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Celtic Music

MEET OUR 2018 MUSICIANS

Stephanie Claussen
Although Stephanie Claussen has been specializing in Early and Renaissance harp music for over seventeen years, her diverse repertoire encompasses classical, folk, pop, and sacred music. She began learning harp at the age of seven when her father built her first harp from a Musicmakers harp kit. After studying harp for eleven years with Twin Cities professional harpist Cathy Victorsen, Claussen realized that, for her, making music needed to be more than just a hobby. She obtained her Bachelors of Music in performance at the University of Minnesota under the instruction of Kathy Kienzle, principal harpist of the Minnesota Orchestra. She is a two-time first place winner at the Master level in the Minnesota Scottish Harp Competition and a 2017 recipient of MRAC’s Next Step Grant, an “Arts Tour” Grant in 2014, and several grants through the American Harp Society over the past few years. Mel Bay Publications, Inc. published her book of harp arrangements, “Light so Brilliant: Christmas Carols and tunes for solo harp” in 2016. She runs a private harp studio from her home in St. Paul and performs for weddings, in concerts, and with various ensembles throughout the upper midwest.
RavensFire
Melissa Schmidt, St. Charles MN – Mandolin / Vocals / Whistle
Larry Schmidt, St. Charles MN – Guitar / Vocals
Judy Havelick, Rochester MN – Bodhrán / Vocals
Guy Havelick, Rochester MN – Support / Web presence / Photography

The RavensFire Band is well known all around the area for their energetic performances, beautiful vocal harmonies, and skilled instrumentals while playing and singing their unique collection of lively traditional Irish, Folk, World, Americana and original music. They are very talented, funny and friendly musicians who show that they truly love to perform.

RavensFire has played dozens of local venues and festivals all around the area through the years,  including the main stages at festivals in Milwaukee, St. Paul, Emmetsburg, La Crosse, and Rochester. The busy calendar includes performances at concerts, festivals, theater productions, public and private events all over the area.

The award-winning members of the band have also performed and recorded in Nashville, Las Vegas and Dublin, Ireland. The RavensFire band was warmly received on a recent third singing tour in Ireland.

Audiences everywhere clap furiously along with the RavensFire band’s version of the popular old song Whisky in the Jar, and chime in proudly on the original patriotic piece, Hurrah for the Heroes. The new CD features both of these songs and many more. A frequent comment from our enthusiastic fans is “You guys look like you’re having fun!” We are having fun, and whether it’s late night at a crowded pub or on a sunny afternoon at a festival, we invite everyone to come close and get caught up in the Fire!

Highland Reign
Leslie Miller – Bagpipes, Bodhran, Vocals
Patrick Norris – 6 and 12 string Accoustic Guitar and vocals
Nathan Davis – Fiddle

Highland Reign, a Celtic band from Indianapolis takes the tunes of the old country and breathes a rocking new life into them! With traditional such as “Black is the Color”, originals like “Streets of Edinburgh”, Highland Reign brings the union of traditional Celtic and rock to pleasing new levels.

Playing  venues and festivals all across America, Scotland and Ireland for over ten years. Highland Reign is poised to make a lot of noise in the world Celtic music scene. With chilling bagpipes/guitar tunes, the rocking lilt of the fiddle and upbeat vocals, Highland Reign will rock you back to the old country!

Brass Lassie
Laura MacKenzie – wooden flutes, whistles,    concertina, pipes, vocals; founder
Mary Vanorny – fiddle
Danielle Enblom – fiddle, step dance
Patrice Pakiz – piano, oboe
Kate DeVoe – trumpet, flugelhorn
Tricia Lerohl – French horn
Lauren Husting – trombone
Brooklynne Audette – bass trombone
Marc Anderson – percussion
Enrique Toussaint – bass

Brass Lassie, a bold new band based in the Twin Cities of St. Paul/Minneapolis, combines traditional tunes, songs and style with dazzling modern horn lines, sparking their own genre of eclectic, remarkable music. 10-member strong, the ensemble performs extraordinary takes on Scottish, Irish and French music, traditional and new, featuring a powerful 4-piece horn section, a terrific rhythm section, fine fiddles, flutes, pipes, vocals and some fabulous step dancing. Smart, joyous horn arrangements by top notch jazz arranger Peter Enblom, plus some great band arrangements from David Milne.

