Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Susan Draheim ’67
Sue Draheim was a classically trained violinist turned fiddler whose career spanned more than forty years and many albums. She began studying violin in school while attending Peralta Elementary School and later, Claremont Middle School. After graduating from Tech she gravitated to Berkeley where a renaissance in American folk music was underway.
Originally trained as a classical violinist, by 1968 Draheim was part of an American mountain string band group, The New Tranquility String Band. Known for her eclecticism, Draheim also became skilled in performing Celtic folk music, Cajun, and Zydeco music styles.
While Draheim was primarily a fiddler, she never lost touch with her classical training, and was a member of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and the Bay Area Women’s Philharmonic as well as UC Berkeley’s University Chamber Chorus. She also played in the US premiere of Frank Zappa’s experimental orchestral piece A Zappa Affair, and was described by Gael Alcock, cellist/composer with whom she performed one of Alcock’s pieces, as “fiddler extraordinaire”.