String Camp

2021 Instructors

Lauren Rioux

Lauren Rioux Fiddle

Lauren is the owner of Gypsy Girl String Studio, where students learn a wide variety of styles, in addition to workshops, jams, and musical outings. She is the youngest professional to have been elected president of the Maine chapter of the American String Teacher’s Association. She has also taught at camps and clinics around the country such as the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp, the Mike Block String Camp, and has her own teaching website

Lauren grew up studying violin, and expanded into fiddle and roots music when she joined her first band at age 16. Since then she has performed regularly with Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings, Crow Molly, and shared the stage with Bruce Molksy, Tim O’Brien, Mike Marshall, Brittany and Natalie Haas and others at festivals such as Wintergrass, Delfest, Rockygrass, and Celtic Connections. Her debut album “All the Brighter” is now available.

Visit her website »

Louise Bichan

Louise Bichan Fiddle

Louise is an artist and musician who grew up in Orkney, a group of islands in the north of Scotland. She graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2011 with an honours degree in Visual Communications, specialising in photography.

As a fiddle player, Louise enjoys a wide variety of music, but mostly plays and writes folk and traditional Scottish music. After being awarded a place and a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music, Louise traveled to Boston in September 2015 to take some time to explore other genres of music.

Between her studies, Louise has been concentrating on her project ‘Out of My Own Light’ exploring her family ties to Canada and her own connection to her late Grandmother, Margaret Sarah Tait.

Visit her website

Carolyn Kendrick

Carolyn Kendrick Fiddle

Carolyn Kendrick is many things: she is a fiddler of 21 years, a writer and singer of songs for just as long, a guitarist, and she has been performing, touring, and teaching for over a decade. In her time with her project the Page Turners, she spent years crisscrossing the country playing festivals and winning awards (Newport Folk Festival, Greyfox Bluegrass Festival, Savannah Music Festival; Freshgrass ‘Best Duo’ Award, Berklee American Roots Program: Fletcher Bright Award). She has taught at many a music camp and attended many a songwriting retreat. She lived in Boston before moving to Austin. Now she lives in Nashville—as much as a touring musician is able to live in one place.

When not touring, Kendrick teaches privately and at fiddle camps across the United States. Her favorite things are cooking, two-stepping, and hanging out with her dogs. She’ll be out there traveling, playing, and learning for as long as she can.

Visit her website:

Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh Mandolin

Joe teaches mandolin at Berklee College of Music, where he graduated (’07) as the first mandolin principal ever from Berklee. He is also part of the new American Roots Program at Berklee. Ask him about string camps he’s taught at, and he runs out of fingers and toes, but they include Mike Block String Camp, Mark O’Connor String Camp, & The Maine Fiddle Camp among many others in the US, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Joe has toured, recorded and played with the absolute best in bluegrass, roots & acoustic based music, showcasing his omnivorous appetite for style. His experience includes, but is not limited to: The IBMA award winning The Gibson Brothers, Joy Kills Sorrow, Jonathan Edwards, Scott Nygaard, Matt Glaser, Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck, John Scofield, Ricky Scaggs, Alison Brown, Darol Anger, The New England Bluegrass Band, The Stowaways, Brittany Haas & Owen Marshall, and last year’s Ossipee headliner, Marty Stuart!

Visit his website »

Ethan Setiawan

Ethan Setiawan Mandolin

Straddling the bounds of roots music, bringing tradition to light with deep innovation, mandolinist Ethan Setiawan brings worlds together. A Boston-based mandolin player who’s won such accolades as the National Mandolin Championship and the RockyGrass Mandolin Championship, he’s a member of bands Corner House, Mudskippers, The Harmolodic String Band, and freelances with musicians including Darol Anger and Tony Trischka. His debut full-length album, “Flux” is made up of original tunes drawing from the deep well of American roots music.  He has shared the stage with Julian Lage, Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott, Mike Marshall, Tony Trischka, Darol Anger, Bryan Sutton, Casey Driessen, Brittany Haas, Joe K. Walsh, Grant Gordy, Missy Raines, Sver, and the Steel Wheels, and attended the Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship. 
Ella Jordan

Ella Jordan Guitar/Fiddle/Vocals

Ella is making a name for herself in the Bluegrass and New Acoustic scene and was recently accepted into the Acoustic Music Seminar. Ella was a 2018 recipient of the Fletcher Bright Scholarship.

