Elizabeth Nist says she carries about 50 tunes that she can play on her fiddle around in her head. The home-schooled student found her path to learning through the strains of Irish folk music.
“There's another 50 I can play if I could hear some of it first,” said Elizabeth, 13, who's about to expand on her repertoire of Irish folk songs when she travels to Drogheda, Ireland, for the Fleadh Cheoil Na hEireann, billed as the world's largest celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance. It runs Sunday to Aug. 18.
At Drogheda, about 30 minutes from Dublin, Elizabeth will be tutored by the top traditional Irish music teachers before she takes the stage for her final exam, a competition against other viola players.
She lives with her parents, Janine and Erin Nist, and two brothers, Gavin, 15, and Ethan, 16, in New Sewickley Township, Beaver County, near Zelienople.
But her music has taken her far afield.
While in Ireland, Elizabeth and her viola will be competing against fellow musicians in the under 15 miscellaneous instruments category, but she also will be attending a week's worth of workshops before the competition, learning new songs and getting instruction from Irish master musicians.
Read the full story in The Cranberry Eagle.