Texas Fiddle Instructor

Bennett Brown

I started playing violin in middle school with the school orchestra and learned to read music and perform as a part of a whole. I loved the fast runs and variations in baroque music, but eventually the structure and formal nature of the orchestral scene drove me away. Growing up in Kentucky, I had always enjoyed bluegrass and folk music, including that of Ireland and Britain, and loved the connection between all these styles. I tried adapting my violin experience to working out folk standards and fell in love! In college, I met songwriters all over Austin and began learning how to improvise and follow along, which ultimately led to me being in bands. I love the freedom of expression and the limitless opportunities to travel and create that music allows me and I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned with y’all.

Texas Fiddle Instructor

Brady Black

Born and raised in Plainview Texas, Brady began his musical journey at the age of 11. Growing up with musical roots of Bluegrass, Western Swing and Country, he began fiddle lessons with Gary Williams of Kress, TX. Brady’s parents, musicians themselves, would take him to South Plains College during the summers as well as numerous music camps around the United States. Brady and his family would then form a regional bluegrass/swing band that frequented the local jamboree scene. During college, Brady cut his teeth on the 6th street Austin music scene before eventually starting his professional career. At age 22, Brady became a co-founder of MCA/Mercury Recording Artist the Randy Rogers Band, performing Fiddle, Mandolin, and Harmony Vocals. He still currently records and tours with the original members after 21 years.

Texas Fiddle Instructor

Brendon Anthony

As Director of the Texas Music Office, Brendon Anthony sets the agenda for business development, helping music industry professionals navigate their entry into the Texas market, as well as moving their businesses to Texas (including corporations, start-ups, and everything in between). Appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2015, Brendon provides the link between the Office of the Governor’s Economic Development & Tourism Division executive staff, private sector music industry businesses, and non-governmental music organizations and trade associations. In addition to leading the Texas Music Office, Brendon is also the point person for the Music Friendly Communities program which helps connect the various music markets throughout the state with one another, establishes best practices for economic development success, and fosters the development and connection of higher education music programs to real-world music business opportunity. Brendon began playing live music with a variety of Texas acts while attending Texas A&M University, which he graduated from in 1999. In 1997, Brendon began playing full time with Pat Green, with whom he toured nationally and internationally for 15 years. During his decade and a half as a touring musician, Brendon toured both the United States and Europe, played on a gold record and was a member of the band when Pat Green received three Grammy Award nominations. In addition to being a successful touring musician, Anthony has also performed on dozens of studio recordings and produced multiple records, including Drew Womack’s “Sunshine To Rain.” In 2010, Brendon helped start OneLive Media, which began as a primary ticketing company for Texas music venues and festivals before expanding into the e-commerce industry and becoming one of the premier online entertainment sales and marketing companies in the country. Brendon is a classically-trained violinist who has played fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and banjo both in live performances and studio recordings.

Texas Fiddle Instructor

Damian Green

My name is Damian Green, and I began learning to play violin with the help of the Suzuki method at the age of three, and quickly fell in love with the instrument and have since, not put it down! I started getting into Texas Contest style fiddling a couple years into training, while still keeping up classical homework and even competing in region and all state orchestra and solo concerto competitions through middle/high school.Along the way I realized my true passion was performing for people. My aunt Anna Macias, some family friends and I started playing small shows around the state, ranging from nursing homes to rowdy honky tonks, to small town Oprys. We even played at a petting zoo in Louisiana! This path led me to meet Ray Benson and the rest of the Asleep at the Wheel, who became some of my biggest influences, and unofficial teachers! I ended up on a traveling musical production with them called “A Ride With Bob” which was the life story of Western Swing legend and king, Bob Wills.Just as that traveling production was coming to an end after a few years, Ray’s son, Sam Seifert who was running their recording studio “Bismeux” introduced me to this fella named Aaron Watson, whom his dad Ray was producing at the time. Aaron and I immediately hit it off and he offered me a position in the band.The rest is mostly history! I just celebrated my 16th year in Aaron’s band, we’ve made some pretty dang cool accomplishments, played a few thousand shows around the world, met tons of awesome people, and now I have a whole road family I consider my brothers!I’d love to help the younger generations keep this incredibly special instrument alive, and not just for orchestra class!

