2017 Maine Highland Games Entertainment
~Elias Alexander and the Bywater Band~
Elias Alexander has performed at major festivals, including Celtic Connections, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, KVMR Celtic Festival, Outside the Box Boston, Austin Celtic Festival, and many more. His debut album with the Bywater Band is currently receiving radio play all over the United States.
“A fiercely melodic and compelling sound…. Each number is something of a marvel.” -Rambles
“Elias’s creativity is engaged every moment on stage. He went above and beyond what he was hired to do and increased the fun of our whole festival.” -EJ Jones, Grandfather Mt. Highland Games
Elias Alexander and the Bywater Band have one of the hottest new acts on the American Celtic scene. Their unique version of Scottish traditional music, infused with their own compositions, improvisation, and tones of American roots music, is something truly special. With their passionate performances and blazing tight virtuosity, they remind us of why traditional music continues to be relevant across continents and generations. http://www.bywaterband.com/
Charlie Zahm is one of the most popular soloists at Celtic music festivals, Maritime, and American Traditional music events anywhere east of the Mississippi. With a baritone voice some have described as “coming along once in a generation,” Charlie has become one of the most successful performers on the Celtic festival circuit, weaving magical moments of Scottish and Irish history for the listener and viewer, with passion for the performance and a chosen repertoire pleasing to all members of the family. A master of the guitar as well, Charlie brings an authentic love and respect for the music he sings-and with dashes of humor and a light in his eyes, he will draw you into the stories of his songs!
When Charlie was old enough to sing, he began appreciating the beautiful Celtic songs and melodies he first heard in the largely Scottish province of his mother’s birth, Ontario, Canada. Keenly aware of his own heritage, which includes healthy doses of Scottish and Irish blood on both sides of his family, Charlie has collected several hundred popular (as well as beautiful and obscure) selections and now performs them for thousands of fans up and down the Eastern Seaboard and across America. Today, as one of the most sought-after Celtic singers on the East Coast (he is one of the few singers in the world to be invited to sing live twice with Scotland’s “Black Watch”), Charlie performs regularly everywhere from concerts and festivals to television shows and Celtic-themed Caribbean cruises, where his 6’4″ frame and powerful baritone make him one of the most memorable performers around.
Fellswater is Boston’s dynamic Celtic music ensemble. We play a wide range of music from Traditional to modern compositions that draws from the heritage of all the Celtic nations, especially Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Canada. Our instrumentation changes depending on the musical selection and includes vocals, whistle, Irish flute, guitar, octave mandolin, violin, Scottish smallpipes, border pipes and percussion.
Formed in late 2008, Fellswater has performed for audiences ranging from 40 to 8,000. The ensemble has delighted audiences at New Hampshire Highland Games (2010, 2012, 2014), Maine Highland Games (2014, 2017), Blackstone River Theatre (2012, 2013, 2015, 2017), Boston Celtic Music Fest (2012 & 2016), Colonial Williamsburg (2014 & 2015), notloB concert series (twice in 2013, 2015) and the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo (2015). Fellswater will appear at the prestigious Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2018.
Fellswater has released two well- received albums, Fellswater, in 2010 and Thursday Night, in 2013. The band will be recording a new album during the summer of 2017.
Kyle Forsthoff, Percussion
Kyle Forsthoff is a diverse percussion performer and educator based in Rhode Island. He is currently the percussionist for a number of ensembles located throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including Fellswater, Shindig, Deaf Reverend, Shamanic, the Island Time Steel Band, and the L’Esperance Mandolin Orchestra. Also an active member of the Fife & Drum community, he is currently the Drum Sergeant of the Kentish Guards and the percussion instructor for the William Diamond Juniors. He teaches at The Rhody Center for World Music and Dance and has held positions at Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island. Kyle has earned degrees in music education and performance from the University of Kentucky and Arizona State University and is a proud endorsing artist for Yamaha Percussion, Innovative Percussion Sticks and Mallets, and the Cooperman Drum Company. Keep up to date with his activities at www.kyleforsthoff.com.
Kyle plays bodhran, djembe, dumbek, cajon and tambourine with Fellswater.
