Spam Filters Strike Again!

This is an email that you should have seen in your inbox! Thanks to the numerous links below, spam filters were mean to this email.  It figures.. Please read on- all your links are in blue!

NO! Coming to you IN person this year!!

Yes indeed, when July is no longer with us, it’s time to think cool thoughts of January, and get yourself signed up for one epic trad fiddle, cello, and friends workshop with the one and only Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas!  January 13 -15th, 2023– we’re hopeful for a big reunion and workshop.

I won’t bother you details and information you may already know, but, this workshop is SO different, in so many ways, we want to make sure you get all the facts! So here, in no particular order, are links to various subjects/topics for you to explore.

All about Warm Beach facilities, lodging and dining. Loads of photos.
Directions to Warm Beach Conference Center.
Pricing, and a few photos of the two main lodging options.
Our Covid policy.
Registration– deposits, timeline, how to register and pay, and the registration link/button.
The weekend schedule, as we know it today, and bound to change.
Scholarships and how to get them.

If you have questions or concerns, you may write to Marcia Thumma.  I’ll be on vacation a fair bit, but promise to glance at emails every so often!

New this year: We have a priority deadline for registration- September 15th. Learn more about it on the Registration page mentioned above.

Sign up soon!


By the way, these amazing women are at it again- scheming and planning for a few big shake ups!  We can’t give away details quite yet 😉

WOW Again! See What We’re Excited About!

Yes! Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas make a return visit, but this time, to a new location.

WOW indeed! Only this time, “We’re On Warm Beach“!  January 13-15, 2023

It’s almost time to register, but before you make your decisions, because this is so different from the past workshops in terms of the physical space, the lodging options, and more, we urge you to read below and click on the links so you’re fully informed!


It’s so exciting that registration for our in-person workshop will open up August 1st. We are pleased to offer this in person event because we feel we’ve done everything we can to minimize the spread of Covid, or any other “bug”  by moving to Warm Beach Conference Center.

BIG improvements:

  1. Its larger size will allow us to easily spread out for the classes and social hours. (See link below for pictures of everything!)
  2. Nope! No crowding this time!

  3. The lodging will offer more private restrooms and shower facilities (The number of people that might share a restroom with you will depend upon how many room mates you choose, vs. sharing with up to 20 or more people.)  No hallways in most of our lodging!
  4. The dining room is a spacious area, and we’ll have our own assigned dining times.
  5. You’ll also see much more space for the final concert, on stage, and in the auditorium. The facility is state of the art- and just 2 years old! Check it out!

Please read about our Covid policy.

In case you missed the link above, that loaded with photos of Warm Beach, here it is again- Warm Beach. It’s amazing!

How much will this cost?  There are numerous options and prices. Go to the pricing page for details.

Registration information is here. Scholarship information is here.

Katie McNally workshop and concert July 8th!

Come for the workshop with Katie, or come for the concert, with Katie and Connor…. or join us for both!!

NW Scottish Fiddlers will be hosting a workshop with the amazing Katie McNally!! It is open to anyone- you don’t have to be a member!!

It will be an outdoor event, on Susan Burke’s lovely back yard patio!

When? Friday July 8th, 2- 3:15 pm or thereabouts. Want more fiddle time? Susan Burke would love to host a session at 1 PM to get us warmed up and ready! Come join the fun. If you can just come for the workshop, that’s fine, too. Please note that we will start promptly at 2 PM!!

Where? Bothell area- you get the exact address once you sign up. See below.

How to sign up: Save yourself a seat by signing up in advance with PayPal. Send $20 to Please be sure to send to a friend so that Katie will be paid the full amount. *In the comments please note the payment is for Katie’s workshop and the best email for us to use to and send the workshop address.

Want to pay at the door? It’s $25. Write to for information.

Because this workshop will be held outside on Susan’s covered patio, feel free to wear a mask, or not. Drinks will be provided but you may also bring a water bottle if that’s your wish.

Class description: we will break down a classic tune or two from the Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle repertoires, addressing bowing, ornamentation, and feel. Recording the tune is encouraged during class. This workshop is geared toward fiddlers. Other music instruments are welcome, but please be aware specific instructions will not be provided.

What about the concert??? Click here for details!

For more information on Katie, visit her website.



Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas Workshop News

Yes, January 2023 we Can’t(be) on Whidbey.

Yes, it’s absolutely true!  We will be reinventing many aspects of our workshop this year, particularly where lodging, meeting, and concert spaces are concerned.  The general format and schedule that has stood the test of time will see few changes.

Where are we moving?  Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center, just about 5 miles south of Stanwood, WA.  Their Facebook page profile picture is a spectacular photo of the main lodge, and the left hand wing is the dining area. Here’s their location on Google Maps.

To see what the lodging options are, click here: Olympic View Lodge, Mt. Baker Cabins, Bayview Retreat House, and Warner House will all be possibilities, depending upon your needs.  Hover on any of these, and you’ll see a directional arrow. Click on that for more pictures. You can also click on the layout link of most of these facilities to see how they’re laid out.

Take a look at the Meeting rooms, too. Check out the Program Center, and the Program Center A to see where we’ll be spending our days. Again, there’s great diagrams of the layouts of these two rooms to help you understand how wonderful and spacious they are.

Why are we moving? For one thing, space. Lots and lots of it.  There’ll be no super crowded bathrooms that you share with 20 or more of your closest friends.  There will be plenty of space to spread out  in the main auditorium where we’ll gather for instruction- along with room for cases, room for parents, you name it.  We’ll have another large meeting room for our sessions, and hospitality-type functions, sort of a classroom B, only twice as big.  Don’t even mention dining hall.  You’re going to love the wide open space and the window views.

