He has won numerous fiddle contests at the state and national level, and judged many contests including three times at the national fiddling championships at Weiser, Idaho. He also has trained many fiddle champions, professional performers and teachers. In addition to gigging in many different genres (old-time fiddle, cowboy, bluegrass, traditional country, Celtic, etc), he does school workshops and residencies, teaches at fiddle camps and maintains a private teaching studio. In multiple international tours he has performed in Canada, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Scotland, England, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary.
He has operated a small violin shop and string instrument rental service since 1983. He has honed his skill as an arranger through 35 years of teaching fiddling classes, and Northeastern Music Publications, Inc. has published his folio of traditional fiddle tunes and cowboy songs arranged for school orchestra.
In 2009 he produced and released the DVD of Paul Rolland's film series "The Teaching of Action in String Playing" (www.paulrolland.net). In April-May of 2010 he did a teaching and performance tour with his son Matt of Germany, Belgium, England and Scotland. In Trossingen, Germany he was the featured clinician at a German Classroom String Teacher's conference and gave four workshops on American fiddling and how to incorporate it into the classroom. At the ESTA conference in Brugge, Belgium he presented a lecture/demonstration on Paul Rolland string pedagogy and also on American fiddling.
From December 21, 2011 to January 6, 2012 he performed
with the Rolland Family Band in their appearances with the American
Festival Orchestra in a series of 10 concerts in China, and taught the appreciative Chinese audiences to say "Howdy!" and "Yeee-haw!!" In late July 2014 he will travel once again throughout China to give a series of 22 concerts with his current 9 piece band, "Doc Rolland's Americana String Ensemble", and two interpretive dancers.
As a fiddle teacher he emphasizes freedom and ease of playing with good motion patterns and a relaxed balanced efficient technique, learning traditional tunes, making the fiddle talk, playing musically and expressively, understanding style, diagnosing and analyzing technical problems, double stops, chord knowledge and understanding fiddle harmony.
His approach to improvising is to try to play in complete musical phrases to the melody, with liberal use of double stops, preferring fewer really good notes with a strong rhythmic basis to a multitude of random hot licks. In all that he does, he tries to express and pass on his heartfelt joy of making music.
Matt Rolland is an accomplished fiddle, guitar, and mandolin player. He began fiddling at the age of 4, entering fiddle contests throughout the western United States and attending fiddle camps throughout his youth. Through these camps, such as the Mark O’Connor camp in California, he was able to study with Darol Anger, Daniel Carwile, Charlie Walden, and Mark O’ Connor among others. A natural performer, he began performing at a young age with the Rolland family band where he was nicknamed “Boots” for the theatrical clogging he developed and performed during shows.
Matt has garnered
fiddling and mandolin awards at the local, state, and national levels. He
is a two-time Arizona State Grand Fiddling Champion and has placed 7th
in the Junior Division at the National Fiddling Championship in Weiser,
Idaho. He has twice placed in the top three in the Four Corner’s mandolin
championship. These contest years are captured in Fingerprints, an album of contest fiddle music that he
recorded in 2001 with his brother, Michael. In 2005 he won the national awards for musicianship and best traditional
fiddler in The American String Teacher's Association
"Alternative Strings" competition and was a featured performer at
their national convention in Reno, Nevada.
In addition to
being an accomplished contest fiddler, Matt has received accolades as an
old-time fiddler and bandleader. His current band, Run Boy Run (www.runboyrunband.com),
is a very successful full-time national touring band, and has been featured twice on Garrison Keillor's nationally distributed NPR radio show "A Prairie Home Companion". Their first full-length CD was released with an introduction and accolades from Garrison Keillor, and continues to win the band recognition and fans wherever they perform. In March 2014 they recorded their 2nd full length CD, due for release in late spring. Enroute to their becoming a full-time touring band, Run Boy Run won the Pickin' in the Pines band contest in Flagstaff, and later the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Band competition, thereby joining an elite group of bands including many of the genre's top touring acts.
is blessed with a truly great singing voice, and can be heard around
the nation as she tours with Run Boy Run with her brother Matt. Her
singing classes are a popular highlight of Rolland Fiddle Camp. As a
young girl she sang around the house pretty much non-stop. From
December 21, 2011 to January 6, 2012 she was the featured vocalist with
the Rolland Family Band in their appearances with the American Festival
Orchestra in a series of 10 concerts in China. She received the
enthusiastic applause from stunned Chinese audiences (approximately
15,000 by tours end) who had never seen anyone play a dynamic rhythm
cello and sing at the same time. She has been singing professionally
since she entered high school. She is a classically trained cellist and
played in regional and state honor orchestras in high school and in an
Arizona State University orchestra In recent years she has expanded
her cello playing into the more improvisational-friendly genres of folk
and pop music. She has become an active musical collaborator on voice
and cello with a variety of musicians in the Tempe-Phoenix area. She
formed and performed with the award-winning folk trio, “Dorian Well”, an
Appalachian-folk bluegrass band known for its enchanting three-part
female vocal harmony, which became the vocal core of “Run Boy Run”,
winner of the 2011 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competion (www.runboyrunband.com)
and now a full-time touring performance group. A vocalist, cellist and
songwriter, Grace also plays mandolin, guitar, and keyboards, and is an
outstanding square dance caller. As she travels with Run Boy Run and
performs at festivals alongside world-renowned performers, she commands
the respect and admiration of her peers in the business.
Grace will teach cello, singing and vocal harmony at camp and will also teach the dances and call the evening square dance sessions.
