Thomas Murphy, a mandolinist, was a member of Fiddlers ReStrung and the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic while in high school. After graduating from high school he attended Eastern Michigan University for two years, before leaving to pursue a career as an audio engineer in the metro Detroit area. He has been the Technical Director for the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic since 2017 and recently accepted a position as an Assistant Artistic Director. Apart from making music, Thomas enjoys cooking, watching movies, and spending time with his cat, Nemo.
Claire Barnich is a former member of The Saline Fiddlers and former director of Fiddlers ReStrung. She has played viola, violin, and was a featured vocalist. Claire has a masters degree in vocal music education from Michigan State University. She taught K-8 music in Ypsilanti for eight years prior to becoming a stay home mom to two beautiful boys. She is thrilled to reconnect with the Saline Fiddler tradition as a vocal coach.
Rebecca is a performing vocalist and holds degrees in voice performance from both the University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University. She has appeared in the roles of Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Madame Goldentrill from Mozart’s The Impresario, Annina in Verdi’s La Traviata and has most recently covered the role of Clara in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with New York Harlem Productions’ Winter 2015 tour in Switzerland, the Netherlands and France.
In addition to working with the Fiddlers on their vocal pieces and assisting in the musical arrangements, she is currently the coordinator for YArts Detroit, the humanities branch of the Boll Family YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit. She has also held administrative positions with EMU Bright Futures 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program and most recently served as the Great Lakes Regional Specialist for Audience Development for SphinxCon, the Sphinx Organization’s national conference focused on issues surrounding diversity and inclusion in the arts.
Ashley has been passionately playing and teaching music in the US and abroad for as long as she can remember. She graduated from DePaul University in her native Chicago in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music in music education. She moved to Israel in 2011 where she became fluent in Hebrew and pursued her Masters Degree in string instrument education and pedagogy at Tel Aviv University. She recently resettled in Ann Arbor with her husband, Rotem, who studies orchestral conducting at U of M, and her spirited cat, Bambi. She enjoys exploring the infinite world of music, especially folk and ethnic musics. She is thrilled to be a part of the SFP family and hopes to inspire and guide these talented young musicians to a lifetime of music making. She looks forward to bringing the joy and passion of their music to the surrounding community! In her free time she enjoys painting, drawing, cooking, watching movies, and, of course, playing her fiddle.
Dianne Newberry has been vocal coaching The Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic since 2005. She has helped many fiddlers students find a “voice” they didn’t know they had! She has taught music in the public schools, lead children’s church choirs and is a cantor at First Presbyterian Church, Saline.
Dianne has a music education degree from Eastern Michigan University where she studied French horn with Dr. Willard Zirk. She loves teaching private French horn lessons and still plays professionally in pit orchestras whenever she can.
Dianne works as a board certified Music Therapist at Huron Woods with adults who have dementia and for The University of Michigan with preschool age children who have language delays. Dianne also runs a private practice working with individuals of all ages who are developmentally disabled and/or on the autism spectrum and individuals with neurological impairments.
Thomas, a recent alum of the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic, now assists the group with the technical aspects of performances.
Becca Wright was a member of Fiddlers ReStrung for four years during high school, continued on as a part of the leadership team for that group for a year, and is now an Assistant Artistic director with Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic. She has a passion for teaching young cellists and enjoys the freedom and creativity fiddling provides. She hopes to foster this love in all of her students and the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic cello section. Becca has worked with many notable musicians through workshops and camps and is always looking for new techniques to learn. She hopes to contribute to the continuation of the tradition of a beloved Saline fiddling group and family. Becca is currently pursuing a degree in nursing from Eastern Michigan University.
Photo by Laurel Photography.
Sheila Graziano has been teaching and performing various styles of percussive dance since the early 1980s. She started out with ten years of tap dance lessons while growing up in Detroit. Once introduced to Appalachian clogging, the journey to explore other styles of dance began. She has since worked as a soloist, team member, choreographer, and artistic director in different configurations of dance/music ensembles. Sheila began working with Fiddlers Philharmonic in the mid-1990s, expanding their show offerings and highlighting the relationship between music and dance. This is her 20th consecutive year teaching clogging & more to high school students in Saline, and is delighted to be part of the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic team. She performs and teaches workshops at events & camps, and has ongoing classes for local folks.