dedicated to handing down traditional Irish music
About Us » Instructor Bios
Sean Egan · Cory Froehlich · Charlie Heymann · Tom Lockney · Chad McAnally · Shawn McBurnie · John McCormick · Patrick McCormick · Mag McDermott · Todd Menton · Brian Miller · Cormac O'Sé · Norah Rendell · Dáithí Sproule · AJ Srubas · Mattie Ernst · Danielle Enblom · Jode Dowling · Alisa Mee
SEAN EGAN - PIANO, ADULT ENSEMBLE
Sean has been an Irish traditional musician for over 25 years. He has been a member of the Celtic music groups The Blackbirds, The Doon Ceili Band, Field Day, and Baal Tinne; and has worked with Irish traditional musicians Kate and Jode Dowling, Laura MacKenzie, Daithi Sproule, Sean O'Driscoll, Marty McHugh, and Martin Hayes. He also works in several other genres, and has a degree in composition from DePaul University.
MATTIE ERNST - FIDDLE, CHILDREN'S CLASSES, SUMMER CAMPS
Mattie started playing classical violin at a young age, but soon fell in love with Irish music when she started playing harp at the age of 12. She has studied under great fiddle players such as Jode Dowling, Bill Hinckley, and Connie O’Connell. Both a classical and Irish musician, Mattie enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities. She is an avid composer of both Irish and classical chamber music, and holds a BA in Music Composition.
CORY FROEHLICH - SILVER FLUTE, IRISH FLUTE Cory was introduced to the silver (orchestral) flute as a child, and continued study through university. Love of the instrument enticed him to explore its use in traditional music. A very capable wooden flute player in the Irish tradition, Cory’s study of both flutes allow him to explore a wide range of genres. He specializes in the adaptation of wooden flute techniques to the Boehm instrument. Cory also has a BA in Classical Vocal Performance.
CHARLIE HEYMANN - B/C BUTTON ACCORDION, ENGLISH CONCERTINA
Originally from Chicago, Charlie has been immersed in Irish music for over forty years. With his wife Ann on Gaelic harp, he has recorded three albums and performed throughout much of Australia, Europe and the U.S. Button accordion is Charlie’s main instrument, but he also plays cittern, concertina and guitar. Charlie has a large repertoire of ballads and comic songs in both English and Irish and a special interest in medieval Irish lays (laoi). Charlie is away in Ireland for the Fall term, but will be back for the Winter/Spring term.
TOM LOCKNEY - BANJO
Tom discovered the 4-string Irish tenor banjo 20 years ago after playing bluegrass guitar and old-time banjo. His early tenor banjo teacher was Martin Colledge, a Brit now living in Winnipeg who played with Battlefield Band. Tom has learned from Irish banjo legends such as John Carty, Cathyl Hayden, and Charlie Piggott, and can be seen performing with local button accordionist, Marty McHugh, in Tara Hill and also the Twin Cities Ceili Band.
CHAD McANALLY - HARP, HAMMER DULCIMER, TIN WHISTLE Chad has been passionately involved in traditional music since he was a child. He holds a BA in Music, did graduate work in ethno-musicology, studied with master harper Ann Heymann and won the SHSA National Scottish Harp championship in 2009. In 2011, the American Composers Forum invited Chad to take part in the launch of their new Composer Teaching Artist training program. Chad brings his experience as performer, parent, and composer to his teaching style. As he helps students of all ages achieve musical fluency, his joy in teaching is obvious.
SHAWN McBURNIE - SONG, SONGWRITING
Like many great traditional singers, Shawn McBurnie is self-taught – inspired to learn by the time-tested combination of love of song and scarcity of entertainment. His obsession with voice was early and abiding. The fascination with wordcraft came later, and was as tenacious. Shawn believes that singing is even more natural than speaking, and strives to help his students connect with that birthright. Shawn sings, writes, and records with his band, Rumgumption. He is excited to be a recipient of a 2012 Artist Initiative Grant to write traditionally influenced songs about Northwoods 'fearsome critters'.
JOHN McCORMICK - C#/D BUTTON ACCORDION
Accordion player John McCormick is a member of the local Irish band, Barra, and frequently plays in sessions around the Twin Cities. Besides the C#/D button accordion, John plays the bagpipes in the Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band. He has served as the band’s Pipe Major for many years and has taught countless piping students. He can also be heard playing in the Twin Cities in his band, Barra.
PATRICK McCORMICK - UILLEANN PIPES
Pat grew up in Saint Paul learning the Scottish Highland pipes from a young age. He learned uillean pipes from Saint Paul piper Tom Klein and is active in the Great Northern Piper’s Club, Brian Boru pipe band and the Macalester Pipe band. He can be seen playing uillean pipes with the Two Tap Trio occasionally at the Dubliner and on highland pipes with WookieFoot.
