tabbed child pages
The O’Schraves (The O’Gorman/Schryer/Lefebvre Family) brings you entertainment that is joyous, skillful, inspiring, and fun. Two of Canada’s finest traditional musicians, Julie Schryer (Pierre Schryer Band, Brian Pickell Band), on piano, and Pat O’Gorman (Rare Air, Brian Pickell Band), on bagpipes, Irish flute and tin whistle, are ably assisted by the younger members of the family, Benoit Schryer Lefebvre, 23, (2011 and 2012 winner of the 18-and-under Pembroke Fiddle Contest) on fiddle, tin whistle and vocals; Zach Schryer Lefebvre, 26, on his own handmade guitar as well as cello, tin whistle, piano and vocals; and Áine Schryer O’Gorman, 15, (2015 winner of the 12-and-under Pembroke Fiddle Contest) on fiddle, stepdancing, tin whistle, and vocals. In 2014, Zach’s composition, Little Log Cabin, from the Family Day CD, was a top ten regional finalist in the CBC Searchlight contest. The group was awarded New Emerging Artist Award by liveireland.com and Best New Group in 2014 by the Chicago Irish American News.
Visit band member pages (tabs above) to learn more about each of them. To download a PDF media info sheet, click here; digital copies of a poster can be obtained by contacting us.
“The O’Schraves” play captivating traditional Canadian, Irish, and Scottish music mixed with new compositions written by modern tune composers and members of the family, as well as original and traditional songs. Their concerts appeal to all-ages and present an inspiring variety of music and instrumentation with skill, joy, and good humour. The band has played concerts throughout Ontario, British Columbia, and the U.S., performed with the Sault Symphony and at Blissfest 2014.
“The O’Schraves” have played for regular dances in the Algoma region for the last 13 years, including dances at AlgomaTrad Family Camp, and have been the dance band for the Bayside Travelers’, Traverse City, Michigan, the Toronto Country Dancers’ dances, and the Owen Sound Spring Fling Dance and Michigan Dance Heritage weekends. In 2014, the group toured in the U.S., playing contra dances through Tennessee and Western North Carolina. After you’ve danced to their superb tune-playing and rock-solid groove, you’ll Rave about The O’Schraves! You can see clips of us in action on our Facebook page facebook.com/pages/the-oschraves
Recognition and awards
Aside from all the wonderful support, sales, and great feedback from all our friends and fans, can ya believe the outside world has been noticing as well. Zach’s original song, Little Log Cabin, which he wrote for his then fiancée and now wife, Hollie, (great wedding in October 2014, lots of music and contra dancing!), was a Northeastern Ontario Regional Top Ten Finalist in the CBC Searchlight Contest… not bad for a little trad band from Desbarats.
“There is little to say about all of this,except you must get your hands on the album” Chicago Irish American News
“Totally entertaining from start to finish.” liveireland.com
Recorded by James Stephens at Stove Studios, Chelsea, QC, February 2011 and at the O’Schrave Farm, Desbarats, ON, September 2012 except tracks 3 and 5 which were recorded by Rusty McCarthy at REC Room Studios, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, February 2012. Mixed by James Stephens and Patrick O’Gorman at Stove Studios. Mastered by David Travers-Smith at Found Sound, Toronto, ON. Produced by The O’Schraves.
All arrangements The O’Schraves unless otherwise noted.
Zachary Schryer Lefebvre
Guitar, cello, tin whistle, piano, vocals, composer, luthier |Zach, 26, Julie Schryer’s eldest son, plays guitar, cello, tin whistle, and piano. He also sings and composes songs and tunes. He has been performing with his mom in family concerts and dances for 13 years throughout the Algoma region, Quebec and the USA. He has attended AlgomaTrad since its inception 14 years ago and has studied with some of North America’s finest traditional musicians and dancers. He performed as part of “Schryer”, the group made up of his mom, his 4 uncles and his cousins, who were the headline act for the gala concert at the Shelburne Fiddle and Stepdance Contest in 2007 and at the Chelmsford Fiddle and Stepdance Festival in 2009.
Zach has been writing tunes in the traditional style for over 14 years, several which are performed by the family group at dances and in concert. He has also performed with the Brian Pickell Band on several occasions and with Shane Cook and Troy MacGillivray and appears on Ian Bell’s recording “Forget Me Not, When Far Away”. He and his brother, Benoit, performed on tour with Troy MacGillivray in January 2013.
Zach has studied with renowned luthier Sergei de Yonge and now builds guitars full time and is gaining world-wide recognition for his skill and beautiful work. His guitars are distinct for their pyrographic artwork, another of Zach’s talents (www.treehouseguitars.com). Zach’s song, Little Log Cabin, from The O’Schraves 2014 CD release “Family Day” was a Northeastern Ontario regional finalist in CBC’s Searchlight Contest.
