Galen Fraser and Maria San Miguel Seattle Workshop!

YES! Mark your calendar for Wednesday, September 20th for a real treat! This workshop will go deep into the playing styles of Castilian and Celtic music, with the likely incorporations of San Miguel Fraser’s contemporary compositions. See their website at:

They will play a combination of fiddles, cittern, percussion, and singing!  It is not limited to the instrumentation that Maria and Galen will be teaching with, but it is recommended for intermediate to advanced players.  Here’s a video of them playing in London earlier this year:

  •  6:30 – potluck and socializing
  • 7 – 8:30 – workshop
  • 8:30 – 9pm -optional review and jam session.

Flexible pricing at $30 – $40 per person for the evening.  Payment must be made out at the time of filling out the RSVP form. Can’t access this form, write to

Send payment via PayPay, and use this email:  You’ll receive the exact location within 48 hours of your payment being received!  Let’s just say for now, it’s in the Green Lake area of Seattle 😉

Other questions – write to

A True Friend and Long-time Supporter of NWSF – Donna Varnau

We say goodbye to our dear friend in the Scottish Fiddle community, Donna Varnau. Her health rapidly declined shortly after she hosted the our April session at her home. Her passing on May 7 came as a dramatic shock. She kept herself in immaculate health, but it was no match for pancreatic cancer- which was discovered all too late.  She was 77 when she “passed to the other shore”, according to her obituary in the Edmonds Beacon. To learn more about this vibrant woman we lost far too early, click here.

Donna no doubt holds the record for hosting the most NWSF meetings, sessions and other events. Her warm and welcoming smile made you feel truly at home for any occasion she hosted. She was incredibly gracious, as well as spirited, witty, full of spunk, and at the same time, so insightful.

Those of us who have had the pleasure to know her throughout the years, will cherish this dear friend, and sorely miss her. Plans at this time include returning to Donna’s home for sessions from time to time, as her husband David enjoyed our tune playing while he worked on his sculpting in his studio.  We will also name our current scholarship fund in Donna’s memory.

You might also enjoy the tune, Donna Varnau’s Jig, written by Calum MacKinnon. It reflects Donna’s personality in so many ways!

Donna, may your golden fiddle play to your heart’s content, and may you never have to tune it, rosin your bow, or even put it away, so it’s always ready to play, like you were.


Celebrate a Wee Bit Longer, on March 18th!

Sign up soon! Plan a viewing party, have lunch with tunes! Support NW Scottish Fiddlers with the purchase of your ticket!

YOU choose your own ticket price, anywhere from $5 -$50!  You choose when you want to view the concert- it’s available for up to 48 hours after the live broadcast!

Use this link to buy a ticket:

Once you get a ticket, be sure to set up your account.  You only need to provide your name and email- and this is what makes it so easy to see the show, and, you’ll be able to put comments in the chat, before the show, maybe even request a tune or two?? and… you can opt-out of future marketing, just setting up your account by going to Mandolin.

If you need help, once you’re on the website, there’s a great help page– just click on the section devoted to “Box Office” for answers to your questions.

Many thanks!

What a wonderful workshop!  Thanks to so many people for making this happen!  It could not happen at all without our wonderful instructors, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas (photo from the concert).

A BIG thanks to the planning committee who kept each other inspired and full of the “can-do” attitude:

Susan Barkan – Epidemiologist, and Covid expert planner

Jasmin Faulk-Dickerson – Organizer of the Martin Luther King focus, volunteer at the workshop with most varied jobs and responsibilities

Jasmin Faulk-Dickerson presents our MLK Focus!

Erin Esses-Lusk – Ceilidh theme creator, and planner.

Cummings Family- Taught the incredible songs!


Dante and Eros Faulk and Jesse Partridge – Contra dance musicians extraordinaire, and let’s not forget they were also the sound system managers at the workshop!,

Jesse Partridge- Truly fantastic contradance caller


Niki Love- Ceilidh co-organizer, emcee, and amazing helper for concert ticket sales

Derek Stallman- Tune review instructor

Ladies Loe- Most awesome warmup act for the second half of our concert!

Bill Boyd – Our treasurer

Anna Aldrich for taking pictures- We need her to take a selfie, sorry no current photo.

And so many more wonderful people, who just stepped up, and helped make this a truly incredible workshop!




It’s official! Less than 50 days before we’re up on stage with these two amazing, long-time friends of ours for the concert that concludes our weekend.  Tell your friends to come.  We’re excited to be in the new Stanwood High School PAC this year.

Tickets are available at the door, as well as through Eventbrite.  Need to save a little on tickets? Buy at the door, but no guarantee how long supply will last.

Contact Marcia Thumma if you have questions, at

Important dates coming soon!

