MUSICIANS

Our Friday Night Musicians will be
James MacQueen and Andy Imbrie
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Andy Imbrie

Andy has had the good fortune to accompany some of today’s leading Celtic fiddle talent, including Judi Nicolson, Deby Benton Grosjean, Elizabeth Dequine, Neil Ewart, Calum MacKinnon, Ryan McKasson, Hanneke Cassel, Laura Risk, and David Knight. He leads the “Reel of Seven” Scottish dance band, which released their fourth CD “The Magic of Summer School” (a compilation of dances recorded during their fabulous week at the New Zealand Summer School) in 2016 to wide acclaim.  Their earlier CDs include “Dance for Joy” (2009), “Dance for Joy Encore!” (2012), and  “Gotta Dance!” (2015), (www.reelofseven.com). Andy and the Reel of Seven have just returned from Calgary where they were delighted to be the staff musicians for TAC Summer School 2019.

 

Andy began studying classical piano as a child, and started playing for dances with the encouragement of Kim McGarrity and Barbara McOwen.  He plays regularly for Scottish Country Dancing, ceilidh dancing, and contra dances throughout the US and Canada, and has been on music staff for several tours, including three to New Zealand and one to Scotland, Orkney, and the Shetland Islands.  He has also been on staff at Pinewoods and was honored to have been invited to teach piano accompaniment at the Boston Harbor Fiddle School and the Valley of the Moon Scottish fiddling school for several years.

 

Andy is married to Sherryl Fawx (also a dancer and musician); they live in Santa Clara, California. In 2021, he retired from his position as Engineering Fellow at a major aerospace company where he was a specialist in simulation, guidance, and control of flight vehicles.

James MacQueen

Known for his infectious, toe-tapping tunes and brilliant sound, James MacQueen is a fiddler who enjoys playing for dances as well as concerts. Growing up in the Scottish fiddle tradition, he has since branched out into the English and Contra dance styles. Well-versed in the traditional reels, jigs, and strathspeys of Scotland, he also composes his own tunes.

 

Dancing is an integral part of performing, and James notes that his success as a fiddler has a lot to do with his dancing. “The music and the dance of these traditions are inseparable. If you don’t understand the dancing, you won’t be able to play the music. The tunes take the dancers up off their feet, drive them forward, or ease them along. When you see how they move, you know how to shape the music. I grew up doing Scottish country dancing, and am still an active dancer. Whenever I’m not sure just quite how to play a tune, I dance a few steps, and then I know.”

 

James has released three albums of dance music with the band StringFire. His current projects include releasing a fourth album of Scottish fiddle tunes and original compositions with pianist Patti Cobb, and leading the Solon Scottish Fiddle Club.

 

In addition to his Scottish fiddling, James has earned a masters in violin performance from University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and Composition from University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music. He is an active performer, composer, and teacher of classical music and shares the joy of music through a vibrant studio of violin students at his current residence in University Heights, Ohio.

Our Saturday Night Musicians will be Tartan Ties.
Its members are:
Ian Muir, Judi Nicolson, Kathy & Fred Collins
Ian Muir {Prestwick, Scotland}

Ian has been involved in playing for Scottish dancing in all its forms for the past 40 years. Scottish Country Dancing, Ceilidh and Old Time dancing have been the mainstay of his long career in music. As well as playing for dancing he has performed solo in Scottish Variety theatres throughout the country and has toured extensively throughout Europe and The Middle East. He formed his own Scottish Dance Band in 1984 and has been a regular contributor on BBC Radio Scotland's TAKE THE FLOOR' programme not only as a bandleader but for 2 summer seasons as the programme's presenter.

He combines playing duties with his tutorial role as Principal Accordion Tutor in the Scottish Music Department at the prestigious ROYAL CONSERVATOIRE OF SCOTLAND, a post he has now held for 23 years.

Since 2012 Ian has been involved in 3 TAC Summer School events in Portland Oregon, Bishop's University in Sherbrooke Quebec and UBC in Vancouver. He played at the Vancouver Branch's 50th celebrations, Asilomar weekend school in California 2013 and the Edmonton weekend school. Recent studio recordings include RCSDS Book 51, a commission by Bill Little for part of his Carlingwark Collection and a recent collaboration with Judi Nicolson, Kathy and Fred Collins in the album 'FIRE AWAY'.

Ian is very much looking forward to playing for the Asilomar Weekend School once more!

