Fire Sanctioned Scottish Fiddle Competitions
Feb ~ North East Florida Highland Games (FL)
April ~ Southern Maryland Highland Games (MD)
May ~ Colonial Highland Games at Fair Hill (MD)
May ~ Houston Highland Games (TX)
May ~ Alma Highland Festival and Games (MI)
May ~ Bethabara Highland Games in Winston-Salem, NC
June ~ Ohio Scottish Games (OH)
July ~ Skagit Valley Highland Games (WA)
July ~ Grandfather Mountain Highland Games (NC)
July ~ Portland Highland Games (OR)
Aug ~ St. Andrews Highland Games (MI)
Sept ~ Edinboro Highland Games and Scottish Festival (PA)
Sept ~ Ligonier Highland Games (PA)
Sept ~ Virginia Highland Games (VA)
Sept ~ Charleston Highland Games and Highland Gathering
Sept ~ New Hampshire Highland Games (NH)
Oct ~ Richmond Highland Games (VA)
Some competitions are not held annually. Please contact the specific Games to see what their current plans are
FIRE Sanctioned Judges
Contact the S.FIRE Competitions Chairperson Jan Tappan for additional information.
Elke Baker ~ MD
Hanneke Cassel ~ MA
Carol Cook ~ IL
Email: Carol Cook
Dr. Melinda Crawford-Perttu ~ PA
Melinda Crawford, a U.S. National Scottish Fiddling Champion, performs frequently for Scottish highland games, Celtic festivals, and concerts throughout the United States. She has judged regional Scottish FIRE competitions at such games as Grandfather Mountain, Loch Norman and the Ligonier Highland Games. She was one of the judges for the 2006 U.S. National Scottish Fiddling Championship in Ohio. A Scottish fiddler since the age of eleven, she has won numerous awards for her solo playing and her original compositions at regional and national S.FIRE competitions. She achieved fiddling titles such as the Allegheny Mountain Fiddling Champion and the Potomac Valley Fiddling Champion several times prior to winning the 2003 U.S. National Scottish Fiddling Championship and becoming a sanctioned Scottish F.I.R.E. competition judge. Melinda has taught strings and orchestra for grades 4 through 12, and has been repeatedly invited to present educational sessions at national conferences to school string teachers about how to teach traditional Scottish fiddling in the classroom. She is the music director for the Scioto Scottish Fiddling Club in Columbus, Ohio, is an instructor at the Jink and Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling in North Carolina, teaches Scottish fiddling privately and internationally to many students over the internet, and conducts workshops on
Scottish fiddling all over the USA. Melinda received her B.S. in music education from Duquesne University and her M.A., also in music education, from Ohio State University. Still at Ohio State, she recently received her doctorate in music education with an emphasis in alternative string pedagogy. She has been heard in Scotland and Austria, on the Discovery Channel's two-hour special, "Seven Wonders of the Wild West." and on her first solo CD of original and traditional music for the Scottish fiddle, "The Wandering Suitcase of Stirling."
Alasdair Fraser ~ CA
"Colyn Fischer is an American violinist that has played the violin since the age of three and has been Scottish fiddling since the age of five. As a teenager, he studied with a number of the great fiddlers of Scotland, such as Ian Powrie, Alasdair Hardy and Angus Grant, and of the United States, including John Turner and Bonnie Rideout. He holds a Bachelor of Music Performance in Violin from Wheaton College Conservatory, Illinois, and records with various ensembles in genres including jazz, classical, rock and Scottish.
In 1993, Fischer won the American National Scottish Fiddling championship (Jr. Div.), and won in the Open category in 2005 (in Houston, Texas) and again in 2006 (in Ohio).
Fischer currently lives in San Francisco, California, teaching middle school orchestra in the San Carlos School District. He is a private violin-fiddle instructor and taught at the Jink and Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling for 14 years. He performs with pianist Shauna Pickett-Gordon as the "Peat-Fire Flame" Duo and co-directs with Shauna the Bay Area's Peninsula Scottish Fiddlers."
