A Musical Journey
Emilie and Nora Carroll have loved Celtic fiddle music since they were toddlers. Emilie (16 years old) and Nora (14 years old) started Suzuki classical violin lessons at ages 5 and 4 and began taking classes at The Connecticut Academy of Irish Music in 2014 where they were taught, shaped, and inspired primarily by Jeanne Freeman and John Whelan. They have further developed their passion for Celtic fiddle with lessons with Katie McNally. They have performed in several intimate settings including pubs, farm festivals, and house concerts, and in larger events like Sober St. Patrick's Day in New York City and Boston Celtic Music Festival. In June 2018, they were among 4 Americans in their category and age groups to qualify to compete for the All-Ireland title in Ireland. In 2020, they partnered with fellow Simsbury native Sammy Wetstein on cello (see below). The Carroll Sisters are most known for their lively traditional tunes, beautiful harmonies, intriguing counterpoints, and unique musical arrangements.
They released their first album in December 2021.
Sammy Wetstein is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and teacher fascinated with music's power to transform and connect people. He started out improvising his own melodies and tunes on the piano, began classical cello in fourth grade, and has kept a balance of classical technique and improvisational creativity in his music ever since. He mainly plays classical, jazz, and fiddle/ folk music, and hopes to learn more about various types of traditional music and their role in various cultures around the world in the future. Sammy first came to fiddle music through an after-school fiddling group run by his middle school strings teacher where he fell in love with the joy and liveliness of traditional music. He subsequently attended Maine Fiddle Camp, Fiddle Hell, and Irish Sessions in CT led by Jeanne Freeman, eventually meeting the Carroll sisters in one of the sessions. He is thrilled to get to play with the Carroll sisters and add his harmonies and basslines to their lovely double fiddle arrangements. Sammy also performs with a number of local symphony orchestras, his school’s jazz combo, a classical string quartet through the Hartt School, Young Tradition Vermont’s fiddle touring group, and Berklee’s Really Eclectic Orchestra, a string group that arranges and performs pop/ rock classics. He has taken part in CT regionals and All-State festival orchestras, and also won the Hamden Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. Currently a senior in high school, he plans to continue to study music in college and pursue a career as a performer and teacher of music. It is his dream to inspire and forge lifelong friendships and memories through music and pass on his love of music to future generations.