Calendar

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calendar@corvallisfolklore.org

Oct
5
Fri
Heron Valley @ Whiteside Theatre
Oct 5 @ 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Heron ValleyHeron Valley

Heron Valley are an energetic, young traditional band from Scotland who have serious enthusiasm for the music they play. Their roots lie in Scottish and Irish traditional music, while taking influence from various Folk, Country and Bluegrass styles. The five-piece, energy fuelled group comprises piper/guitarist/whistle player Euan McNab, banjo player/drummer Nick Hamilton, pianist Arlene Mackechnie, guitarist/vocalist Abigail Pryde and bassist Callum Cronin.

Since their inception in 2014, Heron Valley have always ensured that they are conveying the highest amount of energy they have to every crowd they play to, ensuring that people who come to see them live have a fantastic experience. In 2015, they set themselves the challenge of releasing a music video and a debut single, to allow people to clearly see their intentions. This began with their set of tunes, Pressed for Time, and their original idea of filming out on open water on a yacht. The storyline took the band from performing out on this moving boat, to their journey to and performance at a gig. The idea of this was to convey to their audience the enjoyment people have when they come to see them live. This was extremely well received and racked up 85K views, with people all over the world purchasing the single. A year later, they released their second single ‘Home’ along with an extremely diverse music video. This time, they set off at 4AM to climb up Beinn an Lochainn, a hill in the west coast of Scotland. The video sees this journey from bottom to top and shows them playing on cliff edges in the area they all grew up. This gathered an incredible 173K views, and was shared over 2,000 times.

Due to this success, Heron Valley then quickly made a massive impact on the folk scene in Scotland, and 2016 seen them on their tour of 11 Festival stages over the UK, while 2017 seen them on a tour of over 20 festivals around the UK and Europe. Johnny Walley at Folk Music Radio was ‘particularly impressed by the structure of their set, building up the energy incrementally in a series of waves, taking the audience along with them every step of the way.’ With the unbelievable reaction they received at these gigs, and the demand for more recordings of their music, Heron Valley released their debut album, Roam, in May 2017. This has been extremely well received by the public, and has been the focus of their gigs during their 2017 Summer tour. This features 8 brand new tracks of self-penned songs and lively sets of tunes.

Oct
6
Sat
Contra: The BFD with Gordy Euler @ Gatton Hall / First Congregational Church
Oct 6 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

The BFD

  • Betsey Branch – fiddle
  • Fran Slefer – button accordian
  • Dan Compton – guitar

The BFD plays for a contra dance about every other month at Fulton Community Center in Portland. Betsy is a versatile musician who loves to explore multiple genres of music. She has wandered her musical way through music from Ireland, Scotland, Appalachia, Quebec, Sweden, England, Bulgaria and New England, to mention a few. She plays regularly for contra and English Country Dances. Fran plays button accordion and fiddle. She grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and lived in Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, and Dublin before moving to the United States. Fran began playing the fiddle in Dublin, learning from Tralee fiddle player Maire O’Keeffe. Her repertoire delves into the dance music of Ireland, Québec, France and Brittany. Dan Compton is a long-time folkie in the Pacific Northwest music scene, and has performed at numerous concerts, festivals, and music- and dance camps. He’s a captivating fingerstyle player as well as a dynamic flatpicker and accompanist.

Gordy EulerGordy Euler

Gordy has been dancing and calling in this area for over 15 years, and he’s good!

 

 

NOTE NEW TIMES: Beginners lesson starts at 7:00pm (experienced dancers welcome) dance starts at 7:30pm

Each dance is taught.  No partner necessary (it’s traditional to dance each dance with a different partner)

First and Third Saturdays of the month except July, August. Occasional special dances.

Oct
7
Sun
Birch Pereira & the Gin Joints: Swing – Americana Revival @ Corvallis High School Main Stage
Oct 7 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Gin JointsBirch Pereira
and the
Gin Joints

A staple of the Seattle music scene, the Gin Joints delight audiences with their western-tinged Americana and jazz originals along with modern interpretations of old blues, swing and even early rock’n’roll tunes. Born out of a love of the American song traditions, upright bassist /vocalist / composer Birch Pereira has created unique arrangements and originals that showcase the considerable talents of the Gin Joints musicians.  He is now described as “Making gems of the past sound new and writing new songs that sound like forgotten gems of the past.”   

