, and recorded for both Smithsonian Folkways and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Her music appears on a number of La Bottine’s albums, and on critically acclaimed CDs with former bandmates André Marchand and Normand Miron.

Alasdair White is an exceptional exponent of west coast Scottish music and is widely regarded as one of the foremost Scottish fiddler players of his generation. He was born and brought up on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, a chain of islands of singular importance to Gaelic Scotland’s musical heritage and is perhaps best known as having been a member of Scotland’s seminal Battlefield Band for over 16 years, touring extensively in that time throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Now resident in New York, Alasdair has performed and recorded as a guest with many of the best-known names in Scottish, Irish and Breton traditional music including Kathleen MacInnis, Julie Fowlis, Eddie Reader, Allan MacDonald, Manus Lunny, Nuala Kennedy, and Arnaud Ciapolino. Current ongoing projects include Daimh, the Alan Kelly Gang and of course, Battlefield Band. Alasdair also recently premiered a major commission at the Hebridean Celtic festival in Stornoway, an hour-long original piece entitled An Iuchair.

Class: "Slow Class":

Meghan Perdue

Internationally acclaimed violinist Meghan Perdue has been an active member of the music industry as a sought-after performer and accomplished teacher since 2006. She holds her Bachelor of Music degree in Commercial Violin Performance from Belmont University and a Masters Degree in Commercial Violin Performance with a focus in Violin Pedagogy also from Belmont University.

Fluent in a broad range of styles including classical, Celtic, Scandinavian, jazz, bluegrass, and more, Meghan's versatility as a musician distinguishes her as a current resident of Nashville, TN, where she works as a performing and recording performer and teacher. Meghan is a faculty member in the Belmont University School of Music and in the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. Additionally, she is currently studying to receive an Ed.D. in Education Leadership from Lipscomb University.

Katie Le Sesne

Katie Le Sesne is a musician and string educator from Noblesville, Indiana. With a degree in Music Education from Ball State University, She finds her professional home in public school orchestral education. Katie has studied cello and violin classically with Ray Brandes, Barbara Rhyneer, Peter Opie, and Mary Kothman.

During her college years, Katie found a passion for folk music via the New Harmony Music Festival, where she was able to learn from world renowned musicians such as Natalie Haas, Brittany Haas,Tony DeMarco, Pascale Gemme, Arielle Freidman, and Mazz Swift. Experiences working with these musicians encouraged Katie to explore traditional music through student teaching in Tain, Scotland. In following the fiddle (or cello), Katie has also found herself attending and participating in Sierra Fiddle Camp, Indiana Fiddlers’ Gathering, the American String Band Music Festival (Clifftop), Pure Dead Brilliant Fiddle Camp (PDB), Akshokan Camp, and in local old-time jams.

Class: "Fiddle Kids":

Caroline McCaskey started her musical journey as a fiddler, and has toured the U.S. as a member of contra dance band Stringfire! In 2019 she won the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Competition. She has also taught for many years at Fiddlekids Day Camp.

She completed her Master of Music in Viola Performance at Lamont School of Music, earning the Recital of Distinction the first violist in 17 years to do so. Aalong with her string quartet she also won Lamont’s 2012 chamber music competition. In 2009, Caroline was also a winner of University of the Pacific’s concerto competition, playing the first movement of the Walton concerto.

Caroline plays cello internationally as a substitute member of Scottish dance band Reel of Seven, and has been on staff teaching cello at Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp.

Class: Adult beginners:

Janette Duncan (BA, Music) Janette has benefited from both classical violin training and a fiddling heritage. Her grandfather was a fiddler and her dad a guitar player. Janette’s own fiddling has been particularly influenced and inspired by Bengt Johnson and Alasdair Fraser. She has herself inspired a great many players through her performances—as a member of the Bi-Coastal International Dance Band, Dockside and other ensembles—and her teaching, including beginning string classes in schools, a community college course she teaches on “Celtic Session Tunes,” and private instruction at home in Sonoma County, California. Her students are encouraged to learn to read and write music but also play the fiddle by “ear and heart.”

Janette will teach the basic beginning fiddle class for adults who have little or no experience with the instrument.

