Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas’ Scottish String Fling
Scottish traditional music immersion weekend!
World-class Scottish traditional musicians and teachers, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, welcome intermediate and advanced string players for a fantastic learning experience that’s tremendous fun for all. Join us for the weekend…from Friday dinner through Sunday afternoon. Tuition includes Alasdair and Natalie’s special concert on Sunday at 3pm with a full camp finale performance. If you can’t make the weekend, be sure not to miss this concert.
While tunes and techniques are taught, there’s a strong emphasis on self-expression, finding your inner musician and bringing the music to life, rather than just playing the notes. Though the weekend is geared towards intermediate and advanced players, less experienced musicians are welcome to attend and record classes, enjoy the wonderful music, and take part in the lively dancing and musical fun.
Alasdair and Natalie begin by working with everyone together, an effective group teaching approach designed to carry players of all levels to new heights. Each player has the opportunity to learn both melody and accompaniment with coaches on hand to help everyone fully participate. Later in the weekend Alasdair and Natalie also host separate fiddle and cello break out sessions.
See more information below about the staff, schedule, tuition, work-exchange positions, lodging, and more. Children and teens are welcome to attend with a guardian. Youth discounts and scholarships are available.
OUR FANTASTIC 2021 SCOTTISH STRING FLING STAFF:
ALASDAIR FRASER & NATALIE HAAS
2020 Scottish String Fling Camp Coordinators
ALASDAIR FRASER is consummate teacher and performer. Alasdair’s dynamic fiddling, engaging stage presence, and deep understanding of Scotland’s music has created an international demand for his concert performances.
Born in the county of Clackmannan, Scotland, Alasdair now lives in California and tours regularly. He has been a major force behind the resurgence of traditional Scottish fiddling in his homeland and the United States, inspiring legions of listeners and learners through his recordings, annual fiddle camps, and concerts.
NATALIE HAAS is a vibrant and creative cellist, a seasoned performer and recording artist, and a skilled and experienced teacher. A graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City, Natalie discovered the cello at age nine. In addition to having extensive classical music training, she is accomplished in a broad array of fiddle genres. Her musical journey found purpose when she fell in love with Celtic music at Alasdair Fraser’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School at age 11. Inspired and encouraged by Alasdair, she began to investigate the cello’s potential for rhythmic accompaniment to fiddle tunes. Her and Fraser’s duo release, Fire & Grace, was awarded the Best Album of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards 2004.
EMERALD RAE brings the duo of strings and song to a new plateau with mesmerizing dexterity. Hailing from the historic fishing community of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Emerald Rae is both a small-town girl steeped in cherished folk traditions and a world-class artist breaking new ground with inventive fiddle effects. A degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music in Boston gave her the freedom to cast a wide creative net, while her grit and intensity was earned during her twenty-year career as a powerhouse fiddler and dancer. Rae embarked on her first journey into songwriting and multi-instrumentalism with If Only I Could Fly [May 2013], featuring her prowess on fiddle, vocals, guitar and the crwth [an ancient Welsh fiddle, pronounced “krooth”], and took to the road from the Canadian Maritimes to Shanghai. Single and video Blackbird [April 2017], a droning, groove-heavy version of the traditional Scottish Ballad, showcases her signature ornamented vocals and robust fiddling accompanied by a laid back djembe.
DONAL SHEETS played jazz bass and classical cello from a very young age, and has spent many years playing American and Irish folk music on cello and a variety of other instruments. The resonant chords and percussive rhythms of his cello create an indescribably vibrant soundscape, and have earned him the nickname of “Liquid Thunder”. Donal also plays mandolin and whistles, and is an accomplished sound engineer, running sound and recordings in Oberlin and beyond. He enjoys backpacking and kayaking, but sadly does not usually bring his cello on those ventures.
Jay Ungar & Molly Mason will be on hand during the weekend for informal jamming and coaching.
- 3-5pm: Arrival and check in. Follow signs to check-in. Please unload and then return your car to the main lot immediately. If you need your car nearby for disability or health reasons, please request a special parking permit.
- 5pm: Open Jam
- 6pm: Dinner
- 8pm: Welcome Concert/Workshop, Jam Session
- 8:30am: Breakfast
- 9am – Noon: Morning class with Alasdair and Natalie
- 12:30pm: Lunch
- 2-5pm: Afternoon class with Alasdair and Natalie
- 5:30pm: Dinner
- 7:30pm: Ceilidh (Dance), Jam Session
- 8:30am: Breakfast
- 9am-noon: Morning classes with Alasdair and Natalie
- 12:30: Lunch
- 3pm: Gala Fiddle and Cello Concert with Alasdair and Natalie plus Jay & Molly!
Tuition includes all classes and activities, dances, concerts, and meals. Lodging is additional, see below. Work exchange and youth scholarships are available.
Youth 13-25: $275
Child 5-12: $235
Children under 5 attend for free. Campers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. We offer a limited number of Parent/Spouse registrations (for those accompanying a full participant) at a rate of $235 which includes meals, and evening dances/concerts, but no classes.
We recommend online registration. If someone else registered you and paid for you, only that person may view and edit your registration. If you prefer to pay by check or with a credit card by phone, please call (845) 246-2121 to register.
You may pay in full, or hold your place with a tuition deposit of $150 per person when you register. If making a deposit, full payment is due no later than Friday, Apr 3, 2020 (4 weeks before camp begins). A $25 charge will be added to any remaining balance after this date to cover additional administrative costs, and full payment, rather than a deposit, will be required for any new registrations after this date.