On the way to their juried showcase at the Arts Northwest Conference, Birch Pereira will bring an expanded version of the Gin Joints for a great evening of music on Sunday, October 7th at 7 PM.  Joining the usual excellent trio of Jason Goessl on guitar and Adrian Van Batenburg on percussion will be New Orleans native Rex Gregory on sax and clarinet and Portland-basedJordan Vale on trumpet.

Through a special collaboration with the Corvallis School District Theaters, Birch Pereira and the Gin Joints will be performing at the Corvallis High School Main Stage Theater and there is a special student price.  An alumnus of CHS, Birch Pereira began his musical journey in Corvallis with elementary strings and the Heart of the Valley children’s choir.  He followed that with music programs at both high schools including Camerata Orchestra, CHS jazz choir and the Corvallis Youth Symphony.  Birch Pereira received his BA in Jazz Studies (bass performance) from the University of Washington in 2005.   Since then he has become well-known in Seattle as a highly versatile bass player, band leader, composer, producer/engineer and teacher.  With the formation of the Gin Joints he moved out front as vocalist, arranger, composer and bass player — and hasn’t looked back since.

New recording and videos at:  http://www.theginjointsband.com/

Oct
20
Sat
Contra: Treehouse with Laurel Thomas @ Gatton Hall / First Congregational Church
Oct 20 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

TreehouseTreehouse

  • Rachael Young, piano
  • Benjamin Young, whistle and guitar
  • Kevin Craven, fiddle
  • Shari Ame, fiddle
  • Bo Leyden, mandolin, flute

bring a mix of Irish, Quebecois, and New England style, and put it together with Pacific Northwest flair. Becky has played for dances throughout Vermont, New Jersey, Arizona, and California, and previously played with Amazon Creek in Eugene. Ben and Rachael come from the Irish traditional session background, having played with many groups across Canada and throughout Washington, Oregon, and California. Bo and Shari play with several Corvallis area bands.

Laurel ThomasLaurel Thomas

Laurel Thomas has called contra dances all over Oregon and Washington since 2008. Dancers appreciate her clear teaching, her articulate calling and her carefully crafted programs designed to build skill for beginning dancers while keeping experienced dancers happy with an appropriate level of challenge.

NOTE NEW TIMES: Beginners lesson starts at 7:00pm (experienced dancers welcome) dance starts at 7:30pm

Each dance is taught.  No partner necessary (it’s traditional to dance each dance with a different partner)

First and Third Saturdays of the month except July, August. Occasional special dances.

Oct
24
Wed
Bill Staines with Mike and Carleen McCornack @ Methodist Church Martha Room (enter on 11th St.)
Oct 24 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Bill StainesBill Staines

Anyone not familiar with the music of Bill Staines is in for a special treat (if you buy your tickets in advance – he sold out quickly last time).  The Martha Room is a very intimate space and a great place to hear great music.

For forty-five years, Bill has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs, and coffeehouses. A New England native, Bill became involved with the Boston-Cambridge folk scene in the early 1960’s and for a time, emceed the Sunday Hootenanny at the legendary Club 47 in Cambridge. Bill quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area. From the time in 1971 when a reviewer from the Boston Phoenix stated that he was “simply Boston’s best performer”, Bill has continually appeared on folk music radio listener polls as one of the top all time favorite folk artists. Now, well into his fifth decade as a folk performer, he has gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer.

Singing mostly his own songs, he has become one of the most popular and durable singers on the folk music scene today, performing over 175 concerts a year. He weaves a blend of gentle wit and humor into his performances and one reviewer wrote, “He has a sense of timing to match the best standup comic.”

Bill’s music is a slice of Americana, reflecting with the same ease his feelings about the prairie people of the Midwest or the adventurers of the Yukon, the on-the-road truckers, or the everyday workers that make up this land.

Bill Staines has recorded twenty-six albums. He has written over three hundred songs, many of which have been recorded by the likes of Peter, Paul, and Mary, Makem and Clancy, Nanci Griffith, Glen Yarborough, Celtic Thunder, and Jerry Jeff Walker. His music is sung at campfires and folk music gatherings, and in living rooms all around the country. Songs like “All God’s Critters,” “Roseville Fair,” “Child of Mine,” and “River,” have become folk classics. Many of Bill’s songs have appeared in grade school music books, church hymnals, and scouting campfire songbooks; he is one of only a few songwriters to have eight songs published in the classic song collection, Rise up Singing. Composer David Amram recently described Bill as “a modern day Stephen Foster…his songs will be around 100 years from now.”

