Barrage (group)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the band. For other uses, see Barrage (disambiguation).
Barrage Logo.gif
Background information
Origin Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Genres Canadian fiddle
World music
Years active 1996 (1996)–2012[1]

Barrage was a violin-based, modern worldbeat ensemble headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They employed a blend of violin music with high-energy physical choreography during their performances.[2] The group's live shows toured in 27 countries, and their filmed concert specials have been featured on television networks around the world.[3]

Barrage played an eclectic mix of material from a multitude of genres, including, but not limited to, Celtic, Swing, Bluegrass, Jazz, Rock, Calypso, Pop, Canadian fiddle and Latin, as well as contemporary versions of traditional material from countries including China, Ukraine, and India.

The group released a statement via Twitter on May 9, 2012, that the group had decided to suspend their performance and touring schedule, along with all other operations. No further information was given; however, they also stated that they may resume activity in the future.[1]


Barrage began as a musical entertainment concept created in Calgary, Alberta in 1996 by musicians Dean Marshall and John Crozman. Together with Jana Wyber, Brian Hanson, and Anthony Moore,[4] they formed Barrage's executive production and creative team, known as "5 to 1 Entertainments".[5][6]

Barrage originally consisted of seven violinists, along with a four piece backline made up of bass guitar, acoustic/electric guitar, drum set and percussion. In its early days, Barrage's performances concentrated solely on experimenting and exploring new musical ideas. The group initially gained attention for pushing the violin's musical boundaries in their attempts to change the public's general perception of what is considered acceptable music to be played using the instrument. The seven violinists began incorporating choreography and several forms of dance into their shows while playing the violin at the same time, thus creating unique visuals to match the various music styles they were performing. Barrage quickly evolved into a hybrid cross between a theatrical music production and a musical ensemble show.[7][8]

A second cast of Barrage was created by 5 to 1 Entertainments in 2001 and was based in London, England. For a short time, two entirely different casts of Barrage were touring and performing the same show in different parts of the world simultaneously. The two casts were later amalgamated, reverting to a single, eleven member Canada-based cast.[7]

In 2006, Barrage changed their general show format, moving away from their traditionally large scale theatrical music shows and tours to a smaller scale, education-oriented show format. The change saw the cast decrease in size from 11 members to 8 and included the addition of a major educational component to their touring. They frequently worked in American schools with their "Energize Your Strings!" program, which consisted of a day-time workshop and an evening concert, usually in the school's auditorium.[9]

Tours and live performances[edit]

Barrage embarked on several major concert tours which included "A Violin Sings, A Fiddle Dances", "Vagabond Tales", and "High Strung".[10] These tours each spanned several years in length, and collectively played to audiences across 27 countries including Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, England, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United States.[11] The group also frequently toured regionally in North America and Europe using the self-titled "'Barrage" show name.[12]

In addition to their touring schedule, Barrage occasionally performed as a semi-permanent resident show at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World Florida, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California, and Chime-Long Paradise in Guangzhou, China.[13]

From 1996-2012, Barrage maintained an extremely active schedule, touring internationally for over 30 weeks each year.[14]


Barrage has released five studio albums, one live album, one greatest hits album, several music videos, and two concert DVDs.[15][16] They have also published a series of music books.[17] The group has been featured on numerous television networks worldwide including BBC (UK), PBS (USA), CBC (Canada), CCTV (China) and the Disney Network (USA) in both filmed and live performance specials.[13]


Barrage released their first album, "Live in Europe" in 1998, recorded live at multiple venues during Barrage's tour of Europe that year.[18]

Their self-titled album "Barrage", released in the year 2000, was the group's first studio album. It contains many original songs from the group's "A Violin Sings, A Fiddle Dances" tour.[19]

Barrage's second studio album "Vagabond Tales" was released in 2003 in conjunction with the launch of the group's "Vagabond Tales" tour, containing many of the songs that were featured in the show.[20]

In 2008, Barrage released "Scrapbook", a greatest hits album containing popular and well known songs from the group's shows and previous recordings. Also in 2008, Barrage's third studio album "High Strung" was released, containing music performed by Barrage during their "High Strung" tour.[21][22]

"Winter's Tale" was released in 2009. It is Barrage's first holiday album, containing their unique arrangements of holiday classics. The album also contains collaborations with Danish vocalist Stig Rossen.[23]

