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Emily Schaad

Old Time Fiddle

Emily Schaad is known for a complex and powerful fiddling style, and has taken first place in numerous stringband and fiddle contests, including the Appalachian Stringband Music Festival in Clifftop, WV. Emily came to the music of the southern Appalachians as a classical violist and public school string teacher, and once the archaic and driving sound of the fiddle and banjo found her, she never looked back. Originally from the Hudson Valley of New York State, she relocated to western North Carolina to study Appalachian culture and music at Appalachian State University. She was fortunate enough to spend time visiting with such old-time music greats as Clyde Davenport, Benton Flippen, Joe Thompson, and Chester MacMillian. From these seasoned musicians came a varied repertoire, a feel for Round Peak rhythm, and cherished stories and memories.

She is sought after as an instructor for old-time music camps and workshops, blending a grounding in Appalachian tradition with instrumental pedagogy. She has performed and taught at such festivals as The Swannanoa Gathering, Ashokan Fiddle and Dance, Falling Waters Music Camp, Pickathon, and Bluff Country Gathering. She is currently artistic director and conductor of Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestras and Greenville County Youth Orchestras, and is active professionally as a symphony musician.