MAG McDERMOTT - FIDDLE Mag McDermott has an extensive background performing and teaching fiddle and is devoted to educating youth in playing proficiency, confidence in performance, and musical group camaraderie on the violin and viola. She has travelled several times to Ireland and Irish music venues in London, bringing back traditional fiddle material from each area. Mag can be heard on numerous recordings with Laura MacKenzie and The Clumsy Lovers.
TODD MENTON - BODHRAN, MANDOLIN
Todd is a multi-instrumentalist and the lead singer in Boiled in Lead, a Twin Cities-based punk/folk/world-music band. He has toured extensively with the band, and is also a solo recording artist for New Folk Records. His music is a combination of original and traditional Irish tunes and songs, rendered in a unique, edgy style. The bodhran and mandolin are featured prominently on his recordings, and are his two favorite instruments.
BRIAN MILLER - GUITAR, BOUZOUKI, IRISH FLUTE, TIN WHISTLE
Brian began playing Irish music as a high-schooler in Bemidji. He has been a highly visible character in the local Irish music scene since 1998 while often sneaking away to his adopted second home of Cork, Ireland. Brian has performed throughout the US, Canada and Ireland with musicians and bands including Bua, Two Tap Trio, Tommie Cunniffe, Norah Rendell, Doon Ceili Band and 5 Mile Chase. He has taught at the CIM since 2006.
CORMAC O'SÉ - PIANO ACCORDION
Cormac was born and raised in Dublin and moved to the Twin Cities in 2001. He began playing traditional Irish music on piano accordion at the age of 6 while also studying classical music until he was 16. Traditional music was always his passion, in particular playing for Irish dance, which was a major part of Cormac’s upbringing and early professional life as one of the original dancers in Riverdance. Cormac plays music for dancers all over the United States, UK and Ireland at feiseanna and is the director of O’Shea Irish Dance.
NORAH RENDELL - IRISH FLUTE, TIN WHISTLE, SONG
Named “Best Female Vocalist" two years in a row in the Live Ireland Awards, Norah is equally dedicated to performing and a teaching. She has a bachelor of music degree with a major in music education and an MA in Traditional Irish Music Performance from the University of Limerick. Norah tours internationally as the flute player and lead vocalist of UK/Ireland-based band, The Outside Track and regionally with Brian Miller and the Two Tap Trio.
DÁITHÍ SPROULE - GUITAR, SONG, FIDDLE
Dáithí, originally from Derry in the North of Ireland, is one of the pioneers of guitar in Irish music,with a wide repertoire of traditional songs in both English and Irish (Gaelic). He has toured the world with the band Altan, and has performed and recorded with many other great Irish musicians including Trian, Fingal, Skara Brae, Liz Carroll, Paddy O'Brien, James Kelly, and Tommy Peoples. As well as traditional music, Dáithí teaches Irish language, mythology, and Celtic culture.
AJ SRUBAS - FIDDLE
AJ has been playing fiddle for eleven years and is entirely self-taught. His musical career started with his family band that specialized in playing Irish music at festivals, weddings and pubs. Being in a musical family allowed him to play in sessions and attend workshops taught by greats Liz Carroll and Tommy Peoples. Traditional Irish music is AJ’s first love, but he also plays Oldtime and Bluegrass.
DANIELLE ENBLOM - FIDDLE Danielle is a fiddle player and dancer offering instruction to both children and adults. Danielle has studied under fiddlers such as Matt Cranitch, Connie O’Connell and Bobby Gardiner and holds a Diploma in Traditional Irish Music from University College Cork. Danielle teaches by ear or note reading and is flexible to meeting each individual's needs, from a basic education on the fiddle to advanced technique, ornamentation, variation and repertoire development. Danielle is on hiatus from teaching at the CIM as she completes a Masters in Ireland.
JODE DOWLING - FIDDLE
Jode has been playing Irish traditional music on the fiddle for over 30 years, learning from his musical family and at workshops in the US and Ireland. Jode has been teaching fiddle for over 7 years and in 2004, co-founded The Center for Irish Music with Kate Dowling. Jode teaches in the oral tradition, leveraging a large repertoire of tunes and experiences. A skilled and natural musician, he particularly enjoys teaching young students and teenagers. Jode is not teaching for the Fall term 2012.
ALISA MEE - CHILDREN'S CLASSES
Alisa is a fiddler and early childhood music teacher who embarked onthe Irish music journey more than a dozen years ago while living in Galway with her husband. She particularly values the community-building aspect of the Irish music tradition, and strives through her teaching to encourage family and community music-making in all its forms. In addition to her Irish musical pursuits, Alisa sings in an a cappella group, Common Chord, and drums with a local drum ensemble, Drumheart.