Elizabeth Ketudat, Fiddle, Hardanger Fiddle
Betsy Ketudat graduated from Fredonia State University with a degree in Violin Performance. Betsy has since played in many chamber groups throughout the Boston area and was a member of the Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes and Drums for 10 years, playing both violin and fife. In 2005 she was featured violin soloist at the Yshalle Tattoo in Basel, Switzerland. As a fifer with MCV, Betsy has performed throughout England, France and Switzerland, at the 2007 Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the 2010 Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s Salute to Australia, and in concert with the Boston Pops. Betsy appears on four MCV albums, playing both violin and fife.
Betsy plays the fiddle and Hardanger fiddle with Fellswater.
Sarah MacConduibh, Irish flute, whistles, fife
Sarah MacConduibh has been a fifer with the Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes & Drums (MCV) since 1984 and Fife Section Lead for much of that time. Sarah’s extensive performance resume with MCV has included recording eight full-length albums, tours to England, France, Ireland and Switzerland and local performances too numerous to list here. 2007 featured performances with the Boston Pops and a run at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. 2010 featured performances at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s Salute to Australia in Sydney and performances with the Boston Pops and 2012 found her in Switzerland for the Basel Tattoo and 2015 found her in Halifax for the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. Sarah has played with several folk groups over the years on a variety of instruments, ranging from fiddle, flute, whistle and fife. Sarah plays whistles, Irish flute and fife with Fellswater.
Andrew McIntosh, Scottish smallpipes, border pipes
From an early age, Andrew McIntosh was immersed in the Scottish cultural scene in the Boston area. His parents were active in Scottish Country Dancing and that vibrant and tartan-strewn community became family to him. He began bagpiping when he was 12 and soon found himself performing and competing throughout New England. At 18, he spent time in Scotland, learning the art of bagpipe making at Gillanders & McLeod. Andy was a former pipe major of the Stuart Highland Pipe Band and played with them for many years. He also played with Tulach Àrd and the Greater Boston Pipe Band, and performed solo at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Harvard University and JFK Museum, to name just a few. He has also performed with the Symphony Pro Musica and Colby College Symphony Orchestra. Andy lives in North Attleborough and plays the Scottish smallpipes and border pipes with Fellswater.
Chris Myers, vocals, guitar, octave mandolin
From an early age, Chris Myers has always had an instrument in his hands. As a self-proclaimed band nerd, he played saxophone from grade school through college as a music major at the University of Lowell (now UMass Lowell). Along the way he picked up a guitar and under the influence of the folk rock movements of the 1960’s and 70’s, worked his way into the music scene in Lowell, where he met his wife Diane. They began performing together in the early 90’s as “Chris & Diane”, and would later be among the founding members of the Rhode Island Songwriter’s Association (RISA). Chris is also deeply immersed in the fife and drum community as Fife Sergeant of the Kentish Guards Fife & Drum Corps of Rhode Island, and as a fifer with the Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes and Drums, with whom he has toured Sydney, Sweden and Switzerland, and most recently as part of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo in Halifax in the summer of 2015. Chris plays guitars (6- and 12-string) and octave mandolin and is one of two vocalists with Fellswater.
Diane Myers, vocals
A lifelong passion for singing brings Diane Myers to Fellswater. After achieving All-State (New Hampshire) and All-Eastern choruses in high school, Diane went on to study voice at Wagner College in New York, and the University of Lowell (now UMass Lowell). It was there she met her husband Chris, and soon they began performing together as the acoustic duo “Chris & Diane.” Diane has soloed at weddings, as well as been involved in numerous musical endeavors over the ensuing years, including the American Songbook Series at Trinity Church in Newport, Rhode Island, the Trinity Church choir, and as a part of the Celtic Music Cruise aboard the Victory Chimes Schooner out of Rockland, Maine. In the past few years, Diane has had the pleasure of singing with her husband Chris in performances with Fellswater, which led most recently to her joining Fellswater as part of the 2015 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo in Halifax. Diane counts among her influences such talents as Aoife Clancy, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, the Indigo Girls, Natalie Cole and Joan Baez, and looks forward to contributing her voice to the Fellswater sound.