Partial refunds are available until 2 weeks before camp begins. We retain $50 per person for cancellations up to Friday, Apr 3, 2020 (4 weeks before camp begins). We retain $150 per person for cancellations made between Friday, Apr 3, 2020 and Friday, Apr 17, 2020. We retain the full registration amount for cancellations after Friday, Apr 17, 2020 (2 weeks before camp begins).
All meals are included in the camp price. You may select omnivore, no red meat, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free meals. We make every effort to include a range of allergen-free dishes and to inform diners of meal ingredients.
The Ashokan Center is licensed to serve beer and wine in Esopus Lodge (the main building). The bar is generally open from late afternoon to early evening. Sorry, by law, guests are prohibited from bringing their own alcoholic beverages into this licensed building.
Enjoy the full Ashokan experience and choose comfortable onsite lodging during registration.
LONGHOUSE BUNKS: Rooms hold up to 24 people and are designated women, men, or mixed gender. Place your belongings on a top or bottom bunk after you check in to claim it. Pillows are available, please bring your own blankets, sheets, pillowcases, and towels. There are a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance.
PRIVATE ROOMS: There are a limited number of private rooms that must be reserved in advance at extra charge. Pillows are available, please bring your own sheets, pillowcases, and towels. There are light quilts in each private room.
CAMPSITES: Camping is available with access to Longhouse bathrooms and showers. Please park by your campsite only if you plan to leave your car in place for the duration of the camp.
A limited number of work exchange positions are available to partially defray the cost of the camp.
Indicate your top 3 choices of work exchange positions during registration. If registering before the full payment deadline, make a deposit of $150 to hold your registration. If you receive a work exchange position, your balance will be adjusted before your final payment is due. When registering after the full payment deadline, pay in full at checkout and your award will be in the form of a refund. Contact us by phone (845) 246-2121, or email email@example.com for details.
Breakfast and Lunch Preparation (Discount: $90)
Saturday and Sunday from 7:30–8:30am and from 11:30am–12:30pm.
Shift may include dining hall set up & kitchen cleanup.
Breakfast and Lunch Clean Up (Discount: $90)
Saturday and Sunday from 9:00–10:00am and from 2–3pm.
Dinner Preparation and Clean Up (Discount: $90)
Friday 5-6pm & 7-8pm. Saturday 4:30–5:30pm & 6:30-7:30pm.
Dining Hall Clean Up (Discount: $110)
Friday 7–8pm. Saturday 9–10am, 2–3pm and 6:30–7:30m. Sunday 9–10am and 2–3pm.
Snack Every Night (Discount: $90)
Set out snack, replenish as needed and clean up when folks are finished roughly two hours later.
Friday and Saturday 11pm–1am.
General Cleanup Crew (Discount: $90)
Daily: Sweep, mop, pickup trash, move chairs and tables, flexible hours —includes some setup on Friday and final clean up for 2 hours on Sunday after the camp and 3pm concert ends.
We believe in fostering a love for traditional music and dancing among young people. The future is in their hands! In addition to our child and youth pricing, anyone 25 or younger may also apply for a Youth Scholarship. Please click here to apply!
PERSONAL ITEMS: Sleeping bag or blanket and linens, towel, soap, flashlight, earplugs (for light sleepers). There are light quilts in each private room and a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance and we’ll do our best. Hand-held recorders are welcome. We don’t supply musical instruments but some can be borrowed.
CLOTHING: Prepare for wet and dry weather. Most people wear comfortable, informal clothing. You are encouraged to bring dressy, wild or fun clothing for dances and dinner, but that is up to you! Soft-soled shoes are best for most dancing. Hard smooth-soled shoes are best for clogging and step-dancing. There’s no laundry on site so bring enough clothes for the week.
Please, no pets or drop-in guests.
Your Name c/o Ashokan Music & Dance
477 Beaverkill Rd,
Olivebridge, NY 12461
Outgoing mail leaves each weekday at 4pm.
Music & Dance (845) 246-2121 Wed & Thurs noon-8pm
Ashokan Center (845) 657-8333 standard business hours
Cell phone reception is available but spotty. Calls may be dropped but texts are reliably received.
High speed Wi-Fi is available in all buildings.
Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461
Take NY State Thruway (1-87) to Kingston exit #19.
From traffic circle take Route 28 West (toward Pine Hill).
In 12 miles (shortly after Mobil & Citgo) turn left onto Reservoir Rd.
Cross the Ashokan Reservoir, turn left at the Tee.
Head down the hill, pass the first left (Rt 28A East) and merge onto 28A West.
Take next left onto Beaverkill Rd.
Follow Beaverkill for about one mile, then turn right into the Ashokan Center driveway and follow the signs.
AIRPORT Albany, NY (ALB) is the closest major airport (about 1.5 hours away). Public transportation is available from the airport to the Kingston bus station, where you can take a taxi to Ashokan. Or contact us at least one month before your program begins for a list of people driving from the Albany area who may be able to give you a ride.
BUS Trailways (800)858-8555 runs buses from Port Authority terminal in Manhattan to Kingston, NY (2 hours).
TAXI We provide one taxi pick up at the Kingston bus station at 2:40pm on the first day of camp. Contact us at least three weeks in advance for a seat in the taxi (if still available). If you arrive at a different time, or do not reserve in time you’ll need to hire your own cab. We recommend Kingston Kabs 845-331-8200. (About $45.)
RIDES AND CARPOOLING If you’d like to carpool, or offer a ride, please contact our office at least one month before the program begins and we’ll help coordinate a ride.
< Join the Scottish String Fling Facebook Group to connect with people who plan to attend and share photos and memories afterwards!
Sunday, May 3rd at 3pm Alasdair & Natalie will perform an open-to-the-public concert with Jay & Molly. The concert is included in the weekend camp and students will participate in a grand finalé tune! If you can’t make it to the whole camp, don’t miss the concert: