Dr John Turner: Director & Senior Instructor - Weeks 0 & 1
John Turner, 10-time National Scottish Fiddling Champion, recording artist, composer and educator, founded The Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling in 1984. He is a versatile entertainer who has performed throughout the United States, Canada and the British Isles, offering, wherever he goes, workshops in fiddling from the golden era of Scottish traditional music - the 18th century. Dr Turner is President of Fiddletree Music, Inc. which produces his recordings and publishes his compositions, for he is a prolific composer of melodies in the Scottish style. Turner also takes a keen interest in the history of the music and of the period and his classes are invariably peppered with a variety of historical facts and anecdotes. The subject matter of Dr John's Special Topic this year will be one that is near and dear to his heart. His workshop is entitled, "The Compleat Strathspey - Its Mechanics and Nuances."
Photo by Margy Fabling
Rachel Barton Pine: Guest Instructor - Week 1
Rachel Barton Pine, internationally acclaimed concert violinist, recording artist, educator and philanthropist has been teaching at The Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling since 2010. Rachel's openness to and passion for a wide variety of musical styles is both refreshing and exhilarating! From early music on original instruments to heavy metal and much of the spectrum in between which, of course, includes classical and Scottish traditional, she brings a level of scholarship and joie de vivre unmatched among the active performers of today. Whether she is teaching about effective practice time or Baroque ornamentation, there is never a dull moment in Rachel's classroom and those fortunate enough to benefit from her pedagogy will sense they are in the presence of musical greatness! For her Special Topic this year, Rachel will present:
"Making Friends with your Baroque Bow: Exercises for Exploring 18th Century Note Shapes." (Extra bows will be available for those who don’t own one, or come with your modern bow and hold it above the frog.)
And the title of her Theme Pod will be:
"18th Century Scottish Music for Two Violins." For these sessions, Rachel will provide a (large) downloadable PDF, containing trio sonatas by McGibbon and the Earl of Kelley, Oswald’s Seasons, tunes with second violin parts, and more. Not to be missed!!
Rachel Barton Pine
Mari Black, PhD: Week 1
Mari Black, multi-style violinist, composer and teacher, was the 2013 & 2015 National Scottish Fiddling Champion (runner-up in 2016) and the 2014 Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Champion (Scotland). We welcomed Mari to the faculty of Jink & Diddle for the first time in 2015. Mari is rapidly building a reputation as one of the most dynamic young artists of her generation. Her energetic playing, engaging stage presence, and commitment to bringing people together through music have made her a favourite with students and audiences across the country and around the world. Equally at home in a wide variety of musical traditions, she is a consumate performer and teacher, accomplished in a variety of fiddling styles. As always, Mari has aces galore up her sleeve - and she is ready and willing to share them with you this summer:
A Two-Day (1.5 hour) Theme Pod:
"The Fiddling Olympics!: Practice, Hone, and Problem-Solve Your Way To Your Very Best Playing" In this very interactive, "lots-of-playing" 2-day workshop, Mari will teach practice, warm-up, and musical problem-solving strategies that will help you start polishing your all-around violin playing to the highest level! These are skills that will noticeably improve every fiddler, no matter what experience level. Among other things, we'll learn how to: increase the quality and resonance of your sound; master "fancy" bow strokes likebarrage (arpeggio) technique (anyone can do this one!); instantly improve your intonation (no joke!); improve your bow control on any bowing you want; play in faster tempos with ease AND a clear sound; get rid of mistakes in those "tricky" parts of your favorite fancy tunes; and design an evolving practice routine for yourself that will last you the whole year. We'll even look at how to stretch/warm up/pace yourself for maximum enjoyment and playing time without injury. Does this sound like a lot? Yes! It's the "Fiddle Olympics", but come participate and you'll watch yourself start to achieve all this and more!
A one-hour Special Topic
"Fiddling In Scotland Today -- HINT: It's All About The Strathspey!" In this class, Mari will share her experiences of studying, performing, and competing in Scotland and provide an in-depth look at the Strathspey, Scotland's signature dance rhythm. She will explore the bowing, ornamentation, and double stop choices that will help you produce a powerful, authentic, modern North East strathspey feel that you can play proudly all over Scotland (or really, anywhere!). Bring your fiddles and be ready to play play play!
