Laura Risk Visits NWSF May 16th!


Laura Risk, is ready to come to our next Zoom meeting. Don’t miss this one!

NW Scottish Fiddlers will host the incredible Laura Risk at 1 PM on Sunday, May 16th. It will be a free workshop, and will be recorded on Zoom.  Sheet music, along with recordings of the tunes, will be distributed after the workshop.

If you don’t know Laura, The Boston Globe describes her as a virtuoso fiddler, and that her fluency in fiddle styes is remarkable.  Filmmaker Ken Burns described her fiddling as “a revelation and achingly beautiful”, and Living Tradition hails her “powerful, percussive style… bursting with energy and passion”.  See Laura play Neil Gow’s Lament, on Youtube here.

Originally from California, now living in Montreal, Laura performs and teaches Scottish and Québécois fiddling internationally and has over a dozen albums to her credit. Her distinctive sound and compelling interpretations of traditional tunes are intensely personal yet grounded in meticulous archival and ethnographic research. She’s also been an instructor at Valley of the Moon for many years.  She has a PhD in Musicology from McGill University.

Laura is an Assistant Professor of Music and Culture in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough, with a cross appointment in the Graduate Department of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.

She collaborated with renowned Scottish Highland fiddler Aonghas Grant, fiddler Barbara McOwen and ethnomusicologist, Peggy Duesenberry on the Glengarry Collection: The Highland Fiddle Music of Aonghas Grant. The collection focuses on the core of Aonghas’ music: Highland fiddling, and its connections to pipe tunes and Gaelic songs.

For more information on Laura’s accomplishments in performance, or in academia, see her website.  You’ll also see a wide variety of CD’s, books, and more that Laura has worked on through the years, and now currently for sale.

As always, we offer these workshops as a way to support musicians such as Laura, who have lost work due to Covid.  We will have a tip jar for those folks who wish to show their appreciation to Laura.  The Zoom link for the workshop will be sent by email on May 15th-just two weeks away!

If you have questions, please write to Marcia Thumma.

See you in two weeks!!


David Greenberg Cape Breton Workshop April 18th!

David Greenberg, this month’s workshop instructor!

Travel to Cape Breton with us this month, as we learn some fantastic tunes with David Greenberg! The free two hour workshop begins at 2 pm (Pacific Time), Sunday, April 18.

If you go to David’s website, you will immediately see, just from the pictures, how deep David’s passion for music runs. He’s heavily involved in not only Cape Breton music, but also Baroque, and “other meshugass”, as he puts it! He has been offering workshops on line throughout the pandemic, and is looking forward to sharing with us for the afternoon.

David plans to share two tunes at a minimum, but is hoping for three!  Click here, to listen to recordings of the tunes he’ll share with us. They include: a strathspey by Fr JJ MacDonald, “ Whiskey in The Fuarag”, William Marshall’s reel, “Mrs. K Stewart of the Island of Java” and a delightful tune written by David himself, “Otter Play”.

The Zoom link for the workshop will be sent on Saturday, April 17th. Be sure to update your Zoom app if you haven’t done that recently!

We will create a virtual tip jar for David, as we continue to support musicians during these challenging times when so many of their usual opportunities have disappeared. We encourage participants to tip David in whatever amount is comfortable for them.

Questions may be sent to Marcia Thumma at

Irish Session with Susan Burke!

One year ago this month, we cancelled our first meeting, as Covid took us by surprise.  Even though we’re still not meeting in person, it’s a great pleasure to welcome back our long-time friend, Susan Burke, who’s taught at some of our monthly workshops, lead Cape Breton sessions and our annual January workshop’s “early bird session” on Friday!

This time, it will be an Irish-oriented session, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  We’ll be zooming at our usual time of 2 PM (PT), on Sunday, March 21st.  A link will be sent to you on Saturday, March the 20th.

Bring your favorite Irish tunes, or even tunes that sound Irish will be great!  Our library actually has quite a few tunes that can be found in both the Scottish and Irish repertoire. See the list below!
Come even if you don’t think you know any Irish tunes- it will be your opportunity to learn some then.

