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Scottish String Fling 2024

Friday, May 10 - Sunday, May 12

Are you a classical player who is open to learning melodies by ear and eager to express a full range of emotions with your bow? A cellist who wants to know how to “chop”? A trad player who loves the power of a massive group of strings playing in rhythm and thrills to the dynamics of a fabulous tune medley?

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with other musicians and express joy together through beautiful music with world-class musicians and teachers, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas.

Emerald Ray and Summer McCall, both talented players and instructors, will also be on hand to offer review sessions and coach students throughout the weekend.

This camp is designed for intermediate and advanced fiddle (violin) and cello players, but other levels and instruments are welcome to attend and join in.

The entire group will work together from Friday to Sunday to build a dynamic arrangement of Scottish (and related) tunes with a focus on melodic expression, ornamentation, and how to achieve an epic groove. There’ll also be a celebratory dance party on Saturday night — a chance to sing, dance and integrate the rhythm and music into our bodies and voices.

This weekend has become known for its boundless fun and camaraderie, and a playful blend of old and new. Alasdair & Natalie both soulfully honor Scottish roots and embody exciting multi-genre string traditions emerging in the world today.

“Everything was excellent: the site, food, staff, faculty, schedule, other participants!”

“I loved the music, the energy… the desserts!”

“Alasdair, Natalie, Emerald, Donal, Jay & Molly – what lovely warm people. I loved that they created an open and soulful environment for us.”


Can't attend the whole weekend? Get tickets to the Sunday concert!

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas Concert 2024

May 12, 2024

A lively concert of Scottish fiddle & cello music with renowned performers Alasdair Fraser, Natalie Haas, and friends. 3pm in the performance hall. 

Tickets & Info

ALASDAIR FRASER Alasdair Fraser 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 thrilled audiences internationally with their virtuosic playing, their near-telepathic understanding and the joyful spontaneity and sheer physical presence of their music. Alasdair comes to inspire your mind, invigorate your bow, and help you bring feeling and excitement to every note!
NATALIE HAAS is one of the most sought after cellists in traditional music today. She and Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser have toured as a duo for over twenty three years, wowing audiences at festivals and concerts worldwide with their unique sound. A Juilliard grad with decades of touring and collaboration experience, she is an expert teacher and guide for cellists looking to support and shine!
EMERALD RAE is an American Fiddler & Folksinger based in Nashville. Hailing from seaside Gloucester, MA, she began her musical journey deep in the world of traditional Celtic music. With her 2018 self-titled release, Rae broke the boundaries of fiddle-singing with a wide palate of experimental techniques. With her powerhouse vocals, groovy percussive fiddle and eclectic songwriting style, she has delighted audiences at legacy folk festivals and concert stages across North America. Emerald is a fantastic teacher of singing, dance, and of course the fiddle.
SUMMER MCCALL is a Northern Californian raised in the traditional Scottish music & dance scene of the Sierra Nevada foothills. As a Celtic cellist, fiddler, and dancer, she found her way to Boston MA where she currently directs the Boston Celtic Music Festival (BCMFest), plays in sessions and is a Scottish ceilidh dance caller. We loo forward to welcoming Summer with her extroverted and effervescent nature to the String Fling teaching staff.

Additional Info:

Payment/Cancellation/Refund Policy

You may pay in full or hold your place with a deposit of 25% per person if registering 4 or more weeks before camp. Full payment is due 4 weeks before camp begins. To cancel your camp registration, email events@ashokancenter.org

• We retain $50 per person for cancellations requested up to 4 weeks before camp begins, and for COVID-related cancellations made at any date.

• We retain your 25% deposit between 4 and 2 weeks before camp.

• We retain the full registration amount within 2 weeks of camp.

Schedule Overview


  • 3-5pm: Arrival and check in.
  • 5pm: Open Jam
  • 6pm: Dinner
  • 7:30pm: Welcome Concert/Workshop, Jamming


  • 8:30am: Breakfast
  • 9am – Noon: Morning class with Alasdair and Natalie
  • 12:30pm: Lunch
  • 2-5pm: Afternoon class with Alasdair and Natalie
  • 6pm: Dinner
  • 7:30pm: Ceilidh (Performances and Dance), Jamming


  • 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!
Pricing & What's Included!

You may choose to pay up front or pay a deposit and balance. Balance payment is due 4 weeks before the event.

Registration includes all activities and meals. Lodging is optional and camping is free.

Children under 5 attend for free (under 3 for Family Camp). Campers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Food & Drink

All meals are included. You may indicate your dietary restrictions when registering. 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.


LONGHOUSE BUNKS: Rooms hold up to 24 people and are designated women, men, or all 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 bathrooms and outdoor showers. Please park by your campsite only if you plan to leave your car in place for the duration of the camp.

What To Bring

If you’re lodging with us please remember to bring a blanket and linens (or sleeping bag), towel, toiletries, soap, flashlight, earplugs (for light sleepers). There are light quilts in each private room and we have a small number of light blankets for bunkhouse residents who can’t bring one of their own. Let us know well in advance if you’ll need one.

Flashlight, recording device, camera (or maybe those are all your phone!)

Comfortable informal clothing for wet and dry weather. Some may also bring dressy, wild or fun clothing as well but that is up to you! There’s no laundry on site so bring enough clothes for the camp.

What Not To Bring
Please, no pets or drop-in guests.

Incoming mail

Your Name c/o Ashokan Music & Dance 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461

Outgoing mail leaves each weekday at 4pm.

Music & Dance Camp Phone (845) 657-8333 x 3

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.

Directions & Transportation

Physical Address: Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461

DRIVING DIRECTIONS   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.

Covid Safety Policy

We recommend but no longer require everyone test for COVID-19 in the 24 hours before arrival. 

All refund requests due to a positive test, COVID exposure, or COVID-related concerns will be honored (less a $50 administrative fee).

We will provide onsite rapid testing upon request.

Additional FAQ's
CAMP WAITLIST & PRIVATE LODGING WAITLIST (only join if ADD CAMPER button at top of page is disabled or your preferred lodging choice is greyed out in that form.)

If there are no camp spots or private rooms available above, you may add your name to this waitlist. If space opens up we will contact you.

The Ashokan Center builds community through shared experiences in nature, history, music and art. We have hosted traditional Music & Dance Camps at our 385 acre nature preserve for over 40 years. In 2020 we learned how to host them online and in 2021 we began to reimagine how to gather in person once again.

Come join the Ashokan family to celebrate, learn, connect, deepen your music, make new friends, and brighten your day. Our events are open to all folks, all ages and all orientations.

M&D Need-Based “Pay it Forward” SCHOLARSHIPS We are holding 5 deeply discounted spots (includes tuition, meals & bunk) to provide a learning opportunity to gigging musicians and music, vocal, and dance teachers who will be sharing out their newly learned skills with a wider community. We prioritize new applicants each year and notify all applicants within 1 month before camp begins.


EMAIL: events@ashokancenter.org
CALL 845-657-8333 x3

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about camp!

Thank you to the Martin Foundation for supporting Ashokan Music & Dance Camps.