Over the decades, you have heard Bill singing on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, HBO’s award winning series Deadwood, and Public Radio’s Mountain Stage. Additionally, his music has been used in a number of films including Off and Running, with Cyndi Lauper, and The Return of the Secaucus Seven, John Sayles’ debut as a writer- director.

In 1975, Bill won National Yodeling Championship in Kerrville Texas. Another important recognition was given to him in 2007. Presented by the Boston Area Coffeehouse Association, The Jerry Christen Award recognized Bill’s contribution to New England folk music.

As well as recordings, over 100 of Bill’s songs have been published in three songbooks: If I Were a Word, Then I’d Be a Song, Movin’ It Down the Line, and Music to Me, the latter published by Hal Leonard Corporation. His song, All God’s Critters, has been recently released as a Simon and Schuster children’s book with illustrations by Caldecott honor-winning artist, Kadir Nelson.

“Folk music is rich in the human spirit and experience. I’ve always wanted to bring something of value to people through my songs.” With these thoughts, Bill continues to drive the highways and back roads of the country year after year, bringing his music to listeners, young and old.

In the fall of 2015 Yankee Magazine, New England’s premiere magazine, published it’s “80th Anniversary Issue.” In the issue, along with the likes of Stephen King and Katherine Hepburn, Bill was chosen as “One of the 80 gifts New England has given to America.”  A true honor.

Mike and Carleen McCornackMike and Carleen McCornack

Mike and Carleen have been entertaining adults and children in Oregon for decades with original and traditional folk tunes.  While they live in Eugene, it’s become rare to see them in Corvallis, and we should take advantage of every chance we get.

 

 “i
Nov
3
Sat
Contra: The Weisenheimers with Woody Lane @ Gatton Hall / First Congregational Church
Nov 3 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

The Weisenheimers

  • Alan Snyder – fiddle,
  • Dave Goldman – keyboard

from Portland play zesty dance tunes with a sly sense of humor.

Woody LaneWoody Lane

Woody Lane has been calling contra dances throughout the Pacific Northwest for more than 25 years, and when he’s not calling you can find him dancing.

 

 

NOTE NEW TIMES: Beginners lesson starts at 7:00pm (experienced dancers welcome) dance starts at 7:30pm

Each dance is taught.  No partner necessary (it’s traditional to dance each dance with a different partner)

First and Third Saturdays of the month except July, August. Occasional special dances.

Nov
10
Sat
Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas @ Whiteside Theatre
Nov 10 @ 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Alasdair and NatalieAlasdair Fraser
&
Natalie Haas

cutting-edge fiddle and cello explorations of Scottish and global music

” … you would think they’d been playing together for centuries. While his fiddle dances, her cello throbs darkly or plucks puckishly. Then [Haas] opens her cello’s throat, joining Fraser in soaring sustains, windswept refrains, and sudden, jazzy explosions. Their sound is as urbane as a Manhattan midnight, and as wild as a Clackmannan winter.”        — Boston Globe

“As many gigs as they must have played together over the past decade or so, there remains a striking spontaneity about Fraser and Haas’s music-making. He has tonal variation and attack to spare, but what makes them so consistently absorbing is the responsiveness each shows to the other. Haas is more than a cellist: she’s the rhythm section who uses the percussive chip’n’chop of her bowing and the double bass-like pulse of her pizzicato playing to great effect. The accompanist’s role moves so fluently between them, building tension all the while, and then they’ll slip into unison and it’s like floodgates opening. ”
The Herald

“Fraser, one of the most respected of all exponents of the Scots fiddle, would look long and hard to find a more appropriate cellist as a partner…A positive joy.”
The Scotsman

The musical partnership between consummate performer Alasdair Fraser, “the Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddling”, and brilliant Californian cellist Natalie Haas spans the full spectrum between intimate chamber music and ecstatic dance energy. Over the last 18 years of creating a buzz at festivals and concert halls across the world, they have truly set the standard for fiddle and cello in traditional music. They continue to thrill audiences internationally with their virtuosic playing, their near-telepathic understanding and the joyful spontaneity and sheer physical presence of their music.