No one will be put on the spot to lead a set, but it will be great if we have some volunteers. If you don’t want to lead a set or tune, then how about suggesting a tune or set you’d like to hear?

Here’s a link to Susan’s website.  The session is free, but we will have a tip jar set up for Susan.

There’s plenty of Irish/Scottish tunes that live in our library! Do some exploring- you’ll probably find more than this list- just go to:
The password is Calum –

  • Humours of Whiskey
  • Leslie’s March
  • Snowy Path
  • Soggy’s
  • Sandy M’Gaff
  • Mrs. McGhee
  • I Won’t Do the Work
  • Kerfuntin Jig
  • Jump at the Sun
  • Arthur Darley’s, aka “The Swedish”
  • Jig Runrig
  • Staten Island Hornpipe
  • Off She Goes
  • Garster’s Jig
  • That’s Right Too (by Liz Carroll)
  • Drowsy Maggie
  • Tam Lin
  • The Butterfly

Remember, this is just a place to begin!  Any tune, Scottish, Irish, Cape Breton, Shetland, is also welcome!!!

Let’s see you in green at this month’s meeting!

Concert Fundraiser for NW Scottish Fiddlers!


Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas will celebrate their first award winning album, “Fire and Grace” for their concert/fundraiser for NW Scottish Fiddle club on March 20th! This is the fourth in a series of six concerts, in which the duo are revisiting and updating part of their 20 years of recording and performing together!

When you buy a ticket to their concert, you support not only Alasdair and Natalie, but also support the NW Scottish Fiddlers, as a portion of their proceeds will go to us as well!  Please be sure that you purchase your tickets through this link, in order to assure NWSF will receive your donation:

Ticket prices range from $5 to $50, so you can choose the price that best suits you! That’s hard to beat!

You have a 48-hour viewing period,  so if 7:30 PM (Pacific Coast time) doesn’t work at all, we’ve got you covered!  You still have time to catch it later! There’s instructions and a link provided by Mandolin for that very purpose.

This concert will offer truly outstanding video and audio quality all thanks to Mandolin, a relatively new concert platform.  You won’t believe your eyes- you’ll feel like your really right there, in the venue! Another reason to catch the show!

Post-concert, you will be invited to chat with Alasdair and Natalie via Zoom!

Once you get your ticket through the link above, you should return to the website and create an account if you haven’t done so.  WHY?  It’s simple to do, and it will allow you to log in before the show starts, and then just one simple click will make the show available!  And yes, you can opt out of marketing emails if you want to!  Doing this will allow you to log in ahead of time and put some comments in the chat, or request a tune.  You can only do it with an account!

You’ll get an electronic ticket from Mandolin. There is a help section if you need some assistance- at  You’ll see there’s one section devoted to “Box Office”. Click there.

See you at the post-concert Zoom event!

Lisa Ornstein Quebecois workshop in February!

Lisa Ornstein Lisa Ornstein

Join us in February to meet the incredible Lisa Ornstein!  Here’s your chance to try a little Quebecois fiddling, taught by one of the most highly regarded Quebecois teachers around!  The free 2 hour workshop will be held Sunday, February 21, at 2 PM (Pacific time).

Lisa hails from Olympia, Washington, and has been teaching classes for years. Here’s her bio from her website:

“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.”

For more information on Lisa, visit her website.  Please remember, we aim to support musicians during this challenging time when supporting oneself is difficult, and live performances are rare.  A virtual tip jar for Lisa will be made available.

This will be a Zoom workshop, and the link will be sent by email, on Saturday, February 20th. Be sure to write to (Marcia Thumma) at: to let us know you’re interested in attending, but not on our mailing list.


WOW Home Page!

Welcome to the Would-be On Whidbey Workshop with Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas   (***  Registration for this event is now closed. Thank you for your interest.)



How do I find out about happenings once I’m at the workshop? How do I find stuff?

We’ll make announcements often at the beginning of classes, so don’t be late! We will have a new Zoom feature, “white board”, that will be available for posting announcements, ideas, etc.  We’ll have another white board just for artistic and/or silly endeavors.  

