Lissa Schneckenburger was just a small tyke living in Litchfield when she first asked her parents if she could learn to play the fiddle.

Now at age 24, she’s a professional Boston-based musician with five albums under her belt, selections of which she will perform in concert Sunday, Jan. 18, at Bates College’s Olin Arts Center.

For Schneckenburger, making music is all about sharing. Even on her two “solo” CDs, she surrounds herself with other gifted musicians, giving each equal opportunity to shine individually while together they provide a richly textured backdrop to her own gifted stringmanship. So it isn’t a surprise that several other talented individuals will share the stage with her at her Lewiston concert, most prominently two Boston folk colleagues: guitarist Ted Davis and string bass player Corey DiMario.

Because this event represents a kind of homecoming for Schneckenburger (it’s been almost three years since her last official concert here), she has extended an invitation to longtime local mentor Greg Boardman to join her in a couple of numbers. Boardman, whom Schneckenburger describes as “melodically rambunctious, rhythmically robust and awe-inspiring,” served as her private fiddle coach from age 8 to 14.

By her mid-teens she had formed her own folk band which played for dances and festivals throughout Maine; and in 1997, she headed off to Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, where she earned a degree in contemporary improvisation in 2001.

Boardman, director of the string music program for Lewiston public schools, is pleased to see his young protégé out there forging a successful musical career of her own. Her playing continues to be “an inspiration” to him, he says, pointing out that these days he’s learning tunes from her.

In fact, Boardman says, Schneckenburger is featured on three cuts on his new CD, “Divine Waltz,” due out this spring.

A friend to many other Maine leading folk musicians, Schneckenburger anticipates having two or three “surprise guests” join the fun this Sunday.

She also hints that the audience is likely to be treated to some energized dancing as well.

While Schneckenburger is best known as a fiddler, she is also an accomplished singer. The program will reflect both of these interests, with a roster of rousing dance tunes balanced by a selection of deftly crafted vocal numbers. Similarly, traditional jigs and reels from Ireland and French-Canada will be interwoven with Schneckenburger’s own original compositions.

Famed folk fiddler and composer Jay Ungar has described Schneckenburger’s fiddling as “artful, skillful, inventive and full of feeling,” while the noted music publication Dirty Linen said “Her talent lies in crafting pendulating melodies [and] innovative freewheeling arrangements…”

Despite her young years, Schneckenburger is in demand as both a concert artist and dance musician across the United States and has also made appearances in Canada, Russia, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Nonetheless, Schneckenburger is looking forward to returning to the Olin Arts Center stage, where she has fond memories of performing in the Bates Noonday Concert Series as a youngster.

“This is my big home-town concert,” she says. “I haven’t done one in way too long a time, so I hope to see some of my good old Maine folk fans there in the audience. I’ve missed them.”

Set for 3 p.m., the concert carries an admission fee of $8, with a reduced price of $5 for senior citizens, students and children 12 and under.

The Olin Arts Center is located on the north side of the Bates campus, on Russell Street in Lewiston.

For more information or advance reservations, call 268-4013.


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