Stringmania Online 2020 Tutors

Alasdair Fraser

Fiddle and co-Director

Alasdair is one of the greatest carriers of the Scottish fiddle music tradition, a fiddler whose warmly expressive playing, mastery of his instrument and deep understanding of his native music as a venerable and continually evolving art is an inspiration to generations of musicians on both sides of the Atlantic. 
Since 2003 Alasdair has featured in a duo with cellist Natalie Haas, restoring the wee fiddle and big fiddle partnership that flourished in eighteenth century Scotland to contemporary p...

© Irene Young

Natalie Haas


Natalie is one of the most sought after cellists playing traditional music today. She and Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser have toured as a duo for twenty years, wowing audiences at festivals and concerts worldwide with their unique sound. Their first album together, Fire & Grace, was awarded Best Album of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards 2004. Natalie has also toured with Mark O'Connor as a member of his Appalachia Waltz Trio. She and O'Connor premiered his double concerto for violin and...

Catherine Fraser


Regarded as one of Australia’s most prominent Scottish fiddlers, Catherine is a passionate and emotive performer and composer, who shares her knowledge and expertise tirelessly. Graduating with a Bachelor of Music Teaching from her hometown of Adelaide she has pursued a performance career specialising in the music of her heritage, which continues to inspire her to form new collaborations and projects.
She is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, notably Champion Fiddler, Kirriemu...

Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse

Language, Song and Guitar

Ancient language, contemporary music, stunning vocals, poignant stories and guitar brilliance. Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse use their music and performances to highlight one of the most beautiful and rare languages on the planet; the Noongar language of the southern corner of Western Australia. As conduits of a fractured past, they have made it their mission to become agitators for a hopeful future, by rewriting the script through song. Because the only way to address intergenerational trauma is...

Holly Downes

Double Bass

Holly Downes is an Australian bassist, composer and educator who holds a Bachelor of Music from the Australian National University and was nominated for the Freedman Classical Fellowship in 2014.  As bassist with The String Contingent, she has toured Australia, NZ, UK, Sweden and Finland, playing hundreds of concerts and festivals over the past nine years, simultaneously re-inventing the role of the instrument, showcasing its melodic capabilities and exploring diverse accompaniment textures and ...

Rachel Johnston


Rachel, originally from New Zealand, played for 7 years as a member of the Australian String Quartet and has become one of Australia's best-known cellists. She maintains a diverse calendar of projects and has performed, taught masterclasses and given improvisation workshops in NZ, Australia, the UK, Singapore, China and New York. Since branching out into the non-classical arena in 2013, Rachel has performed at many of the leading classical, folk, jazz and popular music festivals in Australia as ...

Greg Sheehan


Greg began playing percussion at the age of 4 after being inspired by a drummer whom Greg thought was a magician! Beginning on pots and pans, then onto drums at the age of 9, Greg was in four musical outfits by the time he was 11. One of these was a traditional Irish Ceili Band. At 17 years of age, he became a professional musician and eventually went on to play with many of the giants of Irish music, including Donal Lunny, Sinead O’Connor, Martin Hayes, Hothouse Flowers, Paddy Keenan, Andy Irvi...

Parvyn Singh

Dance and Song

"A singer dances within, a dancer sings within"- Sandhya Desai
Parvyn exudes a seemingly effortless grace and purity in her movement and voice. Having been brought up in Adelaide, South Australia, she is at home in both Eastern and Western styles of music and dance. Whether it's classical Indian melody and rhythm or improvised jazz vocalisations she has an inherent knowledge which seamlessly moves through the different genres.
She is the lead female singer of Melbourne’s original Bollywood o...

Josh Bennett


Josh is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, and performer with a love of music from all over the world. His ability to attain such expertise across so many instruments and to blend his music into so many genres is astonishing. Equally at home on guitar, sitar, dilruba (bowed sitar), fiddle, mandolin and tabla, he's one of Australia's most versatile musicians. He has performed around the world, on guitar at guitar festivals, on mandolin at Bluegrass festivals, and on sitar for Pandit Ravi ...

Jenny M. Thomas

Fiddle and Song

Jenny is a fiddle-singer, composer, record producer and mother. Trained as a classical violist at the Victorian College of the Arts, Jenny subsequently studied South Indian Carnatic violin, Irish fiddle and Norwegian hardanger fiddle. She has composed music for ABC Classic FM, performed with Circus Oz, toured Europe as a fiddle-singer soloist, composed film scores for The Australian War Memorial plus performed with the New Zealand Symphony and Sydney Symphony Orchestras.

International music ma...

Nicholas Ng


Dr Nicholas Ng is a Sydney-based composer, performer and researcher. He teaches erhu (Chinese 2-string fiddle) and western harmony at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. As a performer, he has appeared at the Sydney Opera House, Merkin Concert Hall (New York), Chinese Gardens Chamber Music Festival (Sydney), KunstenFESTIVALdesarts (Brussels), Melbourne International Arts Festival, Canberra International Music Festival, Four Winds Festival, Sydney Sacred Music Festival, Otago Festival of the Arts...

