John Blandin: Irish Guitar Accompaniment in DADGAD Tuning
John has been playing guitar since the age of 14, but came to Irish music about seven years ago and hasn’t looked back. He plays in DADGAD tuning because of its versatility, beautiful sound and perfect fit with Celtic melodies. He has participated in workshops during Irish Week at Augusta Heritage Center with Altan guitarist, Dáithí Sproule and Dennis Cahill (Martin Hayes’ accompanist).
Marie Borgman: Fiddle, Scoil and Bridge Ensemble
Marie decided she wanted to play the fiddle when she was four years old after observing a family friend play old-time tunes. Soon after, she started studying the classical Suzuki method with Betty Gross, added old-time music to her repertoire at age eight with Pete Vigor, and moved on to Irish music and dance when she joined BRIMS at age twelve. She later became the “fiddle-apprentice” of the BRIMS group. Marie has studied with local fiddlers Tes Slominski, Cleek Shrey, and Alex Caton. In addition, she took classes with Irish fiddler Connie O’Connell at the Willie Clancy festival in Ireland, Patrick Orceau at Augusta Heritage, and several other musicians who taught workshops through BRIMS. Now Marie is the fiddler for Charlottesville’s “rowdy Irish-Americana rock band,” Chamomile and Whiskey, and has a degree in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Carrie Brubaker: Dance
Carrie began Irish dancing in 1995 with the O’Neill-James School in Falls Church, VA, there she studied under Laureen O’Neill-James and assisted with the beginning adult classes. In 2002 she joined the Culkin School which has a large and active adult dance group. At the Culkin School she studied with Sean Culkin, Nicki Sack and Caterina Earle. While dancing with the Culkin School she competed as a member of the National Championship adult ladies ceili team.
Alex Davis: Traditional Ensemble & Session Workshop
Alex Davis was an original member of BRIMS during its formation in the early aughts. Alex initially studied Irish fiddle with Tes Slominski and Sara Read and concertina with Paddy League and Aaron Olwell. More recently Alex has learned from Rose Conway Flanagan and Andy Cleveland. In addition to working with BRIMS, Alex teaches reading at Jack Jouett Middle School and is an announcer for WTJU's Celtic themed Atlantic Weekly Part 2, heard on Saturday mornings.
Augie Fairchild: Trad Ensemble, Flute, Tin Whistle
Augie Fairchild has been playing tin whistle and Irish flute since he was 16. He has studied flute with Baltimore musicians Frank Claudy and Laura Byrne, and credits them with just about everything he knows about the flute. Augie currently runs the Tuesday night session at the Tin Whistle Pub in Charlottesville. He also plays classical cello and has a degree in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Stu James: Session Workshop
Stu has been playing traditional music in one form or another since his Mom brought home a piano when he was 15. He currently plays rhythm guitar and mandolin in the local Charlottesville band, King Golden Banshee. Stu has has had the pleasure of studying Irish Traditional music with Eamon O’Leary, Angelina Carberry and John Doyle at Swannanoa. Stu is the author of Jigathon- BRIMS fiddle & DADGAD class blog & tune resource
Lori Madden: Executive Director, Dance, & Scoil
Lori Madden has been providing Irish dance instruction in Charlottesville and central Virginia since 2001 and has been executive director of BRIMS since 2003. Lori, along with her children Meg, Patrick & Marina, is a founding member of BRIMS and has been a trip leader on all four of the BRIMS Ireland Study Trips.
Marina Madden: Dance & Scoil
Marina Madden has been Irish step dancing for 19 years. In her young teens she studied under many influential dance instructors including Donnie Golden and Nile O' Leary at Augusta Heritage Center Irish week. She is an original member of the Blue Ridge Irish Music School and has gone on 3 of the educational Ireland trips as a student, and the 4th as a trip leader. Marina has been teaching with BRIMS since she was 14. In her adult life she has broadened her education in dance and studied styles such as Appalachian clogging, modern, and many forms of social dancing which has further informed her passion for preserving dance culture and community.
Teresa Williams: Dance
Teresa began her Irish Dance career at age 3 and has loved it ever since. She competed at the Mid-America Oireachtas four times as both a soloist and as a member of a ceili team. She has taught with multiple dance schools, including Erickson Academy in Cincinnati, OH and McMenamin Academy in Milwaukee, WI. In 2010, Teresa received her TCRG.