In 2011, the group released its last studio album titled "Soundtrack of the World".[24]


Barrage was the topic of three separate biographical documentaries during their existence, including "Live in Europe" (1998), "The Making of Vagabond Tales" (2003) and "Dig a Little Deeper" (2005), all of which have been televised in several countries.[25] Two of Barrage's music videos, "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and "Running Horses", have received airplay on music television networks VH1 (USA), CMT (Canada/USA) and Muchmusic (Canada).[26] The group also produced other music videos and performance clips made specifically for Youtube.[27]


Barrage has released two concert DVD's, "The World on Stage" (1999) and "Vagabond Tales" (2003). Both were broadcast multiple times nationally across the United States as prime-time concert specials on the PBS network.[28]

Instrumentation and music[edit]

Barrage violinists used acoustic violins fitted with custom wireless acoustic bridge pick-up amplification systems[29] and specially designed "Barrage" model carbon fiber Codabows during their live performances.[30] Vocals were always a major part of Barrage's performances, and all musicians in the group usually sang during their shows. Drum set, acoustic/electric guitar and bass guitar were mainstay backline instruments used by Barrage throughout their existence. From 1996-2005, the backline featured a strong percussion and melodic mallet instrument presence, however this element of the group was removed after 2005. Barrage also used piano, keyboards, mandolin, upright bass, tin whistle, low whistle, harmonica, bagpipes, and other instruments at various times in their shows.[8][29]

Barrage's repertoire was varied and extensive, encompassing many music styles. The group's musical director, Dean Marshall, composed and/or arranged all of Barrage's musical material throughout its entire history.[31]


The cast of Barrage was a group of young professional musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds. The cast was made up of several different musicians throughout its history, each of whom were specifically selected for the group through worldwide auditions.[32] The original cast members were: Denis Dufresne, Scott Duncan, Errol Fischer, Allison Granger, Roxanne Leitch, Lynae Oliver, and Joshua Zubot (all on violin/vocals), Bob Fenske (percussion/mallet instruments), Kent McRae (drum set), Aaron Young (guitars) and Tim Harley (bass).[33]

Barrage musicians came from countries including Canada, England, Germany, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, and the United States. From 1996 to 2006, Barrage was made up of seven violinists along with a guitarist, bassist, drummer and percussionist. From 2006-2012, the cast of Barrage consisted of five violinists with a guitarist, bassist, and drummer.

Cast members[edit]


  • Seonaid Aitken (Scotland - Violin/lead vocals)
  • Kristina Bauch (Canada - Violin/piano/vocals)
  • Sarah Bennett (USA - Violin/vocals)
  • Charles Bullough (Canada - Drums)
  • Daniel Carson (USA - Violin/vocals)
  • Stefan Defilet (England - Violin/vocals)
  • Lindy Donia (USA - Violin/vocals)
  • Denis Dufresne (Canada - Violin/vocals)
  • Scott Duncan (Canada - Violin/vocals)
  • Tommy Emmerton (Wales - Guitars)
  • Alicia Enstrom (USA - Violin/vocals)
  • Clare Feehan (UK - Violin/vocals)
  • Shaina Evoniuk (USA - Violin/vocals)
  • Bob Fenske (Canada - Percussion/Mallet instruments)
  • Errol Fischer (Canada - Violin/vocals)
  • Carly Frey (Canada - Violin/vocals)
  • Ben Gale (England - Percussion/Mallet instruments)
  • Jason Graham (Canada - Guitars)
  • Allison Granger (Canada - Violin/vocals)
  • Mitchell Grobb (Canada - Violin/vocals)
  • Benjamin Gunnery (England - Violin/vocals/whistles)
  • Tim Harley (Canada - Bass Guitar/vocals)
  • Matthew Harney (England - Violin/vocals)
  • Jessica Hindin (New Zealand - Violin/vocals)
  • Annette Homann (Germany - Violin/vocals)
  • Hidayat Honari (Canada - Guitars/vocals)
  • Jason Hurwitz (USA - Violin/vocals)
  • Naseem Khozein (USA - Violin/vocals)
  • Loren Lee (USA - Violin/vocals)
  • Roxanne Leitch (Canada - Violin/vocals/whistles)
  • Kent Macrae (Canada - Drum set)
  • Jonathan McCaslin (Canada - Drum set)
  • Matt McDonough (England - Drum set)
  • Taylor Morris (USA - Violin/vocals)
  • Miranda Mulholland (Canada - Violin/vocals)
  • Lynae Oliver (USA - Violin/lead vocals)
  • Clinton Pelletier (Canada - guitars)
  • Daniel Pentecost (USA - Violin/vocals/whistles)
  • Thomas Sidebottom (England - Violin/vocals)
  • Corinna Smith (USA - Violin/vocals)
  • Phil Smyth (USA - Guitars/violin)
  • Jennifer Warner (Ireland - Violin/whistles)
  • Kiana Weber (USA - Violin/vocals)
  • Aaron Young (Canada - Guitars/mandolin)
  • Leah Zeger (USA - Violin/vocals)
  • Joshua Zubot (Canada - Violin/vocals)