Class: Cello:

Natalie Haas is in the vanguard of young cellists pushing the envelope of the cello while simultaneously carrying it back into the fold of traditional Celtic music. She has graced the performances and recordings of many renowned fiddlers, particularly Alasdair Fraser, with whom she has been performing in the US and Europe for several years. Since she began teaching at Celtic Connections in Glasgow and VOM in 2002, various music camps and festivals have been eager to engage her. Her recent album with Alasdair, "Fire and Grace," was named Scots Trad Music Album of the Year for 2004. Natalie's powerful and rhythmic playing make it easy to understand why Alasdair says, "In18th century Scotland, the fiddle and cello were the dance band of choice." In Natalie's class you will learn bowing techniques, ornamentation, bass lines and rhythmic techniques to suit the style and mood of a variety of music, including the tunes the fiddlers are learning.

Aria DiSalvio loves performing with the Santa Cruz Symphony, her contemporary celtic trio One Lane Bridge, and virtuoso mandolinist Ashley Broder.  She recently recorded with Irish singer Eilis Kennedy on the album Westward.  Aria is thrilled to be returning as an instructor to Sierra Fiddle Camp after taking several years off to focus on raising her two children (now 3 and 8).  She also teaches at the Community Music School of Santa Cruz's summer teen and kids camps, as well as giving private cello lessons.

Erin Esses hails from Southern California where she plays and teaches in a variety of different settings and styles. From Celtic to Bluegrass, Rock and Roll to Classical, and Folk to Funk, Erin enjoys it all. Classically trained, she is a graduate of UC Irvine, where she also began dabbling in all kinds of improvisation. Erin is a member of the celtic, old-time cello duo Dusty Bows, and also plays and sings in the folky bluegrass band Gone Wayside. Of her teaching philosophy, she says, "I focus on uplifting and empowering my students to follow their musical passion and listen to their heart. My teaching style caters to both individual and group settings. "

Class: Guitar

Conor Hearn is a stylistically diverse guitar player and instructor who specializes in accompaniment of traditional Irish and Scottish fiddle playing. Hailing from the Irish music communities of Washington D.C. and Maryland, Conor grew up playing fiddle and guitar in the traditional Irish music sessions. While studying to attain his B.A in English Literature with a minor in Music from Tufts University, Conor started working as a professional guitar player by lending his innovative rhythmic skills to the panoply of groups and projects that are taking shape in the Boston area folk music scene. He has since performed on programs like Brian O'Donovan's Celtic Sojourn and taught guitar at music festivals such as Alasdair Fraser's Sierra Fiddle Camp, while establishing himself as a cutting-edge Scottish and Irish player performing with groups such as Soulsha, The Galen Fraser Quartet, TriHearn, and Pumpkin Bread. Conor currently makes his home in Medford, MA where he performs and teaches regularly.

Eamon Sefton is a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter based out of Boston, MA. He is rooted in a wide variety of different musical styles ranging from rock to pop to traditional Celtic. Specializing in Irish and Scottish style guitar, he has established himself as one of the most highly sought after accompanists in the Boston area. His percussive rhythm and innovative use of harmony, as well as deep understanding of traditional tunes distinguish him as a truly unique and stand-out musician.

A Berklee College of Music Alumnus, Eamon has performed and taught all over the US with an array of different musicians. He has been a featured performer numerous times on Brian O'Donovan's "A Celtic Sojourn." He has shared the stage with many prominent Celtic musicians including Hanneke Cassel, Jamie Laval, John Doyle, Galen Fraser, and many others. Eamon teaches regularly at a variety of music programs all across the US.

Class: Mandolin

Kaden Hurst grew up in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California, where he began his musical education in both western classical music and american and scottish fiddle music. Kaden holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mandolin Performance from Regis University in Denver Colorado, where he studied under 2016 National Mandolin Champion Jordan Ramsey. As a performer and composer, Kaden takes influence from the natural world and folk music from the Americas. As a teacher, Kaden’s approach incorporates a deep knowledge of mandolin technique and history, the music theory and musicology underlying american folk music, and empathy for students at any level of mandolin knowledge. Kaden currently works as a music teacher and performer based out of Portland Oregon. His interests include the intermingling of folk and art musics, juggling, and the unreasonably compelling nature of fiddle tunes.

