According to Terence Winch, (renowned musician, poet/writer, Bog-Father and friend) Mitch Fanning (Director, fiddle) is not only a consummate fiddle player, but an inspiring fiddle and violin teacher who can rightly take credit for gracing our area with scores of young musicians. He has himself studied violin at Catholic University’s School of Music, where he received a Bachelor’s of Music degree in violin performance in 1982. He studied Irish music with Brendan Mulvihill and others, and in 2014 was awarded a TTCT (Teastas Teagaisc Ceolta Tire), a diploma given to master teachers of Irish music by the CCE in Ireland. A frequent participant in festivals and sessions in Ireland, Mitch performs closer to home at events throughout the Washington metro area—he can be heard, for example, every Monday night with his fellow "Inn Mates" at the Irish Inn at Glen Echo. Mitch teaches privately and conducts classes in traditional Irish music in his home studio. Mitch is also a faculty member of Washington Conservatory of Music, where he teaches traditional Irish fiddle classes designed for violinists. Mitch is also founder and director of Musical Arts and Dance Week, a now-celebrated school of instruction whose faculty includes a galaxy of Irish music stars. (For more information about MAD Week and the Next-Generation sessions Mitch leads, see the "Get Involved" tab)
Alice Bradley (fiddle) is a sixth grader from Bethesda, Maryland. She began studying violin with Mitch Fanning at age five and is now learning Sligo-style Irish fiddle with Brian Conway. She has benefited from instruction at MAD Week for six years, as well as at Scoil Éigse, O'Flaherty's Irish Music Retreat, Baltimore TradFest, and the Sligo Creek Hedge School. She is honored to be a member of the Bog Band and is grateful for the friendship, camaraderie, and mentorship of her fellow Bogs. Alice won first place in under twelve fiddle (2018, 2019) and fiddle slow airs (2019) at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh, qualifying her to compete at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda, Co. Louth. Alice is also a dancer at the District Irish Dance Academy.
Andrew Caden (fiddle) is a senior at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD. He is the 2017 All-Ireland fiddle champion (fifteen to eighteen), a second place medalist in the slow air competition (fifteen to eighteen) at the Fleadh Cheoil in Ennis, Co. Clare, a second place medalist in the 2017 Junior Fiddler of Dooney Contest in Sligo, Ireland, and a Gold Medal Finalist in the Sean O'Riada fiddle competition. Andrew studies with the acclaimed Sligo-style fiddler Brian Conway from New York. Andrew has also worked with Mitch Fanning, the director of the Bog Band and coordinator of the MAD Week Irish arts summer program in Maryland. In 2014, Andrew received the Frankie Kennedy Memorial Scholarship awarded to traditional Irish musicians by the Greater Washington Ceili Club and serves as the Youth Officer for the O'Neill-Malcom Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Branch in the Washington DC area. Andrew is a member of the St. Aeden's Ceili Band and is a regular player at traditional Irish music sessions and festivals throughout the area. He has performed with The Chieftains at Strathmore, at the Kennedy Center, the Irish Embassy, and for visiting political dignitaries, including Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny in 2017. Andrew is predominantly influenced by many of the great Sligo-style fiddle players, most notably Brian Conway, Andy McGann, and Micheal Coleman. When Andrew isn't fiddling, he enjoys playing ice hockey and is a sports car enthusiast.
