The Newport String Project is led by directors and violinists EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks and Ealain McMullin. They are joined by Associate Musician, Josie Davis.
EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks, Director
EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks grew up on an organic farm where as a young girl she presented her first violin performances to a very attentive audience—her flock of merino sheep. As that violin grew from quarter- to a full-size, EmmaLee, with that expressive instrument in hand, made her way onto the stage as soloist with symphonies and then on to Carnegie Hall as a member of the Pangea String Quartet. Armed with a performance degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a doctoral degree from SUNY Stony Brook, EmmaLee serves as principal second violinist of the New Bedford Symphony and as a busy chamber player, on stage in venues on the East Coast, as well as the Midwest. She is on faculty at the University of Massachussetts, Dartmouth and the Birch Creek Summer Performance Center.
A firm believer that music can move people, quite literally, EmmaLee takes the lead in string bands across New England and in the Midwest where her lively fiddle music drives the spirited old-time dancing. She has played fiddle with the Rusty Pickup String Band since she was ten years old and she has taken many a championship prize at fiddle competitions.
Ealain McMullin, Director
Ealaín was first introduced to chamber music though concerts given by the Apple Hill Chamber Players near her home in Donegal, Ireland. This led to many happy summers studying at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in New Hampshire and since 2014, Ealaín has served on the faculty at Apple Hill’s summer festival. She studied at the Boston Conservatory, where she was a member of the Bricolage String Quartet, the Conservatory’s honors ensemble. She has performed with members of the Apple Hill, Brooklyn Rider, Lydian and Miro String Quartets and has performed at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival (Ireland) and Music From Salem (New York). A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and the Boston Conservatory, Ealaín’s teachers have included Michael D’Arcy, Elise Kuder, Mike Kelley and Lenny Matczynski.
Josie Davis, Associate Musician
Josie began her musical studies at the age of six with Janet Ciano and Gilda Joffe. She received her undergraduate degrees in violin and sociology at Oberlin College and Conservatory where she was a student of David Bowlin. She has participated in various music festivals including the Bowdoin International Music Festival, New York University’s String Quartet Seminar, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and has appeared with her sister on NPR’s From the Top. Josie has performed in a wide-range of venues from Carnegie Hall to the Monte Music Festival in India. She is committed to using music as a way to connect with people of different cultures and backgrounds and has taught music to children in Panama and India. Josie is currently participating in a two-year fellowship program at Community MusicWorks in Rhode Island where she performs regularly and teaches a full studio of students. Outside of music, she loves cooking, hiking, pottery, and sailing along the coast of Maine.