February 5, 2006
Now a National Scottish Fiddle Champion (2004), Emerald Rae also studies Film Scoring at Boston's Berklee College of Music and is in high demand in Massachusetts as a teacher and performer. She is well known as a patient and generous instructor of both fiddle and stepdance and currently holds teaching posts at Wellesley College and the famous Club Passim School of Music in Cambridge.
Emerald grew up in a very musical household. Her parents were both professional musicians, so her knowledge of the life of a musician was firmly instilled at a young age; and she was encouraged to sing, dance and play music. After picking up the fiddle at the age of seven, Emerald's insatiable interest in the music of Scotland and Cape Breton landed her in many popular fiddle camps. She was a regular at the Ceilidh Trail School of Celtic Music in Inverness, Cape Breton; Gaelic Roots at Boston College and Alasdair Fraser's Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School.
She studied privately with Barbara McOwen of the popular Scottish Country Dance band Tullochgorum (then the leader of the NH Strathspey and Reel Society) for eight years before beginning her stint at Berklee
, where she has studied jazz, classical, blues, klezmer, and of course - film composition.
Emerald is also a talented Cape Breton Stepdancer
and has danced for such fiddling giants as Alasdair Fraser and Natalie MacMaster. Last summer, she shared her knowledge and steps with the eager dance students at the famous Pinewoods
Dance Camp in Plymouth, Ma.
On her debut solo album "Contemplaytion", Emerald brings some of the east coast's finest Celtic accompanists to play with her. The album included her fiddling, singing, dancing, and 12 original tunes.
We were first introduced to Emerald Rae a few years ago at a Christmas Céilidh
(Kaylee) on Cape Cod. Our first reaction was WOW! Emerald has a way of getting everyone in the room toe tapping and hand clapping - her sparkle of fiddling energy just translates into raw excitement for all to enjoy. I was so impressed with her skill as a fiddler, let alone a great performer. My 3 year old daughter immediately began dancing to her fiddling melody, and the way Emerald interacted with her showed to me that she truly has an immense love of the music she plays and in sharing that with her fans - both young and old!
Her new album, Contemplaytion, is a reflection of her love for the fiddle and for Celtic music. On this album you will find gentle melodies, toe tapping jigs, "Cape Breton Blasts" and even a vocal selection featuring Emerald. For a musician that has played with the likes of Natalie MacMaster
and Alasdair Fraser
; Contemplaytion is an exquisite compilation of original tunes that will brighten any day with the sounds and songs of Celtic music fiddling at its best.
Emerald has a beautiful website
where you can find pictures of her, gig dates, links and much more - like a special mail list to stay in touch with everything Emerald! For those that would like to hear some samples of Emerald's music and post to her guestbook, checkout her myspace