Giselle Lee: old-time (clawhammer) banjo and fiddle (beginning & novice fiddle students)
We’re delighted to welcome Giselle Lee to our camp staff this year. Giselle has been working closely and rehearsing with Peter this year as the clawhammer banjo/fiddle player with Doc Rolland’s Americana String Ensemble and will be part of the band’s 5-week, 22-city summer tour of China. Giselle also performs frequently with Grace Rolland as a duo in the Phoenix area. For the past 5 years she has been picking, fiddling & singing with two award-winning Phoenix area bands, Greenwood Sidee and Cisco and the Racecars. She has also garnered a couple of first place trophies for her clawhammer banjo work at the Wickenburg Four-Corners Bluegrass Festival Specialty Instrument Competition as well as two first place wins in the Old-Time Country Band Competition (with Greenwood Sidee). Giselle teaches fiddle at a youth academy in Phoenix and mentors young bluegrass musicians in Jam Pak Blues n'Grass Neighborhood Band in Chandler. In her spare time, Giselle is a full-time student studying Biological Sciences at the Barrett Honor’s College at Arizona State University.
Heidi Rolland Unruh: song writing workshop
Heidi writes professionally with numerous books and articles in print, and travels frequently as a consultant and speaker at conferences. One of her passions is song writing and poetry, and she will host a two-session song-writing workshop during camp to bring out the songwriter in all of us.
Oscar, official Camp Mascot
Note that fiddle players are not the only ones with good licks! go to the top of the page
*Teachers are subject to change, because "stuff happens" but we sure hope it doesn't!
Dan Levenson: old-time clawhammer banjo and Southern Appalachian fiddling
NOTE: Dan can't make it to this year's camp. We'll miss his expertise and energy and the fun times we had with him at the jam sessions.
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Dan Levenson is a modern day troubadour in the truest sense of the word. A full time musician, Dan travels the country with banjo and fiddle singing songs and telling stories of the road. He has been touring inter-nationally some 16 years now. In that time he has become a well known artist of old time clawhammer banjo and a southern Appalachian style fiddler. Dan has traveled inside and outside the country playing and teaching for many years. He teaches the full range of levels from the outright beginner to performance level at workshops, festivals, and camps, and has students all across the country as well as around the world.
Dan Levenson has been voted one of the country’s top ten clawhammer banjo players by Banjo Newsletter readers. He is well known as the banjo player for the Boiled Buzzard Stringband. Bluegrass Unlimited calls his playing “melodic, meticulous and uncluttered.” Fiddler Magazine’s Bob Buckingham describes him as “an accomplished fiddler and ... one of the best clawhammer banjo players in the country.”
He is the originator, owner and presenter of Meet the Banjo™, a 3 hour hands-on workshop where he brings the banjos! This class teaches history of the instrument and introduces both bluegrass and clawhammer styles. His beginner’s video/DVD series and class is entitled Clawhammer from Scratch: A Guide for the Clawless is the first new old time clawhammer banjo instruction manual in over 20 years and is a Mel Bay Publication as is his prior tab book Buzzard Banjo Clawhammer Style. Check out his full website at www.clawdan.com.
Eden Rolland: beginners, novice players, contra-dance caller
NOTE: Eden will take a leave of absence in 2014 to work in Washington DC. We'll miss her and hope she'll be able to join us in 2015.
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Eden is the first of the siblings to win a state fiddling championship title. Eden and Peter Rolland especially enjoy playing and performing twin fiddles and have won several contests in that specialty. Most recently they demonstrated their twin fiddling skill for the Chinese audiences during the family's 16 day tour of China with the American Festival Orchestra. As a youngster, Eden pursued gymnastics, rising to the rank of Level 10 gymnast. A straight "A" student throughout school, she graduated from Arizona State University with a major in political science. She has worked in the political arena since then, most of the time as a legislative research analyst. As an adult she applied her athletic abilities to dance and has attended intensive dance training conferences. Until recently, she performed semi-professionally both as a dancer and as a fiddler with a contra-dance band called "Rocket Science". In the fall of 2012 she entered law school at Colorado University in Boulder. At Rolland Fiddle Camp she teaches the moves and is the caller for the evening contra-dances on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Lynne Denig, staff expert violin teacher: fundamentals, remedial training, Paul Rolland string methods, custom chinrest fitting
NOTE: Lynne will take a leave of absence in 2014 to teach a Paul Rolland workshop in Madrid, Spain that overlaps our camp time. We will miss her!
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Lynne Denig provided some terrific insights to students during the first Rolland Fiddle Camp. She is a great diagnostician and knows just how to share her knowledge with students; a few words of guidance from her can save students countless hours of frustration and muscle damage caused by poor movement patterns. We are thrilled to have her back to help guide students with their fundamental technique and to share the ideas of our source of inspiration, Paul Rolland. As one of Paul Rolland’s last graduate assistants, Lynne Denig has taught nationally in the United States and internationally in former Yugoslavia, Germany, and South Africa as a studio teacher, guest clinician, and as a university professor. She continues to lead the annual Paul Rolland Workshop at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia (check it out at www.PotomacAcademy.org under Summer Programs) where she is also a studio violin and viola teacher. In April 2011 she taught at the Paul Rolland Methods workshop in Hamburg, Germany. In January, 2013 she will teach at a Paul Rolland Methods workshop in London, England.
Lynne is the co-creator of Frisch and Denig Custom-fitted Chinrests (www.chinrests.com), ASTA’s Certificate Advancement Program (www.astaweb.com), The Youth Orchestras of Fairfax, and the Music Advancement Program, a string program for previously-marginalized children in South Africa.
Awards include: The Virginia String Teachers Outstanding and Distinguished Service Award and the American String Teachers Citation for Leadership and Merit.
Mike Cirillo: jazz, swing, progressive, rock, country & blues fiddle NOTE: Mike will take a leave of absence in 2014 to further his education. We will miss him!