Fraser has a concert and recording career spanning over 30 years, with a long list of awards, accolades, radio and television credits, and feature performances on top movie soundtracks (Last of the Mohicans, Titanic, etc.). In 2011, he was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. Haas, a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, is one of the most sought after cellists in traditional music today. She has performed and recorded with a who’s who of the fiddle world including Mark O’Connor, Natalie MacMaster, Irish supergroups Solas and Altan, Liz Carroll, Dirk Powell, Brittany Haas, Darol Anger, Jeremy Kittel, Hanneke Cassel, Laura Cortese, and many more.

This seemingly unlikely pairing of fiddle and cello is the fulfillment of a long-standing musical dream for Fraser. His search eventually led him to find a cellist who could help return the cello to its historical role at the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music, where it stood for hundreds of years before being relegated to the orchestra. The duo’s debut recording, Fire & Grace, won the coveted the Scots Trad Music “Album of the Year” award, the Scottish equivalent of a Grammy. Since its release, the two have gone on to record four more critically acclaimed albums that blend a profound understanding of the Scottish tradition with cutting-edge string explorations. In additional to performing, they both have motivated generations of string players through their teaching at fiddle camps across the globe.

Nov
17
Sat
Contra: Joyride with William Watson @ Gatton Hall / First Congregational Church
Nov 17 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

JoyrideJoyride

Joyride is a Portland Oregon contra dance band known for fun, skilled play, tune sets carefully tailored to dances, and well-phrased melodies and harmonies set in a danceable groove. George Penk’s rich, compelling fiddle, Erik Weberg’s deft flute, harmonica and bombarde, Sue Songer’s heartbeat piano and Jeff Kerssen-Griep’s vital guitar and percussion provide modern and traditional tunes for dances, weekends and festivals throughout the year. This band loves creating a great experience for everyone, every time.  Come catch a lift with Joyride at home or on the road!

William WatsonWilliam Watson

William Watson, a resident of Eugene, OR, danced his first contra in 1989 and began calling in Texas in 1992. Having called numerous contra events in cities coast-to-coast, William’s extensive experience and soothing voice project a calm confidence. His vigilant and thoughtful dance programming ensures a variety of figures, transitions, and sequences to entertain and support new dancers while offering the occasional challenge for the more advanced. His calling proficiency and sensitivities ensure everyone has a good time.

Beginners lesson starts at 7:00pm (experienced dancers welcome) dance starts at 7:30pm

Each dance is taught.  No partner necessary (it’s traditional to dance each dance with a different partner)

First and Third Saturdays of the month except July, August. Occasional special dances.

Dec
1
Sat
Contra: Countercurrent with Lindsey Dono @ Gatton Hall / First Congregational Church
Dec 1 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

CountercurrentCountercurrent

From Seattle:

  • Brian Lindsay – fiddle
  • Alex Sturbaum – guitar

Countercurrent is a contra dance and folk music band in western Washington, featuring driving guitar, foot percussion, lyrical fiddle, and harmony vocals.

 Lindsey DonoLindsey Dono

Massachusetts transplant Lindsey Dono is rapidly establishing herself as a Northwest mainstay. With her serene teaching, meticulous programming, and sunny demeanor, Lindsey transforms absolute beginners into confident regulars. Known for her creativity on the dance floor, Lindsey incorporates knowledge of waltz, swing, and blues to lead a variety of workshops, including the ever-requested “advanced contra flourishes.” By day, Lindsey is a devoted research scientist.

Beginners lesson starts at 7:00pm (experienced dancers welcome) dance starts at 7:30pm

Each dance is taught.  No partner necessary (it’s traditional to dance each dance with a different partner)

First and Third Saturdays of the month except July, August. Occasional special dances.

Dec
8
Sat
The Trail Band @ Whiteside Theatre
Dec 8 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Trail BandThe Trail Band

Christmas With The Trail Band features your favorite holiday songs and some original holiday tunes arranged in the versatile, energetic style that has become the band’s trademark. Songs include Joy To The World, The First Noel, and many many more.

The Trail Band has been selected numerous times to represent the state of Oregon for regional, national and international events. Representing The Oregon Economic Development Department at the prestigious American Festival in Tokyo, the band performed for thousands and received enthusiastic ovations. They also received The Oregon-California Trails Associations Meritorious Award for their contributions to American history.

 

Dec
15
Sat
Contra: Uncle Farmer w/ Susan Petrick @ Gatton Hall / First Congregational Church
Dec 15 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Uncle FarmerUncle Farmer

Uncle Farmer is Ben Schreiber on fiddle and Michael Sokolovsky on guitar. With an Irish and New England sound at its core, the duo is known for its original dance tunes, modern twists on old favorites, and sets mixed with pop rhythms and improvisational flair. Their performances range from sweet and nostalgic to gritty and energetic, and their sound truly fills both the room and the hearts of dancers.