The facilities are newer, as you can tell from the pictures.  They have air handling systems in the meeting room. Our poor old friend, Auditorium A has doors and windows for an “air handling system”… and that would be mighty chilly in January.

We’ll be getting more information on the website in the upcoming weeks, and intend to have registration open within a month, give or take.

IMPORTANT:  The next email will be about registration, including the when, where, and how… so don’t miss it! If you think you’re on our email list that usually keeps you up to date on Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas workshop news, and you haven’t received any emails yet, please send a note to, and include your preferred email address.

*****No cows were harmed in the making of all things “COW”.

Congratulations Flora!

Flora Cummings, high school senior!

Many of you no doubt remember Flora when she was just a wee little one, boldly playing with the youth band on stage at Folk Life. How she has grown up!  This past week, she won first place in the WA State solo competition for viola!   Congratulations Flora!!

Her mother, Judith says it seemed like they finally reached the end of a long road that started clear back in 2020- maybe even back in 2019, when she first competed in 9th grade… then the pandemic took care of the rest of the story, until this past weekend.

Flora plans to attend University of Washington next year. She will double major with a Bachelor of Music in voila performance and a bachelors in biology- prerequisite for veterinarian school!

On May 17th, Flora will be the soloist with the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra in the Vaughan Williams “The Lark Ascending” for violin and orchestra.  She and her sister, Elinor (on viola), are both members of this orchestra.  For more details and tickets go here.

Flora will also have her senior recital on Saturday May 28th, playing both violin and viola. This event will be at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 6215 196th St. SW, Lynnwood, WA, from 3:30-4:30 pm.  There are no tickets, but masks are required for everyone attending.

Flora performing with the NW Scottish Fiddlers at the Everett Library, just a few years ago, or so it seems!


March Workshop with Christina Cowart-Smith!


Do you remember this young lady, leader of the NWSF Teen band for so many years?? She’s back!!

This will be a unique, and rare opportunity to learn tunes from a former member of the NW Scottish Fiddle club, who studied with Calum MacKinnon, and for the past six years, has resided in Scotland!

The free workshop will be held on Sunday, March 13th, at noon(Pacific Time), via Zoom. Please note this is a week earlier than our usual workshop!

And now a bit about Christina-
Christina Cowart-Smith has played traditional Scottish music for the past twenty years.  Raised in Seattle, Christina took up classical violin aged eight before continuing her classical studies alongside weekly fiddle lessons with Calum MacKinnon from elementary school to high school. 

Christina was no stranger to Scottish fiddle competitions while living in the Seattle area. She won the junior and open divisions of the Portland Highland Games, the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, and placed first in the regional competition for the US Nationals in Williamsburg, VA.

She went onto pursue an undergraduate degree in Classics at Stanford University. While in California she played for RSCDS dance with Andy Imbrie on piano. Double minors at Stanford in medieval art history and archaeology allowed her to further her academic interest in Scotland and neighbouring northern England.
After undergrad, she moved the UK where she has now lived for nearly six years.  Christina has two master’s degrees: one in Scottish History from the University of Glasgow and another in Medieval Archaeology from Durham University.  She is currently in the fourth-year of a PhD in the latter subject, also at Durham.

Christina resides in Edinburgh and enjoys playing in local jam sessions at the Antiquary and RSCDS dances, as time allows. She also privately teaches fiddling.

Here’s a few recordings you might enjoy-


Karen Steven Workshop February 20th!

If you haven’t heard by now, you need to know that Karen Steven, a fantastic instructor from Scotland is returning to do another Zoom workshop with NWSF this month, in a just over a week!  The workshop is open to anyone that gets on our list- club members as well as nonmembers.

The tunes will start at 11:00 AM, Pacific time on Sunday, February 20. Karen was our first instructor of our regular season, in 2020, and she was terrific!  This will be a free workshop, with recordings and sheet music all made available afterwards. There will also be a special deal Karen is offering for the occasion.

If you’d like learn more about Karen, follow this link to her website.  If you want to see her play, here’s a couple videos: Wooden Whale set, and Matty’s Appeal -Strathspey and Reel. At the workshop, she will take time to describe exactly what she does, and how to achieve the ornaments and styling that she uses.

The workshops are free, but we do encourage tipping the instructor, due the limitations on gatherings, and gigs that musicians have been facing for some time. We’ll give you the information on how to tip Karen at the workshop–   But, we should tell you now that Karen has a way for you to get her newly released CD, and not pay postage!

The CD, called “The Stroma Swelkie”, is yours for a $20 donation to Karen and she’ll ship the CD to you free of charge! You’ll hear new tunes she’s written, in addition to her favorite sets she’s previously recorded, 67 tunes in all!

If you haven’t received an email about this workshop, write to if you’d like to attend!  We’ll make sure you can join us!  See you soon!!




January Workshop: It’s Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas Coming to You!

Coming soon to a screen near you!

This month, our usual two hour workshop transforms into an all weekend event. To read all about it, just click on the tabs at the top of this page that say “January WOW Workshop”. It is strongly recommended that you attend!

More news on our January session – which is normally the first weekend of the month! It may held on the third weekend, or just might be postponed until we get through the worst of this bad boy Omicron!

Cheers and stay healthy!

Sign Up for Something Sweet!

Did you know that December 8th is National Brownie Day?  What a treat😍!
But wait!  You say that with all the holiday feasting, you need an alternative to this decadent, calorie-laden treat?!   Here’s two options! They have  ZERO calories, no gluten, no dairy, and could be vegetarian as well!
You can sign up for the free Kevin Henderson Shetland fiddling workshop on December 12th- on line. ( More information in previous post below!)
While you’re signing up, how about registering for the Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas virtual WOW workshop!! It’s January 14th-16th.   Go to January “WOW: Workshop  for information and registering…. then, go have a brownie!