Sean Egan · Mattie Ernst · Jode Dowling · Danielle Enblom · Hannah Flowers · Cory Froehlich · Seán Gavin · Charlie Heymann · Tom Klein · Iain Dove Lempke · Kelsey Lutz · Chad McAnally · John McCormick · Alisa Mee · Todd Menton · Brian Miller · Cormac O'Sé · Victoria Pierce · Norah Rendell · Dáithí Sproule · Mary Vanorny · Rosa Wells
Rosa Wells has been playing violin since she was very small and developed a love of Irish music early in her learning. She has extensive classical training but has been focusing on fiddle music since college. As the fiddler for local Irish band Dunquin she can be found playing at cafes and pubs, historic sites, and private events. She spent over a year playing with Paddy O'Brien's band O'Rourke's Feast and performed with them onstage at the MN Irish Fair 2013. More recently she has played with the local trio Unwelcome Visitors, be sure to keep an eye out for their first album being released in 2018!
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. www.daithisproule.com
Named “Best Female Vocalist" two years in a row in the Live Ireland Awards, Norah is equally dedicated to performing and teaching. She has a master's in Irish traditional music performance from the University of Limerick in Ireland and a bachelor of music degree with a major in Music Education and Early Music Performance from McGill University. Norah is also an award-winning singer and Irish flute-player with an active performing career as a soloist and with the Two Tap Trio. From 2006-2013, she toured internationally as lead vocalist of UK/Ireland-based band, The Outside Track.
Norah has given guest lectures and workshops at University College Cork, the University of Limerick, the Folk Steps Conference in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia. Her performances have been featured live on MPR's Heartland Radio, CBC's Canada Live, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland and Radio nan Gaidheal. Norah's recordings have been broadcast on the CBC, BBC, RTÉ Radio na Gaeltachta (Ireland) and on folk shows across Canada and the United States. Norah is also the Executive Director of the Center for Irish Music. norahrendell.com
Born in Minnesota, Victoria learned most of her music as a child in Uganda where she learned piano, classical guitar and violin alongside her two musical sisters. Victoria's father, from a musical family himself, loaded her iPod with music from many genres, but Victoria’s musical preferences landed the Irish tracks at the top of every playlist! Upon returning to Minnesota,Victoria focused on Irish music at the CIM, taking banjo/guitar lessons with Brian Miller and guitar with Dáithí Sproule in addition to being a member of the Advanced Youth Ensemble. Victoria has multiple Midwest Fleadh titles in her name and most recently received 3rd place in accompaniment at the 2018 All Ireland Fleadh. Victoria is a natural teacher. We are excited to have her join the CIM’s instruction team in the capacity of an apprentice as she completes a Bachelor of Computer Science at the University of Minnesota.
Cormac was born and raised in Dublin. 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. In 2014, he released an album of feis music called Feistunes with Brian O'Sullivan. Due to his commitment to teaching Irish dance with O'Shea Irish Dance, Cormac is only available to teach lessons on an ad-hoc basis. Please contact us if you'd like to set up a lesson or two with Cormac.
Brian Miller’s intricate yet driving guitar style has made him a sought-after guitar accompanist in the North American Irish music scene. Also a flute, whistle, bouzouki player, singer and researcher, he co-founded the Traditional Singers Club of the Twin Cities. Brian has performed across North America and in Ireland with various groups including Irish Music Awards’ 2009 “Top Traditional Group” Bua, Chulrua with Paddy O'Brien, the Two Tap Trio and Laura MacKenzie. His recordings have been featured on MPR, CBC Radio’s "Canada Live", and in Ireland on RTE and TG4 (television) and RTE (radio). Brian is a two-time recipient of the Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board for his work with the Irish-influenced music of Midwestern lumberjacks. Brian has taught at the CIM since 2006. www.evergreentrad.com
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 bodhrán and mandolin are featured prominently on his recordings, and are his two favorite instruments. www.toddmenton.com
Alisa is a fiddler and early childhood music teacher who embarked on the Irish music journey while living in Galway with her husband, a native of Dublin. She particularly values the community-building aspect of the Irish music tradition, and strives to encourage family and community music-making. Alisa, who teaches our Celtic Cuties and Singing Sweeties classes, also works at the St. Paul Public Library - specializing in storytime and children's services.
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.
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. In 2010, he received an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to record. Chad brings his joy of teaching and experience as performer, parent, and composer to his work at the CIM. Chad's harp website
Kelsey Lutz grew up in Ann Arbor, MI where she developed an interest in the fiddle at a very young age. She learned most of her music from Detroit stalwart, Co. Clare fiddler Mick Gavin. She has spent the past several years living and playing in Chicago, where she quickly became part of the city's vibrant music scene. Kelsey enjoys teaching and playing at local sessions, as well as performing throughout the United States and regularly traveling to Ireland. Kelsey recently moved to the Twin Cities to do her law degree at the University of Minnesota.
Iain Dove Lempke has been playing whistle since the age of 8. He started attending sessions while studying abroad in Scotland and regularly attends the Merlins Rest and Keegans sessions. When not playing traditional music, Iain is also a K-12 educator, with a passion for teaching. In addition to whistle, he also plays the guitar, Irish flute, occasionally the highland bagpipes, and is a classically trained singer. He is a member of the local band Dorain. Be sure to check out their new EP Cup of Gold on bandcamp!
Tom spent his childhood studying western classical music, but after hearing the first few notes from Finbar Furey’s Irish Pipe Music, he gave himself over to Irish music. In addition to studying the uilleann piping of long-passed masters, he has been instructed by many of today’s greatest pipers. Once referred to as “The Tim Burton of the pipes” for his unusual and quirky settings of traditional tunes, Tom revels in expanding upon the already highly-idiosyncratic sound of the instrument. He currently performs solo, as well as with Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton in the pipes-and-accordion duo The Bellows Brothers. www.irishpipertom.com.
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). www.clairsach.com
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 allows 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.
HANNAH FLOWERS - HARP, SINGING (technique)
Hannah fell in love with the harp as a small child and was classically trained before discovering Irish music in her teens. Since then she has had the opportunity to travel to Ireland multiple times to study harp with masters such as Michelle Mulcahy, Gráinne Hambly, and Elaine Hogan. In 2016 Hannah was awarded a “Next Step Fund” Grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council to study ancient Gaelic harp in Kilkenny, Ireland. A trained vocalist and traditional singer, her passion is using her harp playing to accompany herself while singing songs in English and Irish. Hannah holds a BA in music.
Mattie fell in love with Irish music when she started playing harp at the age of 12 after having started as a violinist as a young child. Originally a student at the CIM, she is now a regular musician at local sessions on the concertina and fiddle. On fiddle, Mattie has studied under great players such as Jode Dowling, Bill Hinckley, and Connie O’Connell. Familiar with both classical and Irish fiddle/violin technique, Mattie enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities. She is an avid composer of both Irish and classical chamber music, holds a BA in Music Composition and is a very talented seamstress and costume artist!
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 and/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.
Sean has been playing Irish traditional music for over 35 years, and has been a member of a number of Celtic music groups, most notably The Blackbirds, The Doon Ceili Band, Field Day, and Baal Tinne. He also works in several other genres, and has a degree in composition from DePaul University. He is currently working with CIM student Leah Evison to create an online music theory course for Irish traditional musicians, which can be accessed at https://seaneganmusic.com/
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 9 years andin 2004, co-founded the Center for Irish Music with his wife, Kate Dowling. Jode teaches his lessons by ear, leveraging a large repertoire of tunes and experiences. A skilled and natural musician, Jode particularly enjoys teaching young students and teenagers. hibs.com