Instructors


Our 2013 Teaching Staff

Skip Healy - Traditional Irish Flute & American Fife (www.skiphealy.com)

Skip HealySkip Healy is the Founder and Aritstic Director of Wind on the Bay. His over forty years of musical experience brings a diverse wealth of knowledge from both technical and performance perspectives. At the age of 8, Skip began learning American fife music and then later entered the world of traditional Irish flute music. With his extensive background in these two traditions Healy now melds them both together into a unique style that is truly his own.

Starting with the most humble of wood-turning experiences in junior high school (couldn't even make one of those paper towel holders) to an enlightening apprenticeship under the tutelage of master flute maker Chris Abell, the Healy Flute Company (est. 1993) now offers a full consort of transverse wooden woodwinds from piccolos to fifes to keyless and keyed concert flutes.

Healy is also well known for his abilities as a composer, arranger, instructor, recording artist, and stage performer. His first solo release, "Empty Pockets," was nominated for a Grammy, while his third solo recording, "Farewell New England's Shores," features his composition "The Return Home". This tune has now been recorded by the likes of Solas, Liz Carroll & Lawrence Nugent, Setanta and many other groups while becoming a session standard in its own right around the world. His c.d. "Purgatory Chasm" is a dynamic representation of his vision of melding both traditional Irish flute and American fife musics featuring both traditional and non traditional accompiment styles.

Captain (Ret'd) Stuart D Samson MBE - Pipes (www.sdsamsonmusic.com)

Captain (Ret'd) Stuart D Samson MBEStuart Samson was born in Laurencekirk and has been playing the pipes since the age of 8. He enlisted into the Army in 1978 as a junior piper and joined the Drums and Pipes of The Gordon Highlanders in 1980. He was appointed Pipe Major of the Gordon Highlanders from 1990 – 1994 and then went on to carry out several Pipe Major appointments including the Pipe Major of the Highlanders and the Warrant Officer Class One Senior Pipe Major at the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming.

He was commissioned to Captain in 2002 and was appointed the Director of the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming in April 2003. During this time he was also responsible for coordinating the musical programme and display for the Massed Pipes and Drums at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
He has also been successful on the solo piping circuit over the years, winning the Silver Medal at the Argyllshire Gathering in 1988 and being placed second in the Gold Medal in both Inverness and Oban in 1995 and 1998 respectively.

He completed his military service in April 2008 having served 30 years and was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June that year. He continue to be involved with Massed Pipes and Drums and is currently the Director of Massed Pipes and Drums for the Basel Tattoo in Switzerland and the Berlin Tattoo in Germany which take place annually in July and November respectively.
Since leaving the Army he has been teaching part time at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, instructing students of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) doing the BA Scottish Music (Piping) Degree. He also assists The National Piping Centre teaching on their overseas piping courses.

 

ALUMNI INSTRUCTORS from past WOTB seasons:

Seamus O'Kane - Bodhran

Seamus O'Kane
Seamus O'Kane has had an enormous impact on every aspect of the bodhran. As a player he has led the way in developing the "top end" style of bodhran playing. As a maker he has revolutionised the design of his instrument creating the first tension tuned bodhran. As a story teller, few can equal him. Visit his web site, www.tradcentre.com/seamus, to learn more about Seamus and his beautiful instruments. 

 

John Skelton - Traditional Irish Flute & Traditional Breton Music

John SkeltonLondon born John Skelton is one of the leading Irish Flute players in North America. He is well known as a member of The House Band with whom he has recorded 8 albums. He has also released two solo albums "One at a time" and "A Few Tunes". John is much in demand as a teacher and has taught at summer schools and workshops in Europe, North America and Australia.

It was in London during the early seventies that he learned to play. The flute was an obvious choice as John's Grandfather and Great-Grandfather were flute and tin whistle players. He first played professionally with the band Shegui and for six years toured throughout Europe with them. This band included pianist/fiddler John Coakley (later of The Boys of the Lough), and singer Sean Keane.

In 1987 he joined The House Band and has toured the world with them, becoming a central figure in that band's success. He recently formed The Windbags, an ensemble playing Irish, Scottish and Breton music on wind instruments. John has performed at all the major folk festivals in North America, Europe and Australia and has given concerts in over 25 countries. Recent U.S. performances have included The Lincoln Center (as a member of The Kevin Burke All-Star Ceili Band) and a St.Patrick's day concert at The White House.

Alongside his background in Irish Music, John also has a wealth of knowledge of the music of Brittany and is a highly regarded bombarde player - he was recently described as "the finest bombarde player outside of Brittany" by NPR's "Thistle and Shamrock". In 1999 he was guest soloist, playing bombarde with the Chicago Metropolitan Orchestra in the North American premiere of Shaun Davey's "Pilgrim Suite". John also plays the 'Piston' (low bombarde) and the 'Veuze' (the bagpipe of Eastern Brittany).

