Fiddling on the Hill

Fiddling on the Hill

Fiddling on the Hill is a full day, one week strings camp for violin, viola, and cello students ages 9-14. Students will explore the challenging fun of fiddle and “new string” styles, learning music by ear, improvising, arranging, and composing their own music.

About Fiddling on the Hill

Why fiddle?
The last few decades have seen a resurgence in interest in fiddle styles, improvisational playing and cross-genre collaboration. Young string players across America have been at the forefront of creative energy that is bursting out all over. Boston in particular is blessed with a rich fiddle music scene, with something for both professional musicians and those looking for a sense of community-fiddle music being an artistic form that allows people of all ages to play together. Fiddle music offers music and community for a lifetime!

Who can fiddle?
Any violin, viola, or cello student ages 9-14 is welcome to join the program, as long as they have been playing for one year or more, feel ready to learn a few new tunes in the span of a week, and are excited to try something new! Experienced fiddlers and those trying the style for the first time are both invited.

What will the week be like?
Our renowned instructors will spend a week working with young fiddlers and violinists, cellists and viola players to hone the skills that allow creative freedom, innovative playing, and fun!

Mornings will be spent learning repertoire and styles on your instrument such as Scottish, American, and Irish. After a break for lunch, the afternoon will be spent on electives such as art, recreation, composing, and stepdancing, and learning to arrange the tunes in an ensemble setting.

This year, with the growth of our faculty, we’re hoping to add more cello-specific classes. Bring your cello and a cello and/or viola friend with you to explore the possibilities of playing fiddle music with a C string!


Summer 2019

Ages: 9-14

Faculty & Staff (subject to change): Ellery Klein (fiddle), Rachel Panitch (fiddle), Austin Scelzo (fiddle), Ariel Friedman (cello), Hannah DeRusha (stepdancing), Dawn Scaltreto (art)


  • July 22-26, 2019
  • Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Final performance on Friday, July 26


  • Fiddling on the Hill Tuition:  $525
  • Summer registration fee: $15
  • Financial Aid is available for this program on a limited, rolling basis.

Sample Daily Schedule:

  • 8:45-9:00 Student drop-off
  • 9:00-9:50 Repertoire & Styles
  • 9:55-10:35 Repertoire & Styles
  • 10:40-10:55 Snack Break
  • 11:00-11:45 Repertoire & Styles
  • 11:50-12:35 Electives
  • 12:35-1:10 Lunch
  • 1:10-2:15 Electives
  • 2:15-2:55 Electives
  • 3:00-4:00 Large Ensemble
  • 4:00 Student pick-up


Ready to Register?

Register Online:
You will be asked to create an account with ASAP if you are not a current Powers student.



About the Instructors

Ellery Klein, fiddle
Ellery is the year-round fiddle teacher in Powers Music School string department and director of Fiddlin' on the Hill, which she launched in 2015. She taught at the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann music school from 2013-2018, until leaving to expand her growing home studio. Ellery began her training as a classical violinist, but since college has enjoyed a 20 year career playing Irish music. From 2003-2007, she toured full time with the world-pop Celtic band Gaelic Storm. Currently she performs in the Irish trio Fódhla, but as a fellow busy parent of a 10 year old clarinet player and an 8 year old fiddler, focuses on her teaching career, fostering many aspiring fiddlers in the Boston area. She holds an MA in Traditional Irish Music Performance from the University of Limerick.

Rachel Panitch
is a Boston-based violinist, improviser, composer, and teaching artist. Rachel specializes in teaching improvisation and fiddling, and works regularly with a number of music education organizations and schools around Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In 2009, Rachel founded Rhode Island Fiddle Project, a free music program teaching traditional fiddle and dance music to students ages 7-17. Rachel continues to work with nationally-recognized Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI, where she completed a Fellowship that inspired and incubated RI Fiddle Project. She also helped to start Community MusicWorks' own Summer Camp program, and continues to direct it each August. She was chosen as a 2015-2017 Jubilation Fellow, a national award recognizing “individuals with an exceptional talent for helping young people feel fully alive through rhythm." Rachel received an M.M. in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory, and holds a BA in Anthropology from Vassar College. Learn more on her website.

Austin Scelzo
loves bringing friends and family of all skill levels and ages together to make music. He is a middle school strings teacher in Darien, CT, where he directs three string ensembles and the Rock Orchestra. He has taught privately in various studios over the years. He currently plays fiddle in bluegrass band the Angry O'Hara's. He also served as Concertmaster in WCSU’s Symphony Orchestra and opera orchestra for four years. An eclectic multi-instrumentalist, Austin also plays rhythm guitar, bass, and several brass instruments. He is classically trained but boasts a diverse background in jazz, traditional, folk, and bluegrass styles. Austin earned a B.S. in Music Education from Western Connecticut State University, received the Mark O'Connor Method books I-IV certification at Berklee, and has trained in the American Music System.

Ariel Friedman
Ariel Friedman is a multi-genre cellist, composer and educator. A winner of ASTA’s Alternative Styles Award, she is steeped both in the music of American roots traditions and a broad range of classical repertoire. Ariel tours the U.S. and abroad with her sister as Ari & Mia, award-winning songwriters and highly acclaimed as New England’s Americana sister act, and has performed nationally and internationally with many other folk-based groups. In demand as an educator, Ariel has been on faculty at Point Counterpoint, teaches at Brookline Music School throughout the school year, coaches chamber music for the Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestras, and has her own private studio. She has taught at music camps and workshops from New England to New Zealand. Ariel received her Bachelors of Music from Northwestern University in 2008 and her Masters of Music from New England Conservatory in 2011. Her primary teachers have included Hans Jorgen Jensen, Hankus Netsky, Carla Kihlstedt, and Stratis Minakakis.

Past faculty have included: Eric Wright of the Fretless (2015) and Scottish fiddler and singer Emerald Rae (2015-2017)


PO Box 398 Belmont, MA 02478  |  Phone: 617.484.4696  

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