About the 2023 Teachers
New York born fiddler Brian Conway is a leading exponent of the tastefully ornamented Sligo fiddling style made famous by the late Michael Coleman. The winner of two All- Ireland junior titles in 1973 and 1974 and the All-Ireland senior championship of 1986, Brian's early studies with the legendary fiddler Martin Wynne taught him the real secrets of the County Sligo style. Later, Brian, the great Andy McGann of New York, further shaped his precision and skill on the instrument.
Brian remains faithful to the rich tradition handed down to him. The distinctness of his tone, the lift of his playing, and the deft ornamentation he brings to the tunes have placed him among the finest Irish fiddlers of any style, Sligo or otherwise. He has performed all over North America and throughout Ireland and the rest of Europe. He is also considered one of the premier instructors of traditional Irish music who has mentored many fine fiddle players, including several who have gone on to win All-Ireland championships.
Rachel Eddy hails from West Virginia, where she grew up steeped in Appalachian music and dance. Rachel’s multi-instrumental talents and soulful singing bring an incredibly powerful energy to the group. In addition to her work with Ken and Brad, Rachel performs as a soloist and tours with The Early Mays. Rachel was born and raised in rural WV just south of Morgantown, where her musical family inspired her to play and sing as a little girl. She grew up listening to local fiddlers, her father among them, going to old-time festivals, and attending square dances. The old-time bug bit her early in life and Rachel now performs and teaches full-time on fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin and bass. She has recently relocated back to West Virginia after living the last 5 years in Stockholm. During that time, she invigorated the Swedish old-time scene, inspiring dozens of people to learn Appalachian music and dance. In addition to being a performer, Rachel is passionate about teaching. She has taught fiddle, banjo and guitar at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins WV, at Sore Fingers Summer school in the UK, and different various weekend workshops from the hills of West Virginia to Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, London and Wales. Rachel’s love of music comes from the heart and she loves every part of her job from performing, to educating dedicated students, and the electrifying charge of playing in jam sessions around the world!
Champion fiddler and singer Seán Heely is one of the most creatively versatile and captivating young artists of his generation. He is a U.S National Scottish Fiddle Champion as well as an award-winning Irish Fiddler, singer, and harpist in the folk and Gaelic traditions of Scotland and Ireland. Seán holds a degree from University of South Carolina in Classical Violin Performance and was a 2019 Artist in Residence at Strathmore Music Center in Maryland. An educator in demand, Seán is an Adjunct Instructor at American University, he has also been on the faculty at several summer camps such as Acadia Traditional School of Music and Arts, Upper Potomac Fiddle Retreat, and Fiddle Hell Festival. He has performed in Scotland, Ireland, South America, Germany and at prestigious venues in the U.S such as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C and Strathmore Music Center.
A composer and arranger, Seán has won national awards including the 2016 Scottish Fiddling Revival’s Tune writing competition. 2018 saw Seán featured on the cover the Fiddler Magazine Winter Issue as well as an interview article on Seán's journey to one of the foremost young performers of his generation.
Sean has two full length albums out: “Edge of the Bow” and “Homeport ~ Port na Dachaigh" and both have received international acclaim.
Currently based in Washington DC, Seán performs locally and abroad with the Seán Heely Celtic Band, The Glencoe Lads and Jennifer Cutting’s Ocean Orchestra. He is a musical ambassador for the British Embassy Scottish Affairs Office and the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington. He also frequently travels abroad as a solo artist, has been a speaker at events such as the Scottish North American Leadership Conference, and maintains a private teaching studio in Falls Church, VA.
You know Audrey Knuth is performing if the room is buzzing at a higher level. Her fiddling, featured in bands including The Free Raisins, The Gaslight Tinkers, Audacious (with Larry Unger), and Wake Up Robin, has electrified dance and concert halls across the US and Europe. Hailing from Honolulu and now living in California, she cut her folk teeth in the Boston area, attending Berklee College of Music and spending years exploring the thriving New England folk scene. Audrey’s fiddle playing is rhythmically lively and spontaneous; she's guaranteed to get you up and dancing. She specializes in English dance, New England, Celtic, and Old Time tunes (and did we mention she’s also an audio engineer?!). You might also have taken a workshop with Audrey, as she’s been on staff at various camps including various weeks at Pinewoods, Ashokan Northern Week, BACDS American week, New London Assembly and Halsway Manor.