Fred Collins, Ste. Anne de Prescott, Ontario

Drumming was an early passion for Dundee born Fred Collins and the opportunity came when joining the Boy’s Brigade at age 12. Fred soon became a member of the competitive MacLeod Pipe Band performing at highland games throughout Scotland. With members of his Boy’s Brigade, he formed a SCD band “The Gie Gordons” while also being called upon to play with such bands as Jimmy Shand, Angus Fitchet and John Ellis. On a “holiday” to Canada in 1954, Fred was immediately recruited by the Toronto Scottish Pipe Band and shortly thereafter joined Ed Brydie & “The Four Scots”, providing music for the first SCD class in Toronto. After two years back in Dundee, Fred returned to Canada in 1964 and over the years was a member of a variety of dance bands including Stan Hamilton, Angus MacKinnon, Don Bartlett, Alex Jappy, Bobby Brown & the Scottish Accent and the Cape Breton Symphony Fiddlers. Fred’s ‘other’ life has included a managerial position with Shell Canada, his own renovation company, percussion tutor and repair technician and last but not least............farmer!!!!

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Kathleen Fraser-Collins  

Kathy was born in a rural farming community near the Scottish settlement of Glengarry County, Ontario. She began playing the piano at age 5 and spent 35 years performing with Bobby Brown and the Scottish Accent and Cape Breton Symphony Fiddlers for many tours, workshops, dances and recordings. With degrees from McGill and University of Toronto she taught high school music from 1980 to 2009, retiring from her home town school in Vankleek Hill, Ontario. Kathy was inducted into the Glengarry Celtic Music Hall of Fame in 2014. Along with her husband Fred, she remains very involved in the music scene in their area. They are members of the Quigley Highlanders Pipes and Drums, E.H. Gospel Sound and enjoy promoting young local musicians through their own Torridon Scottish Dance Band. They recently have been privileged to work with many other outstanding musicians including Judi Nicolson and Ian Muir and were thrilled to collaborate with them on our new CD “Fire Away”! Kathy was honoured to be named Music Director for the 2015 and 2016 TAC Summer Schools and is happy to be a returning musician for Summer School 2022. Kathy and Fred are excited to be performing for the first time at Asilomar!

Judy Nicolson (Katy, Texas)

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. Judi has adjudicated numerous Scottish Fiddle competitions including the Glenfiddich Scottish Championship, she is a USA approved Scottish F.I.R.E. judge (Scottish Fiddling Revival, Ltd. of North America) and has adjudicated several US Scottish Fiddle Competitions. This year she adjudicated the Dan R. MacDonald Fiddle Competition for the North American Scottish Performing Arts Classic, and the Banchory Festival in her Scottish hometown.

 

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 throughout the UK both as a soloist and with some of the finest Scottish Dance Bands. Over the years, she has recorded numerous sessions for Radio, appeared on television and in Theatre.

 

Judi married musician, Ian Nicolson from Shetland and lived there for 15 years between 1989 and 2004, during that time she was archivist to the Shetland Musical Heritage Trust, transcribing the works of the late Dr Tom Anderson. Judi also taught traditional fiddle music in schools throughout the Island before moving back to Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 2004, continuing teaching both classical and traditional fiddle in schools.

 

In 2008 Judi relocated to Katy, Texas with her husband and family and has since been teaching and playing for Concerts, Ceilidhs, Scottish Country dances, workshops, and RSCDS Ball’s throughout the US and Canada. She has recorded 4 solo albums and 14 albums with a variety of great musicians including her CD ‘FiddleMyStyle’ in 2017 along with fellow musicians Kathy Fraser-Collins (Piano and Accordion), Fred Collins (Drums) and Rob Wolanski (Double Bass and Guitar). Her book of compositions, ‘Waves of Sound’, was published in 2002, and a second book ‘FiddleMyStyle’ was published in 2018. An exciting new CD ‘Fire Away’, was released in January 2020 along with Scottish accordionist Ian Muir, Kathy Fraser- Collins, Fred Collins and Rob Wolanski.

 

In 2019 Judi was Music Director for Boston Harbor Fiddle School and a musician for both Adelaide and Melbourne Winter Schools, Australia in 2017 and 1019 respectfully. She will be returning to Perth W.A. to play for their Winter School in September this year. Judi has played for several TAC Summer Schools and is delighted to be Musical Director for this year, 2022.

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