Competition Arranged by: Cushla Srour
Cushla hails from New Zealand but has lived in York, PA for the past 30+ years. She has studied penny whistle over the past 20 years with some of the finest players in the World: Mary Bergin, Joanie Madden of Cherish the Ladies and many more. She also plays Irish Flute and has studied under 3 time world champion, Laurence Nugent, Sean Gavin, Kevin Crawford, Brian Finnegan, Catherine McElvoy, John Skelton, Sharon McCormick and many other great players. She has arranged & judged the music competition at the Baltimore Feis for 20 years. She has taught Penny Whistle & Irish Flute for 20 years and performs regularly with her family band, Irish Blessing. www.irishblessingband.com
Music Judge: Dan Foster
Dan Foster first picked up the violin aged 7 whilst living in his hometown of York, UK. Initially, he progressed quickly through the ABRSM examination grades, he switched over to traditional fiddle playing aged 18. His passion and respect for the fiddle music of Ireland has driven him to complete his Bachelor of Music with honors at The International Centre for Music - Newcastle University as well as at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance where in 2012 he studied under master musicians such as Eileen O'Brien and Derek Hickey.
Whilst living in Ireland, he met his future wife Courtney Jay TCRG, and he emigrated from England to New England in the Spring of 2015 to build a new family life and a professional music career there.
Dan has quickly settled into the traditional music communities in the New England region and is in high demand for his violin and fiddle instruction services. He is a current master artist for the prestigious Southern New England Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program having been selected by a panel of folk music experts in November 2016 and subsequently for a second year in 2017.
He has led a fiddle music ensemble as part of the music faculty at The Hartt Community Division of the University of Hartford. He has taught on numerous occasions for the CT Academy of Irish Music in Wethersfield, CT. He also teaches out of his own studio site in South Windsor, CT as well as being the chief violin tutor at the long-established Downright Music Center in Collinsville CT. In August 2016, Dan was also the fiddle instructor at The Pipers' Gathering in Litchfield, CT.
Through his teaching professional ties with Downright Music, Dan performed at Collinsville Hot 2016 with Caravan of Thieves - a nationally recognized gypsy-folk-swing outfit based in Bridgeport, CT - and was quickly affirmed as a band member for future dates. So far he has Caravan dates confirmed in Saranac Lake NY as well as a Mid-May run in Michigan and Illinois and a June mini-tour of North Carolina and Tennessee.
Furthermore, Dan is in ever-increasing demand for the large Irish Dance competitions in the New England and the Mid-Atlantic Regions as he has quickly mastered the set dance repertoire for the top levels of competition (Open) in addition to his vast stock of jigs, reels, hornpipes & slip-jigs for all other competition levels. He has played for feiseanna in various CT locations, the Greater Boston region, Cape Cod, New Jersey, Vancouver, BC and has upcoming dates in Maryland, Syracuse and Philadelphia.
Dan is also part of an exciting new trio project with fellow musicians Will Woodson (border pipes & flute) and Eric McDonald (guitar & vocals) see https://daymarkmusic.com/bio/ for details.
All Other Melody Instruments
Accompaniment (Example: Piano, Guitar)