The Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling

Traditional Scottish Fiddle Music

Faculty & Staff ~ Summer 2019
John Turner, faculty member, Jink & Diddle Scottish Fiddle School
John Turner
Dr John Turner:  Director & Senior Instructor - Weeks 0, 1 & 2
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:

Scottish Made Violins
A discussion on Scottish made instruments - and their makers who ranged from amateurs to master craftsmen.
Photo by Margy Fabling

Rachel Barton Pine:  Guest Instructor - Week 2
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!

Rachel Barton Pine, faculty member, Jink & Diddle Scottish Fiddle School
Rachel Barton Pine
Mari Black, faculty member, Jink & Diddle Scottish Fiddle School
Mari Black
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 will be ready and willing to share them with you again this summer.
A Barrage of Barrage — Make your bow FLY
A one-hour class in the Special Topic series.
It’s one of the signature “fancy” gestures in Scottish fiddling, and the cause of so many “wow” moments when listening to your favorite players: THE BARRAGE BOWING.  If you have ever watched a Scottish fiddler do that awesome thing where they fly their bow back and forth across all four strings and thought, “Oh man, I WISH I could do that!”…this workshop is for you!  We’ll break down this seemingly difficult bow trick into it’s basic components and discover how to achieve a clean, fluid barrage stroke with far less stress than you ever thought possible.  By the end of class, we’ll all be barraging happily away, and ready to start fitting this fun, flashy feature into your favorite Scottish tunes.  Come explore and be amazed at what you and your bow can do together!
Your Bow IS the Dancer!
A two-day offering with 90-min sessions in the Theme Pod series.
Driving vs. elegant — Light vs. heavy — Sustained vs. percussive — Up-lifting vs. settling into the ground.  Each of these describe different ways a dancer can move across the floor.  They also describe the different ways your bow can move across the string to create a beautiful, interesting, and expressive journey through your favorite dance tune.  In dance, it’s not just about doing the steps; it’s also about HOW you do those steps.  For us fiddlers, it’s the same thing!  In this workshop, we’re going to delve into the tremendous expressive power we gain when we treat the bow like a dancing body.  Yes, we’ll learn how to find the “right” bowing patterns for all your dance tunes (jigs, reels, strathspeys), but we’ll also go further by focusing on how to play those bowings with the “choreography” that will make them feel easy, sound fantastic, and maximize your ability to find the exact sound you want through the bowing.  This is your fast track to developing personal style, signature groove, beautiful expressive phrasing, and a dancer-like comfort to your right hand, so come ready to play, explore, and discover a new level of sensitivity and fluidity to your bowing!

Maura Shawn Scanlin:  Week 1
Maura Shawn Scanlin, raised in Boone NC, currently lives in New Haven, CT, and is pursuing her Masters degree in Violin Performance from the Yale School of Music, where she studies violin with Ani Kavafian. Maura Shawn received her Bachelors degree in May 2017 from the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she studied with Lucy Chapman. Her classical endeavors are particularly focused on chamber music and her collaborations with various chamber ensembles have led her to the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition and the Banff Chamber Music Residency.   In addition to classical music, Maura Shawn plays a variety of fiddle styles, ranging from traditional folk to contemporary improvisatory music.  Particularly well-versed in traditional Scottish and Irish music, Maura Shawn has had the opportunity to compete in the world’s premiere Scottish fiddling competitions.  She is a two-time U.S. National Scottish Fiddling Champion (2010, 2012) and was the 2013 winner of the Glenfiddich Fiddle Championship in Perthshire, Scotland.  Through her studies, collaborations and performances, Maura Shawn hopes to preserve an appreciation for live acoustic music of all styles.  Maura Shawn outlines her Special Topic this year ...
Discovering & Interpreting Reels
In this class we'll discuss how to distinguish the good reels from the bad in overwhelming tune books, how to craft the notes on the page into a palatable interpretation of the melody, and how to explore the many possibilities of reels: tempo, key, bowing, feel etc.
Photo by Louise Bichan

Maura Shawn Scanlin
Maura Shawn Scanlin
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 Shawn 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 2019:
Music of the 1790s Edinburgh Circus
A one hour class in the Special Topic series.
"A Sweeping, Kindling, Bold Strathspey - Encore!  Bravo!"  [Rabbie Burns]
A deep dive into strathspeys, slow and not-slow, as presented by Tim at an Aberdeen conference last year.  A two-day offering with 90 minute sessions in the Theme Pod series.
Playing for Dance Parts I & II;
A Musical Cadence in their Steps: Marching Like an 18th Century Soldier;
The Air: Reviving the Art of 'Listening Music'
A four-day (1 hour) series with the titles above 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.
Photo by Francis Dunham

Tim Macdonald
Tim Macdonald
Joanna Johnson, reigning National Scottish Fiddling Champion
Joanna Johnson
Joanna Johnson, 2017 US National Scottish Fiddle Champion (and 2014 runner-up), is a native of Central Wisconsin and joined our faculty in 2018. Raised in the traditional eighteenth century style of Scottish Fiddling, Joanna brings a passion and grace to the stage through well loved traditional Scottish tunes as well as her own compositions in the Scottish style.  Being an avid composer herself, Joanna’s tunes have won several awards in Scottish F.I.R.E's annual tune writing competition. She has performed extensively with her family band, MPK Christian Celtic band, across the United States as a fiddler, singer, songwriter, and dancer. In addition to Scottish Fiddling, Joanna is also a violinist in the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra and is concertmistress of the Wausau Symphony. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a Violin Concentration in 2013 from Crown College in Minnesota and continued her classical studies under Professor Steven Bjella at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. As an instructor, Joanna has been passing on her joy and love in music making since 2008.  In her Special Topic and Theme Pod classes, Joanna will explore:

Building a Firm Foundation
Developing right and left hand techniques for ease and fluency on the violin.
You Too CAN Contribute to the Next Book o' Tunes!
A workshop on tune writing.
Photo by Vince Elmhorst

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 title for this year will be:

Four Chords
... and how to use them.

Ralph Gordon
Ralph Gordon
Zach Lemhouse
Zach Lemhouse
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 fourth 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 available to deal with instrumental emergencies on campus.  Zach was awarded the Outstanding American History Teacher of the Year Award for the State of South Carolina in 2018 by the Daughters of Colonial Wars.  For your edification this year, here is what Zach has in store:
Your Violin and You
A basic violin care and maintenance workshop in the one-hour Special Topic series.

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