About Us

Hailing from New England, Nova is a contra dance band that weaves the sounds of fiddle, accordion, and guitar into a rich tapestry of sound. Nova draws from both traditional repertoire and original compositions to create versatile, high energy and driving dance music.

In the spring of 2013, Kathleen Fownes (Fiddle) introduced Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin (Accordion and Piano) to Everest Witman (Guitar and Feet). The trio’s undeniable chemistry became apparent as soon as they started playing. They continued to play together informally whenever possible, until 2014 when Nova began performing and playing dances. Nova plays local dances, dance weekends, festivals, concerts, and weddings throughout New England and beyond.

Kathleen Fownes

Fiddler Kathleen Fownes plays with a fire and versatility that shows her deep passion for the music. Beginning as a child, Kathleen studied both folk and classical playing. Her lyrical playing, coupled with her fearless improvisation, create a powerful and dynamic musical range which make her one of the most sought after young fiddlers on the scene. Besides playing in Nova, Kathleen also plays in a duo, with her father Jim Fownes, called Light Reaction.

Visit Light Reaction Website.

Everest Witman

Everest Witman’s guitar playing is energetic and full of life. Heavily influenced by the playing of his former teacher Keith Murphy, he provides a compelling and driving backup guitar style. He found the traditional music scene in in his early teens growing up in Brattleboro, VT and quickly fell in love with music and dancing. Everest plays in the DADGAD tuning and draws from a variety of musical traditions, especially Irish, to create a versatile and satisfying sound. When not playing music, he studies computer science and French at the University of Vermont and also works as a web developer.

Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin

Guillaume Sparrow-Pepin draws on jazz, traditional, and world music to play with an expressive and dynamic style melding the worlds of accompaniment and melody. A singer and pianist, he picked up the accordion in 2012 and, under the tutelage of Jeremiah McLane, found his way to the folk music scene. He studied computer science and music at the University of Vermont and is currently a systems administrator and teacher at The Putney School.