Festival Stages


The Groves

10:00 – 10:45 Mari Black

11:00 – 11:30 Opening Ceremony (Quiet on stage)

11:30 – 12:15 Ed Miller Braw Band

12:30 – 1:15 Piper Jones Band

1:30 – 2:15 Mike Ogletree

2:30 – 3:15 Ed Miller Braw Band

3:30 – 4:30 Piper Jones Band

The Groves II

10:00- 11:00 Pipe Dream

11:00 – 11:30 Opening Ceremony (Quiet on stage)

11:30 – 12:15 Sean Heely Band

12:30-1:15 Strathspan

1:30 – 2:15 Pipe Dream

2:30 – 3:30 Sean Heely

3:45-4:30 Strathspan

Alex Beaton Stage

10:00 – 10:45  Voices of Valverda

11:00 – 11:30 Opening Ceremony (Quiet on stage)

11:30 – 12:15 Tune Sheperds

12:30 – 1:15 Colin Shoemaker

1:30 – 2:15  Tune Sheperds

2:30 – 3:15  Colin Shoemaker

3:30 – 4:30 Voices Of Valverda

Friday Night


6:30 – 7:15 Pipe Dream

7:30 – 8:30 Piper Jones Band

8:45 – 10:00 Seven Nations 


The Groves

10:00 – 11:00 Mari Black

11:00 – 11:50 Field Ceremony (Quiet on stage)

12:00-12:45 Piper Jones Band

1:00 – 2:00 Ed Miller Braw Band

2:15 – 3:00 Reel Sisters

3:15 – 4:00 Piper Jones Band

4:15 – 5:00 Ed Miller Braw Band

The Groves II

10:00 – 11:00 Pipe Dream 

11:00 – 11:50 Field Ceremony (Quiet on stage)

12:00 – 12:45 Strathspan 

1:00 – 2:00  Sean Heely Band

2:15 – 3:00 Pipe Dream

3:15 – 4:00 Strathspan

4:15-5:00 Sean Heely Band

Alex Beaton Stage

10:00 – 5:00 Piping Competitions

Saturday Night

6:30 – 7:00 Strathspan

7:15 – 8:00 Sean Heely Band

8:15 – 9:00 Ed Miller Braw Band 

9:15 – 10:00 Piper Jones Band



The Groves

12:00 – 12:45 Mari Black

1:00 -1:45 Reel Sisters

2:00 – 2:45 Ed Miller Braw Band

3:00 – 3:55 Piper Jones Band

3:55 Grove 1 Invasion 

The Groves II

12:00 – 12:45 Sean Heely Band

1:00- 1:45 Strathspan

2:00-2:45 Pipe Dream

3:00-3:55 Sean Heely Band

3:55 Grove 2 Invasion

Alex Beaton Stage

10:00 – 5:00 Piping Competitions





The Ed Miller Braw Band

Our regular Grove One headliners have joined forces with new members here for the first time in a new super-group: The Ed Miller Braw Band

Ed Miller first learned his craft in the pubs and clubs of Edinburgh during the folk revival days of the 1960’s and his repertoire shows the width of that movement. From old traditional ballads and timeless songs of Robert Burns to contemporary songs of urban change, emigration, nationalism and humor, a performance by Ed Miller gives a real taste of Scotland and shows his continuing love and knowledge of his homeland. 

Scooter Muse has his roots in Bluegrass and is an award-winning 5-string banjo player. In the late 1980s he moved into the world of Celtic guitar and then founded the band Full Moon Ensemble, performing for 8 years across the US and in Scotland before joining with Jil’s band, Henri’s Notions, in 2003. Scooter’s first solo recording of original guitar in- strumentals, Saddell Abbey (2005), was purchased by the Scottish Tourist Board in Kintyre. He is also the music director of the Belle Mont Celtic Festival each mid-May in Tuscumbia AL. 

