The Trad Ensemble 2019-2020
is now part of my new
Halifax Institute of traditional and early music
New Venue: St. George’s

My traditional music and early music ensembles are honoured to have a new home at the beautiful and historic St. George’s Round Church, Halifax NS (Jipugtug, Mi’kma’ki).

Historic St. George’s Round Church, Halifax

Historic St. George’s Round Church, Halifax

The Trad Ensemble
Directors: Anthony Rissesco, fiddle
Jennifer Publicover, flutes
and Guest Artists
Sundays, 2pm - 3:30

Click here to register for the fall term

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The Trad Ensemble offers instrumentalists from age 13 to adult the opportunity to learn a wide variety of tunes from various cultures - Scottish, Irish, Scandinavian, Balkan, Breton, Galician/Asturian, Klezmer, and more. We engage in session playing and take favourite tunes to the stage as a trad band, building aural and arranging skills along the way. The class also features many guest instructors from the Halifax traditional music scene. This has included Wendy MacIsaac (Cape Breton), Gina Burgess (klezmer), Anthony Rissesco (Irish, Old time, etc.), Cathy Ann MacPhee (Gaelic song), 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 also collaborate with vocalists on some projects. We look forward to a new season of guests, collaborations, and performances.

If you are comfortable getting around on your instrument, curious to explore, and willing to learn by ear, you will enjoy our friendly group. Learning by ear is the best way to capture the style and energy of roots music. We provide recordings and sheet music for practice at home. Message me through the Contact page of this website for more information and placement. First class starts Sept. 22, 2019.

Current Members Click Here for Class Schedule

Upcoming Public Performances:


Sat. Oct. 26, 2019 at 12noon:
The Trad Ensemble returns to the Re-Jigged Festival, Dartmouth, to perform a few sets and to assist Anthony and myself in leading a free and popular noontime workshop. Christ Church Hall, 61 Dundas St., Dartmouth NS

Fri. Nov. 29, 7:30pm Concert at St. George’s Round Church – In conjunction with the Early Music Ensembles. Halifax Institute of Traditional and Early Music.

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history: former traditional music ensemble
Sept. 2015-June 2019

I launched this ensemble at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in 2015 and in 2018 Anthony Rissesco joined me as co-director and in-house fiddle coach. The class also featured many guest instructors from the Halifax trad scene. This has included Wendy MacIsaac (Cape Breton), Gina Burgess (klezmer), Anthony Rissesco (Irish, Old time, etc.), Cathy Ann MacPhee (Gaelic song), Kirsty Money (Swedish nyckelharpa), Adrianne Greenbaum (klezmer), Jeremy Finney (Irish), Ellen Gibling and Alys Howe (harp), Saeed Foroughi (Persian), Darren McMullen (of Còig), Cathy Ann MacPhee and more. We made a music video in collaboration with the Vivid Vocal Ensemble in Nov. 2017 for the CBC Music Class Challenge, a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”. 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 also featured vocalists and dancers in many of our shows.

We played at the Maritime Conservatory, the Halifax Central Library, the Halifax Public Gardens, the Re-Jigged Festival, Northwood Terrace, and other venues. Two of our members have been Boxwood Festival scholarship winners: Alistair Maksym (2017) and Piper Doak-O'Neil (2018).

With guest instructor Chris Norman, director of the  Boxwood Festival , May 12, 2019

With guest instructor Chris Norman, director of the Boxwood Festival, May 12, 2019

Class on traditional Swedish tunes with guest instructor Kirsty Money on nyckelharpa, Apr. 28, 2019.

Class on traditional Swedish tunes with guest instructor Kirsty Money on nyckelharpa, Apr. 28, 2019.

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.

Performing at the Halifax Central Library, Feb. 17, 2019. Photo credit: Angela Doak

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.

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.