Susan PetrickSusan Petrick

Susan Petrick has been calling all over the country for more than a decade. Her gracious manner along with her clarity and confidence on stage have made her one of the most sought after callers in the Pacific Northwest.
As a dancer herself, she knows what makes dancers happy and as a caller, she is always conscious of what is happening on the dance floor. Susan brings with her a diverse collection of dances featuring many flowing and flirty contras that will please your feet and satisfy your soul!

Beginners lesson starts at 7:00pm (experienced dancers welcome) dance starts at 7:30pm

Each dance is taught.  No partner necessary (it’s traditional to dance each dance with a different partner)

First and Third Saturdays of the month except July, August. Occasional special dances.

Jan
5
Sat
Contra: Jigsaw with Erik Weberg @ Gatton Hall / First Congregational Church
Jan 5 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

George Penk & Heather PinneyDan ComptonJigsaw

George Penk is a well-known fiddle player across the USA, especially in the Pacific Northwest. He lives in Portland where he currently plays with the bands Joyride and Jigsaw. George collaborates with many musicians in various musical adventures, including being part of the Portland Collection project through his playing on the Portland Selection CD’s. His spirited and rich fiddle style is a delight to listen to. George is widely appreciated as a consummate dance fiddler working with callers to make sure the music is in-tune with the spirit of the dances.
Jigsaw, which includes Heather Pinney on piano and fiddle and Dan Compton on fiddle, guitar and accordion, works most often with the caller Erik Weberg, who also lends his expertise on wind instruments to the tune medleys.

Erik WebergErik Weberg

I danced my first contra dance in Moscow Idaho in the Fall of 1986.  Several excursions to the dance hall were necessary for me to find the courage to actually dance, but once I, tried it caught hold quickly and I became a regular dancer. Christian Petrich encouraged me to try calling for the first time in 1990 and soon after that I started regularly attending the first Wednesday open mic in Spokane Washington. I called dances around Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho for a few years before moving west of the Cascades in 1993. I was soon asked to call dances in Portland and up the Willamette Valley. Since then I’ve been calling dances, festivals and weekends around the country from Seattle to Boston, from Fairbanks to Tuscon and most places between. I am able to enjoy this craft because of the good folks who encouraged and taught me to call dances years ago, the booking agents and local dance committees who have given me wonderful opportunities to practice in their communities, and the thousands of dancers and musicians who forgive me my mistakes and make it all worthwhile. If you’re reading this you’re probably one of them; so, thank you!

Beginners lesson starts at 7:00pm (experienced dancers welcome) dance starts at 7:30pm

Each dance is taught.  No partner necessary (it’s traditional to dance each dance with a different partner)

First and Third Saturdays of the month except July, August. Occasional special dances.

Jan
19
Sat
Contra: The Nettles with Noah Grunzweig @ Gatton Hall / First Congregational Church
Jan 19 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

The NettlesThe Nettles

Laura Brophy – fiddle
Kevin Johnsrude – guitars

Michael Proctor – bass
Brian Bucolo – percussion

The Nettles are well-known on the West Coast for their original approach to contra dance music. Playing traditional music from all over the world, The Nettles create a strong rhythmic groove under soaring improvisations. Rhythmic drive and melodic fluidity allow The Nettles to propel contra dances into the stratosphere. .

Noah GrunzweigNoah Grunzweig

Noah has been calling contra dances in Corvallis for a couple of years now.

 

 

 



Beginners lesson starts at 7:00pm (experienced dancers welcome) dance starts at 7:30pm

Each dance is taught.  No partner necessary (it’s traditional to dance each dance with a different partner)

First and Third Saturdays of the month except July, August. Occasional special dances.

Jan
26
Sat
RUNA @ Whiteside Theatre
Jan 26 @ 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm

RUNARUNA

“Best of all, RUNA sounds like no one else!” – Travis Rogers, Jr., Music Life & Times

Quickly gaining recognition as one of Irish music’s new “super-groups,” RUNA has been en- chanting audiences by pushing the boundaries of Irish folk music into the Americana and roots music formats since their formation in 2008. Interweaving the haunting melodies and exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of jazz, bluegrass, flamenco and blues, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music.

