Go to the Archives to hear Ella Thomas

Ellaís relationship with her violin began at the age of four when she enrolled in the University of South Carolinaís Suzuki program and with a private teacher in 2007. She continues to thrive as a classical student in this program and the local philharmonic youth orchestras until the present day. In 2013, however, her musical approach began to broaden when she attempted to learn an arrangement that employed fiddling technique, but she encountered some difficulties in mastering such a diverse style of playing without proper instruction. Fortuitously, an article in The State newspaper featured an award-winning fiddler, named Ashley Carder, who frequented Billís Pickiní Parlor, a local music shop and bluegrass jam hangout. At the next available opportunity, Ella visited the Pickiní Parlor and met a regular, Van Price, who taught her a few bars of a popular fiddle tune. Since then, Ella was able to meet Ashley Carder and has benefited greatly from his expertise and insight. She also takes weekly fiddle lessons with Kristen Harris, another state-champion, old-time musician and continues to add folk and traditional melodies to her repertoire. She still plays classically but performs regularly at Billís Pickiní Parlor, nursing homes, libraries, festivals, restaurants, jams, and anywhere else the door of opportunity opens.


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