Monday October 26 , 2020
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Workshop Instructors 2018


Stan Chapman is a renowned teacher and an accomplished fiddle player, well-known in musical circles. At an early age he progressed through the Toronto Conservatory violin and music theory programs, with his interest in the fiddle tradition coming from his father and uncle who were both fiddlers. Stan, now a retired elementary school music teacher, currently resides in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He has taught the Cape Breton style of fiddling for close to 40 years, both in private and group lessons to students like Natalie MacMaster and Ashley MacIsaac. He has also directed the Cape Breton Fiddler's Association and many youth groups in public performances. Stan has conducted fiddle workshops in Canada and the United States as well as having taught at the Gaelic College for many years. Presently a part time lecturer in Culture and Heritage at Cape Breton University in Sydney, he teaches a performance course in CB fiddling.




Raised in Whycocomagh, Inverness County, Stephanie MacDonald has been playing the fiddle and step dancing since the age of 5. She attended classes at the Gaelic College and took fiddle lessons from many accomplished Cape Breton fiddlers. She has family connections with the Barra MacNeils, fiddlers Carl and Hector MacKenzie, and Gaelic singer and story-teller, the late Max MacNeil. Stephanie plays for square dances, concerts, ceilidhs, community events, and also conducts fiddle, stepdance, and square dance workshops. She is a highly regarded step dancer, following in the Cape Breton tradition. Stephanie is a long-time member of the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association and currently is on the Board of Directors.  She has performed with them in Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Boston, and Scotland. Stephanie teaches high school music, chemistry, and math at Dalbrae Academy in Mabou.


Kolten MacDonell, originally from Glencoe, Cape Breton is a former student and now long-time teacher at the Gaelic College. Still at a young age, he is already a wealth of knowledge and talent as Kolten plays and teaches fiddle and piano and step dances too! He has been influenced in piano by Stephanie Wills, in fiddle by Brenda Stubbert and Jerry Holland, and in step by Bonnie Jean (MacDonald) Cutcliffe. He currently works with the Colchester East Hants Health Authority in Truro, Nova Scotia.


Susan MacLean grew up in Washabuck, Cape Breton, and came into music honestly. Her enthusiasm for the Cape Breton style piano led her to pick out some chords herself and to ask, watch, and listen to the best performers, including many in her own very musical family. She credits much of her success to the encouragement of her late grandfather, Michael Anthony MacLean, who was a well-known fiddle player. Now with years of performing and teaching under her belt, she is a regular on the music scene. Susan has a Master’s Degree in Deaf Education and is employed full time with the Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority as a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.


Kyle MacNeil loves his job. A founding member of the Barra MacNeils, music has been a focal point in Kyle’s life for as long as he can remember. Kyle started playing guitar at age seven and soon after switched to violin, on which he was classically trained at Mount Allison University.

The pinnacle of his impressive musical career includes sharing the stage with international superstar Celine Dion when the Barra MacNeils opened her sell-out “The Colour of My Love” tour. Playing sold out stadiums was an experience Kyle will never forget, but regardless if they are playing in front of college kids, soccer moms or retirees, the Barra MacNeils’ engaging performances are always something special for the audience and performers alike.

Kyle currently teaches a Cape Breton fiddle course at Cape Breton University, and also offers private lessons in both the Cape Breton and the classical violin styles. When not on the road, Kyle regularly hits the ice for a game of hockey or perfects his swing on the golf course.