Eli Bender (Cello, Week 2)
Cellist, educator, and composer Eli Bender has recently relocated to Victoria, BC where he is the new music director at a Montessori School. Having completed his studies in Music Education at Michigan State University where his growth as a cellist was overseen by Suren Bagratuni, his work in the realm of creative musicianship led him to study with cello masters such as Mike Block, Natalie Haas, and Rushad Eggleston. Current projects include floor-fiddling cello duo Hale & Hearty, BC dance band Compassion Gorilla, and the chamber-folk sextet (of Melissa Brun fame) The Sound Accord.
Marcy Marxer (Ukulele/Vocals, Week 1)
Marcy is a multi-instrumentalist, studio musician, performer, teacher, songwriter and producer with 30 years of experience and a heart of gold. She has played acoustic music on Emmy Award winning National Geographic specials, platinum shipping Eva Cassidy CD’s and on over 100 recordings and instructional materials created with her partner, Cathy Fink. Marcy’s guitar playing spans a variety of styles like swing rhythm and lead, bluegrass, old time, celtic fingerpicking, and folk fingerpicking. She also plays mandolin, bouzouki, hammered dulcimer, Latin percussion, banjos, pennywhistle and flutes and of course, the beloved ukulele. Marcy is all about connecting music and people. She co-directs UKEFEST at The Music Center at Strathmore, and runs the online Ukulele Social Club – a worldwide social network of ukulele players.
Jacquie Walbaum (Choir/Vocals, Week 2)
Jacqui Walbaum is a highly regarded teacher and performer in Southeast Saskatchewan. Newly minted with her Bachelor’s of Education, Jacqui combines her adept musicianship with deep pedagogical knowledge. Her innovative approach to choral singing combines traditional call and response learning with fun modern music. She performs with her husband Aaron Walbaum as Wooltree Grove, a duo with passionate lyrics and tight harmonies. In 2017 Jacqui and Donna Turk co-founded Focal Point, a youth ensemble pairing traditional fiddle music with pop tunes, and they are excited to perform in Scotland next year.