performance

The Yellowjacket Stringband is from Urbana Illinois and includes Kate Fritz on fiddle and banjo, Claire Johnson on fiddle, and Tom Turino on guitar, banjo, and accordion. Come hear what all the buzz is about and enjoy an eclectic mix of old-time, blues, Irish, and Cape Breton tunes!
Email us at yellowjacketstringband@gmail.com

The Yellow Jackets play regularly at C-U venues like Buvons, Chmapaign and Urbana libraries, and the Iron Post as well as for local and midwest regional contra dances.

Kate Fritz is a multi-instrumentalist (fiddle, banjo, guitar) currently living in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Her music draws direct inspiration from living Scottish, Irish, Cape Breton, and American old time music traditions.

She grew up in the roots music scene of the Bay Area under the auspices of the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers Club, directed by master fiddler Alasdair Fraser. As a teenager Kate went to Alasdair’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle school, where she was taught by Liz Carroll, Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky, Martin Hayes, Steve Baughman and many others who continue to be great influences on her style. Kate got a degree from NYU’s Gallatin School in China studies, environmental policy and political philosophy. She lived cumulatively for two years in Asia, mostly in Kunming “city of eternal spring” in China’s sublime Yunnan Province. She travels annually as resident fiddler for the Gesundheit Institute’s humanitarian clown trip to Moscow and St Petersburg, Russia.

Upon moving to Champaign-Urbana, the Champaign County News Gazette dubbed Kate a “local fiddling sensation”, a moniker which has stuck like gum to the underside of a picnic table. In 2012 Kate gave performances at Mocktober Fest and Mercury Portal in Tucson, AZ, the Postock music festival in Wisconsin, and opened for super-star fiddle player April Verch at the CU Folk and Roots Festival.

In addition to playing solo, Kate plays regularly with the Yellow Jacket String Band. The group features Claire Johnson (5-string fiddle, vocals), Tom Turino (guitar, steel guitar, banjo, vocals, yodel) and Kate. YJSB started out playing for Midwest regional contra dances, and has recently broadened its repertoire for club shows that include Kate singing and playing finger style guitar in addition to playing 4 and 5 string fiddles and claw hammer banjo. YJSB made a debut Midwest contra tour in fall 2012 that included appearances in Urbana, Chicago, Indianapolis, Bloomington IN, and Cincinnati.

Owner Operator
@Broken Rock All original country Band TMG Records recording artist
@ www.brokenrockyonder.com
@ Hanging vines Studio
@ Yankee Bride Publishing @ ascap#3333074

Greg House @ Ascap member # 3290766
member (IRAA) Internationa Recording Association of America

Professional Musician, songwriter and performer

Credits- Opened for Aaron Tippin
played the Daily Buzz (syndicated nationwide tv show)

Robert Quinlan is a freelance theatre director based in Illinois. Recent projects include Richard III at Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre; #thisrocks and #wink for the Fifth House Ensemble in Chicago; a Mandarin-language production of Jean Genet’s The Maids at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore; and The Magic Bicycle by John Olive for First Stage Children’s Theatre in Milwaukee. He has been a regular Guest Artist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he has directed Killer Joe, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, The llusion, and 44 Plays for 44 Presidents. He was the Assistant Director for the Broadway production of Superior Donuts and Steppenwolf’s TheTempest. Robert has taught directing, acting, and text analysis at various colleges and Universities and has worked widely as a text coach in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. He was the Associate Artistic Director and Education Director at Milwaukee Shakespeare Company for several seasons and holds an MFA in Directing from Illinois State University.

I am currently the owner of Heartland Gallery, where I exhibit my photography of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, The Isle of Man and other European countries in addition to local scenes. I have been selling my digital photos since 2004, when I opened a home-based gallery called Celticscapes. I also do wedding and event calligraphy, as well as art calligraphy, and watercolor painting. My background is varied, though I have no art-related degrees. I have had numerous classes in drawing and painting, including most recently with Professor Emeritus Don Lake and Jamie Kruidenier, both formerly of Parkland College.

I am also an actor/performer, and have had involvements with many local groups including The Celebration Company at the Station Theatre (actor, dancer), The Champaign-Urbana Ballet company (dancer), the Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company (actor, designer, assistant director, producer), and Parkland College (actor). I have also danced with the Thistle and Heather Highland Dancers of Chicago and the (former) Mullane Academy of Irish Dance in Champaign.

Grammy, Tony, & Emmy winning cellist and Broadway veteran, Barbara Hedlund enjoys a rich, active, widely varied career as soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, recitalist, orchestral musician, fine arts administrator, university professor, music librarian, editor/publisher, adjudicator, and associate producer for Public Radio & Television.

She is listed in the Marquis Directories of "Who's Who in America", "Who's Who in the Midwest", "Who's Who of American Women", "Who's Who in American Universities", the International "Who's Who in Music and Musicians Directory", "Who's Who in the World", the National Register's "Who's Who in Executives and Professionals" edition & "America's Registry of Outstanding Professionals", plus the Cambridge directory for "Who's Who Among Executive & Professional Women.

She currently performs as: Principal Cellist: Champaign Urbana Symphony, Danville Symphony, Prairie Ensemble, Sugar Creek Opera Festival, Heartland Festival Orchestra & previously for the Illinois Symphony and Chamber Orchestra and Sinfonia da Camera.

As an arts administrator, she is a founder and member of the Urbana Public Arts Commissioner, the Executive Director/Owner/Founder of 1st Choice Music Services & VCello Music Publications, Orchestra Personnel Manager for The Prairie Ensemble & Heartland Festival Orchestra, adviser to area orchestras, administrator for the Strings Festivals at Eureka College, Co-Founder & Producer of the former Mills Breast Cancer Institute Weekly Music Series (2007-12) plus numerous area ensembles and performance series.

As an educator, she is an Instructor for the UI OLLI program, Strings Festivals at Eureka College, & Cellobration Studios.

Her awards include shared Emmy, Tony, Grammy, & Gran Prix du Disque Awards, the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Honoree, Nominations for the IL Governor's Arts Award & 40 North Ace Awards, and others.

For comprehensive information is available on my web site.

The Prompting Theater is a local theater ensemble comprised adults actors who happen to have developmental disabilities. They write (or adapt) their own scripts (or classic scripts and stories) and perform them. They typically do two or three shows a year, with a few fundraisers scattered about. They began in 1995 and continue to this day to charm their audiences, make them laugh, make them think, and make them enjoy some fun theater. The troupe is based at Developmental Services Center, and typically perform at the SoDo Theater in downtown Champaign.

Kim

Kim Sheahan has been a central Illinois educator since 1991, incorporating oral traditions into her multicultural programs at the University of Illinois' Spurlock Museum. She added freelance storytelling about ten years later and has performed at storytelling festivals, school assemblies, city-wide celebrations, personal parties, and gatherings of all kinds ever since. Her enthusiasm is both unmistakable and contagious. Let her share the joy and power of the tale with you at your next special event

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