Returning students will notice some new faces in our teaching studios this fall. We are delighted to welcome fiddlers Maggie Robinson, Tamora Goltz, Ellen Gawler, and Tyler Lienhardt.  Multi-instrumentalist John McCain will teach guitar, bass and songwriting and Jill Palmer is looking forward to teaching flute students. 

Maggie Robinson has been teaching fiddle since 2003.  She began taking fiddle lessons a292544_1905582398763_1217851996_31637092_7038709_nt the age of 10 and became concert mistress of her school orchestra during her senior year.   Many years later she discovered Contradancing and fell in love with the music  She took the violin out of the closet and began learning fiddle tunes. She completed a course in 2003 at the Hartt College of Music, Theater, & Dance on “Teaching Fiddling”. 

Currently she is teaching at several locations in greater Portland, and also regularly calls for contra dances around the state. Maggie is also on the staff at Maine Fiddle Camp where she specializes in working with beginner adult students. 

tamora-goltzTamora Goltz has been playing the fiddle since the early 1980’s and teaching for more than two decades. She teaches a broad range of music and created the strings program at Ashwood Waldorf school. Tamora is primarily known for her music in the Irish/Celtic tradition and in the world of Contra Dance.

Tamora has played in numerous bands and settings, including performing with the late Kerry Elkin (a pioneer of adapting Irish music for contra dancing ) and a long stint with the Maine based dance band Calliope. She’s currently involved in a number of groups including an occasional trio with husband David Stimson and fiddler Alden Robbinson, the contra dance band Steampacket, and her band Curlew, a group with husband, son, and Irish piper Darryn Petersen.

Ellen Gawler  has been playing fiddle since the age of seven and is conversant in many styles, including Irish, Maritime, Quebecois, Shetland, and New IMG_7108England.  She has been a member of the Maine Country Dance Orchestra, Old Grey Goose, Trillium, Borovchani, Pine Hill Band, Village Harmony, Childsplay, and Ladies of the Lake. She also tours with her husband and 3 daughters as the Gawler Family.

Ellen has been awarded the Maine Arts Commission Master Artist/Apprenticeship Grant, to teach traditional Maine fiddling. As c0-founder of the Pineland Suzuki School, she directs the Pineland Fiddlers, an aspiring youth fiddle group who are dedicated to the traditional music of Main. Ellen is a Suzuki violin/fiddle teacher of 25 years, and continues to teach at Snow Pond School of the Arts, fiddle workshops, music camps and institutes and at her home in Belgrade.


John McCain has been a 317 Main Partnership Program teaching artist for several years, and the multi-instrumentalist is now expanding his role to teach private and group lessons. John has been playing acoustic and electric guitar and bass for over 35 years. He has taught privately for over 25 years.

John’s studies have led him to delve into many genres (rock, funk, jazz, classical), as well as cultural styles (Hawaiian slack key, South Indian veena, Vietnamese guitar, and more).

John studied privately with many of the greats of jazz guitar (George Van Eps, Tal Farlow, Ted Greene, Bill Connors) and has continued to deepen his knowledge and appreciation of music through the years.

He has been invited to lecture at numerous University music departments on various musical topics. John has toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and recorded with musicians as diverse as Richard Thompson, Henry Kaiser, and Raymond Kane.

Jill Palmer  specializes in  flute and piano and holds a Music Education degree from the University of Southern Maine.  She has been a music teacher at Georgetown Central School for the last 14 years and also leads the teen band at St. Charles Church in Brunswick.

Jill, her husband their two children and a dog make their home in Brunswick.

Please join us in welcoming Maggie, Tamora, Ellen, Tyler,  John and Jill.