Evie Lynch (tin whistle) is an eighth grader from Olney, Maryland. She only recently started playing the tin whistle after several years of studying the alto and baritone saxophones at school as well as taking private piano lessons. She began tin whistle with All-Ireland winner Alex Boatright about a year ago but is not new to the trad music and dance scene. She participated in MAD Week when she was seven years old and got her first introduction to the tin whistle by Karen Ashbrook. She studied and performed Irish step dance at an early age and ultimately found her groove in sean nós and set dancing, which she has been doing for several years. She has competed twice for All Ireland in dance competitions in both Ennis and Drogheda, as well as participated in Scoil Éigse while in Ireland and many local workshops, including the Baltimore Trad Fest. She is so excited to be a new member of the Bog Band and is enjoying getting to know all of the wonderful Bog kids. Evie was a member of the first place full ladies set at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh in 2015-2017 (under twelve age group) and 2018 (fifteen to eighteen age group). In solo competition, she won second place in sean nós dance at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh in 2018 and 2019 (twelve to fifteen age group), qualifying her to compete at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda, Co. Louth. When she isn’t playing the whistle with the Bog kids, Evie is usually singing and dancing with her other performance group. She is a dance captain for a Broadway style song and dance revue group called Teen Angel Project that performs at retirement and nursing homes throughout the DC Metro area. In addition to her Irish dance training, she takes jazz and tap lessons at a local dance studio. In her downtime, she enjoys watching Stranger Things, hanging out with friends, performing community service, everything Hamilton, traveling and dreaming about opening her own dance studio.
Elora Martin (flute, tin whistle) fifteen, is from Boyds, MD and plays flute and whistle. She started performing with her multi-generational family band, the Martin Family as soon as she could totter onto the stage. From a young age she was known to jump in and help demonstrate the Colonial dances at George Washington’s Mount Vernon and played Irish whistle for visitors during special events. She has performed with her family at many festivals, ceilis and events in the Washington, DC area and beyond- from the Santa Fe Bluegrass and Old Time festival in New Mexico to the Alford Heritage Center in Scotland. Elora started whistle when she was six, learning by ear from her mom and other family members. She began attending Karen Ashbrook’s Hedge School in the summers, taking classes at Common Ground on the Hill and studied Irish step dance with the Culkin School for four years. Later, she was excited to pick up the flute and took her first workshops at Catskills Irish Arts Week. In 2019, Elora won first place in flute slow airs at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh, qualifying her to compete at the All-Ireland in Drogheda. She’s visited Ireland many times and has participated in the flute workshop at the Scoil Éigse . She is currently enjoying studying flute with Laura Byrne and is excited to be a part of the Bog Band. Elora also enjoys acting, reading, singing and watching the Gilmore Girls.
Emily Mitchell (guitar, voice), seventeen, is a singer/songwriter from Gaithersburg, Maryland. She is known for her angelic voice,
accomplished guitar playing, and touching performances. She performed her first original work at the age of eleven and has continued to develop her singing, songwriting, and guitar skills, studying with Paul Hutchison, Bonnie Kunkel, and Gerry Kunkel. Over the past few years, Emily has performed at various events and venues throughout the area, including The Sandy Spring Strawberry Festival, The Louisa County Agricultural Fair, The Music Café, and at Showcases held by The World Folk Music Association and the Songwriters Association of Washington. Last summer, Emily earned a spot in the Singer/Songwriter program at Interlochen’s 2018 Summer Music Camp and was the featured soloist at the 2018 Interlochen End of Summer Awards Ceremony. Recently Emily won a Young Artist Award in the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Song Writing Competition and was the Young Songwriter Winner in the Bernard Ebb Songwriting Awards. Emily enjoys collaborating with other artists and is a member of The Bog Band, McFlen, and the MCYBO Jazz Band. Currently Emily is a homeschool student in twelvth grade. She helps lead worship with church bands and enjoys performing a wide range of music including jazz classics, classic rock, country, folk, and modern acoustic. On July 1, 2018 Emily released her first EP, A New Beginning; a collection of originals written and performed by Emily. This July 2019, she will release her second EP, Wings to Fly; another collection of original music featuring Emily (vocals and guitar) along with Zan McLeod on the bass, mandolin, organ, electric guitar and percussion. Emily’s recordings combine, folk, jazz, and acoustic elements to create a meaningful, soothing, and relaxing musical messages.