Josh Dukes - Bodhran, Bouzouki , & Guitar

Josh DukesJosh Dukes is a highly sought after accompanist in the D.C./Baltimore Traditional Irish music scene. He is an extremely versatile multi-instrumentalist whose talents embrace the guitar, bouzouki, bodhran, flute, and tin whistle. His musical sensitivity while accompanying incorporates his melodic knowledge of dance tunes from his flute and whistle playing. Whether it be a chording instrument or the Bodhran each tune is tastefully supported while preserving the structural integrity of the tune.

Throughout school he performed concerts on oboe, tenor/alto saxophone, drum set and baritone horn. Outside of his academics he learned the art of Ancient rudimental drumming studying with Dominick Cuccia who is a widely respected instructor / performer in the fife and drum community. In 1997, he enlisted in the Army and has since earned the rank of Master Sergeant as well as being selected as one of three Drum Majors for the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps "The official escort to the President", the only military unit of it's kind.

As a musician in high demand, Josh continues to performs throughout the region with multiple traditional Irish groups throughout the D.C. area. Josh has shared the stage with great musicians such as John Doyle, Paddy Keenan, Billy McComiskey, Skip Healy, Zan McLeod, Myron Brethhotz, Philippe Varlet, and Matthew Bell. His influences include Paddy League, John Doyle, Arty McGlynn, and Rob Greenway. Currently Josh can be heard playing bodhran accompanying Doc Botzer on his CD release "The House" which is one of the most beautifully original recordings of traditional Irish piano music.

Josh has a lovely wife Judy and a beautiful daughter Olivia.

Grey Larsen - Traditional Irish Flute, Tin Whistle & Concertina [Web Site]

Grey LarsenGrey Larsen, a musician of wide-ranging experience, is best known as one of the world's foremost performers and teachers of Irish flute. He is the author of the most comprehensive book on Irish flute and tin whistle playing, the 480-page "The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle" (Mel Bay Publications, 2004), as well as "The Essential Tin Whistle Toolbox" (Mel Bay Publications, 2005). For more than 25 years he has taught numerous workshops and master classes in Irish flute in the US, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Australia.

Larsen was born in 1955 in New York City. His family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, the following year. Beginning piano lessons at the age of four, he enjoyed a childhood and youth full of musical exploration, his inner world filled with the keyboard music of Bach and Mozart, the rock, R & B, and Motown sounds on the radio, the songs of contemporary folk music interpreters, and traditional Appalachian and Irish music.

From 1970 to 1972, he studied composition and early music at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music before moving on, in 1973, to continue at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio. While pursuing early and modern classical music on the one hand, he came ever more deeply under the spell of traditional folk music on the other, and for several years he followed both streams with equal energy and dedication. In these and later years, he spent a great deal of time learning traditional Irish music from elder musicians, especially immigrant Irishmen Michael J. Kennedy (1900-1978), Tom Byrne (1920-2001), and Tom McCaffrey (born 1916), in Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio.

Upon completing his Bachelor of Music degree at Oberlin in 1976, the streams forked. He bid a fond farewell to the academic setting of musical study and set a course following his love of traditional music out into the greater world, exploring other waterways that would branch, cross, and rejoin over the decades. He leads a varied and rich musical life as a performer, teacher, author, recording artist, record producer, mastering engineer, and as the Music Editor of Sing Out! magazine.

Larsen has released eleven CDs as a solo artist and with Malcolm Dalglish, Metamora, Paddy League and André Marchand and has performed extensively with them and with Cindy Kallet in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.

He has three children and lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

Joanie Madden - Irish Flute and Tin Whistle [Web Site]

Joannie Madden - Irish Flute at Wind On The BayJoanie Madden is the Grammy Award winning whistle and flute player who has led Cherish the Ladies since its inception. Born in New York of Irish parents, she is the second oldest of seven children raised in a musical household; her mother Helen, a dancer of traditional sets hails from Miltown Malbay, County Clare and her father Joe, an All-Ireland Champion on the accordion, comes from Portumna in East Galway.

Joanie received her musical training early in life listening to her father and his friends play music at family gatherings and social events. She began taking lessons from Jack Coen, and within a few short years she had won both the world Championship on the concert flute and whistle. During that time, Joanie also became the first American to win the coveted Senior All-Ireland Championship on the whistle.

She has many awards and citations to her credit including; the youngest member inducted into the Irish-American Musicians Hall of Fame, recipient of the Wild Geese Award, voted one of the Top 100 Irish-Americans in the country and Traditional Musician of the Year, all for her contributions to promoting and preserving Irish culture in America.