Piano |Julie Schryer grew up in a Franco-Ontarian home that was filled with traditional music and song. Having four brothers as fiddle players gave Julie ample opportunity to develop as a piano accompanist. During her youth she played for hundreds of fiddle players at competitions and events throughout Ontario and elsewhere in Canada. Since 1972, Julie has been performing, teaching, and arranging music on tour and at major festivals (Goderich, Summerfolk, Mariposa, Northern Lights, Shetland Islands) and events with internationally-acclaimed traditional musicians. Julie recorded and toured with the Pierre Schryer Band for several years, has taught at the Goderich Celtic College, the Valley of the Moon Fiddle Camp in California, and the Northwest Fiddle Fest in Smithers, BC.
For the last 15 years, Julie has been recording and performing with the Brian Pickell Band. Julie has five children and lives in the Algoma region of Ontario with Pat O’Gorman (piper and Irish flute player). As a family, Pat, Julie, her two sons, Zach and Benoit, and Áine (Pat and Julie’s daughter) play concerts, dances and events throughout Ontario and beyond as The O’Schraves. Julie is a founder and artistic director of AlgomaTrad: The Algoma Traditional Music and Dance organization established in 2004 to provide an annual multigenerational family camp as well as concerts, workshops, cultural weekends, community dances, and heritage arts mentorship throughout the year (www.algomatrad.ca).
Áine Schryer O’Gorman
Fiddle, whistle, vocals | Áine, 15, Julie and Pat’s youngest child, plays fiddle, tin whistle, and sings. She has been soaking up traditional music since before she was born. She has been absorbing fiddle tunes from all of the musicians she has hung out with over the last 12 years on the road, at home and at AlgomaTrad. She also studies violin at the Algoma Conservatory, and has been performing on stage for most of her life. In 2012, Áine came first out of 24 contestants in the 9 and under age group at the Pembroke Fiddle and Stepdance Contest, and in 2015 she won in the 12 and under fiddle contest there. In 2016, she won the 15 and Under at the Northern Ontario Fiddle Championship in Chelmsford and came 3rd in the 18 and under at Pembroke, her first year in this age group. Áine has performed with her family on tour since the band’s inception. She continues to hone her skills on the fiddle, playing regularly with her family at contra dances in the Algoma Region and beyond.
Benoit Schryer Lefebvre
Fiddle, tenor banjo, tin whistle, mandolin, guitar, vocals | Benoit, 23, is Julie Schryer’s youngest son and plays fiddle and tenor banjo, sings and also plays tin whistle, mandolin and guitar. Benoit started to play the tin whistle at 5 years of age and fiddle at 7. He has learned from some of Canada’s finest fiddlers (Shane Cook, Mark Sullivan, Pierre Schryer, James Stephens, and Dan MacDonald) while on the road touring with his mom and as a student at AlgomaTrad. In 2012, Benoit spent a month studying traditional music in Ireland as part of his secondary school co-op program. Like Zach, he has attended AlgomaTrad since its inception, has performed with the family band throughout Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Michigan for the last 13 years, and was part of the “Schryer” concerts at Shelburne and Chelmsford in ’07 and ‘09. Benoit studied violin at the Sault Symphony School of Music and at the Algoma Conservatory, has won numerous awards at the Sault Kiwanis Festival, and has competed in many fiddle competitions.
In August of 2010, Benoit was invited to perform in the Junior Showcase at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Competition in Ottawa. In 2011 and 2012, he placed first in the 18 and under class at the Pembroke Fiddle and Stepdance Contest, arguably the premier contest for Ontario fiddlers outside of Shelburne. In 2015 and 2016 he came 2nd at Pembroke, losing out both times to reigning Canadian Grand Master Fiddle champions. Benoit has performed with the Brian Pickell Band and Shane Cook and Troy MacGillivray. He also performs with the stellar contra/square dance band, “Ladies Chain”, with Eli Howard and Colin Savoie-Levac, In 2016, Benoit released his self-produced solo recording “Kaleidoscope”. He completed the Heritage Stonemasonry program at Algonquin College in Perth Ontario in 2016.
Pipes, whistle, flute | Pat began playing bagpipes 50 years ago in the Ontario Highland Piping world and has studied traditional music in Ireland, Brittany and Cape Breton. He has been playing traditional music on wooden concert (Irish) flute for 37 years and plays Irish Uilleann pipes and tin whistle as well.
Pat has been at the cutting edge of Canadian Trad/Celtic music for 38 years with Na Cabarfeidh, Rare Air, Morgaine Le Fay, The Windbags, and most recently with The Brian Pickell Band. He has toured throughout North America and Europe, has appeared on over 30 recordings, and has been recorded for numerous television and radio programs and for several films including Canadian features “Men with Brooms” and the 2009 release “One Week”. Pat has taught at the Goderich Celtic College, the North American Comhaltas Conference, the Boston College Gaelic Roots Week, Chris Norman’s Boxwood Flute Week in Lunenburg, NS, and the Northwest Fiddle Fest in Smithers, BC. He acted both as Chair and instructor for many years at the Chris Langan Irish Traditional Music Weekend in Toronto.
Pat has played countless ceili and contra dances throughout Ontario and the U.S. He has lived in the Algoma region for 15 years and is a founder and artistic director, with Julie Schryer, of AlgomaTrad.