Maddy Moss (fiddle, voice), a fourteen-year-old Marylander, is an eighth-grader at Oakcrest School. She inherited her family’s love for folk music of all kinds, and was introduced to melody and rhythm at a young age. She fell in love with traditional Irish music through her step dancing with the Culkin School, where she became a champion-level dancer, and performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Strathmore, and Nationals Park. Maddy started dancing at age five, and began taking fiddle lessons at age nine. She has been singing and playing in the Bog Band for about three years. Maddy has benefited from the teaching of Mitch Fanning and Brian Conway, and placed second in fiddle at the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Fleadh in the twelve to fifteenn age group, qualifying her to compete at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Drogheda. She is also a four-time MAD Week participant. In her free time Maddy enjoys dancing with her Bog friends, playing soccer, reading, and spending time with her family.
Molly Grace Moss (concertina) is twelve years old and a seventh grader at Oakcrest school in Vienna, Virginia. She lives in Silver Spring, MD with her parents and three siblings. Molly has been studying with Alex Boatright for two years now. She won second place in concertina at the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Fleadh in the under twelve age group and qualified to compete in Ireland. When Molly isn't playing Irish music she loves reading, acting in her school plays, and dancing. She is also a lover of art, baking, and her family beagle, Louie.
Keira Noonan (fiddle) has played the violin from the age of four, is studying Irish fiddle with Brian Conway, and has gained terrific friendships and grown her musicianship through the Bog Band and MAD Week. Keira has medalled at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh in solo fiddle and fiddle slow airs, and was awarded first place in under twelve duets, qualifying her to compete at the 2019 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda, Co. Louth with her partner and fellow Bog Band member Arjun. Keira is an Open Champion Irish Dancer with the Teelin School of Irish Dance, is a North American Championships qualifier, and has medalled in eight-hand dancing at the 2019 World Championships. Keira enjoys performing with her fifth-grade public school orchestra and jamming with her dad on jazz standards, and was a winner of the 2019 Rockville Music Competition.
Cadyn O’Halloran (fiddle, guitar, piano, bodhran) Cadyn, an 8th grade student at Lakelands Park Middle School, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, is new to the Bog Band this year and is following in her sister’s footsteps in her studies of Irish fiddling. A multi-instrumentalist, Cadyn began playing the violin at three years old, then added piano a few years later, followed by guitar about three years ago and most recently, she is trying her hand at bodhran. Cadyn still studies classical violin in addition to Irish fiddling, and has performed with the Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra for three years. In addition to classical and Irish music, she enjoys playing classical and contemporary music on the piano, and country and classic rock on the guitar. Cadyn has been Irish stepdancing for nine years, and this year she has joined a performance troupe, the Teelin Irish Dance Company. When not Irish dancing, Cadyn loves hip-hop dancing, fashion, any and all crafts and time with her friends and family.
Claire O’Halloran (fiddle, bodhran) Claire is a senior at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Now in her sixth year with the Bog Band, she is thankful for all of the remarkable opportunities that she has experienced with her bandmates, and is looking forward to a final season of special and memorable performances. Claire began playing the violin over twelve years ago and first studied and performed classical violin, to include two seasons with the Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra. Over time, her other great talent and passion, Irish stepdancing, began to influence her ear and draw her deeper into Irish music. She has been fortunate to study with a fiddling champion and Sligo-style master, Brian Conway, for over five years, and has also a grown in her fiddling ability through years of mentorship from Bog’s director, Mitch Fanning, through the production and release of the Bog “The Next Generation” album, and from several years of participation in MAD week, the Baltimore Irish Arts Festival, and many other fiddling workshops, competitions and events at the local and national level. While some of her favorite memories of playing with the Bog Band include performances at The Kennedy Center and Washington National Cathedral, she loves that she and her friends have taken their music to countless smaller venues to share their music with communities all over the DC Metro area. In addition to playing with the Bog Band, Claire has fiddled in performances large and small with the Duffy School of Irish Dance and the Teelin Irish Dance Company, and has now begun to mentor and teach beginning fiddlers. Outside of fiddling and dancing, Claire’s other interests include travel, sports and fitness, politics, and time with her friends and large family, and she is currently busy with the college application process, anxious to see where life will take her next year.
Arjun Ramachandran (fiddle) is a student of Brian Conway. Arjun is also an Irish step dancer at Teelin Irish Dance in their Galway Troupe. He studies at The Gilman School in Baltimore in sixth grade. He is competing at the All Ireland Fleadh this summer and is very pleased to play with the Bog Band Irish music group.
