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Instructors

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Rebecca Blackhall-Peters

Summerland, British Columbia, Canada

Rebecca was born in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.  She has now moved to the Okanagan Valley and is residing in Summerland, BC. In 1995 she took up SCD and earned her Teacher’s Certificate in 2001.  As she had a background in classical ballet, pointing her toes was not a problem, however, it took quite a bit longer to learn the formations and dances! She has taught a General class in Fort Langley for the last 18 years, and taught at the Vancouver Branch.  She now teaches the Naramata Scottish Country dance class in Penticton.

She has taught workshops throughout North America, and has been a core teacher at TAC, St Andrews and New Zealand Winter School.

Gary Coull

Aberdeen, Scotland

Gary began dancing at the age of 10 in Dufftown, Scotland with Jessie Stuart as his teacher and gained his full teaching certificate in 2013. Gary, who is currently the RSCDS Chair Elect, has taught at various weekend and day schools in Scotland, Europe and North America including RSCDS Summer School, the 40th anniversary weekend of the Stockholm Branch, TAC Summer School in Vancouver and the Munich Scottish Association Dance Weekend . Gary has danced with the RSCDS Aberdeen demonstration team, loves a good birl, enjoys dancing strathspeys (especially ones with the a poussette) and thinks the most important thing about Scottish country dancing is having fun!  By day Gary works for the University of Aberdeen, is married to Joanna and has 2 children, Bess and Flora.

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Musicians

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Elke Baker

Fiddle, Viola

“Some of the greatest Scottish music to be heard anywhere”—TACSound

“Baker’s fiddle nearly throws off sparks”—Washington Post

 

“Rare delight, precise technical skill, and fulness of soul”—Celtic Beat

 

U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion Elke Baker's distinctive, dance-driven fiddle style has made her one of the most sought-after Scottish fiddlers of our time. Performing solo and with Robin Bullock, Ken Kolodner, bands Terpsichore, Sugar Beat, Trio con Brio, and others, Elke has both a range and depth of skill surpassed by very few. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Birchmere, Honolulu Academy of Arts, in most of the fifty States, and on four continents. She is world-renowned as a Scottish country dance musician, bandleader, and arranger.  She recently headlined the RSCDS International Branch Event in Italy, and looks forward to playing in New Zealand and Canada in 2024. A scholar of Scottish music, Elke taught for many years at the Washington Conservatory of Music, as Artist-in-Residence at Montgomery College, and as a panelist at Harvard University. Elke directs the Potomac Valley Scottish Fiddle Club, a non-profit Scottish music educational organization now in its 30th year, and has taught at fiddle camps and schools across the country. She has recorded nine albums, including recent releases On a Cold Winter's Day with Ken Kolodner and Wait 'til You Hear This One! with Sugar Beat, and a world-premiere single, The Fingerlock, an ancient fiddle pibroch. Elke’s new release Better Days features waltzes, tangos, and other couple dances from around the world played with four of her ensembles.   Playing Scottish music for dancers is one of Elke's very favorite things, although dancing runs a close second.

Elissa Hock-Wimmer

Piano

Elissa Hock-Wimmer is a retired music teacher from Akron, OH.  She is also the band leader for the Scottish Country Dance Band, Highland Square, which features musicians from Western Pennsylvania.  She studied Scottish band piano with Etienne Ozorak of the Music Makars  and was a music intern with Bobby Brown for two summers at Thistle School.  While learning with Etienne, she was offered an opportunity to play with the Music Makars and the rest is history.  Highland Square has played for the Pittsburgh Highland Ball, Unicoi Scottish Weekend, Capital Weekend as well as the Emerald Ball in Cincinnati and numerous other events.  She is very excited to play for Blue Ridge and get back to the mountains that she loves!

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Terry Traub

Accordion, Piano, Fiddle

Terry Traub is a folk musician and bandleader who plays piano, violin, accordion, and mandolin and has been known to pick up the trumpet on occasion.

Over the past twenty-five years he has performed all over the United States and abroad in Taiwan, Japan, Scotland, Hungary, and Canada. He has been on the staff of Pinewoods dance camp for many years, and he has played for many other dance events around the country. He has a special love for the Scottish music of Cape Breton and has accompanied such well-known Cape Breton fiddlers as Buddy MacMaster, John Campbell, Raymond Ellis, Jerry Holland, and Joe Cormier.

When not busy playing for Scottish and New England dancing, he also plays Klezmer, Russian and other Eastern European folk music, and a wee bit of jazz as well.

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