Fiddlers from the Scottish, Irish, and New England traditions will join forces in Concord on Oct. 28 for the 5th Fall Fiddle Festival.
The Fiddle Festival is open to teens and adults and includes workshops on a variety of topics at the novice, intermediate, and advanced levels. In the evening, all five fiddle faculty members, along with musical collaborators Kieran O’Hare on uilleann pipes, and Conor Hearn and Dan Faiella on guitar, will present a toe-tapping evening concert of fiddle music open to the public.
The Festival features guest faculty members Liz Knowles and Maura Shawn Scanlin, who will be joined by three of New Hampshire’s own fiddling favorites, Audrey Budington, Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki, and Liz Faiella.
Says Liz Faiella, Fiddle Fest instructor and Music School faculty, “I’m so happy that the Fiddle Fest is returning to Concord this year. After a few years’ hiatus, we’re back in full force and with more fiddle faculty than ever. The Festival is such a fun day full of music and camaraderie, and the evening concert is a blast. We’ve got world-class fiddlers on faculty. It’s a thrill to work with them, and to connect with New England’s wonderful fiddling community!”
“Fiddle Fest has grown into one of the pillars of the CCMS Folk Department and we’re delighted to present it again this year,” says Concord Community Music School Executive Director Daniel Acsadi. “The full day event showcases our incredible teaching artists, along with exciting special guests in a welcoming environment. Whether you are an experienced player or only recently picked up your instrument, you are sure to enjoy your time at the festival.”
The $100 participant registration fee includes full day of workshops and group playing, as well as a ticket to the evening concert. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Concert-only tickets are available at $20/adults, $15 students & seniors.
For more information or to register, visit http://www.ccmusicschool.org or 603-228-1196.
About the Festival faculty:
Liz Knowles’ fascination with music has always been rooted in how one can arrive, land, and leave a note. Liz’s early foundations on the violin were grounded in classical music but while living in New York City, she began to explore other genres, performing with such artists as Marcus Roberts, The Bang-on-a-Can Orchestra, Bobby McFerrin, Paula Cole, Steve Reich, Eliot Goldenthal, Rachel Barton, Don Henley, and Tim O’Brien. Through these explorations, Irish traditional music emerged as the most resonant musical language for her and she has since established herself as a dynamic performer and recording artist in traditional music as fiddler for Riverdance, a member of Cherish the Ladies, The String Sisters, and The Martin Hayes Quartet, and with her trio, Open the Door for Three. She was featured as soloist on the film soundtrack for “Michael Collins”, performed on Broadway with “The Pirate Queen” and has been a featured soloist with many orchestras across America, including The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. Her compositions and arrangements of tunes and songs have been recorded and performed by artists around the world and she has acted as music director and producer for several international stage shows and recording projects including collaborations with such institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Notredame and the University of Toronto. Liz currently writes a bi-monthly newsletter, LizNotes, and produces a podcast with fiddler Liz Carroll called “The Lizzes.”
Boston-based fiddle player and songwriter Maura Shawn Scanlin is gaining recognition among the Celtic and Acoustic music scenes across the country and beyond. Her playing, hailed for its inventiveness, fluidity, and tone, brings together influences from Ireland, Scotland, and the American South, where she grew up. Touring actively with her duo Rakish and string quartet Rasa String Quartet, Maura has also shared the stage with many cornerstone musicians in the Celtic music world including Seamus Egan, Maeve Gilchrist, and Karan Casey. Maura is a 2-time U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, and released her debut full-length solo album in May 2023.
A CCMS alumna, Audrey Budington received a B.M. magna cum laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston where she was awarded the Presidential Scholarship and studied extensively with the likes of Darol Anger, Maeve Gilchrist, and Eugene Friesen. She has shared the stage with such luminaries as Rosanne Cash and Esperanza Spalding, opened for Black Violin, and was a guest artist for Darlingside. Audrey holds a certificate in Suzuki Book One and enjoys teaching beginner violin as well as New England, Irish, and Scottish fiddle styles.
Bringing fresh energy to Celtic music, Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki is an award-winning fiddler/singer who grew up playing dances and folk festivals around New England. He was first recognized as part of New Hampshire’s culture at the age of 12, when he was the youngest member of the delegation representing the state at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. He has toured nationally with bands in various genres, performed across Ireland, and released multiple recordings of Celtic music that have aired on radio stations around New England and in the British Isles. He has also written soundtracks for audiobooks and television (including the New England Emmy-nominated theme music for NH Chronicle) and appeared as a guest on over 100 albums. In 2013 he was awarded the title of “Master Artist” by the NH State Council On The Arts, and named “Best Fiddler 2016” by NH Magazine. These days he performs primarily with his own band, the Jordan TW Trio, a group that has won multiple awards for its wedding performances as well as recognition for its unique take on Celtic music in concert. Jordan’s lifelong passion for history helps bring to life the traditional music around which he built his career. Tour dates and more info at http://www.JordanTWmusic.com
Liz Faiella’s study of Irish fiddling, training in classical violin, and love of social dancing have shaped her musical approach. Liz and her brother and musical collaborator Dan Faiella have taken the stage at premier folk venues throughout New England, including Club Passim, the Acadia Trad Festival, Maine Celtic Celebration, Little Sea Folk Festival, the Seacoast Irish Festival, and the Boston Celtic Music Festival. Their album, At Long Last (2018), explores heartache, wonder, and joy, expressed through the traditional music they love. When she’s not gigging, Liz spends her days teaching fiddlers and folk groups at the Concord Community Music School in Concord, where she is chair of the Folk, Jazz, and Popular Music Department. She also is active as a YouTuber, sharing fiddle tunes and techniques far and wide.