Jessica Zito (fiddle) is a Walter Johnson High School junior who has been a member of the Bog Band for many years. She began playing violin in first grade, originally studying classical music before migrating to Irish fiddle. She has previously been a member of both Maryland Classic and Potomac Valley Youth Orchestras, but her heart is now completely devoted to the Bog Band and traditional Irish music. She was the grateful recipient of the 2017 Greater Washington Ceili Club's Frankie Kennedy Memorial Scholarship, which allowed her to attend the 2017 Fleadh Cheoil in Ennis, Co Clare. In 2019, she placed second in fiddle slow airs at the Mid-Atlantic Fleadh in the fifteen to eighteen age group, and is looking forward to competing in Ireland. When not playing fiddle, Jessica loves running winter and spring track for Walter Johnson High School, and is looking forward to many trips to Ireland in her future.
Alaya Zsebenyi (fiddle, concertina) and her family attended a family dance, sponsored by the FSGW in Glen Echo park. There were two immensely talented musicians playing for the dance, Peri Leighty and Darrow Sherman. Through Darrow’s mom, she found out about Mitch Fanning and thus the Bog Band. That’s where it all started. Alaya has been granted the good fortune of studying with Mitch Fanning and Brian Conway. Immersion in the musical tradition of her Irish roots has inspired her to study the concertina, and Irish Dance at the District Irish Dance Academy. Alaya is fortunate to have musical siblings and has performed at FSGW’s Mid-Winter Festival with her sister Zoë , her dad Eric and her little brother and sister. The “Zsebenyi Family Band” also performed at Deer Creek Fiddlers Convention. Alaya has benefited from MAD week, Common Ground on the Hill, the Baltimore Irish Trad fest and, of course, the wonderful playing of her fellow Bogs.
In her spare time, she likes to sing with Children’s Chorus of Maryland, run, read Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, and do anything outdoors. She is more than honored to join the Bog Band, and is very grateful for the support of her family, teachers, and peers.
Zoë Zsebenyi (fiddle) started out playing classical violin, but through Mitch Fanning realized what the instrument was truly capable of. Zoë's road to the Bog Band began at a Folk Society of Greater Washington’s Family Dance, where Peri Leighty and Darrow Sherman were playing for the dance. Their inspiring performance is what piqued Zoë's interest in folk music (she also plays Old Time and Scottish fiddle), and how she became acquainted with Mitch Fanning. Zoë started taking lessons with Mitch Fanning, going to Irish sessions, and diving deeper into the tradition with MAD week. In no time, Zoë was completely hooked on Irish music. Another one of Zoë’s passions is singing. She sang with a children's chorus, and most recently, she has started performing with the Washington Revels (Darrow’s right, they are awesome! Definitely check them out!). Zoë has now been playing Trad Irish for about a year, and currently studies with Brian Conway. She has been playing with the Bog Band for about six months, and is honored to be part of this wonderful group of musicians!
The Original Bog Boys: Robert Coleman, Gabriel McKenna, Casey Mueller, Benson Welles, Gardi Royce.
Second-Generation Bog Boys: Brendan Coyne, Sam Howard, Oliver Kendall, Oliver Meade, Alan Price, Wren Rudolph, Jamie Sandel.
The Bog Band: Patrick Armstrong, Kaziah Brachfeld, Daniel Brennan, Quinn Carpenter, Dessie Corbet, Maggie Corbet, Gabriel Epstein, Jack Farias, Rownan Gilkes, Tim Glenshaw, Mark Grubbs, Caitlin Hearn, Conor Hearn, Abraham Joyner-Meyers, Peri Leighty, Caroline Kemper, Jesse Kenworthy, Erika Klatt, Emily McFadden, Molly Milne-Gerlaugh, Emily Nice, Anna-Grace O'Malley, Shalini Randall, Mary Schech, Darrow Sherman, Brady Stevens, Samantha Suplee, Gus Vorhees, Rebecca Weiss, Michael Winch