She is in constant demand as a studio musician and has performed on over a hundred albums running the gamut from Pete Seeger to Sinead O'Connor. Joanie has played on three Grammy award-winning albums and her involvement on the Hearts of Space labels’ "Celtic Twilight" CD led to a platinum album with over 1,000,000 sales. In the past year she has toured with the Eagles’ Don Henley and was also a featured soloist on the final Lord of the Rings soundtrack.

She has recorded three highly successful solo albums; "A Whistle on the Wind", "Song of the Irish Whistle" (named the most successful whistle album in history selling over 280,000 copies) and "Song of the Irish Whistle 2".

June Ni Chormaic - Irish Flute and Tin Whistle

June comes from Ballintogher, Co. Sligo. She won the senior flute
competition at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 1998. In the same year, June was
presented with the Young Traditional Musician of the Year award by TG4
(Irish Language T.V. Channel). An album recorded with the group ‘Síona’,
took Ireland by storm in 1998.

Recording Credits:
-- Síona CD ‘Launching the Boat’ in 1998 with Damian O'Brien, Oliver
Loughlin, and Kevin Brehony.
-- ‘Cumar’ compilation CD in 1999 with Clo Iar Chonnachta CICD141.
-- Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Eireann CD ‘Come With Me Over the Mountain’.
-- ‘Wooden Flute Obsession I’ CD ITMS0201

Aoife ClancyAiofe Clancy - Bodhran, Vocals [Web Site]

Aoife Clancy (pronounced "Eefa") brings a refreshing new voice to Wind On The Bay, one that ranges from traditional Irish songs to ballads and contemporary folk. Aoife comes from the small town of Carrick-on-Suir, in Co Tipperary, Ireland, where her musical career began at an early age. Her father Bobby Clancy of the legendary Clancy Brothers, placed a guitar in her hands at age ten, and by age fourteen was playing with her father in nearby pubs.

In 1995 Aoife was asked to join the acclaimed group "Cherish the Ladies", which is one of the most sought-after Irish American groups in history. She has been a featured soloist with orchestras such as the Boston Pops and Cincinnati Pops and, while performing with Cherish the Ladies, collaborated with the Boston Pops on their Grammy nominated Celtic album.

Now with seven recordings under her belt in the last decade, Aoife has clearly established herself as one of the Divas of Irish and contemporary Folk Music. She has recorded two solo projects "Its about Time" and "Soldiers and Dreams" on Rego Records. On her debut CD " It's About Time," Aoife presents some traditional favorites, such as "Factory Girl" and "Mrs. McGrath," but she also presents a sassy rendition of Leon Russelson's "Don't Get Married Girls."

Currently, Aoife is touring with her own band in support of her two Rego solo releases and her latest Appleseed release "Silvery Moon". When she comes to a town near you, be sure not to miss this totally enchanting performer.

Andra Bohnet - Classical Flute, Music Theory [Web Site]

Andra BohnetAndra Bohnet embraces a rich variety of musical styles with both virtuosity and sensitivity. In the classical realm, she holds the post of Professor of Music at the University of South Alabama in Mobile where she teaches flute, music literature, and chamber music. She is the principal flutist with Mobile Symphony where she has been a featured soloist on several occasions. Her chamber ensemble for flute and strings, the Silverwood Quartet has performed throughout the U.S. and Japan. The group specializes in exploring popular and world music in addition to classical repertoire.

Also the group’s primary arranger, Andra’s creative charts capture the musical essence of styles ranging from Irish traditional to Tibetan Chant and alternative rock and roll. Their latest CD, The Classic Rock Album, was released in 2005. Rock icon Ian Anderson, flutist and leader of Jethro Tull said, "Many thanks for the CD. I enjoyed it very much and especially the variety of musical styles it incorporated. Keep up the good work and help bring the worlds of pop/rock and the Classical traditions together." Andra also performs on Irish and other folk flutes with Mithril, a high energy Celtic/world music band, which has released three CDs which have been featured on NPR's syndicated show "Celtic Connections." Mithril has been engaged as soloists with several symphony orchestras for "Celtic Celebration" Pops concerts, with Andra's unique arrangements and orchestrations combining her classical and symphonic roots with her passion for Irish music.

Andra performs and records on flutes of all shapes and sizes (classical, traditional wooden, baroque and a variety of ethnic instruments) as well as Celtic harp. She has been a featured performer at several National Flute Association Conventions, most recently in 2005 presenting "Irish Flute for the Classical Flutist" to 250 enthusiastic participants.



Music, CDs, Books

For over thirty years, Skip Healy has been a world renowned, Grammy-nominated performer of Irish flute and American fife music. For details on Skip Healy, his work and his music, just click here.