David Gardner ~ VA
David Gardner began apprenticing with John Turner (a judge listed on this page) as a Scottish Fiddler 20 years ago, and has continued to work with him ever since. This Summer David will be a faculty member at the Jink and Diddle Scottish Fiddling School for the 4th year in a row. As a competitor he has won 7 regional Scottish FIRE sanctioned fiddling competitions. As a judge he has been mentored by John Turner twice at annual instructional competitions held at Jink. As an orchestra teacher for 3 years in the Williamsburg/James City County Schools, he has judged more than ten solo and ensemble competitions. As a performer, he frequently appears with John and is a member of the well known trio, The Virginia Company.
Anne Hooper ~ MAWebsite: http://www.scottishfiddle.org/annehooper/
Rebecca Lomnicky ~ CA
Phone: (541) 207-7721
Originally from Corvallis Oregon, Rebecca began playing classical violin and piano at age five, discovering Scottish fiddle music only a few years later. In 2005, she won the Junior Division of the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Competition, and in 2006 recorded her first CD, The Call. In 2009, Rebecca won the 20th Annual Glenfiddich International Scottish Fiddle Championship held at Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Scotland. This invitation-only championship is widely regarded as the most prestigious in Scottish fiddle. Rebecca has been featured on the BBC radio show, Take the Floor, and in 2009, recorded her second CD, Inspired, with David Brewer. In 2014, Rebecca graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University with a double major in Music and Sociocultural Anthropology. She was also awarded the 2013-2014 Ellen Gussman Adelson Prize for outstanding instrumental music performance. Presently, Rebecca tours throughout the United States performing Scottish music with her trio, and teaching workshops and private students. Rebecca is sought after for her technically masterful and passionate playing, her knowledge of Scotland’s history and culture, and the ability to weave these together in lively instruction and exhilarating performance.
Ryan McKasson ~ WA
Manager email: Cali McKasson
Ryan McKasson has been playing the violin for 22 years. His traditional fiddle journey began at the age of fourteen, with the renowned fiddler and pedagogue Carolann Wheeler. Under her tutelage he explored a wide range of American and Celtic styles, finally settling with the Scottish fiddle tradition, the music of his heritage. Ryan attended the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School in 1993, where he was exposed to the Scottish fiddle styles of Alasdair Fraser and Buddy MacMaster, who have since been his greatest influences. In 1996, he won the National Junior Scottish Fiddle Competition, and in 1997, was the youngest to win the National Open Scottish Fiddle Competition. Ryan released his debut Scottish fiddle album, Tall Tales, on the Kalos record label in May 2004 with his sister Cali McKasson. Together, they perform throughout the United States bringing audiences their own passion and love for the Celtic tradition. Ryan attended the University of Southern California where he studied classical viola. He now lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and daughter.
Janny MacConnel-Kirk ~ MT
Calum MacKinnon ~ WA
Email: Calum MacKinnon
Calum hails from the island of Tiree in the Hebrides. He started fiddling at an early age, learning from neighbor Willie Kemp who studied with James Scott-Skinner. He has been active in competitions both as a competitor and a judge. After being runner up in the 1988 US National Championships for Scottish Fiddling, he returned to judge the Nationals in 1989, 1991, 1998, 2001, and 2006. The infectious energy and sensitivity of Calum’s playing makes him highly sought after as a performer and as a teacher. His busy schedule of playing for dances, concerts and teaching workshops has taken him across the US and Canada and to Scotland, England and Japan. Calum and Muriel Johnstone, piano, perform as a dance music duo at Scottish Country Dance engagements around the US and Canada and have released a CD of Scottish fiddle music, past and present aptly called "It’s About Time."Calum teaches extensively at residential music camps and has taught Scottish Fiddle and Dance Music workshops at Pinewoods, Ramblewood, Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Washington State, The Pearl Holmberg workshop in Vancouver BC, the Swannanoa Gathering in North Carolina, the California Traditional Music Society’s Summer Solstice Festivals, Gaelic Feis workshops both in Tiree and in Seattle, and the Mastery of Scottish Arts Winter School in Seattle. Calum is held in high esteem as a teacher and has coached several National Champion winners over the years. When at home in Edmonds, Washington, he teaches private students and is the Music Director for the Northwest Scottish Fiddlers.