The group has been honored internationally, winning Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and four Independent Music Awards including Best Live Album, Best World/Traditional Song and Best Bluegrass Song.

“Timeless and flawless…” – Jim Allford, PA Music Scene

RUNA consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Zach White of St. Louis on guitar, vocals and mandolin, and Maggie White of Kentucky on the fiddle and Mandolin.

RUNA recently released their fifth album, “RUNA: LIVE”, which was recorded at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD on Thursday, March 17th, 2016. Receiving lavish praise on both sides of the Atlantic, the album has been hailed as “an incredible masterpiece” – Marcene Bronson, The Celtic Crier

Seeking to preserve and continue a traditional culture in a modern age, RUNA creates the backbone of its signature roots sound from the musical and geographical diversity of its individually established band members. Their strive for excellence and creativity blazes a trail for the future of folk music, earning them the reputation as one of the most innovative Irish folk groups of this generation.

“Genuine and with endless innovation…” – John O’Brien, Jr., Ohio Irish American News

Feb
1
Fri
The Outside Track @ Whiteside Theatre
Feb 1 @ 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Outside TrackThe Outside Track

The Outside Track is a Pan Celtic group that performs Scots, Irish and Cape Breton songs and stepdance.

Mairi Rankin, one of the hugely influential Rankin Family – legends on the Canadian music scene – plays fiddle, sings and also step-dances up a storm. Born in Mabou, Nova Scotia, Mairi has been influenced by some of the best Cape Breton traditional musicians and instructors on the island. She has developed her own unique style by being immersed in such a rich musical culture. She has toured nationally and internationally as a solo artist, a sideman and is a member of the Cape Breton Celtic super group Beolach. She has performed with the Rankin Sisters, Unusual Suspects and Bruce Guthro to name but a few. Mairi has recorded one solo album, two CDs with Beolach and has been featured on numerous compilations and recordings

Teresa Horgan, from Co. Cork, has an emotive singing style. “She has just enough world weariness in her vocals to interpret…songs and make them her own.” – Tony Lawless, Tradconnect. Teresa was immersed in music from a young age, playing with her family and later went on to obtain an honours degree in Irish Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. She recorded two albums with award-winning Irish band, ‘FullSet’, and one album with guitarist, Matt Griffin, called ‘Brightest Sky Blue’. She was also privileged to perform on the prestigious TV show, ‘The Late Late show’. She has toured extensively and shared the stage with The Chieftains, Declan O’Rourke, Andy Irvine, Lúnasa and more.

From the Highland village of Evanton, Fiona Black developed a love of music and dance from a young age. The feisean movement provided her the opportunity to nurture her passion through learning to play the piano accordion. Fiona went on to attend the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music where she honed her skills as an accordionist and gained valuable experience arranging, performing, composing and recording. Fiona set off for Limerick in 2005 where she completed a BA with Honours in Irish Music and Dance. During this degree, Fiona further developed her skills as a performer, arranger, teacher and composer while also traveling to Cape Breton during her third year of studies. Fiona’s accordion style incorporates many different influences, intertwining her native Scottish style with Irish, Swedish and Cape Breton repertoire, always adding her distinctive rhythm and vibrancy.

Ailie Robertson from Edinburgh is widely regarded as one of Scotland’s leading young traditional musicians. She is a musician in the broadest sense: composer, arranger, teacher, improviser and harp virtuoso. Her accomplishment on the clarsach is such that leading Irish flautist Niall Keegan said: “Ailie’s synthesis of Irish, Scottish and contemporary harping technique into an individual style represents the realisation of otherwise unimagined possibilities for the Celtic harp.” Ailie grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was immersed in the harp world from an early age. She began playing the clarsach when she was eleven years old and through her piano and clarsach lessons she developed a love for both classical and traditional music.  In 2009 she was nominated for ‘Up and Coming Artist of the Year’ in the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards. Ailie is in great demand as a teacher around the world, and has published six books of harp music.

Michael Ferrie is an award-winning guitarist and composer from Callander, Scotland.  A former student of Sgoil Chiùil na Gàidhealtachd (National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music) and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Ferrie is currently studying on the MMus Folk Music program at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland.  Ferrie was named Highland Young Guitarist in 2010. In 2013 Ferrie was commissioned to compose for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s ‘Out and About’ week, and in the same year was nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award with Scottish folk band ‘Thalla’.