Band Members (from left to right): Patrick Hartson, John Robey, Elizabeth Schubkegel, Joel Tyrone Myers, Kyle Pitcher, Lukas Stanley.The Founding is a Progressive Celtic band from Kalamazoo, Michigan. With their timeless, energetic, and powerful approach to songwriting, they strive to constantly push the boundaries of the Irish and Scottish music traditions. Since their origin in 2015, The Founding has received several awards, positive critical reception, and established a sound that promises to place the group among the best of its kind. Their discography includes "Form." (2017), an EP To a City, Fair (2016), and the single "Silhouettes Against the Soil" (2016). Their recordings have been featured on radio shows and podcasts around the United States.

"In under three years, the members of The Founding have earned a reputation as a progressive Celtic-influenced band with a powerful stage presence..." -WMUK

"The Founding...have put together a solid debut effort that any lover of Celtic folk music should take notice of." -Local Spins

The Founding: Individual Member Bios


Elizabeth June (EJ) Schubkegel is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University where she earned her Bachelors of Music in Flute Performance. She is now in the graduate program at the University of Michigan, pursuing a Masters of Music in Flute Performance. EJ had the unique experience of growing up in a large family full of passion for music and the arts. With her dad on the banjo, mom on upright bass, and 10 siblings covering practically every instrument in-between, she began singing and playing folk music from a very young age with her family’s bluegrass band. Dance is her second love, having taken ballet since the age of 5, and now enjoying the chance to occasionally choreograph and assistant direct for various theater and dance companies. Now studying in Ann Arbor, teaching flute lessons, and performing with The Founding, Elizabeth also enjoys playing in a Classical Trio with her two sisters, working as Artistic Director for performing arts company, “Unmuted,” and leading worship at the Kalamazoo House of Prayer.

Joel Tyrone Myers is a 22-year-old bachelor out of Kalamazoo, MI. He is currently working towards his B.A. in music composition at Western Michigan University. Joel grew up playing Celtic music while in the Chelsea House Orchestra. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, creating music, and seeing the world.

John Robey is a classically trained violinist with extensive experience in many genres including contemporary rock, folk, and Celtic. He graduated from Western Michigan University in Spring 2017 with a BA in music performance. John began playing violin at seven years old and was introduced to contemporary genres and improvisation through playing with his church's worship team. Much of his folk and rock experience has been gained through playing with various churches, but his introduction to the Celtic genre started when he joined as the primary fiddler of The Founding in 2015. His technical ability within this new music is due to his classical training, which culminated in performing with professional orchestras such as the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and the Southwestern Michigan Symphony Orchestra. He is now investing his time and abilities solely in The Founding, which has grown to challenge both his technical ability and his contemporary improvisational skills in exciting ways.

Lukas Stanley is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University, where he earned bachelor's degrees in music composition and music education. In addition to serving as the manager of The Founding and playing keyboard, cajón, and viola with the band, he also teaches music privately and composes soundtracks for video game and film projects. Lukas lives in Holland, Michigan, with his wife, Elizabeth, and their dog, Kira, where they enjoy spending time on the beach at Lake Michigan.

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Patrick Hartson is currently a senior majoring in cello performance at Western Michigan University, and a member of the Battle Creek Symphony. He has been involved in many genres of music including classical, folk, and rock. Starting his musical journey at the School for Strings of St. Clair County at the age of seven, he was exposed to many different types of musical training and performing opportunities, and has participated in workshops and performances with artists such as Barrage and Jeremy Kittel. Patrick began playing the guitar in the sixth grade and is self-taught, performing in many bands before joining The Founding in 2015. The Founding provides Patrick with the opportunity to combine his love for the cello and guitar into one dynamic and rewarding project.

Kyle Pitcher is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in music education. During the daytime, Kyle serves as the 5th/6th grade orchestra director at Goshen Community Schools in Goshen, IN. Kyle’s musical background takes shape through his interest in many styles and genres, including (but not limited to) classical, folk, bluegrass, rock, funk, R&B, and jazz. Kyle is classically trained as an upright bassist and is a member of the Elkhart County Symphony and Gaylord Community Orchestra. As an electric bassist, Kyle is self-taught and has performed with artists such as Sonder Green, Yolonda Lavender, and the Sarah Lynn Band. Outside of music, Kyle enjoys spending time with his fiancé, friends and family.