Ella, and her sister Minnie, Jordan have been playing music together for more than a decade—starting on violin, over the years they have added vocals, guitar, and tenor guitar to their repertoire. They hail from rural Texas and are fluent in the Jazz, Swing, Western Swing, Country, Bluegrass, and Classical idioms. They have been performing publicly for many years, and play upwards of 50 gigs a year. They were also the 2014 recipients of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violins.

When not playing violin they enjoy riding horses, rehabilitating waterfowl, reading, and enjoying the great outdoors.

Visit their Facebook page here:

Isa Burke

Isa Burke Guitar/Vocals

Isa Burke is a musician from Maine. She is primarily known as one-third of the folk-rock band Lula Wiles, with whom she has toured internationally and released an album and EP on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. On electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, fiddle, and clawhammer banjo, she makes music that balances a respect for tradition with a healthy disdain for the limitations of genre. Raised in a musical family (her parents are folk duo Susie Burke and David Surette), Isa grew up immersed in the Northeast’s thriving traditional music community. Studying at Berklee College of Music, she deepened her musical practice and broadened her knowledge. She sometimes does things like learning all of Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar parts for a Rumours tribute show, starting a group dedicated to writing a song every day for a month, or playing drums onstage without really knowing how to play the drums. (Eventually she will learn how to play the drums.) She’s pretty sure she’s going to make a solo album soon. Isa is drawn to a song’s satisfyingly surprising moments: the off-kilter rhythm, the unexpected rhyme, the note or chord that doesn’t quite fit but makes your hair stand on end. She is a collaborator at heart, drawing inspiration from the interlocking grooves of the fiddle and banjo, or the guitar and drums. Singing with other humans, in her opinion, is one of the greatest possible joys in all of human life.

Visit her website:

Mali Obomsawin

Mali Obomsawin Bass/Vocals

Mali Obomsawin is originally from Farmington, Maine, and grew up attending Maine Fiddle Camp for bass and mandolin. A Franklin County Fiddlers alumna, she went on to study jazz performance at Berklee College of Music for four semesters before transferring to Dartmouth College where she will graduate in 2018. Mali sings and plays bass in her nationally touring band Lula Wiles (who met at MFC!), and has performed at premier festivals and venues along the east coast. She has shared the stage with Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards, Matt Glaser, Greg Liszt, Caitlin Canty, Stash Wyslouch, and Jason Annick, among others.
Specializing in folk, jazz, and traditional styles, and as a songwriter, Mali’s versatility as a musician grounds her in a deep understanding of the differences in stylistic approach. Her instrumental virtuosity landed her at the highly selective Acoustic Music Seminar in Savannah, GA, in 2017, where she studied and performed with Bryan Sutton, Mike Marshall, Aoife O’Donovan, and Julian Lage. She has also studied privately with John Clayton, Gregg August, Susan Hagen, Zachariah Hickman, and Michael Formaneck. A young and promising musician, Mali enjoys teaching at camps, leading workshops, and exploring the finer points of ensemble playing. She also enjoys reading, debating, running, and generally nerding-out about the BASS!

Steve Roy

Steve Roy Ukulele/Bass

Steve currently teaches Bass, mandolin, guitar and fiddle, and uke as an instructor at the 317 Main Community Music Center in Southern Maine. He has also taught at camps across the country including Steve Kaufman’s Flatpik & Acoustic Kamp.

Steve is as versitile as they come, playing in a band called Grassputian as a bluegrass guy, and a band called Jazzputian as a jazz guy simultaneously, while also enjoying folk, rock, funk, classical, country, old time, rockabilly, heavy metal etc. etc. etc! He is a multi-instrumentalist and has toured with Laurie Lewis, Hit and Run Bluegrass with Rebecca Fraiser, Chris Stewart and the Backcountry, among others. He is also well known in the Portland scene, playing with bands such as The Stowaways, and Erica Brown and the Bluegrass Connection.

He is a fantastically fun and energetic teacher and we are thrilled to be introducing a new instrument–ukulele, to the camp this year, and having him teach it!