Class: Piano

Neil Pearlman: Multi-instrumentalist, stepdancer and host of podcast TradCafe, Neil Pearlman is a vital and distinctive voice in contemporary traditional music. Described as “a tremendous pianist” on BBC Radio Scotland and “a force to be reckoned with” by WGBH’s Brian O’Donovan, Neil is recognized in many Celtic music circles for his unique approach to the piano. Rooted in traditional Cape Breton piano styles, he adds jazz harmony and the syncopations of funk, Cuban, and Brazilian dance music to create a unique and infectious sound. It was this innovative style that led legendary Cape Breton fiddler Jerry Holland to say “watching Neil’s hands on the piano was like watching two spiders on crack!”

Today Neil's musical projects run the gamut from deeply traditional to refreshingly contemporary. He collaborates regularly with fiddlers Katie McNally, Alden Robinson, Galen Fraser, and Ed Pearlman. He also performs with the larger Afro-Celtic Funk band Soulsha and the quartet Fàrsan, mixing Gaelic song, stepdance, fiddle and pipes.

Class: Social Dance

Summer McCall is an multi-genre musician and teacher whose primary focus is traditional celtic cello and fiddle. Her skill set has been influenced by some of the biggest names in Scottish and traditional folk music today such as Alasdair Fraser, Natalie Haas, Mike Block, Hanneke Cassel and Tristan & Tashina Clarridge. She has stayed true to her cultural heritage by actively embracing the ancient and contemporary music of Scotland and Ireland. Born and raised in Northern California, she is in demand as a performer and instructor and has been featured at some of the premier music camps and festivals throughout the country such as Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp, Lark Camp and the KVMR Celtic festival for cello, fiddle and Scottish ceilidh dance calling.

As an educator, she volunteered for many years for several nonprofit organizations including the Tahoe Truckee Youth Music Program and North Coast Music Mentors, as well as operating her own private music studio and teaching at the Humboldt Music Academy. Now residing in Boston, Summer is excited to be continuing as a performer and music educator in the vibrant east coast music scene. As a cellist, fiddler, vocalist and dance caller her love of music is evident to any who witness her in full flight. 

Class: Ensemble, Rhythm and Groove

Evie Ladin: Evie’s performances, recordings and teaching reconnect Appalachian music/dance with other African-Diaspora traditions, and have been heard from A Prairie Home Companion to Lincoln Center, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass to Celtic Connections. Evie tours internationally with Keith Terry and her Evie Ladin Band; and has produced numerous albums and instructional DVDs. 

Keith Terry: Keith is a percussionist/rhythm dancer whose work encompasses a number of allied performance disciplines — music, dance, theater, performance art — which he brings together to create an artistic vision that defies easy categorization. As a self-defined “Body Musician,” Keith uses the oldest musical instrument in the world — the human body (his own) — as the basis for exploring, blending and bending traditional and contemporary rhythmic, percussive and movement possibilities.

Class: Song:

TBA

Wild Cards

Elias Alexander - piper, fiddler, good-time instigator, party-stirrer-upper - and bard. He throws himself wildly into a number of artistic forms, including music, acting, and poetry. Originally from beautiful Ashland, Oregon, he graduated from Middlebury College in 2013 with an honors degree in music. He also spent significant time there doing environmental studies and theatre. While in Vermont he was winner of the Young Adult category at the Vermont Young Tradition Competition 2013 singing and playing border pipes.

Zoe Schlusell is a passionate violinist, performer, and educator. For the past 15 years she has taught in her private studios in Auburn, Grass Valley, and Nevada City, CA where she continues teaching while preparing for her doctorate. She completed her Graduate Degree in Violin Performance at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI as Graduate Assistant to Professor Renata Artman Knific.

She is a member of InConcert Sierra’s Music Education Committee and has taught violin at Western Michigan University, Crescendo Academy of Music, and as the Strings Specialist for Yuba River Charter School. In addition to her classical accomplishments, Zoe has performed as a soloist with the Western Michigan University Dance Department, studied Scottish fiddle with Alasdair Fraser and fiddlers from around the world at his Sierra Fiddle Camp, played on Della Sandoli’s album “Seasons,” recorded two singles with Honey of the Heart, and is a member of the Current Personae and JoDavi Chamber Orchestras.

 

 

 

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