Brass Lassie’s members have come together from a broad spectrum:  traditional music, big bands, show bands, jazz, orchestral, roots and world music, step-dance. Our rich repertoire includes traditional and new Irish reels, jigs and hornpipes, Scottish and French-Canadian tunes, ancient Irish airs, Cape Breton dance tunes and puirt à beul (mouth music), new arrangements of Scots Gaelic waulking songs, music from Brittany and Central France, Scottish ballads with a big band spirit, and even Latin-infused Celtic dance tunes.

Our influences are the likes of La Bottine Souriante, Altan, Liz Carroll, Salsa Celtica, the many traditional musicians we have met along the way – but our sound and arrangements are undeniably and expressly Brass Lassie in concept, form, spirit and delivery.

Brass Lassie’s founder, Laura MacKenzie, carefully envisioned this big band for several years. It was realized at last in 2016 with a triumphant summer debut. This year, Brass Lassie will be recording their first studio album.

Ross Sutter
Ross is best known as a singer of Scandinavian, Scottish, and Irish songs, and for his wide repertoire of American traditional and popular songs. He is at home in any situation from concert hall to library or school, from outdoor festival to senior center, both as a solo performer or with additional musicians or dancers.

With a degree in Music Education, Ross has years of experience working with children, and has developed many popular and time-tested school programs on a variety of engaging themes. In 2011 Ross was honored to receive the Sally Ordway Irvine award for excellence in arts education.

As a third-generation Swedish-American, Ross is inspired by his Scandinavian heritage, performing songs learned from his grandmother and from his own travels and study. His “adopted” cultures of Scotland and Ireland have also provided a rich resource of music and song.

Ross accompanies himself on guitar, dulcimer, button accordion and bodhran, the Irish goat-skin drum. He is happy to tailor a program to a sponsor’s event, such as songs of immigration for museums and schools, Irish and Scottish songs for Celtic festivals, or Scandinavian singing games and dances for Midsummer or Christmas celebrations.

Ross’s instrument building workshops are a special treat for children and families. His popular one-string dulcimer and dancing limberjack building workshops are time-tested and always lead to successful completion and an instrument that will last for years. These workshops are appealing for mixed age groups and have been a  great success in schools, festivals, camps and churches.

Ross’s work is featured on the recordings Walking on Air, Up the Raw, Crossing the Shannon, Hunger No More, Songs By Heart, Over the Water, Ye Banks and Braes, and on his highly popular children’s recording, Mama Will You Buy Me a Banana? 

Erianna Macpherson Reyelts
Erianna Macpherson Reyelts – vocals

Erianna Macpherson Reyelts, a Duluth native, has been active in the Scottish community since birth. Starting at the wee age of three, Erianna was a competitive highland dancer and remained so for over 20 years. Erianna continues to perform and teach dance in the Twin Cities area and in Duluth, MN where her parents, Barbara Macpherson Reyelts and Steve Reyelts are very active with the Duluth Scottish Heritage Association. Erianna hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and have her own studio of highland dance one day.

Erianna continues the family tradition of classically trained vocal performance, singing Scottish and Irish music throughout the Midwest. She recently performed at a Macpherson Clan Gathering in Kingussie, in the highlands of Scotland, performing a variety of ballads, acapella lullabies and ancient Scottish hymns. She has been also performed at many private events, galas, clan gatherings, and Burn’s Nights with accompaniment ranging from fiddles to accordions to bagpipes.

Erianna is honored and excited to be performing at the Minnesota Scottish Fair 2018 Highland Games!

Gunn Slingers
Neil Gunn grew up in Northeastern Scotland near Inverness. He learned to play the accordion at a young age and regularly played for dancing and ceilidhs all over Scotland until he moved to Minnesota five years ago. Soon after arriving in Minnesota he put together his Scottish band called the Gunn Slingers. They play for Scottish dances, festivals, Burns Night celebrations and other events all over the state, but primarily in the Twin Cities area.
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Stephanie Claussen
RavensFire
Highland Reign
Brass Lassie
Ross Sutter
Erianna Macpherson Reyelts
Gunn Slingers