So you’re all signed up and joining us for our WOW 2023 workshop.  Hooray!

Here’s a few date reminders and other helpful information.

December 1st your final balance is due. If we don’t receive your payment by then, we reserve the right t place you on a wait list, and when we have room, we’ll get in touch with you.

Not sure what you owe?  No problem! Write to Bill Boyd at and he’ll let you know what your balance is.

How to pay that final amount, once you know it?  You have three choices!

Write a check- and send it to Bill Boyd, at 7728 21st Ave. NW, Seattle, 98117. Envelopes must be postmarked by Dec. 1. Please let us know you’re mailing a check.

Zelle the payment.  Here’s some tips on how to do that!

PayPal will work, too.  Here’s the steps:

  • Sign on to your PayPal account.
  • Go to the Send and Request tab.
  • Click on Send
  • Enter our email address: (Please note- do not use this email for any other correspondence!)
  • Enter the amount you wish to pay.
  • Last step: Confirm everything and hit send!

We hope that no one needs this information, but if you do- here’s the cancellation deadlines.  November 15th is the last day to cancel without losing your deposit. We hope that you won’t want to do that, but you should know, anyway!  Also, if you are thinking about cancelling, December 1st is the last day for you to do that, and get a refund for the amount paid, minus your deposit.  After December 1, refunds for cancellations are given only if we have someone to replace you.

Don’t forget to tell your friends about the workshop!  There’s still time!!

If you have any questions at all, about the workshop, write to

Happy Thanksgiving!

Apply for a Scholarship Soon!


Dear friends- Our charges are now more affordable, as of September 25th! Look for items in BOLD for the new prices, etc.!

I think by now, we’re all tired of the jolt we get when we look at the prices of everything from food, to gas, to getting your lawn mower repaired… you name it.  The good news is that this year’s workshop costs $395- just $30 more than it did back in 2020, when it cost $365 to attend.

I know it was a shock to see our prices for this year, especially after two years of affordable Zooming, when you could even pick your own price. This year, our most affordable plan requires that you room with 2 other people.  It costs $395.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • stay in a spacious room where it’s possible to sleep 6 feet apart from each other.
  • share a private bathroom with those same 2 people, instead of 26 of your closest friends (Camp Casey lodging).
  • Warm Beaches’ dining hall has plenty of room to spread out – no more wondering if you just took a bite of your brownie, or the brownie belonging to the person sitting next to you!
  • rehearsal s-p-a-c-e !!  We literally can put a gaggle of cellos in between every participant, and the instructors!

So, you’re not comfortable sharing a room with 2 people?  How about just 1 roommate? For just $25 more ($420 total) you can stay in Mt. Baker with just one friend!  That’s just a $55 increase from 2020…

We have scholarships ready to hand out. Folks willing to room in Mt. Baker, at the $390 plan will be our priority.  Scholarships will start at $100/person.  Scholarships are forANYBODY (not just for students). Sure, there’s a teacher recommendation part of the scholarship, but we take several factors in to account!

Please let us know that you could use some help by filling out a scholarship application.
Here’s how to proceed: 
1. submit your registration for the workshop first.
2. A $50 downpayment will hold your place- send a check, postmarked by OCTOBER 15th. Send to Bill Boyd, Treasurer, 7728 21st Ave. NW, Seattle WA, 98117
3. Apply for the scholarship as soon as you’ve registered for the workshop.

I hope that this information will be helpful.  Check out all our workshop pages on the  website. Look for  the tab, “January “WOW” Workshop”
There’s also one page dedicated to registration, and it will take you to the registration page to get you started.
Best wishes! Hope to see you in January!


Registration and Scholarship Update

Sarah and Erin visit Warm Beach! See their videos below!


Registration update:
The priority deadline is NOW October 15th. We’re seeing a healthy demand for the rooms in Olympic View, and there’s only a few left. If you’re interested in getting a room in the Olympic View Lodge, sign up by the OCTOBER 15th.  Remember you just need to make a deposit of $50. If we run short of lodging in Olympic View, we will hold a lottery for all those wishing to stay there.  You will be notified of the lottery outcome. If you are not selected, it means we’ll do our best to come up with an alternative for you, and you may choose to go on a wait list for Olympic View.

If you don’t sign up by September 15th, and you want a room in Olympic View Lodge, you will most likely be put on a wait list or choose another housing option.

Remember we have scholarships available for all ages!  Register first, then apply for the scholarship,  by September 15th. We promise it will be easy enough to apply!

We have our FAQ page up, with more information on Warm Beach and the workshop itself.

HERE’s the REGISTRATION PAGE and link to form.

Warm Beach Videos!

Erin on the dining hall deck. Also see: Sarah and Erin play in the main lobby.