Ellen Gira
Ellen Gira is a vibrant, versatile, and accomplished cellist and teacher. Hailed as a "virtuosic" and "truly unique performer" in the trad/folk music scene, she has performed, toured, and recorded with top traditional artists, including Scots singer Iona Fyfe, Irish fiddler Manus McGuire, and U.S. National Fiddle Champion Seán Heely. Her unique musical voice fuses folk and traditional influences with her classical training, from her native DC area and at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She tours internationally as part of the acclaimed fiddle-cello duo Jocelyn Pettit & Ellen Gira, whose debut album All It Brings (2022) was recently nominated for Traditional Album of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Together they have captivated audiences with their driving, textured sound at prominent music festivals and venues throughout the US, Canada, and Europe.

As a teacher, Ellen brings her passion for traditional music and collaboration into the studio. She comes to SMT after living in Glasgow, Scotland for 6 years, where she taught Scottish Trad Cello at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Ellen also organizes and teaches regular workshops and fiddle-cello retreats with her duo partner, Jocelyn Pettit. She enjoys teaching in a variety of styles, from Classical to Scottish/Irish music and Old-Time, covering a wide range of skills including tune playing, backing, arranging, and tune composition. Combined with a focus on healthy, sustainable technique, she encourages her students to develop their own musical voice, and to find joy and meaning in the music they play.