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About Me.

Classically trained violinist/violist, and fiddler by trade, Ashley Giles spends her time teaching, learning and performing many styles of music such as celtic, classical, bluegrass, country and more. Ashley has performed internationally with bands such as The American Rogues, The Country Versatiles, and participated in tribute shows for George Jones, Garth Brooks and other country legends. Ashley's love for music started at a young age. She was always picking up her parents instruments and trying to play them around the house. When she was 8, her parents enrolled Ashley in violin lessons with Dini Westman, owner and teacher of the Stratford String Academy. This is where her classical training came from. A year later, in addition to the classical, Ashley also started taking fiddle lessons from Gerry Smith of Exeter, ON. Here she learned more styles of music such as traditional fiddling, Irish, Celtic, bluegrass and more.

By the time Ashley was 11, Ashley was competing in fiddle competitions across Ontario. Ashley won the Doris Westman Trophy for the "Most Promising Fiddler" eight times since 2007, and won the trophy for "Most Promising Violinist in Stratford" in 2012. Ashley has also been accepted and participated in OMFA provincial finals for violin in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2015, Ashley came out fifth in the open fiddling class at the Grand North American Old Time Fiddle Championships in Alberta. Ashley has always loved inspiring students and began teaching violin at the young age of 13. She has taught many people over the years and taught in studios around her home town. She started teaching at her home then expanded into Mitchell's Skyline Studios and St. Mary's Deep Waters Music. She also began teaching for Stratford's Long and Mcquade before opening her own studio. In June of 2016, Ashley opened her own music teaching studio in Kitchener, ON, called A to G Music. She offered lessons on violin, piano, viola, mandolin, and had hired other teachers to teach voice, ukulele, guitar, bass, harp and piano.

Ashley is apprenticing as a violin maker with Henry Reidstra and completed her Bachelor of Music Performance degree at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, ON. Ashley studied viola under Christine Vlajk of the Penderecki String Quartet. Ashley has just recently finished her Master in Community Music at Wilfrid Laurier University as well. With the shut down of businesses during COVID, Ashley was also forced to close her studio doors in 2020. She moved back home to the farm and resorted to agricultural work until the world started to reopen its doors. 

As of 2023, Ashley plans on returning to University to attain her DMA of Viola Performance. 

Education

2019

WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY

BMUS - VIOLA PERFORMANCE

2021

WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY

MA of Arts - Community Music

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1-519-719-0433

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