Ethan Harty wins 2019 Canadian Grand Master Fiddle Competition

by tschoen 0 Comments

Ethan Harty began his violin/fiddle studies at the Augustana Conservatory of Music with Thomas Schoen in 2011.  From 2011 through 2014 he was a Suzuki violin student and mastered the skills and pieces in Suzuki violin books 1 and 2.  He loved fiddle music, but he and his mom practiced carefully to develop his aural, musical and violin playing skills following the Suzuki Method under Thomas’ careful instruction.

During his Suzuki violin years he also attended the Camp Calvin fiddle camp in St. Paul where he learned fiddling from Calvin Volrath, Mark Sullivan, and Daniel Gervais who became his ‘fiddle heroes’ and with whom he continued his studies.

When he was 12 years old, Ethan recorded an album of mostly traditional old time fiddle tunes titled “Steaming Strings” released in January 2015.  The album was recorded and produced by Ethan’s fiddle hero, Calvin Vollrath, at his home studio in St. Paul, AB.

Ethan has gone on to play in many festivals and contests.  Preparing for these events allowed him to set goals, advance and master skills and technique. Ethan has been awarded prizes in many of these competitions: Alberta Open Fiddle Champion 2016, Grand North American Old Time Fiddle Champion 2019, and a finalist at the CGM Fiddle Competition in 2017 & 2018 receiving the Ward Allen Memorial Trophy for Best Old Time Waltz at the CGM for both of those years.

When Ethan was invited to compete at the 2019 Canadian Grand Masters (CGM) Fiddle Competition in Abbotsford, BC, an invitational competition extended to the top fiddlers across Canada, he contacted Thomas Schoen to help him prepare for the contest. In his early studies Ethan’s mom remembers Thomas saying “if you learn only fiddle tunes you will be limited to only playing fiddle tunes, if you learn to master the instrument you will be able to play fiddle tunes and anything else you want.” It was this idea of mastering the instrument that brought Ethan back to Augustana to study with Thomas for the 2019 winter term.

Melding his studies with Thomas with diligent practice and his drive and determination to succeed, Ethan went on to become the youngest fiddle player (at age 17) to win the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championship.

Ethan has recently completed recording his second album which will be released in the fall of 2019.

In addition to being an excellent fiddle player Ethan is also a blacksmith and certified Steam Power Engineer. To find out more about Ethan’s current activities please visit him at and

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