Rich and Maddy Brotherton are a happily-accidental father-daughter duo, born while weathering the pandemic lockdown of the early 2020’s. 

Rich (vocals, guitar, cittern), grew up in a musical family in Augusta, Georgia, taking up the guitar at age eight and working his first solo gigs at 15. He supported himself in bands all through college, spent two summers playing Irish music in Doolin, County Clare, and several years playing bars around Idaho. A move to Austin led to a career on the road performing and touring, mostly with songwriter Robert Earl Keen. Rich now runs his own studio, Ace Recording, in addition to playing with all sorts of musical pals in the Austin area. 

Maddy (fiddle, vocals) grew up playing classical violin from an early age. In college she was instrumental in organizing a fiddle club, and began playing traditional tunes. When lockdown hit, she and Rich began playing live streams for something to do, which led to Maddy joining Ulla, a traditional Irish band in which Rich is a founding member. They have traveled around the country playing festivals, and hold down a weekly Austin residency at the Saxon Pub. 

Jil Chambless has the widest breadth of knowledge and the most powerful female voice of any American touring Scottish Festivals today.  She has numerous albums to her name and was at the bedside of Flora MacDonald Gammon in her last days. Jil is a mathematics professor at the University of Alabama.

Jack Vogt is a professional jazz drummer and composer located in the central Alabama area. Born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Jack studied jazz drumming at the University of New Orleans. He now lives in Tuscaloosa and is a popular drummer-for-hire in the heart of Alabama.

Pipe Dream

Pipe Dream is a new group made up of four pipers who met at GMHG on the competition field and in the campground, and were all students at the NAAPD.They all play Highland Bagpipes and diversified their musical abilities early in life with fiddle, guitar, flutes, and singing.

Mary Elizabeth McQueen was in the prize list for the US Scottish Fiddle Championship and was taught by Brian McNeil and John Taylor. She went to UNC Wilmington for International Studies and now lives and works near Kerrville TX where she is in the band Clandestine with her father Gregory. She came to NC from the age of 11 for more than a decade studying at the NAAPD and competing at GMHG.


David McLeod graduated from Clemson University in Bio-electrical engineering and recently received his PhD in biomedical engineering from George Washington University in May.He plays pipes each autumn at Revel Grove in Annapolis MD and is a prolific songwriter and singer who grew up performing and competing at GMHG.

Alex Stewart is a WNC native and multi-instrumentalist who graduated with honors from University of North Carolina at Greensboro on a full scholarship for oboe performance. For the past few years, Alex has worked for the Abell Flute Co making high end flutes and toured with Peter Mayer’s Stars and Promises Christmas Tour playing five different instruments. He plays all the Celtic winds as well as percussion and has two cats who sadly do not enjoy his bagpipes.

Michael McLeod studying dentistry at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston. He was a student of Jimmy McIntosh and the youngest piper ever to play in the professional grade at the US Piping Foundation.An accomplished singer and guitar player, he working as a solo balladeer at Highland Games across the South in 2021 playing his own arrangements of Scottish songs and original folk music.


Seán Heely Band

Experience the magical music of Scotland and Ireland with the Seán Heely Celtic Band. Featuring U.S National Scottish Fiddle champion and Gaelic singer Seán Heely, acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and All-Ireland singing champion Kevin Elam, bouzouki and bass player Beth Patterson, acclaimed percussionist Lucas Ashby, percussive dancer Agi Kovacs, champion fiddler Colin McGlynn and bagpiper Jesse Ofgang. The Seán Heely Celtic Band presents a groove and drive that gives audiences of all ages the irresistible urge to move! Performing ancient, soaring melodies from Scotland, Ireland, and beyond, while original compositions and modern tunes are fused in seamlessly. Powerful vocal harmonies exist in their ever-growing song repertoire that features Scots Gaelic (Gàidhlig) songs, ballads, sea shanties, pub songs and more from the rich Celtic folk tradition. They have performed in venues such as the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Music center, Hylton Performing Arts Center, 2023 headliners at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, Virginia Scottish games, and the Niel Gow Festival in Scotland.