Shane Lestideau


Shane Lestideau is a musician with a variety of experiences gathered over nearly every continent of the globe. Fortunate enough to have acquired a parallel education in both classical and baroque music as well as traditional Irish and Scottish music, she has gone on to work with orchestras and ensembles on some of the most prestigious stages in France, fiddled her way around Ireland, and performed and recorded with dozens of top musicians all over Europe. Aside from stage performances, her past ...

Michael O’Donnell and Michelle Doyle

Fiddle and Harp

Mickey and Michelle are an Australian harp and fiddle duo, returning from an epic 3000km tour of New Zealand on foot. Michelle’s virtuosic Celtic skills blend seamlessly with Mickey’s wild fiddle improvisations and creamy voice on their debut album ‘A Walking Pace’.

Michelle was born into an incredibly musical family and has been performing professionally from the age of 11. Since then she has gone on to perform with the likes of Paul Kelly, Shane Howard and Fiona Ross. Her compositions are de...

Chris Stone
Fiddle and co-Director

Chris Stone is an Australian fiddler, composer and educator who holds a BMus from the Australian National University, a Postgrad. Dip. in Music Performance from the Victorian College of the Arts, with a PhD in violin improvisation at the ANU in progress. He began his musical life as a Scottish fiddler, and at the age of 16 travelled to America following the musical call of Alasdair Fraser’s fiddle. While there he met stalwarts of the American acoustic music scene who inspired him to expand his m...

Charm of Finches

Charm of Finches, award-winning Melbourne sister duo, sing haunted folk tunes about love, grief and whispering trees. Mabel and Ivy Windred-Wornes emerge from an eclectic musical childhood of Celtic strings and busking with old-time tunes. Their debut album 'Staring at the Starry Ceiling', produced by Nick Huggins of Little Lake Records and featuring the duo's signature angelic vocal harmonies and captivating chamber folk sound, has been praised for its candour and originality and named one of t...

Liz Young
Fiddle and Kids' Show

Liz plays the violin whenever and wherever she can. Some highlights include playing on mountains and glaciers in Canada, Alaska, Switzerland and Tasmania entertaining fellow travellers and strangers. When not in the wilderness she spends her time teaching violin, and performing/travelling with her bands Smashing Bumpkins, Deep Blue Orchestra, Luminescence, Diez Cuerdas and Mendoza Tango Quartet.

During the Stay at Home Covid time all of the normal adventures were put on hold so Liz started a ki...

Past Tutors


Natalie Haas - Cello (USA)

Alasdair Fraser - Fiddle (USA/Scotland)

Margaret Robertson (Shetland fiddle)

Joe D’Esposito - Fiddle

Parvyn - Kathak dance

Josh Bennett - Sitar/mandolin/guitar

Monique Clare - Cello, voice, songwriting

Emily-Rose Sarkova - Composition/arrangement

Greg Sheehan - Percussion

Holly Downes - Double bass

Chris Stone – Fiddle


Haas - Cello (USA)

Alasdair Fraser - Fiddle (USA/Scotland)

Jaron Freeman-Fox - Fiddle, viola D'amoré (Canada)

Simon Nyberg - 12-string guitar (Sweden)

Dr Nicholas Ng - Erhu

Jingjing Lu - Guzheng (Chinese harp)

Emily-Rose Sarkova - Tango

Kavisha Mazzella/Lucy Wise - Song

Greg Sheehan - Percussion

Rachel Johnston - Cello

Holly Downes - Double bass

Chris Stone - Fiddle

Graham McLeod - Guitar/slow jam

Michael O'Donnell - General malarkey (jazz/improv.)



Natalie Haas - Cello (USA)

Alasdair Fraser - Fiddle (USA/Scotland)

Adam Sutherland - Fiddle (Scotland)

Mike Bryan - Guitar (Scotland)

Shane Lestideau - Baroque fiddle

Davydd McDonald - Dance

Monique Bartkowiak - Cello/voice

Holly Downes - Double bass

Lucy Wise - Song

Paddy Montgomery - Laouto (lute)

George Vardakis - Lira

Greg Sheehan - Percussion

Chris Stone - Fiddle

Louise Godwin - Cello



Judy Turner - Fiddle

Neil Adam - DADGAD guitar

Natalie Haas - Cello (USA)

Alasdair Fraser - Fiddle (USA/Scotland)

Catriona MacDonald - Fiddle (Shetland)

Timo Alakotila - Piano (Finland)

Cathy Fraser - Fiddle

Gina Williams - Song

Peter Vadiveloo - Percussion

Jenny Thomas - Fiddle/voice

Davyyd Macdonald - Dance

Chris Stone - Fiddle

Holly Downes - Double bass

Monique Bartkowiak - Cello/voice

Michelle Doyle - Harp

Louisa Wise - Fiddle

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Stringmania Australia Inc. acknowledges the traditional custodianship of Country across Australia and the Torres Strait Islands. We acknowledge the Wurundjeri as traditional custodians of the land upon which our Camp takes place. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connection to Country and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.