A self-described countercultural ethnomusicologist who specializes in left coast neo-classical folk, Elisa M. Welsh has balanced a career as a multi-instrumentalist, singer, music journalist, and editor.
Her resumé as a musician includes stints with the Andover Choral Society, America's Youth in Concert, Boston University Concert Choir, Masterworks Chorale, Murphy's Law, Twinwhistle, Four Shillings Short, Bonsai Sequoia, Tipsy House, Ceol Na Gael, the Core, 42, Seamus Connolly, and Mary and Frances Black. Her journalism career has included editorial work at Frets, Drums and Drumming, and freelance writing for PC World, PC World Online, Keyboards, and Drum!. She spent two years writing full-time for both MacUser and PC Computing. She currently serves as managing editor for the Internet publication Web Techniques. Playing piano for more than three decades, Welch wrote her first composition at the age of four. In the late '60s, she added guitar to her arsenal of instruments and tried her hand at Irish step dancing. She continued to expand on her musical knowledge during a high school trip to Southeast Asia. Following her high school graduation, Welch toured Europe with America's Youth in Concert. Returning to the United States, she enrolled at Boston College where she studied classical piano with Edith Stearns and contemporary composition with Joyce Mekeel. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in music theory and composition. Inspired by the music she heard in Boston's Irish pubs, Welch became a frequent performer at pub seisiuns, often with All-Ireland fiddler Seamus Connolly. Moving to San Francisco in the mid-'80s, she began to focus on her music, writing, and editor careers. She continues to teach instrument and vocal classes at Lark In The Morning's Summer Music Celebration.