Milwaukee Irish Fest School of Music Instructors:
Alli Johnson - Voice
Alli Johnson is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, performing throughout the states with various projects. She is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the award-winning Celtic group The Selkie Girls, lead singer, guitarist, and ukulele-ist (it's a word, promise) for the Milwaukee based band The Stirling Latelys, and has recently accepted the position as Choir Director for the Milwaukee Irish Fest School of Music. Alli teaches beginner, intermediate, and advanced voice, and also teaches lessons in Scottish Gaelic, Irish Gaelic, and traditional Celtic song.
Amy Richter - Bodhran
Amy Richter first picked up the bodhrán at the Irish Fest Summer School in 2003. Since then she has gone on to become the drummer for the popular Milwaukee band áthas, win the Midwest Fleadh, and compete in the All-Irelands.
Brett Lipshutz - Flute, Tin Whistle
Brett Lipshutz has been playing various flutes for over 30 years and Irish and Baroque music since 1994. He played twice at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil and has toured with the Trinity Irish Dance Company.
Heather Lewin - Cello, Viola, Violin
Heather Lewin teaches violin, viola and cello. She has been playing string instruments for over 30 years and has been teaching since 1998. In addition to teaching, Heather has performed and recorded with many local and national bands.
James Reilly - Flute, Tin Whistle
James attributes his love of Irish music to his family. Born into the NYC traditional Irish music scene, he quickly developed a taste for pure drop trad.
Jeff Ksiazek - Flute, Tin Whistle, Bouzouki
Jeff Ksiazek, a member of Milwaukee band áthas, has been playing wind instruments for two decades. Jeff offers instruction on bouzouki, Irish flute, whistle, and silver flute in Irish music.
Jennifer D'Alessio - Fiddle
Jennifer D'Alessio is currently the concertmaster of the Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra and is a fiddle and accordion player and singer with the Irish rock band, Hearthfire.
Kaitlin Hahn - Fiddle
Kaitlin Hahn began playing classical violin at the age of six, and at eighteen began studying Celtic fiddle. Kaitlin frequently travels to Cape Breton to study the music and has also studied with Liz Carroll. She has recorded several CDs. Kaitlin is a recipient of the Ed Ward Scholarship and a graduate of UWM with a music education degree. She plays with the group Atlantic Wave.
Kathleen Congleton - Irish Piano, Ensemble
Kathleen has taught Irish traditional piano accompaniment privately for many years, and more recently has begun to teach Irish melody as well. She studied with noted traditional performers Geraldine Cotter and Patsy Broderick in Ireland and Donna Long in the United States.
Kim Robertson - Harp
Kim Robertson is a renowned performer, arranger, and recording artist who has stretched the boundaries of the harp for a new generation of performers and audiences.
Maria Terres - Fiddle
A three-time All-Ireland qualifier on fiddle and senior céilí band, Maria has taught fiddle to all ages since 1986. She plays for céilí and set dancers (with Cream City Céilí Band) and New England Contra dancing (with Last Gaspe).
Randy Gosa - Banjo, Guitar, Bouzouki, Mandolin, Ensemble
A string musician since the age of 12, Randy is a graduate of Visual Art and Celtic Studies at UWM. Randy has studied music with Liz Carroll, Niall Keegan, Sandra Joyce, Andy Irvine, Tony Nother, and studied abroad at the University of Limerick, Ireland. He plays regularly for céilí and set dancers and is a member of the band Myserk. He teaches by ear and is a strong believer in passing tunes and technique person to person.
The Milwaukee Irish Fest School of Music works with some amazing local and regional Irish musicians to bring you even more educational possibilities! The following instructors can offer additional instruction locally and in neighboring communities.
Aislinn Gagliardi - Harp
Aislinn Gagliardi is a highly sought-after Irish harp teacher, performer and recording artist. She studied extensively with various Irish and Celtic harpers including Michael Rooney, Fionnuala Rooney and Grainne Hambly. Aislinn has given workshops at the Milwaukee Irish Fest School of Music (MIFSM), the Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School, the Great Lakes Harpers (GLH) 2006 Regional Conference, and in Nashville, TN. She has also taught private lessons at Chicago's World Folk Music, and currently teaches from her private studio in Chicago and via Skype. Aislinn has frequently performed at the Milwaukee Irish Fest and Chicago's Celtic Fest, and co-leads sessions in and around Chicago. Aislinn is a valuable collaborator in many styles of music, and was recently featured on Candace Corrigan's (singer/songwriter) O'Carolan, Songwriter recording project.
Brian Ó hAirt - Irish song, Sean-nós dancing, Concertina, Accordion
Brian Ó hAirt is an All-Ireland Champion singer. He performs with his award-winning ensemble Bua based in Chicago, Illinois as well as with renowned singing legend Len Graham of Co. Antrim. He has a wide store of knowledge about these traditions as well as a vast repertoire of songs from both the ballad singing traditions of Ulster as well as from the sean-nós singing communities of Conamara in West Galway and Muskerry in West Cork. His style utilizes complex ornamentation, a keen sense of phrasing, and focuses on the poetics intrinsic to the languages of English and Irish.
John Ceszynski - Uilleann Pipes, Tin Whistle, Bodhran
John Ceszynski has been involved with Irish Traditional Music since 1981. He has performed, taught, and competed across the Midwest and in Ireland. Lessons will be arranged between the student and teacher in both the Milwaukee and Appleton areas.
John Nicholson - Guitar
For over a dozen years John has been busy teaching Celtic and finger style guitar and performing with noted area bands. He is currently a member of two-time WAMI award winner Frogwater. John is in great demand at festivals and workshops throughout the Midwest and teaches regularly at the Irish Fest Summer School.