(Almost) The Whole Story

Long Ago and Far Away

New England-born singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and musical rabble-rouser Elisa M Welch has played the piano for, sheesh, let’s just say a long time. She wrote her first piano composition at age four, penned a few peace-niky “guitar mass” ditties in the late sixties, and even dabbled briefly in Irish step dancing (alas, to some rather uninspired recorded music) as a child. After ninth grade she traveled to Southeast Asia for a summer of exploration and education. Just out of high school, she toured with a choir in the great halls of Europe with America’s Youth in Concert. Then ’twas off to college in Beantown.

Boston Irish with a Twist

Elisa studied classical piano with Edith Stearns and contemporary composition with Joyce Mekeel at Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition. Round about junior year, she was beginning to wonder what the heck an undergraduate music degree got you other than a desperate need for a more advanced music degree (and another, and another). Then she “rediscovered” Irish traditional music at a local seisiún (no, that’s not a typo—it’s Irish for session) in Boston and spent the next several years learning tunes and playing various instruments at seisiúns with fiddlers Seamus Connolly and Larry Reynolds and others. (She did finish that Bachelor’s degree, by the way, but she hasn’t gone to grad school. Yet.)

Off to California

Elisa moved to the West Coast in 1986 to work as an editor at the wonderful acoustic string music magazine, Frets. When the magazine was discontinued, she became (simultaneously) senior editor of EQ and managing editor of Drums & Drumming. After those two magazines closed, Elisa moved into computer magazine editing, where the jobs were, for a while. She spent two years at MacUser, another two at PC Computing, and three more at Web Techniques. She also freelanced for PC World, PC World Online, Keyboard, and DRUM! magazines, and California Trees, the quarterly newsletter of California ReLeaf. She spent another four years back on the musical side of the publishing world, as managing editor of Strings magazine, before branching out into the land of freelancing once again.

Elisa has been taking a nice long break from full-time employment, realizing that, duhhhh, she’s a musician, not a cubicle dweller. The best way to fight this revolution is through her songs! That said, a little additional income would be more than welcome in this starving artist’s life. So if you know of an appropriate opportunity, let Elisa know!

Onstage and Elsewhere

This woman has performed with a dizzying assortment of musical ensembles, including the Andover Choral Society, America’s Youth in Concert, Boston University Concert Choir, Masterworks Chorale, Four Shillings Short, Tipsy House, Ceol na Gael, the Core, 42, the Black Brothers/Black Family, Paul Chaffee, Sylvia Herold, Sue Draheim, Voices Lesbian Choral Ensemble, and currently as a member of the The Buds. She also plays the occasional pickup gig with various musical friends in San Francisco or thereabouts.

She’s currently focusing on getting those rabble-rousing songs into the ears of those who need them most. Check out the calendar to get the scoop.

Those Who Can, Teach

Elisa has taught instrumental and vocal classes at Lark in the Morning’s Summer Music Celebration. At odd times she has played guitar, fiddle, banjo, flute, bodhran, and various other noisemaking devices, but lately she’s been concentrating on keyboard, pennywhistle, mandothings, and vocals. She’s available to provide music to enhance your family gatherings, corporate events, and other excuses to party. Or she can get you started learning to play any of these instruments, or help you apply general musical concepts to your own creative process. Whuh? Just send an email if you’re interested. If it’s music you’re after, Elisa can help.

Where Can We Hear Elisa?

Wondering just when and where Elisa will be performing? Take a peek at the calendar to find out!

If you can’t make it to an upcoming live performance, you might consider one of the following options:

  • Obtain a copy of Elisa’s CD, The Wheel. Send a note if you’re interested.

  • Peruse the lyrics to the songs on The Wheel.

  • Join the inevitable mailing list. Just send a message to introduce yourself.