Our first “Carleton Goes Celtic” was held on March 6, 2016, at “Live on Elgin”, upstairs at 220 Elgin Street.
See the Carleton Goes Celtic” Program  We look forward to the next edition in the 2016-17 school year!

Carleton University has long been among Canada’s leading centres for scholarship on Canadian cultural heritage.

The option to pursue Celtic instrument studies within the context of the BMus degree opens a new area of performance focus to both Canadian and International music students, and contributes to Carleton’s recognition of the cultural and historical significance of Canada’s fiddling, piping and Celtic song traditions.

Download the PDF version of our CELTIC INSTRUMENT STUDIES BROCHURE 2015-16

Fiddle Studies

From the parlours of the Maritimes to the outports of Newfoundland, from the communities of the Northern Cree and Métis peoples to the logging camps of Québec and Ontario, fiddling has been a central thread in the fabric of Canadian musical culture for centuries. Carleton University continues its tradition of academic and musical innovation in announcing the first post-secondary Fiddle Studies program in Canada. Located at the crossroads of Québécois, Ottawa Valley, Irish, and Scottish fiddle traditions and with a reputation as a leading centre for studies in Canadian music, Carleton is ideally situated to offer such a program and will draw upon the experience of some the finest practitioners in the country including Denis Lanctôt.

Celtic Instrument Studies image1

Denis Lanctôt

Denis Lanctôt is a “fiddler’s fiddler”. Born in Québec and residing in Ottawa, Denis is a highly accomplished self-taught musician and instructor who is equally at home as a fiddler or accompanist. Denis developed his own unique fiddling style under the influence of three of the twentieth century’s most legendary fiddlers: Sean McGuire (Ireland), James Scott Skinner (Scotland) and the legendary “Ti” Jean Carignan (Québec), with whom he played on several occasions. Winner of more than one hundred fiddling awards, he is known throughout North America for the lyrical “voice” that he extracts from his violin, and for the extraordinary signature of his bowing technique. (

Celtic Voice 

Celtic Instrument Studies image2

Ellen MacIsaac

Ellen MacIsaac  holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology from National University, Dublin, Ireland, where she learned the Irish traditional singing style and repertoire. In 2012 she won first place in the sean-nós (old style) Irish singing competition at the Oireachtas Gaeilge Cheanada, and in 2013 she represented Canada at an tOireachtas na Samhna festival in Ireland. Ellen MacIsaac teaches a course titled “Music of the Celtic Peoples” at the University of Ottawa, and she is the creator and director of the Ottawa Celtic Choir.

Celtic Harp

Susan Toman is a versatile and engaging musician who divides her time between the harpsichord and Celtic harp. Prize winner at the 2007 Brugge International Harpsichord Competition, she has also received several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts. Susan holds a Doctorate from McGill University (harpsichord) and a Masters from the University of Michigan (piano, harpsichord, fortepiano). After completing her Doctorate, she pursued intensive studies on the Celtic harp with Grainne Hambly in County Mayo, Ireland. Susan is the founder and Artistic Director of Seraphina and La Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal (CBMR). Seraphina performs both Baroque and Celtic music of the 17th and 18th centuries, while CBMR produces Baroque operas in Montreal. At ease in both the orchestral and chamber music settings, Susan has performed at the Bloomington, London, Montreal, and Rochester early music festivals, as well as with ensembles Notturna, La Cigale, and with members of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra on their series Serenata St.Jean. She particularly enjoys giving house concerts, which allow for greater interaction between the performer and audience. Her discography includes J.P.Rameau’s Nouvelles suites de clavecin (2008) and Seraphina’s album Road to the Isles (2011). In addition to teaching at Carleton University, Susan is adjunct faculty at Greenville College, Illinois, for whom she teaches online courses.

Highland Bagpipes

Celtic Instrument Studies image3Jack Coghill holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Carleton University, where he has taught for the School for Studies in Art & Culture since the 1990s. The son and grandson of pipers, he has both adjudicated and performed in a large number of piping competitions on the Highland Games circuit. In addition to playing with a number of pipe bands (including the Ceremonial Guard), he has also been the University piper at Carleton convocations since 1990. Carleton’s piping curriculum encompasses both solo and band playing, and provides the developing piper with a broad range of piping knowledge and experience.