Jane MacMoran ~ TN
Email: email@example.com - Phone: office: 423-439-7992 cell: 423-383-2037
Jane serves as Director of the Appalachian, Scottish, and Irish Studies program at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. ASIS is a component of the Department of Appalachian Studies where Jane teaches a range of courses, including Scotland’s Music, Scottish Ethnology, Scots Irish in Appalachia, and Appalachia in Scotland. She plans and leads the summer Study Abroad courses in Scotland and Ireland. Jane also coordinates the Celtic music portion of the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies Program where she teaches Celtic fiddling and directs the Celtic bands. Jane is a popular teacher at workshops and camps across the US. Jane has made 25 trips to Scotland for research, study, and holidays and performed for five straight years at Speyfest, one of Scotland’s premier traditional music festivals. She has also been a presenter and featured performer [with her son Will] at the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in Aberdeen.
In the classical world, Jane teaches violin in the ETSU Department of Music. She served as concertmaster of the Symphony of the Mountains for more than two decades, serving as soloist on many occasions. Jane also served as Artistic Director of Suzuki Talent Education of Appalachia before assuming her position at ETSU.
Jane has a Bachelors degree in violin performance, a MA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Scottish and Appalachian studies, and is currently pursuing a low- residency PhD from the University of Aberdeen/University of the Highlands and Islands where she is examining the legacy of Scottish fiddler Ron Gonnella. Jane studied classical violin with William Starr in the US, and studied Suzuki pedagogy with Shinichi Suzuki in Matsumoto, Japan. Jane studied Scottish fiddling with John Turner in the States and with Ron Gonnella in Scotland.
Judi Nicolson ~ TX
Scottish fiddler Judi Nicolson is a consummate performer, her dynamic fiddling, engaging stage presence, and deep understanding of Scotland's music has created a demand for her solo appearances, concerts and dances throughout the UK and Americas with a variety of groups.
Although classically trained from an early age, her passion was to play Traditional Scottish Fiddle Music. By the age of fifteen, she had won three major Open Scottish Fiddle Championships.
Judi went on to play at various music venues throughout the UK both as a soloist and with some of the finest Scottish Dance Bands. Over the years, Judi has recorded numerous sessions for Radio, appeared on television and in Theatre. She has recorded 2 solo albums and 14 albums with various musicians/ bands over the years. She also published a book of her own compositions.
Judi qualified as a violin teacher, teaching both classical and traditional fiddle in Scotland. In summer 2008 Judi, husband Ian and their two children relocated to Katy, Texas where Judi continues to teach students, plays for Concerts, Scottish Country dances, workshops, and RSCDS- Royal Scottish Country Dance Society Ball’s as well as adjudicating at numerous fiddle competitions and championships including the Glenfiddich Fiddle Championship in Scotland.
Barbara R. T. McOwen ~ MA
Email: Barbara McOwen
Barbara McOwen, Scottish Fiddler. Barbara began playing fiddle for Scottish dancing in 1971, the same year she gained her B.A. in Music from the University of California, Berkeley. She subsequently drew upon source books and recordings, and her knowledge of Scottish country and highland dancing, when forming her first band, the Berkeley Scottish Players. Since then she studied fiddling and collected material in Scotland over the course of a dozen trips there, and has taught a number of music workshops in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Australia. She currently leads Tullochgorum, a Scottish country dance band based in Boston, is co-founder of the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club and the N.H. Strathspey & Reel Society, and founded and directs the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School. She also has a number of recordings and prize-winning compositions to her credit. Barbara has a full-time schedule of private Scottish fiddle students of all ages, has developed a course for teaching beginning through advanced Scottish fiddle, and is currently writing a book on the fiddle music of Highland fiddler Angus Grant.
Arlene Leitch Patterson ~ CO
Ed Pearlman ~ ME
Email: Ed Pearlman
Ed Pearlman plays with heart and an unusual depth of knowledge about Scottish and Breton music, as well as a variety of other styles, including jazz, classical, Irish, Klezmer, Contradance, French Canadian and more. His shows draw you into music that is intelligent, emotional, and exuberant. Ed has worked many times with Alasdair Fraser, Buddy MacMaster, Tony Cuffe, Bruce MacGregor, Mairi Rankin, Joe Cormier, and several times each with Aly Bain, Natalie MacMaster and other artists. These artists have musical heart and knowledge that Ed, like others, has learned a great deal from, and he’s pleased to consider some of them his friends. A seasoned performer, Ed has never stopped playing fiddle, which he now does full-time, bringing to his music unique experiences as a serious and successful organizer of concerts, festivals, summer camps for kids and adults, magazine writer, CD distributor of the major artists and labels from Scotland and Atlantic Canada, private teacher, workshop leader, inventor, husband and father.