Texas Fiddle Instructor


Haydn Vitera began his violin journey with the Suzuki Method at age 8 and continued his classical studies into his college years at The University Of Texas where he was a member of the UT Symphony Orchestra. During his college years, Haydn started playing country fiddle in the Texas dancehall circuit and eventually got his “big break” with Grammy winner Rick Treviño in 1997. Since then, he has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in Texas including Asleep At The Wheel and the legendary George Strait as well as becoming a sought-after studio musician in Austin. Beyond classical and country, Haydn has always been a rocker at heart, growing up on hard rock and metal in his high school years. He now proudly plays custom 5-, 6- and 7-string electric violins created by rock violin pioneer Mark Wood, founding member of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He travels around the US teaching rock performance and improvisation to middle school and high school orchestra students with Wood’s Electrify Your Symphony program and is on the faculty at MWROC the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp. In 2015, Haydn was a featured soloist on stage at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center with the iconic Stevie Wonder where according to the Austin American-Statesman he “unleashed a barrage of harmonic fury on violin so devastating that Wonder was inspired to throw down his own ballistic response on harmonica.” Haydn loves to open up young string students’ horizons to the world of improvisation and creative self-expression through the violin.

Texas Fiddle Instructor

Jody Bartula

Jody Bartula is a multi instrumentalist with over 25 years of musical experience. He began playing bass and piano at age 5. Then moved on to guitar and fiddle.

Jody played drums in the high school marching band and bass in the jazz band at Iola High School for all of his time there. Then continuing on to play in the Texas A&M Jazz Ensemble and Texas A&M Orchestra.

Since 2010 Jody has been on tour with country music star Cody Johnson as fiddle/guitar player and band leader; touring the US extensively and making multiple national television appearances.

Texas Fiddle Instructor

Katie Shore

Like many fiddlers, Katie was inspired at a young age by her Grandfather. At six years old she told her parents she wanted to “play music you can clap your hands and stomp your feet to”. Hailing from Ft. Worth “Cowtown”, Tx, Katie grew up playing in a world of strong fiddle traditions, attending fiddle contests, music camps such as Mark O’Connor’s and Johnny Gimble’s, and with some classical training, was part of the Ft Worth Youth Orchestra. After receiving an Associates Degree in Commercial Music in 2008, Katie moved to Austin, Tx. In addition to becoming a luthier and teacher, Katie has performed and collaborated with local musicians including The Jitterbug Vipers, Continental Graffiti, Ghosts Along the Brazos, as well as artists such as Willie Nelson and George Strait, Lyle Lovett, Paul Simon, and Dale Watson. Inspired by many styles and cultures, Katie’s voice and fiddle have taken her around the country and abroad. After 8 years of being the female vocalist and fiddle player for 10-time Grammy Award winning band, Asleep at the Wheel, she is now free-lancing and working on her solo career. Katie was awarded the honor of being the 2023 Ameripolitan Musician of the Year, and looks forward to every opportunity to play, teach, and share the joy of music!

Texas Fiddle Instructor

nick Worley

Nick grew up in College Station, TX, and began playing the violin at the age of 6, following in his older sister’s footsteps by learning through the Suzuki Method. By the time he was in the 5th grade, Nick was performing as a member of the Brazos Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra, & was selected for All Region Junior High Orchestras from 5th-8th grades. After putting the instrument down throughout high school, Nick began playing with local country bands while in college at Texas A&M University, transforming his playing style from classical to country & rock styles better suited for the scene. For the next 20 years, Nick toured with Texas bands such as Cooder Graw, Cory Morrow, and Jason Boland & the Stragglers, averaging over 150 shows a year playing not only coast to coast across the US, but also in Europe on multiple occasions. In between gigs, Nick returned to college, earning a Minor in Music from Texas State University while playing in a variety of ensembles, from jazz combos to Beethoven string quartets, and performing solo pieces by Paganini, Kreisler, and Bach. Nick is currently semi-retired from touring and continues teaching and recording from his home studio in New Braunfels, TX.  He is an occasional guest lecturer for AMF Scuola di Musica in Moderna, Italy, discussing the history of American fiddle music and enjoys repairing instruments in his spare time.

Texas Fiddle Instructor

Wes Barlow

Wes Barlow is a classically trained violist turned fiddle player. He started off in orchestra at age 10, but was quickly drawn into the world of fiddle after hearing the likes of Charlie Daniels and George Strait when he moved to Texas. He continued playing violin throughout middle and high school, and even expanded into playing viola. He was a regular sight at Texas All-Region Orchestra, Solo & Ensemble competitions and the Houston Youth Symphony. As he progressed through high school, he started learning how to play fiddle from some of the local legends around the Katy area. Wes eventually joined a Texas country band in college, and has been a constant in the scene ever since. He resided in College Station for 10 years, playing various genres ranging from country to Irish rock, traveling the country and world in the process. Wes recently joined his fiancé in Colorado and plays full time for Danno Simpson out of Denver. Teaching is one of Wes’s greatest passions, which inspired him to found the Texas Fiddle Clinic.