Annual Whidbey Island Workshop Goes Virtual

It probably comes as no surprise that this year’s workshop, with Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, has become an on line event.  We want to make it a gathering of great proportions!

Plans are just beginning to come together, as we ask ourselves, “How can we make it Whidbey?”  We will say this much- January 15th-17th are still dates to mark on your calendar!  The good news is that the only travel plans you’ll need to make, will involve how to get to your computer, laptop, or phone!

If you have ideas or questions, please contact Marcia Thumma.

Workshop with Vienna Scheyer June 28th

Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 28th, at 1 pm PST, (4 pm ET) for an hour or more of fun tune learning with our fiddle club friend and expert fiddler, Vienna Scheyer. Vienna joined our club when she was in elementary school, and was an important part of the club throughout high school.

Here’s some links to Vienna playing a few tunes during the quarantine:  her composition, “Pancakes for Dinner”, a 9/8 jig she wrote “The Drum and Monkey“, Hornpipes.

She plans to share one of her fiddle compositions and a favorite of hers from the Glasgow pub scene. She admits it’s difficult to decide what her very favorite tune to share will be!

SHEET music will be available after the workshop for Vienna’s tunes.

There is no charge for this workshop, but a virtual tip jar will be available.

As for the rest of the summer, we’ll have to see what the virus has in mind, and how that works with county health department recommendations.  Normally, we don’t meet during the summer, but you never know what might happen!!

*** If you want to sign up, and you’re not currently on our email list, write to, and we’ll add your name.  A link will be sent to you on Saturday, June 27th that will take you to our Zoom mini workshop!   If you haven’t already installed Zoom, be sure to do so ahead of time.

Be watching for that email!

Whidbey Island Workshop 2021

We wish there was a crystal ball to guide us in the right direction for planning, however, that isn’t giving us many answers.

What we DO know:  We will do our best to have a workshop, either on-site, or virtual.  The weekend will be the same as always, MLK weekend, January 15-17.  We will feature Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas as our incredible instructors.  

We are watching and participating in workshops in many parts of the country to help us determine what will be the best fit for our Whidey workshop, come January. 

If you participate in a virtual workshop, and there was something you genuinely enjoyed, or benefited from, please don’t hesitate to share! Write to Marcia Thumma, workshop organizer. 

Thank you for your patience!

April’s Virtual Session

April’s meeting, or virtual session was quite successful and about 12 people were present at various times during the session.  It was great to get together, but we also missed hearing each other, and missed the element of spontaneity a bit!

We were delighted to have Vienna Scheyer join us. Vienna is a former member of the group, back from Scotland, where she was taking a semester to study fiddle and bagpipes.  It was also a great opportunity for members to try playing different instruments that they keep at home, and aren’t quite ready to “go public” as they say, with that instrument, but could try it out with no worries about being heard.

The future remains uncertain as to what we’ll be able to do for our May session.  We are hoping to find folks that would like to teach a few tunes!

Meanwhile, everyone, stay safe and healthy, and practice those “quarantunes”!!

Social Distancing Workshops Coming Your Way!

Northwest Scottish Fiddlers will be bringing many opportunities for you to connect and learn via multiple venues, now that social distancing has tried to take away our in-person fiddle workshops.

Mark April 11th on your calendar for a unique opportunity brought to you by Nordic Fiddler’s Bloc. There will be three videos available- one by each of the fiddlers: Olav Luksengard Mjelva (Norway), Anders Hall (Sweden), and Kevin Henderson (Shetland).

Each video will contain two tunes, with the instructors focusing on the regional styling of the tune.  NOTE: all lessons will be on fiddle.

On April 11th, if all goes well, they will post the first video, and send out web addresses for those who have signed up and paid for their videos. If the release date is delayed you will be notified.

They will stagger posting the videos so you have time to learn tunes before moving on to the next video.  Each video will be available for 9 days and started on a day that will allow you to have two weekends (plus the weekdays in between) to work on the tunes.

Prices:  1 video:  $20 member/$25 nonmember
2 videos: $30 member/$35 nonmember
3 videos: $40 member/$45 nonmember

To get the videos, email with your name and the videos (names of fiddlers) you’d like to view. If you want to save money and get all three videos, no need to list the fiddlers!

February Session –


CORRECTION: Sunday, February 16th we’ll be having our next get together to share tunes, learn tunes, and have a great session.  We’ll start at 2 PM, at St. Andrew’s Bar and Grill, at 7406 Aurora Ave. N.,  Seattle.

Contact Marcia Thumma if you’d like more information on the session!

Fiddling takes a lot of energy- we’ve been asked to not bring in our own food, unless it’s just something like home-made Scottish shortbread…. Please don’t bring in drinks, either.

Hope to see you soon!

January session- quite the group!

Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas Concert in January!

Mark your calendar for January 19th, when our Whidbey Island fiddle workshop comes to an exciting end, with a concert featuring our incredible instructors, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas.  The concert will be at 2:00 PM, with doors opening at 1:30, and held at the Coupeville High School Auditorium, 501 S. Main Street.

We will start the concert with an amazing warm-up act by The Sempre Sisters, from Seattle.  Charlotte (fiddle) and Olivia (cello) Markcx, two fine classical musicians have a special place in their heart for fiddle music, and have attended the Whidbey workshop for years. They will share some of those tunes for a special treat.

The Sempre Sisters, with Charlotte on fiddle/violin and Olivia on cello, will be a warm up act you don’t want to miss!

The final set for the concert is also a show-stopper when close to 100 musicians from the weekend workshop will join Alasdair and Natalie on stage. Fiddles, cellos, guitars, string bass, mandolins, and vocalists all participate in this grand event!

Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets, and at the door. Prices are: $18 for youth, $20 for seniors, and $23 for adults. We will have will-call for those buying tickets in advance. Tickets at the door may be limited in number.

Warm-up act, 2019. The Reds wowed the audience with tunes bursting with youthful energy and exuberance.

Ryan McKasson joins Alasdair and Natalie at the concert for an impromptu, foot stomping set!

October 20th Brandon Vance Workshop and Concert!

Once again, the Northwest Scottish Fiddlers, in partnership in John Cunningham, will host Brandon Vance for an afternoon fiddle workshop, followed by a potluck dinner, and evening house concert.  Brandon will be joined by finger-style celtic guitarist, Dan Carollo, performing music from Brandon’s recently released solo album, “The Gentleman & Scholar.”

Brandon, he is an internationally-acclaimed, violinist, fiddler, singer, and composer. He is also an innovative performing artist with strong roots in the Scottish fiddling tradition.

The workshop and concert will be held in the Crown Hill/Ballard area of Seattle.  The specific address will be sent upon receiving your registration.

2:30-5:00pm Fiddle Workshop
5:00-6:30pm Potluck Dinner
7:00-9:00pm House Concert

Workshop Fee: $20
Concert Admission: $25
Workshop/Concert Combo: $40

**Save money- sign up early: Prices go up AFTER October 13th:
Workshop Fee : $25
Workshop/Concert Combo: $45
Concert tickets at the door: $30 Concert tickets based on availability.

RSVP to Brandon for registration and tickets, email:
Please indicate:
1. number of attendees, and specify for “workshop” “concert” or “combo”
2. whether not you want to be included in the Potluck Dinner.
3. indicate the email address associated with billing. That person will receive a PayPal Invoice.

John also encourages you to bring a bottle of your favorite beverage to share, and folding chair. Copies of their CD will be available for purchase at the event.

Hope to see you there!