learn from keepers of the tradition
the music, the technique, the lore, the joy
Our teachers are extraordinary musicians who either grew up within their musical traditions or have devoted a major portion of their lives to learning and understanding its subtleties. They are highly gifted teachers - personable, approachable, attentive - who are eager to pass on their technical skills and lore to students.
Teaching Staff for 2021
Sunniva Brynnel - Accordion, Swedish, Singing
Sunniva Brynnel is an accordionist, pianist, vocalist and composer within jazz, improvised music and folk music. In 2017, she was awarded Albin Hagström Minnesfonds scholarship for accordionists through the Royal Academy in Stockholm. Sunniva comes from a lineage of seven generations of female musicians, and her mother – a Swedish folk singer – is one of her major influences. She then went on to study Irish/Gaelic singing and music at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in Dublin. After a year spent in Dublin, she moved on to study jazz performance at Birka FHSK outside Östersund, Sweden. To be able to immerse herself in both jazz and the music of the British Isles, Sunniva then went on to study a BA jazz at Leeds College of Music, England, with composition as her major subject. Sunniva graduated from Leeds College of Music. She also has a Swedish music teaching degree from Gothenburg University (2016). Sunniva is currently based in Boston, US, where she graduated with a Masters of Music in Contemporary Improvisation from The New England Conservatory.
Andy Davis - Dance Calling, Singing
Andy Davis calls traditional New England style contra and square dances. Andy’s specialty is calling for community events welcoming to dancers of all ages and abilities. For over thirty years Andy has taught music and dance in Vermont public schools and summer camps. He plays accordion and piano for traditional dances. Andy’s repertoire includes jigs, reels, polkas, marches and waltzes that would be part of a lively and joyful evening of community dance. He has composed a variety of dance tunes and songs. Andy is a founding member of “New England Dancing Masters,” publishers of dance books and recordings for the teaching of New England traditional dance. For 30 years he was part of the group “Nowell Sing We Clear,” a Vermont based group that performed and recorded mid-winter carols and customs. For many years Andy and his wife Robin were program directors for Country Dance and Song Society “Family Weeks” in West Virginia, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Yann Falquet - Guitar, Button Accordion, Singing
Yann Falquet is a truly active and creative acoustic guitar player on the Québécois music scene. He has explored many styles of music and completed a Bachelors degree in Jazz. Since then, he has developed a personal guitar style for Québec folk music, inspired by the playing of the accompanists of different cultures (Brittany, Scandinavia, Ireland, North America, etc). His involvement in traditional music scene brought Yann to perform on numerous recordings, and to regularly tour throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. He also toured for three years with the award winning celtic/world group The McDades. Yann had the opportunity to teach at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick, at the Goderich Celtic College as well as at the Alasdair Fraser's Fiddle Train and Sierra Fiddle Camp. see yann here
Laurie Hart - Swedish Fiddle
Laurie Hart is a fiddler from Ithaca in central New York State. She specializes in Irish, Québécois, Scandinavian, French and American dance music. She also plays Swedish nyckelharpa and Norwegian Hardanger fiddle. Laurie is known for her beautiful tone, agile bowing, large repertoire, and fidelity to the diverse styles she plays. She has eight albums in her growing discography. Laurie has performed since 1986 at concerts, festivals and dances across the U.S., Canada and Northern Europe, notably with Paul Marchand, Stefhan Ohlström and the Contradictions, but chronic Lyme disease has curtailed her performing career and she now focusses on teaching. Laurie's passion for fiddling, dancing, languages and travel has led her on research and tune-collecting expeditions to Ireland, Québec, Scandinavia and France, which in turn have led to writing projects, new recordings and workshop offerings. She was the recipient of a Fulbright Award to study the music and dance of Norway and Sweden. She is now working on a five-volume CD/book series entitled Scandinavian Fiddle Tradition. She co-authored the highly respected Mel Bay book Danse Ce Soir!: Fiddle and Accordion Music of Québec, with Greg Sandell.
Jeremiah McLane - Accordion, Piano
Accordionist Jeremiah McLane plays a wide variety of ethnic musical styles from Northern and Eastern Europe as well as American idioms such as jazz, swing, blues, and Zydeco. At this year’s Accordions Now Festival he is delighted to offer selections from the classical repertoire including works by composers Astor Piazzolla, Bela Bartok, Antonin Dvorak, Francis Poulenc and Alan Hovhaness as well as several of his own compositions. Mr. McLane has taught and performed throughout the United States and Europe, including such venues as the Royal Festival Hall in London, and the Picolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. He holds a Master’s in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music and teaches at St. Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont. He has been on staff at numerous music programs throughout the country including The Augusta Heritage Arts Center, The Swanannoa Gathering, Ashokan Fiddle & Dance, The John C. Campbell Folk School, and Centrum’s American Festival of Fiddle Tunes. He has composed numerous pieces for film and theatre and has received National Public Radio's “favorite picks” award for his second solo recording, Smile When You’re Ready, and French music magazine Trad Mag’s “BRAVO” award for his fifth release, Hummingbird.
