traditional music ensemble

In 2015-2016 I launched a new new regular program, the Traditional Music Ensemble, nicknamed the "Trad Ensemble" or "Trad Class", at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts. This program offers instrumentalists from age 13 to adult the opportunity to learn a wide variety of tunes from various cultures, engage in session playing, and take favourite tunes to the stage as a trad band, learning aural and arranging skills along the way. It also features many guest instructors from the Halifax trad scene. This has included Wendy MacIsaac (Cape Breton), Gina Burgess (klezmer), Anthony Rissesco (Irish, Old time, etc.), Kirsty Money (Swedish nyckelharpa), Adrianne Greenbaum (klezmer), Jeremy Finney (Irish), Ellen Gibling and Alys Howe (harp), Saeed Foroughi (Persian), Darren McMullen (of Còig) and more. We made a music video in collaboration with the Vivid Vocal Ensemble in Nov. 2017 for the CBC Music Class Challenge. We hosted exciting open workshops with Kevin Crawford  and Lewis MacKinnon in the winter of 2018 and staged a full-length fundraising concert in March with Papilio.

We play at the Maritime Conservatory, the Halifax Central Library, the Halifax Public Gardens, Northwood Terrace, and other venues. Two of our members are Boxwood Festival scholarship winners: Alistair Maksym (2017) and Piper Doak-O'Neil (2018). In Sept. 2018 we welcome Anthony Rissesco on board as co-director and in-house fiddle coach, as well as a new roster of guests.

 The Trad Ensemble, with Gina Burgess and Lukas   Pearse, just ahead of presenting our klezmer tunes in a lovely concert of Jewish music in front of a full house at the Maritime Conservatory, Oct. 21, 2018. What a band, and what a blast it was for our students.

The Trad Ensemble, with Gina Burgess and Lukas Pearse, just ahead of presenting our klezmer tunes in a lovely concert of Jewish music in front of a full house at the Maritime Conservatory, Oct. 21, 2018. What a band, and what a blast it was for our students.

 It was a pleasure to perform as an ensemble and teach some Swedish tunes at our own lunchtime trad community event on Oct. 20, 2018 during this festival.

It was a pleasure to perform as an ensemble and teach some Swedish tunes at our own lunchtime trad community event on Oct. 20, 2018 during this festival.

Recent:
Oct. 20, 2018, 12noon: Our own “Tunes at Noon” performance and session at the Re-Jigged Festival in Dartmouth, NS.

Oct. 21, 2018, 2:00pm: Played a klezmer set with Gina Burgess (of The Jerry Cans / Gypsophilia) and bassist Lukas Pearse in a concert of Jewish Music at the Maritime Conservatory.

Upcoming:

Nov. 18, 2018, 3:30pm: Performance in Senior General Recital at Maritime Conservatory.

Trad Ensemble in concert March 24, 2018. Proceeds went to help youth in the ensemble attend the Boxwood Festival in Lunenburg in July. Photo: Angela Doak

Two step dancers in the Trad Ensemble trading steps, Feb. 2017. Photo: Angela Doak

 Open Irish tune workshop with the legendary  Kevin Crawford  of  Lúnasa , Jan. 2018.

Open Irish tune workshop with the legendary Kevin Crawford of Lúnasa, Jan. 2018.