The New Hampshire Fiddle Ensemble

Coaches and Guest Musicians

Ellen Carlson

Exeter, Manchester and Tilton Coach

Ellen Carlson is the founder and Executive Director of the New Hampshire Fiddle Ensemble. She has a strong grasp on several musical genres. She has played with bluegrass, swing, western swing, country, Irish and square dance bands. Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine gave her a coveted highlight review for her solo album "People I Play With" as well as three excellent reviews for her band High Range, calling her "a talented musician." Ellen teaches at numerous festivals and workshops including Fiddle Hell, Grey Fox, Joe Val, and Pemi Valley. She is a member of the NH State Council on the Arts Teaching Roster.

Ellen Carlson: email Ellen or visit her website


Melissa Bragdon Caron

Kittery and Westbrook Coach

Melissa Bragdon Caron is the Associate Director of the New Hampshire Fiddle Ensemble. She is a Maine-based fiddler known for playing and teaching many different styles of music. Classically trained, she received a degree in Music Education at the University of Maine and has experience teaching string programs and general music at various grade levels in the Maine public schools. Melissa has been a member of the Portland-based bluegrass band Jerks of Grass since 2006 and also plays with the old-time band Sugar Hill. She recently recorded an album, "Stuff That Works," with Fiddlers Three. Melissa teams up with Ellen Carlson to organize Fiddleheads Acoustic Jam Camp, a music camp for acoustic musicians held each September in New Hampshire. Melissa was greatly involved in the development of 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth, Maine, where she taught fiddle and acoustic ensembles for twelve years. Melissa also teaches at her studio in Scarborough, Maine. She enjoys spending time with her two young sons, Daniel and Aidan.


Shana Aisenberg

Tamworth and Rhythm Coach

Shana is a nationally recognized multi-instrumentalist, playing, composing, recording, and teaching diverse acoustic roots styles from traditional southern Appalachian and Celtic, to eastern European Klezmer, bottleneck blues and jazz. She has been a national flatpicking champion.

Shana Aisenberg: (603) 393-3759 website


Amy Conley

Guest Coach

Amy is a full-time performer and teacher of music based in Milford, NH, offering classes and lessons in ukulele, guitar, banjo, percussion, piano, and harmonica (on Zoom and in Milford). Leading community music programs such as the Rise Up Singing group "Second Friday Song Circle" and therapeutic singalongs for seniors and persons with special needs, Amy draws people into the joy of music. She established Amy Conley Music in 1997 and also offers Ukulele Playshops for groups, music enrichment programs for schools, Song and Puppet Concerts, Early Childhood parent/child "Music in Nature" and more. Amy has recorded three CD's of family folk songs. Location for NH Fiddle orchestra: Amy Conley Music, 102 Elm St., Milford NH 03055 Contact phone 603-249-9560 (no texts) Email:



Betsy Heron

Guest Coach

Betsy grew up on a farm in central Massachusetts, playing throughout her childhood in a family country band called the Housejackers which included her parents and three sisters. Today she regularly performs around New England with her husband in the old-time and bluegrass duo Green Heron, as well as with her three sisters in the Green Sisters. She started out learning classical music in grade school and was in the Massachusetts Central Districts orchestra for several years through high school; however, her passion turned to Irish and contradance fiddle tunes after about the fourth grade. Old-time fiddle tunes are her favorite, but she loves all styles.


Mitch Reed

Guest Coach


Mitch Reed: "I am a multi-instrumentalist, traditional music instructor, and storyteller. Born in Bayou Vista, raised in Lafayette by musicians and storytellers from Mamou, at 15 I began playing the fiddle and studying traditional Cajun and Creole music. By 17 I toured as a cultural ambassador in Smithsonian Institution Office of Folklife Programs, and have continued to work with them since 1989. During my career, I have played alongside Louisiana greats such as Canray Fontenot, Bois Sec Ardoin, Charles Neville, and George Porter. I have performed on four Grammy Nominated albums, and in 2009 I was awarded a Grammy with BeauSoleil for the album 'Live at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.' Over the years I have built an extensive repertoire and learned an old style of playing which is evident in my sound today."


Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki

Guest Coach

Bringing fresh energy to traditional Celtic music, Jordan is an award-winning New Hampshire-based fiddler/singer who has been performing professionally for over two decades. He has toured nationally with bands in various genres, performed across Ireland, and released multiple recordings of Celtic music that can be heard on radio stations in Ireland and Scotland as well as around New England. He is also an Emmy-nominated composer who has written soundtracks for audiobooks and television and appeared as a guest on over 75 albums. His lifelong passion for history helps bring to life the traditional music around which he built his career.


Darrell Carlson

Guest Musician

He started playing guitar at 9 and quickly developed into a sought after singer and player in the northwestern Connecticut/New York region even at age 14. He started his own band with his brother Bruce and sister Ellen along with 3 neighborhood kids at age 13 and has continued to play for 40 more years thoroughly enjoying playing with others of all levels.


Kris Day

Guest Musician


He is most recognizable as a member of the New England roots music scene. He's spent the last 25 years as a member of rockabilly quartet King Memphis and over a decade as bassist for bluegrass favorites Jerks of Grass and Travis-picking guitar slinger Sean Mencher and his Rhythm Kings. Kris has performed in 38 states, Canada and Europe holding down the low end for rock n' roll legends Link Wray, Dale Hawkins, Ronnie Dawson, Sleepy LaBeef and Joe Clay as well as performing with an array of artists ranging from bluegrass mandolin hero Matt Flinner to Brazilian singer Celia Vaz to Gypsy Jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel (as a member of Hot Club of Portland). For the last 15 years Kris has spent his days teaching music at Buckdancers Choice in Portland, Maine and his nights performing live in and around New England.