Creative team[edit]


  • Dean Marshall (Musical director/Artistic director/Executive producer)
  • Brian Hanson (Choreographer/Artistic director)
  • John Crozman (Executive producer)
  • Jana Wyber (Executive producer)
  • Anthony Moore (Executive producer)


  • (1998) Live in Europe
  • (2000) Barrage
  • (2003) Vagabond Tales[10][35]
  • (2008) High Strung
  • (2008) Scrapbook
  • (2009) Winter's Tale
  • (2011) Soundtrack of the World


  • (1999) The World on Stage (Full length concert DVD)
  • (2003) Vagabond Tales (Full length concert DVD)


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Barrage Official
  3. ^ About the show
  4. ^ "Barrage Biography". MTV Networks. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Design and Production: Steve Nowlon. "Barrage - Back Stage - The Creators". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  6. ^ Demalon, Tom. "Barrage Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Templeton, David (August 2005 / September 2005). "Home " News " Interviews & Profiles " Barrage Is a Force for Fiddling". Strings Magazine (131) (San Anselmo, CA: String Letter Corp). ISSN 0888-3106. OCLC 423780997. Retrieved 29 November 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ a b Design and Production: Steve Nowlon. "Barrage - Official Home". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  9. ^ Design and Production: Steve Nowlon (2010-09-20). "Barrage - Educational". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  10. ^ a b Martinez, Sergio. "Fiddle Barrage: Is That An Orchestra?". Culver City, CA: Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  11. ^ JOE BELANGER, The London Free Press (2011-12-06). "String fling | Music | Entertainment | London Free Press". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  12. ^ "Barrage Tour Dates â€" Barrage Concert Dates and Tickets". Songkick. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  13. ^ a b Design and Production: Steve Nowlon. "About The Show". Barrage. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Design and Production: Steve Nowlon. "The Shop - Audio CDs". Barrage. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  16. ^ Design and Production: Steve Nowlon. "The Shop - DVDs / Videos". Barrage. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  17. ^ Design and Production: Steve Nowlon. "The Shop - Music Books". Barrage. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  18. ^ Live in Europe Album Information
  19. ^ Design and Production: Steve Nowlon (2010-08-30). "The Shop - Audio CDs - Self-titled". Barrage. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  20. ^ Design and Production: Steve Nowlon. "The Shop - Audio CDs - Vagabond Tales". Barrage. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  21. ^ High Strung
  22. ^ Scrapbook
  23. ^ Winter's Tale album info
  24. ^ Design and Production: Casper Journal Staff. "Barrage unleashes "Soundtrack of the World"". Casper Journal. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  25. ^ "Barrage: Dig a Little Deeper". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "Barrage - Barrage". MTV Networks. 9 January 2001. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ Design and Production: Steve Nowlon. "Official Home". Barrage. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  29. ^ a b Design and Production: Steve Nowlon. "About The Show". Barrage. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  30. ^ "CodaBow Diamond NX Barrage Round Carbon Fiber Violin Bow | Southwest Strings". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  31. ^ a b Design and Production: Steve Nowlon. "Back Stage - The Creators". Barrage. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  32. ^ Lisa L. LaCamera. "International Sensation Barrage Electrifies the Stage with a Visual and Aural Extravaganza". My Wolf Trap. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  33. ^ a b Former cast members Official
  34. ^ Design and Production: Steve Nowlon. "Back Stage - The Performers". Barrage. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  35. ^ ""Vagabond tales" (sound recording) / Barrage", (Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada), OCLC 607265704, AMICUS No. 38865569, retrieved 29 November 2011.