Want to sign up for something??  Session leading signup, co-host sign up, along with sheet music from previous workshops, Camp Casey photos for virtual backgrounds, and other fun stuff.. all live in the Google docs folder. 

Want to sign up for the CEILIDH? It has it very own link!  ceilidh talent show)

TIP: Be sure to sign in to Google before trying to sign up for session leading, co-hosting, or the talent show, then you’ll be able to enter information on the forms. 

Still having trouble? For Ceilidh sign up help, write to Cayley Schmid at For co-host sign up help contact Marcia Thumma at, and, for session lead sign up help, give Erin Esses ( a holler!

Schedule – there’s two versions all on one page!

Who’s Who, Who’s What, Who’s How

Want to take a tour of Camp Casey, and the places we’d normally hangout?  Pictures of the places our breakout rooms are named for, and a history of Camp Casey live here!

Last but not least, If you’re not already involved with our social media, here’s your chance: Jasmine Faulk-Dickerson runs an exciting Instagram page, with 129 followers.  If you’re not into Instagram, we also have a newsworthy Facebook page.  Sign up to join the Facebook page.

Got Crayons?

Color your own WOW logo- we promise they’ll be used at the workshop!

It’s official, there’s a “Happy Hour and Flag Coloring” on Thursday, January 14th, from 5-5:30 pm (Pacific time).  Then stay put for our orientation for the workshop at 5:30!!  Your hosts will be Cayley Schmid and Erin Esses. Use this link to get your own printable copy, and be sure to print on landscape so you’ll get a bigger logo to color!!

More information directly from Cayley, “Come early to orientation on Thursday and join in with WOW’s official group coloring project/happy hour! Print out your very own WOW flag at home, then bring it at 5 pm for a half hour of coloring, silliness, and staring at each other. (Your flag will be used for waving at our instructors, and more, throughout the weekend.) We might also debate coloring inside vs. outside of the lines, choosing shades the complement your mood, and flag waving techniques, and so much more!”

You might also be searching for something to attach this flag to, such as stick, or anything that remotely resembles a stick!

Don’t have a printer????? Please contact Marcia Thumma .  Let me know ASAP, and we’ll try to print a flag for you and send it in the mail! Please include your mailing address in your note!!

Don’t Forget! Brandon Vance Workshop Dec. 13th!!

Brandon Vance

Be there, or be where??? Where else would you want to be?  Yes, it’s true, we have a workshop this coming Sunday, the 13th, in order to avoid getting too close to the holidays!

Brandon Vance will be our “Tune-Master” who will be on hand for about 2 hours of tune teaching – starting at 2 PM!  Please write to Marcia Thumma if you suspect that you’re not on our mailing list, and you’ll be included in the Saturday email, which holds the key to the workshop – our zoom link!

See you soon!


December 13th Workshop with Brandon Vance

Brandon Vance

We are delighted to announce that Brandon Vance will be coming to NW Scottish Fiddlers in December!  Brandon has taught workshops in person for us, in 2018-19, but of course, this workshop will be on Zoom instead, starting at 2 PM (Pacific Time), on Sunday, December 13th (yes, this is the 2nd Sunday of the month, vs. our usual 3rd Sunday of the month).

And a few things about Brandon (to be brief is really difficult!):  he’s an internationally acclaimed Scottish fiddler and a classical violinist! He was the youngest fiddler to win the U.S. National Open Scottish Fiddling Championship, in 1999 and in 2001.  He has performed and taught internationally, for major events like the University of Limerick’s Irish World Academy, and was a featured soloist at the 2017 Scottish Royal National Mód in Fort William.

On the classical violin side of his life, he has a B.M. and M.M. in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is a member of Chamber Orchestra Northwest Sinfonietta, and a baroque ensemble, Pacific Musicworks.

To learn more about Brandon, visit his website!

Please note we’ll have a virtual tip jar for Brandon, as we aim to support musicians in this challenging time where live performances are rare.

Happy Thanksgiving!