Maura Scanlin: Week 1
Maura Shawn Scanlin, born and raised in Boone, North Carolina, and currently residing in Boston Massachusetts, was the 2010 & 2012 National Scottish Fiddling Champion and 2013 Glenfiddich Champion. We welcome her to the faculty for the first time this year. Maura is currently finishing her Bachelor’s degree in Classical Violin Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she has been studying with Lucy Chapman. Maura’s collaborations with various string quartets have taken her to the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition and the Banff Chamber Music Residency. But Maura also enjoys performing and collaborating in a variety of other musical genres ranging from traditional folk to improvisatory music. Particularly well versed in Scottish and other Celtic fiddle styles, Maura is a two-time U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, and a winner of the Glenfiddich Fiddle Competition, arguably the most prestigious Scottish Fiddle competition in the world. Through her studies, collaborations, and performances, Maura hopes to help preserve an appreciation for live acoustic music of all styles. Here is the outline for her Special Topic class!
Groove & Personal Style: A Guide to Interpretation of “What’s On the Page.” Those little black notes don’t sound good straight off the pages of music collections; it’s up to us to make them come alive! This class will suggest strategies to facilitate coaxing the notes on the page into groovy tunes. During the class we will look in-depth at several tunes and discuss how to turn them into lively - or not so lively - melodies. Maura will discuss the importance of swing, backbeat, tempo, and melodic/harmonic choices, as well as exploring how these elements enable common tunes to be transformed into something special. In addition, Maura will discuss how these musical choices result in the manifestation of a “personal style.”
Tim Macdonald: Week 1
Tim Macdonald, 2014 National Scottish Fiddling Champion, is a regular performer, composer, and teacher of Scottish-Baroque music. He, Mari and Maura were three of only eight players invited to compete in the last Glenfiddich competition in Scotland in 2015. Tim also plays the viola d’amore, harpsichord, and concertina - and his enthusiasm for Scottish culture is infectious! In 2015 he was awarded the Weinberg Research Fellowship at the Newberry Library in Chicago for a project which re-examined the performance of 18th-century Scottish music. Tim's experience as a performer, dance musician and, even more importantly, as a dancer will inform his leadership of those who would like to develop or improve their skills in playing for Scottish Country Dance. But more than that, Tim's keen interest in history and the social context of the music allows him to offer a broad spectrum of interesting and varied topics in his classes. Here's what he has in store for you in 2017!
A four-day (1 hour) Dance Series that will begin by covering all you need to know about "Playing for Scottish Country Dancing" but will continue into related subject matter; Tim hopes to expand your understanding of marches and quicksteps (with a practicum!), "'A Musical Cadence in Their Steps': Marching like an Eighteenth Century Soldier;" he further plans to contribute to the revival of "Listening Music" through a survey of the "Scots Airs" published by Oswald, Bremner, McGibbon and Skinner. The title for this final session in the series will be - "The Unslow Air: Reviving the Art of 'Listening Music.'"
A two-day (1.5 hour) Theme Pod which will progress from "Composing Scottish Dance Tunes" in the first session to "Breaking the Ground: Improvising Variations" in the second.
A one-hour Special Topic class which will be entitled "Robert Mackintosh of Tulliemet: A Statistical and Sociocultural Analysis."
Photo by Francis Dunham
Ralph Gordon: Week 1 - Bass & Cello
Ralph Gordon is a uniquely versatile musician, bringing more than 45 years of musical experience to the bass and cello. He is equally at home in folk, old time, bluegrass, chamber group settings and all styles of music for dancers. Ralph returns to Jink & Diddle in 2017 for his fourth year on faculty. He brings a conservatory background and decades of experience to the assignment of teaching the accompaniment of Scottish dance music. Ralph is more than a match for the task. He is a Dance Musician Extraordinaire! Ralph's Special Topic this year is entitled, "The Chords that Bind Us."
Zach Lemhouse: Week 1 - "Fiddle for the Less-Experienced Player"
Zach Lemhouse is a versatile, classically-trained musician who has diversified into the traditions of Scottish, Irish, Old time and bluegrass. Joining us on staff for the third year in a row, he will utilize his zeal for teaching to make Scottish music accessible to beginning players - a task he has performed with much enthusiasm and to great acclaim at previous sessions! In addition, it might be comforting to note that Zach is also experienced in violin set-up and repair and will be on hand prepared to deal with instrumental emergencies. For your edification in 2017, Zach's Special Topic class will be entitled:
“Tunes and Tales”. He plans to teach several songs which have interesting story lines and discuss the history relating to the songs.