Gabe Hirshfeld

Gabe Hirshfeld Bluegrass Banjo

Gabe Hirshfeld is a member of the Lonely Heartstring Band. He grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. At the age of 15, he heard the great banjo player Earl Scruggs in the theme song of NPR’s Car Talk. The sound of the banjo spoke to him in a way that no other sound ever had and it changed his life. After playing and obsessing over the banjo for several years, Gabe attended Berklee College of Music where he co-founded the Lonely Heartstring Band. He now lives in Brighton, Massachusetts, in a house with an intense number of fiddle players. In addition to the Lonely Heartstring clips you’ll find him twinning with Tonny Trischka, jamming with fiddler John Mailander and flatpicker MollyTuttle, or demonstrating with apparent seriousness his “new banjo tune”—capo’d at the 18th fret. Three more of his original compositions (without the tongue in the cheek) grace the TriMountain Sessions’ 6-tune CD “Sloth, Indolence & Torpidity.” There’s Hoss ‘n Rumble, a crooked quasi-Celtic romp; the elegant and elegiac The Waltz of Time; and the title cut, a fluid bluegrass cruise. He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. 

Gretchen Bowder

Gretchen Bowder Bluegrass Banjo

Born to a jazz-trumpeting dad and a Baroque harpsichord-playing mom, Gretchen first became captivated by the bullfroggy syncopation of the banjo after hearing Wade Ward perform June Apple. Although clawhammer style was her first love, Gretchen plays primarily bluegrass and swing. Her banjo playing has been called sparkling and inventive, and her chordally based soloing style on swing and bossa nova tunes has become her hallmark sound. You can catch her with Boston-area bands the Bagboys, the Mudsills, and the NH based Hazel Project. Gretchen believes that music is a conversation, that all of us are learning, and that we all have a unique voice to share.

Ethan Hawkins

Ethan Hawkins Guitar

Ethan Hawkins is noted as one of the most well-rounded guitarists in the Appalachian Roots scene today. Hailing from the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, the young guitarist is a quarter of the band Corner House, an internationally touring quartet, as well as securing supporting roles with Twisted Pine, Bruce Molsky, and most recently Jake Blount.

Visit Corner House’s website:

George Clements

George Clements Guitar

George Clements is a New England-based guitarist and singer/songwriter steeped in American folk music traditions. He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. For the past 5 years, he has been performing as the frontman and lead singer for the modern acoustic group, The Lonely Heartstring Band. He is currently living in Maine, working on his first solo album, and is also involved with an off-Broadway show called, The Simon & Garfunkel Story, playing Paul Simon.

Visit his website:

Charles Clements

Charles Clements Songwriting & Vocals

Double bassist Charles Clements grew up in Westborough, Massachusetts, and began playing music at an early age.  A 10-year journey through piano, viola, trumpet, and electric bass led Charles to the double bass in high school which he began to study privately with Rhode Island Philharmonic bassist Nancy Kidd and play in jazz ensembles and youth orchestras in the Boston area.  He attended the New England Conservatory of Music earning his Bachelor’s Degree studying with Boston Symphony bassist Todd Seeber.  Charles went on to receive his Master’s Degree at Manhattan School of Music in New York, studying with New York Philharmonic bassist and jazz talent David Grossman.

Charles was a New World Symphony fellow from 2011-2014 and now is a regular substitute in the Boston Symphony.  He has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, and Boston’s ‘A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra’. Previously, Charles was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center for two summers earning the Maurice Schwartz prize for musical achievement in 2010.  Other festivals Charles played at include the Britten-Pears program in England, the Schleswig-Holsten Music Festival in Germany, the Aspen Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Domaine Forget Institute in Canada.

Charles now resides in Boston where he plays with a variety of different classical music ensembles and collaborates on a wide range of projects ranging from American Roots to Baroque.

Visit his website:

Alex Rubin

Alex Rubin Guitar

Alex is a Boston-based guitarist and educator. He is currently a member of the music extension faculty at Wellesley Public Schools and, since 2016, has toured nationally and internationally as the guitarist for the April Verch Band.

After completing an undergraduate neurobiology degree at Cornell University in 2011, he returned to the vibrant Boston music bluegrass scene, studying privately with Berklee professor John McGann and teaching multiple instruments at Wellesley Public Schools. In 2014, Alex started the folk duo, No Bones About It, which has performed around the northeast, including performances at the Freshgrass Music Festival and Club Passim, as well as completing a country-wide tour of New Zealand. In March 2016, Alex joined the April Verch Band as their full-time guitar player.

Early Bird Tickets
For Sale Until February 01

Festival Tickets

Early Bird Tickets
On Sale Until February 01
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