One of the perks of marrying a guy from Ireland is that I've been fortunate to travel there many times. I saw my first traditional Irish music session in a pub in 2005 and was inspired to rescue my dormant violin and join the local orchestra. Seven years later, I went to Glencolmcille Fiddle Week in Donegal, Ireland, and learned my first Irish tunes by ear. Soon after, Fret & Fiddle was born ...
I fell in love with playing alongside other musicians, something new to me, as I had never formally played in a band. I co-founded a band in 2009 that was short-lived. Then, I became a student of bluegrass under the oral tradition. Finally, in 2013, I got together with my buddy Tim who was in that first band with me, and we co-founded Fret & Fiddle in 2013 with Leslie and Julie. We've been going steady ever since.
I've always been interested in Celtic and traditional American music, and started playing guitar and bass with guitarist Dave DeLang. Being the curious type, in 2010 I decided to give the violin a try and continued to torture Dave while I figured it out. I joined the Coastside Orchestra where I met Leslie and Julie, and we had the opportunity to play for its 30th anniversary.
Music is the theme that runs throughout my life. My parents were passionate about music and all three of their children played at least one instrument. I learned the string bass in eighth grade and performed with orchestras and even a bluegrass group through high school and college. My husband, Michael, and I met in 1971 while playing music.
I joined Fret & Fiddle in summer 2016 and have also played with the Peninsula Scottish Fiddlers since 2008. I play fingerstyle guitar, which is somewhat unusual for this genre. When needed, I help out with sound reinforcement for both F & F and PSF. I also do a small bit of video production and have produced some F & F video.
I’m a classically trained violinist (started age 9), but switched to Celtic music—Scottish/Irish—about 30 years ago. Fiddling is my passion, but I’ve always dreamed about being a drummer. So recently decided to try the bodhran (say “bo-ran”) the Celtic drum. Now I have a new passion, and a new learning curve. It’s just too much fun!
Family sing-alongs around the piano and many years of ballet class are at the heart of my love of musical expression. While self-taught on piano, I learned violin through an elementary school music program on Long Island. God bless the ever-patient, virtuosic Sister Maria Jane who gave me an old violin she found in the school attic — the same one I play today!