Celtfest College Workshop Program

Almonte Celtfest 2014 College Workshops – Saturday, July 5th

All workshops will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Old Town Hall, 14 Bridge Street, by the river in downtown Almonte.

Please register at the Old Town Hall by 10:15 – room locations will be provided at that time. Preregistration for any workshop is advised and can be made through the Celtfest general email (almonteceltfest@hotmail.com) or using the Preregistration form below.

Fee is $20 cash or cheque (payable to Almonte Celtfest) at check-in; sorry, no plastic.

The intent of the workshops is to allow participants to develop new skills or hone the skills they have, pick up some new tips that will improve their playing (or dancing), and possibly learn a new tune or two. The 2014 workshops offered are listed below with their instructors.


Preregister Today!

Workshop Descriptions and Instructor Profiles

Louis Schryer – Intermediate/Advanced Fiddle: Improving Your Playing Ability

This workshop is aimed at intermediate and advanced level fiddlers who wish to learn new techniques and tips that will improve their overall playing ability. Louis will focus the workshop to specific needs and skills to become a better player, both for competition and pleasure. Because of the nature of the workshop, space will be limited—so reserve early.

Louis, who was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, now a resident of Chapeau, Quebec, has been playing the fiddle since the age of eight. Being from a musically inclined family, he received his training in both classical and traditional music. He has performed and competed in numerous competitions for the past eighteen years. Since music has always been of interest to him, Louis decided to pursue a musical career. He attained a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Ottawa in April 1994.

Throughout his musical career, Louis has been the recipient of many awards and titles. He is recognized as an eight-time Canadian Fiddle Champion, which is held in Shelburne, Ontario, and broadcast live, on CBC Radio across Canada. Louis was proclaimed the youngest fiddler to ever win the Canadian Fiddle Championship at the age of eighteen.

He is also the four-time Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion, the only to have won the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship for four years. Each year, five of the best old time fiddlers from each of the ten Provinces and two Territories are chosen, by invitation, to compete in the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship held in Nepean, Ontario.

Cindy Thompson – Beginner/Intermediate Fiddle: Making Music from the Tune

Geared toward players at their early-to-intermediate stage of fiddling, participants will learn how different styles and interesting highlights can make a tune sparkle. Cindy will use a few of her favourite tunes to demonstrate such concepts as how to think about a fiddle tune more creatively, how to change the rhythm or notes to complement the tune and how to blend one tune into another, instead of just playing sets the “regular way.”

Cindy Thompson has a lifetime of performing and teaching experience. She has appeared on national radio and television, performed with symphony orchestras and has been a featured artist at major folk festivals, art exhibitions and special events throughout Canada. She has taught fiddle courses through Fleming College in Haliburton and is a teacher at many fiddle and folk camps throughout Ontario, including the annual week-long Orangeville Fiddle and Step-Dance Camp. She has been giving private lessons to children and adults for more than 35 years and is now teaching fiddle in the Almonte area.

Kaitlyn and Chesey Schryer – Introduction to Stepdancing: the Valley Style 

Participants will learn basic reel steps with an emphasis on Ottawa Valley styles. Open to all ages and stages of experience, we just ask that you wear hard-soled, closed-toe shoes.

Kaitlyn and Chelsey Schryer, members of the well-known, musical Schryer family, are accomplished dancers and have been stepdancing in the Ottawa Valley competitively and in performance since they were children. They will present the workshop jointly, which will give participants an opportunity to see how multiple dancers can work together. Kaitlyn and Chelsey will join their father, Louis, on the Celtfest stage on Saturday afternoon.

Graham Lindsey – Beginner/Introductory Bodhran in Celtic Music: Getting Started

This workshop will cover the basics, such as how to hold the drum, how to hold and use the tipper, how to “voice”, or provide texture and accompany common rhythms in Celtic music such as reels and jigs. We ask that all participants bring their own bodhrans.

Graham Lindsey is a multi-instrumentalist who plays bodhran and other percussion instruments, Irish flute, whistle and mandolin, and also performs vocal with the Sarah Burnell Band. Graham’s background is concert bands and marching groups, and he is still very active in both styles, playing instruments such as fife, euphonium (looks like a small tuba!) and percussion. He is well known in regional sessions around Ottawa, and has a lot of musical experience to draw upon for the workshop. Regardless of the instruments he has taught over the years, Graham has always focused on the fun side of music.

Chuck Quick – Beginner/Introductory Tin Whistle & Irish Flute: a Great Introduction to Celtic Music

Chuck will get you started with basic fingering, breathing techniques, scales and scale exercises. Whistles will be available for purchase for $6, however if you are supplying your own a D whistle is recommended. The Workshop will wrap up with a 15 minute demonstration from Chuck on the uilleann pipes, the traditional pipes of Ireland.

Chuck Quick has a love of Celtic music and plays the whistle, wooden flute, and uilleann pipes with several Brockville groups including Fiddlers Plus and Avalon who perform regularly at community and related events. He has taught whistle to seniors at St. Lawrence College in Brockville as part of their Encore programme. Chuck has presented numerous whistle workshops at Celtfest and has participated in past workshops in whistle, Irish flute and uilleann pipes including at the Chris Langan Weekend (Toronto), Boxwood Flute Festival (Lunenberg) and Celtic College (Goderich).