Rayna Gellert
Rayna Gellert Rayna was raised in a musical family in Northern Indiana. Some of her earliest memories are of her parents, Dan and Gen, playing and singing. Her father, Dan, is a renowned old-time fiddler and banjo-player, who Rayna cites as her biggest musical inspiration. Rayna began playing violin in her grade-school orchestra when she was 10, and continued to play and study classical violin through high school, meanwhile cultivating a growing interest in old-time music and the community of musicians she met through her father. She became disenchanted with playing classical violin, and upon high school graduation she put her instrument down.
Then she moved to North Carolina to attend Warren Wilson College, and began learning fiddle tunes off of tapes in her dorm room. She sought out the old-time musicians in the area, and gradually began playing at local jam sessions. Her fiddling developed rapidly, and she began playing for dances throughout the Southeast and Midwest.
Since graduating from WWC, she has toured in Europe with dancer Ira Bernstein, in Chile with David Holt & Friends, in the U.S. and Sweden as a member of the Freight Hoppers, and all over the country as a duo with Frank Lee. Rayna has been a regular finalist in the fiddle contest at the Appalachian Stringband Festival in Clifftop, WV, and has been a popular instructor at The Swannanoa Gathering. Her self-produced fiddle album, Ways of the World, was released in the Spring of 2000 to critical acclaim. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina.