Junior Appalachian Musicians Instructors

Travis Stuart, Instructor

Travis Stuart grew up in Bethel, a rural farming community in Haywood County, North Carolina. Travis along with his brother Trevor grew up immersed in the rich music and Appalachian culture that surrounded them. The Stuart Brothers traveled the globe sharing their fiddle and banjo duets,stories and songs. Always eager to share his music with the younger generation, Travis received the 2019 South Arts Master Fellowship to study cultural music education for youth in the British Isles and the Cajun Prairie of southwestern Louisiana as well as his native Appalachia. Travis has facilitated classes for the Haywood and surrounding JAM programs since its inception in 2000. He has taught at ETSU Bluegrass and Oldtime studies and currently teaches at the Appalachian music department at Warren Wilson college.

Cary Fridley, Instructor

Cary Fridley is an Appalachian singer, bassist, and innovative educator. Her style is rooted in tradition, and has evolved to embrace all styles of traditional country, blues, folk, and jazz. She is a published songwriter, recording artist, and bandleader, singing and performing in western North Carolina for over 15 years. She is currently a member of the Adjunct Fine Arts Faculty at AB-Tech in Asheville, NC, and teaches old-time guitar at two regional JAM (Junior Appalachian Musician) programs, Haywood County and Buncombe County. Check out Cary's website: https://caryfridleymusic.com/

Maddy Mullany, Instructor

Maddy Mullany has been playing and performing fiddle tunes since the age of 9. Growing up in New Mexico, she learned a repertoire from her parents (both fiddle players) and local musicians; however, since moving to Asheville in 2012, she has been exploring Western North Carolina fiddle tunes as well as Round Peak styles. Maddy now plays banjo, fiddle and guitar in various bands. Maddy studied Art with a minor in Traditional Music at Warren Wilson College. Since getting her degree, she has been on several music tours internationally, including a fusion project with a traditional band in rural China, and a tour playing for the Bailey Mountain Cloggers in Colombia. These tours culminated in recorded albums of Jenny and the Hog Drovers, and the Georgia Horseshoes. Maddy is excited to be joining the staff of the Haywood JAM program. She teaches tunes learned from source recordings, by ear, with a focus on rhythm and bowing patterns.

Sarah Gilbert, Instructor

Sarah Gilbert began with violin, learning first in middle school orchestra and becoming a more serious student of classical music at the age of 16. She later abandoned music for many years after struggling with performance anxiety. Although singing and jamming were common occurrences in her household (mostly rock and roll and blues), her travels brought her to love traditional forms of music such as Irish, Cajun, Blues, and of course, Old Time. Sarah has toured with many groups across genres and can be seen fiddling with Jackson Grimm and the Bull Moose Party as well as recording, competing, and occasionally teaching. She has been enjoying the strong sense of community surrounding Appalachian music in WNC for ten years now and is currently nested in Waynesville, NC.

Keilan Aplin-Siegel, Instructor

Toronto-born Keilan Aplin-Siegel happened upon Old-Time music in her second year of high school and has since become deeply entwined in the tradition. After spending a few years enamored with the banjo, she took up learning the fiddle. Over the years Keilan has made lasting musical connections with musical peers and idols such as Foghorn Stringband at festivals and fiddle camps around the United States.