Mari Black

Called “one of the brightest fiddlers around today” (Brian O’Donovan, WGBH radio), multistyle violinist and champion fiddler MARI BLACK delights audiences around the world with her energetic playing, sparkling stage presence, and dazzlingly virtuosic fiddling. Raised on a rich blend of traditional musical styles, Mari burst onto the international stage when she became Scotland’s Glenfiddich Fiddle Champion, 2-time U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, and 2-time Canadian Maritime Fiddle Champion, all within a three-year period. Ever since then, she has been spreading her love for dance-based music, performing as a featured artist at performing arts centers, Celtic festivals, Scottish Highland Games, celebrated folk venues, world music concert series, and acclaimed classical venues including Carnegie Hall. She can even be heard (and seen!) in the award-winning video game BioShock: Burial at Sea. Mari has appeared with such diverse artists as Irish fiddle master Liz Carroll, Americana master Mark O’Connor, and jazzman Willie Ruff, and been featured on the BBC Radio Scotland, Fox and CBS morning news, and NPR’s “Here and Now.” She has played concerts in Brazil, Scotland, Canada, China, Korea, Zimbabwe, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, and France…and she can’t wait for the next stop! Currently touring nationally with her trio, Mari’s favorite thing to do is sweep audiences away on a spirited musical adventure featuring dance music from around the globe: Celtic, American, and Canadian fiddling, jazz, tango, klezmer, folk, original works, and more!

Seven Nations

Through its touring schedule and dynamic live performances, Seven Nations has become one of the fastest growing live acts nationwide. They have logged in more than one million touring miles trying to make the music universal for old and new fans alike. To the five member band, that means being on tour 85 percent of the year, melding guitar and vocal elements of American pop and rock with Highland bagpipes and fiddle. The result is a high-energy performance that has fans jumping out of their seats, and has sparked interest nationwide.

Lead singer/songwriter and founding member Kirk MacLeod attended bagpipe summer schools in these mountains from the age of 12 and won the first ever John McFadden award for “most promising piper.” Many years later he has led a band through almost a quarter of a million albums sold and some of the most brilliantly powerful and creative Celtic rock ever played.

“We are lucky,” says McLeod, “because we come from two unique cultures. We love American pop and rock and roll, but we also love our Celtic roots. We want to touch everybody with our music.”

The Reel Sisters

The Reel Sisters are a duo steeped in the musical tradition of Scottish harp and smallpipes. Rosalind and Kelly share lifetimes of experience in the traditional music community and the technical expertise of classical training. Compelling tunes combine with The Sisters’ approachable, lighthearted personalities to create a unique and intimate musical experience. The Reel Sisters’ music is uplifting, stirring, and just sweet fun.

Rosalind Buda holds a BMUS from the University of Iowa and a MM from New England Conservatory in Bassoon Performance. She has taught and performed throughout the US and Europe. She teaches and performs classical chamber and orchestral music and Celtic music in her in her home of Asheville, NC and throughout Western North Carolina. Keeping to the mountain tradition, Rosalind plays banjo for fun and enjoys contra dance.

Kelly Brzozowski holds a BMUS and a Masters Diploma in Harp Performance and Musicology from the University of North Wales. She has taught and performed throughout Europe and the US. Kelly lives in Atlanta where she maintains a large teaching studio and performs both classical and Celtic music. When she is not performing or teaching, she is homeschooling her son. You will often find them designing and conducting experiments. Is it science or food?!


Voices of Valverda

Voices of Valverda is a trio of female singers from Appalachia who love to perform traditional and original Celtic music.

They have grown up listening to the ballads and old folk songs of our home rich with Scottish and Irish history, with a background of family musicians and singers. They’ve been singing together almost their whole lives and started to perform publicly 2 years ago. Their set consists of a wide range of ballads, jigs, and traditional Celtic songs. 


