GRACE KUCH - MANDOLIN
We truly believe that Chad was the person who kept Grace on her musical path. She had been playing piano for a couple years and had been involved with music since she was born, but at 6 years old she met Chad. At a time when she was possibly going to let go of her music, he brought her into the world of Bluegrass, where even beginners have the opportunity to play with a group. We were brought into a family. A musical family that we will treasure forever. Thank you Chad for giving us the life we lead today. We truly believe you were the one that saved her interest in playing and kept her moving forward! - Jill Kuch (Grace's Mom)
ABE & ETHAN COOLEY - FIDDLE, MANDOLIN & GUITAR
Chad Fisher was the Fiddle and Mandolin Instructor at Laurel Elementary when Ethan was in Kindergarten. Once Ethan started private lessons with Chad, Abe (who was 4) begged to learn how to play the violin also, and Chad gladly began lessons with him, too. Chad has been their instructor now for over 5 years and they have evolved into proficient and curious musicians under his coaching. Working with Chad for private lessons has allowed the Cooley Brothers to participate in jam sessions, workshops, fiddle contests, and several opportunities to perform on stage with sizeable audiences. After 3 years with just violin instruction Chad challenged both of them to learn another instrument and they have thrived in rounding out their sound. Chad has an uncanny ability to keep young children interested in what they are working on and inspire them to grow as musicians. We were so fortunate to have had so many opportunities for our kids and it is all due to Chad.
SAM DAVISON - FIDDLE & MANDOLIN
From playing and listening to Mississippi Stop Stop about a million times to playing right by my side on the Mishawaka and Rockygrass stages, Chad Fisher is my mentor, hero, and friend. Mr. Fisher has been, and always will be, by my side every step of the way. He has been an amazing teacher, friend, and inspiration from when I started playing fiddle in kindergarten to convincing him to teach me mandolin in the 2ndgrade. “I can’t wait for our next lesson so I can learn new and more fantastic and wonderful things!” I would explain to my parents after every lesson! Throughout my time of taking lessons with him, I give my credit and appreciation to Mr. Fisher for all my amazing accomplishments! Mr. Fisher has helped me grow more than I could ever imagine throughout my musical journey! I can never say enough positive things about how much he does and cares for his students! THANK YOU Mr. Fisher, for everything!
ELI SLOCUMB - MANDOLIN
Chad Fisher is the person who introduced Eli to the mandolin, and it has had a profound impact on Eli and our whole family. When Eli started playing in the Laurel Elementary Suzuki violin program, he was only partly interested in playing violin. But the day that Chad introduced the mandolin to the program was the day Eli came home and said "I want to play that!" And he was so motivated to keep playing. Chad taught Eli at school, and then in private lessons, and he brought Eli up for songs with his band Lonesome Traveler at local gigs. And then we became part of the Lonesome Traveler family. And then we started going to festivals, and started meeting bluegrass musicians from across the country. And then we became part of a larger musical family. Now Eli wants to make a career out of playing mandolin, and soon he will record his own full-length bluegrass album. So, to say that Chad has had a profound impact on Eli and our family is no exaggeration. We think the world of Chad, and his teaching of youth musicians, and we know he has made a significant impact on Eli and many other students. --Ben Slocumb & Dianne Stober (parents).