Clare Adkins Cason began violin studies at the age of 4, having been born into a family of musicians. She attended the University of North Texas, where she was chosen as Outstanding Undergraduate in Music. Presently she holds leadership positions in the Sherman Symphony, East Texas Symphony, and the Dallas Bach Society. She became interested in Celtic music as a teenager through the recordings of Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser, and since then has had the opportunity to study with several well-known fiddle players including Matt Cranitch and John McEvoy. Clare has taught Irish fiddle at both the O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat and the O’Flaherty Irish Music Youth Camp, and plays regularly with the Dallas-area performing group known as the Trinity Hall Session Players. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Traditional Irish Music Education Society, and as assistant director of the O’Flaherty Irish Music Youth Camp
Karen teaches our Gaelic Youth Chorus and beginner harp. In addition to her teaching duties, Karen also performs with the Irish choral super group, Anuna in Ireland. Karen graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Furman University in 2008. Her dad introduced her to Irish traditional music when she was eleven years old, and since then, she has greatly enjoyed singing the music, and more recently, studying Celtic harp with Rebekah Passmore.
Karen Ballew has studied Gaelic and choral singing with Denice Brown and Jonquele Jones from the Gaelic Chorus of Texas as well as Michael McGlynn, Director of Anuna. Karen has also worked with Moya Brenan of Clannad, Ashley Davis, and Abbie Green. Listening to recordings and researching traditional Irish songs is a great passion of Karen’s. Teaching private voice lessons is also a passion. She sang with a professional youth chorus for ten years. She has recently learned to play a 13th century portative organ and sings with a Christian worship group that performs biblical songs from around the world. Since graduating from college, Karen worked as the assistant director for Children’s Chorus Abilene and Chorus Associate for The Children’s Chorus of Collin County. She has directed three church youth choirs, and is currently the director of Joyful Noise at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Frisco.[/person]
Rick began his 40-year drumming career at an early age and was exposed to a wide variety of musical styles. Since graduating with a degree in Music Education from Troy University in Alabama, he has been performing in bands and as a freelance percussionist in rock, jazz, blues, country and classical performances. He is also an instructor at the annual O’Flaherty Irish Music Youth Camp.
Janis Deane has been playing Irish flute/whistle for 25 years and played with the bands Mad Sweeny and Tir Na Nogh in North Carolina and Ohio respectively. She currently performs with the Trinity Hall Session Players. Recording credits include Morning Star, Transilience and Confluence with husband Christopher Deane on the Quiet Hall Music label, and Music from Trinity Hall with the Trinity Hall Session Players.
Michelle Feldman has over thirty years of experience as an Irish fiddler, including performance and teaching. She became an Irish session fiddler while attending California State University at Sonoma, and has played for contra and ceilidh dancers and performed with Shannon, the only all-girl Celtic band in Los Angeles. Since coming to Texas, Michelle has played Celtic music for festivals, parties, and pub gigs with several Dallas area groups, and is currently performing with the eclectic/Celtic acoustic band, 5 Second Rule. She is also a composer in both traditional and folk/pop styles and has performed and recorded her tunes and songs with several bands.
David is a young multi-instrumentalist from the Dallas area, performing professionally on violin and piano and teaching a growing music studio. He is the fiddle player and frontman for the Irish/Celtic band Flashpoint (www.facebook.com/flashpointirish), as well as a member of the Trinity Hall Session Players, for whom he is the performance scheduler. In 2009 he was awarded the Byron D. Cameron Music Scholarship by the Southwest Celtic Music Association, and in 2011 he was awarded scholarships for both the Friday Harbor Irish Music Week and the Swannanoa Gathering’s Celtic Week. Through these camps and others, he has studied with some of the best Irish fiddle players in the world, including Oisín Mac Diarmada, Randal Bays, Kevin Burke, Martin Hayes, and Liz Carroll. In 2009 David started Flashpoint with his brother Daniel and their friend Joseph Carmichael, and together they have performed multiple times at the North Texas Irish Festival, the Austin Celtic Festival, and numerous other venues. In the winter of 2011-2012 they recorded their first album, “Jammed.” Outside of performing, David teaches a growing music studio on piano and violin, and composes and arranges music for his own enjoyment. He is also a current board member of the Traditional Irish Music Education Society.