StrathSpan creates a musical tapestry of the rich tones of cello interwoven with the lyrical voice of the violin. The sound of StrathSpan starts with traditional Scottish pipe and fiddle tunes, layering innovative harmonies and rhythms. The repertoire ranges from elegant marches and strathspeys to driving reels, from lively jigs to soulful airs, with occasional forays into Irish, Scandinavian, and Breton traditions. The resulting music evokes the timeless sensations of heartbeat and laughter, waves and sea creatures, joyous dance and ancient ceremony.

StrathSpan is Julia Weatherford and her cello at the eastern end of the Swannanoa Valley in North Carolina, and Nora Garver and her fiddle in Asheville at the western end of the Swannanoa Valley. They will be joined by the accomplished piper Cathleen Nixon, who has taught at the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming, and percussionist Jason Higgins, a former Marine Band drummer and lead drummer of the Grandfather Mountain Highlanders Pipe Band.


Piper Jones Band

The Piper Jones Band is centered around the classical Scottish piping EJ Jones learned from the first American piping gold-medalists, and under Jimmy McIntosh at Carnegie Mellon University.

The band takes inter-Celtic piping and folk songs and wraps them into a powerful, danceable show, accompanied by the chord-stories of five-year veteran on the Grand Ole Opry and devotee of Irish traditional music, Frances Cunningham.

Percussion leader and balladeer Wolf Loescher was born in Scotland and plays a drum kit inspired by Scottish supergroups The Old Blind Dogs and Capercaillie, while back line bass drummer Alex Stewart underlines the downbeats; and the band throws themselves fully into the music.

The Tune Shepherds, a trio of Asheville musicians with flute, fiddle, and guitar, delight in finding and arranging older Scottish instrumental music.                                   

    This mostly 17th & 18th C. music was published in dozens of folios—interesting and unusual melodies that the Shepherds bring to 21st C. listeners.  You might hear something from Aberdeenshire reminiscent of a gypsy camp; or fiddle music from Perthshire with Beatlesque melody lines; or perhaps a flowing harp tune honoring Clan Gordon. Nothing commonplace here.

   Time spent with The Tune Shepherds—flute player and maker Chris Abell; country dance fiddler Michael Garner; and Grammy winning guitarist Bruce Nemerov—is time spent discovering an old world of sound made new.

Mike Ogletree

The Blaxcotsman (aka Mike Ogletree) was born and grew up in Scotland, his mother was a Scottish woman and his father, an African/American, was from Birmingham, Alabama. The blend of these cultural influences over time have given him a unique perspective on life and a singular approach to the art of music and what he contributes to it. His rather quirky origins give life to music with a difference, a sound that is at once familiar yet different and new at the same time, something that can’t be defined without first giving it a few listens.

Having spent most of his time fantasizing about, or being, a musician Mike has acquired skills and experience as a drummer, percussionist, singer/songwriter, guitarist, sound engineer and music producer. Throughout his career he has toured and recorded with some of the top performers in their fields culminating in his debut as a solo artist – The Blaxcotsman.


Colin Shoemaker

A product of the Charlotte celtic music scene, Colin Shoemaker has been steeped in the tradition of celtic wind instruments his entire life. He is self taught on Irish Flute, Pennywhistle, and the Breton Bombarde, and incoporates aspects of multiple interceltic traditions in his playing. Colin has played festivals and hosted sessions throughout the southeast, and was privileged to be part of a partial reunion tour of the band Touchstone with Claudine Langille and Zan McLeod. For several years Colin has been a familiar yet fleeting face at GMHG as a volunteer, piloting a golf cart and ferrying musicians and their gear to and from their sets, and is now looking forward to sharing his own music with the games.


EJ Jones- Music Director


GMHG Corporate Sponsors

scottish heritage USA
Scroll to Top