Emerald Rae : Scottish Fiddle & Step Dance
Emerald Rae is an American fiddler, singer and step dancer from Gloucester, Massachusetts. Known for her powerhouse dance tunes and technical prowess, Emerald is an adept and masterfully soulful fiddler. Growing up in a musical family where performance was encouraged from a young age, Emerald fell in love with Scottish fiddle music and was an incredibly dedicated student. She studied with Barbara McOwen, Boston's leading Scottish music historian and co-author of "The Glengarry Collection", and traveled all over the US, Canada Scotland to take workshops and soak up the culture. She has a particular affinity for the music and dance of Cape Breton, where she spent many summers. She won the New England Scottish Fiddle Championship at age 16, the US National Championship at 18, and graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Film Scoring at 20. After living in Glasgow for a year studying early 18th century fiddle manuscripts, she returned home to continue her journey in performing and teaching Scottish music and dance in America. She is deeply passionate, experienced and knowledgeable about presenting the tradition in an engaging way. "Her fiddling is technically spot-on, yet elegantly earthy, her bow merrily bouncing along the strings, as though unable to resist joining the dance." -Boston Globe
Bonnie Rideout ~ VA
Laura Risk ~ Quebec, Canada
Email: Laura Risk
Pat Talbert ~ NC
Email: Pat Talbert
Pat Talbert is a native North Carolinian who has 30 years performing experience and has been playing Scottish fiddle music since 1985. She has served as an ambassador for Scottish fiddling (and harp) all over the United States; she is well-known for her solo fiddle career as well as her work with the groups Wicklothian, Magpye, Crosskirk and in her present group, the Scottish country dance band Controlled Abandon. Her two principal mentors in Scottish fiddling have been Dr. John Turner and Alasdair Fraser; she has also worked with John Martin, John Cunningham and Brian MacNeill. She has released two CD's and has served as a guest artist on numerous others.
Jan Tappan ~ CA
John Taylor ~ CA
John W. Turner, Ph.D. ~ VA
A prodigious and enduring performer, Master Fiddler John Turner is the only ten-time winner on record of the National Scottish Fiddling Championship. He has played a major role in the revival of interest in traditional Scottish fiddle music over the last three decades. As a recording artist he is featured on nineteen recordings and has contributed tracks and/or compositions to more than one hundred and twenty five additional recordings. On stage, radio and television, Turner has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Japan and the Middle East. He has performed for six U.S. presidents, members of Britain’s royal family and many other heads of state from around the world. He has been featured on the popular radio program “Thistle and Shamrock”, “BBC Highland”, “Pebble Mill at One"Take the Floor" and a host of other programs. As a composer he has produced more than one thousand tunes, some of which have been recorded by other artists. His recordings and tunes have been used for numerous traditional, modern and interpretive dance programs both on stage and on video. Turner has published two books of music and written numerous articles concerning traditional Scottish music. As a teacher, he has influenced thousands of students of all ages interested in this style of music. He is the founder and director of the Jink and Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling, now in its thirty second season, bringing instrumentalists of all ages to the mountains of North Carolina each summer and winter. He performs regularly in Williamsburg, Virginia and across the U.S., teaches privately in Chesterfield VA and via Skype, conducts workshops and serves as an adjudicator for fiddling competitions. In addition to two earned doctorates (D.Min. 1978, UTS; Ph.D. in Adult education 1989, VCU), in 2002 Turner was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Performance degree by Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina, for his contributions to Scottish culture and the performing arts. Dr. Turner is a retired museum administrator and Pastor Emeritus of Gilboa Christian Church, Cuckoo, VA where he served as pastor for twenty five years.
John Turn is a Past President, Past Chairman of the Board, Board Member at Large, and Life member of Scottish FIRE.