Franco-American fiddler, educator & publisher
• Fiddling Demystified channel on YouTube.
“Outstanding artistic achievement” MA Governor Deval Patrick - 2009 Commonwealth Awards
“Donna gets it all right!” String pioneer Darol Anger in his foreword to Donna’s “Fiddling Demystified”
“One of the most emotional moments in the 50th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival for me came when a crowd sat under their umbrellas in a driving rainstorm and sang along to the only real National Anthem this country ever deserved, Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” performed by a group of children [The Great Groove Band].” John Swenson: Music on My Mind blog, 8/24/11.
NEW!Here’s Donna teaching and playing two settings of traditional reels from fiddler Louis Beaudoin. First tune is Gaspé Reel, second is Dad’s Reel aka Reel des éboulements. Recorded 10/14/12 in Montpelier VT. Donna is performing a program of Mr. Beaudoin’s music with the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra Dec 1 in Montpelier.
NEW! Southern Tour - Donna and guitarist Max Cohen toured the South in Jan-Feb 2012 with dances, concerts, festivals and workshops in GA, TN, NC, SC, MD and PA. They celebrated the release of their new duet CD, “Orange on Blue”. Guitarist Rolly Brown caught their show in Philadelphia and commented:
“Really enjoyed meeting you and Max and loved your concert the other night. Bravo to Max’s fingerstyle and accompaniment guitar!. It was real music in a real setting…just the kind of thing I like. And without knowing a whole lot about fiddle technique, it was still very obvious to me that your bowing technique is a cut above most anything else I’ve ever seen/heard; relaxed, powerful, fluid, and, above all, musical. Bravo!”
Returning home, Max and Donna performed in late Feb. for the Concord MA Scout House contradance with bassist Stuart Kenney and caller Lucia Watson. Donna ran the Monday Night Yankee Ingenuity Contradance at the Scout House from 1976-1985 and was very pleased to return to her old stomping grounds. Tours, performances, residencies
Here’s a YouTube clip of Max and Donna playing the Jan. 27 Friday Night Contradance in Glen Echo MD at the Spanish Ballroom in Glen Echo Park. The tunes are Brasstown and Uncle Bob’s Boogie, both composed by Donna in the 1980s. Caller is Louie Cromartie from Chapel Hill, NC.
Donna, Max and Donna’s daughter Molly Hebert-Wilson (AKA “Mist Covered Mountains“) will present their Celtic and contemporary folk music in concert Saturday March 3 at Sweeney Hall at Smith College in Northampton MA. Concert is at 4 pm and is free, presented by the Smith College Music Department.
Students at Donna’s Jan. 2012 residency at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown NC commented:
“It was a privilege to be part of this class. Donna gave excellent guidance and music. Her expertise on the fiddle was offered clearly without being overwhelming. Her teaching was personal and generous with very helpful, specific advice. She taught me the keys to playing powerfully and sensitively, projecting the whole music picture while giving specific techniques that conveyed the emotional beauty of the music, all with a ‘can-do’ enthusiasm.” Linda Allen, NC
“Donna balanced the needs of the class while presenting new areas to grow in our musical journey. She gave us the tools to develop our artistry and expression after we leave the class.” Pete Mannheim, Canada
“Awesome! Donna gave appropriate information without overwhelming us. Her class changed the way I played for the better! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!” Lindsey Liden, NC
“Fantastic – great balance of techniques, theory, tunes and context.” David Liden, NC
“Excellent, comprehensive presentation of fiddle music with inclusion of theory, new tunes, fiddling techniques that will help me in my skills as a musician.” Kevin Barry, NC
NEW! Online fiddle lessons are catching fire! Student playing levels range from very basic to highly skilled. Donna teaches fundamental skills, repertoire, theory and style. Students learn groove bowings in French-Canadian, Irish, Scots, Appalachian Old-Time and Contradance fiddle genres. “It all comes down to grooves, to mastering the rhythms,” says Donna. Lessons require a high-speed broadband internet connection and a Skype and/or a Gmail account. Ten-lesson contract offers substantial discount. U.S. students send checks, those outside the U.S. use PayPal. (PayPal Verified) Please contact [email protected] to discuss an online lesson plan. >> Lesson materials & Teaching programs
Students and parents on distance-learning with Donna:
“She has devoted a large part of her life to analysing and researching fiddle music, and is able to pass this knowledge on to her students in a very accessible, friendly way. Because of this dedication, her lessons are always something to look forward to. I recommend Donna’s teaching to anyone interested in improving their fiddle playing.” Judy Oleinikov, Melbourne, Australia, fiddler
“Donna teaches to our daughter’s level and then encourages her to progress with every lesson – I can’t even believe the improvement she has made in such a short time! We love Ms. Donna and wish she lived next door – but since she doesn’t – online is the next best thing.”Paula Hanes-Stetter, Aurora NY, parent
Freebies and fun fiddling pages . . .
NEW! Donna’s fiddling tutor for strings is now available online in fiddle, viola, cello editions “Fiddling Demystified should be required reading for all string teachers hoping to branch out into fiddling.” Laura Risk, Strings Magazine. >> Donna’s other books
NEW! Mrs. McLeod’s Reel – from Scotland to Appalachia – six authentic settings for one extraordinary tune – sheet music pdfs, lesson and jam mp3s with fiddler Donna Hébert and guitarist Max Cohen.
NEW! Jamming Successfully - how to have a great time at a jam!
NEW! Donna’s music and contradance poetry, including “The Fiddler’s Eye,” now published here. Check it out!