Fynesound came into existence in 1997 when Sharon and John were living in eastern North Carolina. While there, they performed at many venues, entertaining and educating audiences about the Scottish and Irish arts through their music and dance. They moved to the Washington, DC, area in the autumn of 2000. In 2004, "the Fyne" line up welcomed the addition of songstress extraordinaire Linda Rice-Johnston, and the high-stepping Highland dancer, Kim Lyons. Fynesound is proud to welcome the talented Ralph Gordon to the group in 2011.Ralph is a uniquely versatile musician, bringing more than 35 years of musical experience on bass and cello.
Sharon emigrated to the US from Scotland in 1997, and quickly became a sought after performer, teacher, and conductor of harp workshops from North Carolina to Alaska.She has worked alongside many well-known musicians including William Jackson and Grainne Hambly, and taught at many summer schools in the United States, including the Ohio Scottish Arts School and Common Ground on the Hill.Sharon is featured on several recordings and is currently working on a solo album, The Raven's Wing.In addition to Fynesound, she performs with Sue Richards in the Celtic harp duo, HEN.Sharon was the first harp player to perform with both a Highland dancer and an Irish dancer - one example of her innovative attitude towards the Celtic traditions. Sharon actively organizes the Stone Jug House Concert Series, and coordinates concerts and workshops for the Washington Area Folk Harp Society.
John is of Irish-American heritageand is self-taught on fiddle, which he took up as a young adult in his native Pennsylvania. He has been playing Irish music for many years, and began studying Scottish music while living in Scotland. John plays many stringed instruments (mandolin, guitar, and cittern) as well as concertina and whistles.He has played all over Ireland and Scotland and at countless venues in the United States. He and Sharon released their first recording, Ferry Cottage, in 2000. John has won several fiddle competitions and competed in the U.S. Scottish National Fiddle Competition in 2002.
Linda is a well known a capellasinger of traditional Scottish, Irish, and American songs.She has sung as a featured soloist with theWashington Revels, at the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, at numerous Highland Games and Burns Nights, and at both the Folklore Society of Greater Washington Festivals and Mini-Fests. Linda began singing traditional Scottish music in the D.C. area back in the 70's as a member of the City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums.Linda became a member of Fynesound January 2004.
Kim Lyons has been involved with Scottish Highland dancing for over 15 years. She began competing in 1998 and quickly worked her way up to the Premier category. Kim has won numerous awards and trophies at competitions throughout the United States, Canada and Scotland. In addition to Highland dance, Kim is trained in ballet and has competed in Irish stepdancing with the Maple School. She became a member of the British Association of Teachers of Dance in the Highland Branch in 2001. During the day, Kim teaches first grade in Northern Virginia and also sponsors a Highland dance club at her school.
Ralph is a classically trained musician having studied music at West Virginia University and the Manhattan School of Music. He left Manhattan to perform with the New Jersey Symphony, then toured with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians.He eventually returned to West Virginia where he joined the ground breaking folk ensemble, Trapezoid. Nine years and four recordings later he left the group in 1986 to become a free lance musician. Since then he has performed with many individuals and groups in a multitude of musical styles and settings.He is a sought after freelance artist and session musician in the Washington/Baltimore metropolitan area. Ralph can be heard on more than 100 recordings and contributed to arranging and producing on many of these. He teaches bass and performance classes at summer camps across the country.