Katie McNally - Scottish and Cape Breton Fiddle
A devoted teacher as well as a performer, Katie McNally grew up steeped in the vibrant Scottish and Cape Breton music community in Boston and is the 2009 New England Scottish Fiddle Champion. She was a student of Hanneke Cassel and has performed at venues such as Wolf Trap, Club Passim, The Freight and Salvage, Symphony Space, Brighton College in Brighton, England, and various folk venues throughout New England. Katie performs regularly with guitarist Eric McDonald, has been a member of the Boston-based ﬁddle supergroup Childsplay since 2009, and joined world-renowned Galician bagpiper Carlos Núñez on his first tour of North America in the fall of 2012. Her debut solo album, Flourish, was released in January 2013.
Lisa Ornstein - Québécois Fiddle, Old Time
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. Befriended by North Carolina fiddle legend Tommy Jarrell while she was in her teens, Lisa quickly became an accomplished fiddler in the Round Peak style. A musical friendship with Franco-American fiddler Louis Beaudoin set her on a path to Quebec in 1978. 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 Le Bruit Court Dans La Ville and bandmates André Marchand and Normand Miron.
Oliver Scanlon - Novice Fiddle, Sound
A soulful multi-instrumentalist and spellbinding composer, Oliver began his journey of musical discovery playing the viola with the Vermont Youth Orchestra when he was nine. Shortly after he was introduced to his mentor Pete and the immense parallel universe of fiddle music! Through Mark Sustic’s “Fiddleheads” program and Northeast Heritage Music Camp he studied with Alan Jabbour, Kimberley Fraser, Andrea Beaton, Eric Favreau and other master fiddlers. In 2008, Oliver plus a handful of middle school friends formed The Irregulars that played local dances and festivals, and took first prize in the 2011 Young Tradition Vermont talent contest. In 2013 he both co-founded the Posse and became the youngest member of the long running dance band The Clayfoot Strutters. He released his solo album “The Pond Jam” in 2014. Recognized not only for his mesmerizing playing, but also for being a meticulous sound tech, Oliver stays quite busy when not on the road with the Posse!
David Surette - Guitar, Mandolin
Widely acclaimed as one of New England’s premiere instrumentalists, David Surette is highly regarded for his work on the guitar (both flatpick and fingerstyle), mandolin, and bouzouki, in a wide variety of settings. As a soloist, he is nationally known as a top player of Celtic fingerstyle guitar. Yet his diverse repertoire also includes original compositions, blues and ragtime, traditional American roots music, and folk music from a variety of traditions, all played with finesse, taste, and virtuosity. David is an accomplished and gifted teacher who has taught at workshops and camps throughout the US, Canada, and the UK, including Swannanoa Gathering, Folkworks Summer School, Pinewoods Music Camp, Maine Fiddle Camp, and the Augusta Heritage Festival. He is folk music co-ordinator at the Concord (NH) Community Music School, and artistic director of their March Mandolin Festival. He has authored a book of Celtic fingerstyle guitar arrangements for Mel Bay Publications, and is a regular contributor to Acoustic Guitar and Strings Magazine. In 1994, Surette was awarded a travel grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to study the traditional music of Brittany, and has published a collection of Breton folk tunes. His most recent solo release is Northern Roots.
Pete Sutherland - Banjo, Shape Note, Singing
A warm-voiced singer, songsmith and accomplished multi-instrumentalist known equally for his potent originals and his intense recreations of age-old ballads and fiery fiddle tunes, veteran Vermont-based musician Pete has been on staff at dance and music camps and workshops coast-to-coast and is a widely-known year-round teacher and performer in the Champlain Valley. A Renaissance man of the folk arts, he is also a record producer, concert promoter, collage artist and author. His recent recordings include Streak o' Lean and The Wilderness Road. see pete here
Becky Tracy - Irish and Contradance Fiddle
There is nothing Becky Tracy likes better than to take a room full of fiddle players and fashion them into harmonious bowing beauties. Becky has certainly played around, being the longest surviving fiddle player with Wild Asparagus (20 years!) and the only fiddle player in the soulful but now defunct band Nightingale. She has a driving yet sweet sound to her playing and her awareness of what makes that happen has led her to be a popular teacher at music camps. Her playing has been shaped by the influence of teachers Brendan Mulvihill and Eugene O'Donnell and Lisa Ornstein as well as her many years of playing for dancing. Her solo CD, Evergreen, is an album of haunting beauty, intimacy and exuberance. see becky here
Nicholas Williams - Flute, Accordion, Singing
Nicholas Williams graduated from York University in Toronto where he studied world music, contemporary improvisation, and composition. Since then he has immersed himself in the world of traditional music, where he is most known for his distinctive and rhythmic style of flute playing. Drawing mainly from Irish and North Indian flute playing techniques, he is also influenced by the musical traditions of Quebec, Brittany, Sweden, and the US. A member of the group Crowfoot, Nicholas has toured extensively in the US, Canada, and the UK, playing for concerts, contra, and English dance events. He plays piano for Scottish country dance with fiddler Laura Risk and 'Les Joueuers de bon accord'. Nicholas currently lives in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. see nicholas here