Long Bio - Meg Wobus Beller
Meg Wobus Beller was born in Syracuse, New York to musical parents who met in the Syracuse folk music club the Salt City Song Miners and were regulars at the Old Songs Festival and Pinewoods Camp. She started Suzuki violin at the age of three and grew up playing classical violin, leading orchestras at Fayetteville Manlius High School, the Syracuse Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the New York All-State Orchestra. She majored in Violin Performance and Music Education at the Eastman School of Music, studying with the late Lynn Blakeslee, with a minor in English from the University of Rochester.
Meg grew up learning folk songs and fiddle tunes from her parents, listening to an extensive collection of folk and trad albums and attending dances and performances. Her father John Wobus plays many instruments, performing on piano in Central New York bands for contra dancing. Meg began playing fiddle for contra dances in the New England style with her father on piano as the band Contranella at age 12. For several years Contranella was the house band for the Cracking Chestnuts Callers workshop, led by David Smuckler.
As an adult, Meg branched into other styles of playing. She played klezmer fiddle with the 12 Corners Klezmer Band and Charm City Klezmer and performs Jewish liturgical music at Baltimore Hebrew Synagogue. She has studied Old-Time fiddle and performed with Ken Kolodner and Rachel Eddy. She plays and teaches Irish and French Canadian fiddle. Meg still plays for contradances with Contranella, which now includes Meg's husband Charley Beller on percussion. Charley is also an accomplished guitar player, and Meg and Charley play fiddle and guitar together as Broke the Floor.
Meg's teaching career began in high school, when she began teaching classical and Suzuki violin lessons and fiddle. She learned Suzuki pedagogy from Anastasia Jempelis and Alice Kanack, and also studied Alice's method for teaching improvisation, Creative Ability Development. Meg taught violin and fiddle at the Kanack School of Music, developing their fiddle classes and summer fiddle camp that launched many accomplished amateur and professional musicians. She also taught fiddle at the Eastman Community Music School in Rochester before moving to Baltimore.
In Baltimore Meg taught in her own private studio, which had a waiting list for several years, and performed with her students as the Charles Street Fiddlers. Her students played in the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Baltimore School for the Arts Orchestra.
Fiddle Studio is the name of a music blog Meg started in 2009 that grew into the Fiddle Studio Podcast, three Fiddle Studio Books for learning to fiddle, as well as online courses at fiddlestudio.com. Meg continues to help fiddlers through her teaching and her content, and support the work of other musicians.
Meg's other loves include hiking and camping, and she is a member of the Old Scouter trail maintenance crew through the PATC. Meg also has a lifetime love of reading and writing, and in addition to her music and fiddle related books, Meg publishes children's chapter books under the pen name Willow Night. Meg and Charley live in Baltimore with their three children. Charley is a data scientist and inventor with IBM whose research can be viewed here. Her daughter Emily Beller is a musician and mathematician whose work can be found here.
About her name: Meg was born Megan Ruth Wobus, named for her grandmother Ruth Schlisting Wobus, and went by Meg as a child. She changed her last name to Beller in marriage and went by Megan Beller for many years. After mourning the passing of her brother Tim Wobus in 2022, Meg is in the process of re-adopting her family name of Wobus and now goes mostly by Meg Wobus. Tim Wobus was a great lover of music and puzzles and an accomplished visual artist in Syracuse, NY.