There are many fancy fiddlers out there, but none can surpass Hanneke Cassel in blending technical prowess with the sounds that touch the marrow of your bones. Hanneke will be performing a benefit concert on Friday, November 19 at 7:30 PM at The Leura Eastman Performing Arts Center on the Campus of Fryeburg Academy. Joining Hanneke Cassel will be band members Mike Block and Christopher Lewis.


Native of Port Orford, Oregon, Hanneke started playing classical violin when she was 8-years old. She met Portland-based fiddler Carol Ann Wheeler when she was 10 at a Texas-style fiddle contest. She soon quit classical, started taking fiddle lessons with Carol Ann, and began competing in contests throughout the Northwest. A few years later, Carol Ann encouraged Hanneke to learn some Scottish tunes. In 1991, Hanneke entered the Columbia-Pacific Scottish Fiddle Contest in Portland. She won the Jr. Contest and went on a year later to capture the U.S. National Scottish Jr. Championship in New Hampshire. With this honor came a scholarship to study on the Isle of Skye, Scotland with the renowned Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Cape Breton master Buddy MacMaster. These two quickly became her fiddle heroes and continue to inspire her music. Hanneke set off for Boston in 1996 to attend Berklee College of Music on a string scholarship and since her graduation has been an active member of the Boston music scene.


“She is already a rising star in the Celtic skies…her musical ideas are savvy and sophisticated, but her throaty, gusting style is deeply banked in the Scottish and Cape Breton traditions,” according to the Boston Globe.  Such charismatic fiddling has brought Hanneke many honors and awards while performing and teaching across the U.S., Scotland, Sweden, China, New Zealand, France, England, and Austria.


Mentor and fiddle giant Alasdair Fraser on her first album in 2001, “A great debut album by one of the most talented and fun-loving young fiddlers you could ever hope to meet! This is fiddle music played with great stylistic integrity and personal flair – definitely a joy to listen to! Go Hanneke, and gie it laldie!”   


In addition to her solo act, Hanneke has played for the Cathie Ryan Band, and is a member of Boston-based fiddle bands Childsplay and Halali.  She has made guest appearances with Cherish the Ladies, Alasdair Fraser, Matt Glaser and the Wayfaring Strangers, Ensemble Galilei, Aine Minogue, and Joey McIntyre. Her fiddling has graced the stages of Boston’s Symphony Hall (opening for Judy Collins), Mountain Stage, The Plaza Hotel, Lincoln Center, the Boston Hatch Shell, and the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.


The mission of the Tin Mountain Conservation Center is “to promote an appreciation of the environment among children, families, and the community through hands-on programs in the schools, at camp, and in the community.” Tin Mountain Conservation Center relies on the generosity and participation of the community to fulfill its mission. Come enjoy some toe tapping music while supporting environmental education in the community. “Nature there is no better classroom…..”


Tickets for the Hanneke Cassel concert are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students and be purchased by calling the Performing Arts Center Box office at 207-935-9232.