American Dance Musicians Course
August 3 - 10, 2013
Held during Family Week at Ogontz
Is there still room?
For up-to-date info about availability and wait lists,
see our main Dance & Music Camps page.
Keith Murphy has been immersed in music and dance since his childhood days in Newfoundland. His distinctive rhythmic sound on guitar, mandolin, piano and foot percussion has helped drive several great contra dance bands including Nightingale, Wild Asparagus and Assembly. Having performed at many dance events throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as overseas, he brings a wealth of experience and sophistication to his playing.
Becky Tracy grew up dancing to her father's calling and scratchy 78s of Don Messer's fiddle playing. She has fiddled with the bands Nightingale and Wild Asparagus for the last 15 years and has played in many, many lovely places including Hawaii and France. Becky has a distinctive clarity of tone, a rhythmic attack owing much to French-Canadian playing and the melodic quality of Irish music. Her unmistakable sound has made her a defining presence among dance musicians.
This week long intensive course emphasizes ear training, arranging and strong ensemble playing. Learning by ear will be a strong theme of the week. Students do not need to be skilled (or even comfortable!) playing by ear. Those who are unused to playing by ear will find the course an excellent initiation into this essential skill while others will likely find Keith and Becky’s method to be a great skill builder. Using creative harmonies will be one element in exploring the arrangement process in contra dance music - how to establish a mood and create a sense of drama and excitement over the course of a medley. And we will pay close attention to rhythmic fine points to see how rhythmic clarity and precision adds power and cohesion to a dance band.
All players will work on learning dance melodies as well as learning the fundamentals of chord theory and the process of choosing chords. The class will break into smaller working groups to experiment with building medleys and developing arrangements.
The class will be oriented towards intermediate to advanced players. Participants should have a basic tune repertoire and be comfortable playing at dance tempo.
Students are encouraged to come to class with a recording device.
The Course meets for two hours each morning. For the rest of the day, participants can choose from among the activities available at the host week. There is an afternoon dance that may offer playing opportunities.
Ogontz Log Hall
This course is limited to 16 participants to ensure plenty of opportunity for active participation. Participants should have a basic tune repertoire and be comfortable playing at dance tempo. If it is oversubscribed on March 18, there will be a lottery, with preference given to musicians more comfortable playing at dance speed. Please clearly indicate if you would like to attend Family Week at Ogontz, if you did not get a space in the course. Scholarships are available.
View from the Log Hall
|9:00-11:00||American Dance Musicians Course|
|11:15-12:00||Morning Gathering: songs, dances, show & tell|
|12:30-1:00||Buffet Lunch Served|
1:30 Mixed-age Classes
(All ages) Napping, walking, relaxing or...
(8 & younger/parent) Readin' and Restin': DeLaura Padovan -- A quiet and relaxing hour for families with younger children - not quite a nap, but it will refresh and recharge. If you have some favorite books in your cabin, please bring them to share.
(All ages, under 8 w/parent) Community Art: Laura Sprung -- We'll work on new projects everyday but you can also concentrate on just one, if you find a favorite. You will have a chance to work with a mix of new and repurposed materials to create practical and ornamental objects. You don't need to bring anything but yourself, but if you have favorite paper craft tools, bring them along. Some possible projects are paper boxes, stationary, napkin rings, magnets, and more.
(8 & up, younger if passionate w/parent) Family Band: Steve Hickman -- Steve will get us ready to play for the Community Dance each night! All abilities and instruments welcome.
(10 & up) Swing Party: Bettie Zakon-Anderson, Steve Zakon-Anderson / Zara Bode, Naomi Morse, Owen Morrison -- Bettie and Steve will teach and review some simple swing moves each day to get you dancing to the amazing singing/playing of Zara, Naomi and Owen! More of a party than a class - but dance assistance will be available on the sides.
(13 & up) English Clog: Kathy Talvitie / Natty Smith -- Bring your hard-soled shoes and learn a traditional clog dance in the English Clog style.
|2:35-4:35||2-Hour Swim Block All ages, 9 & under/parent|
2:35 Mixed-age Classes
(All ages, 9 & under/parent) Swimming --
(13-19) Teen Class: Stefan Amidon, Zara Bode -- Hey teens! With your help we will have more fun than anyone else at camp! We'll sing songs, play ukuleles, find our special talents (who can lick their elbow. Try it right now!) and play games. We can't wait to meet you!
(20 & up) Afternoon Contras: / Keith Murphy, Becky Tracy, American Dance Musicians Course -- An opportunity to contra dance during the afternoon and, for those of you with experience, a chance to call some dances too.
3:50 Mixed-age Classes
(All ages, 9 & under/parent) Swimming --
(8 & up) Mummers: Paddy Swanson -- The artistic director of Revels will lead us in the creation of a spectacular mummers play.
(13 & up) Harmony Singing: Stefan Amidon, Zara Bode -- Take a break from dancing or running after your kids and take part in the joy of harmony singing. We'll learn traditional two, three and four part songs, from traditional sources, done up in traditional and contemporary arrangements. Most songs will have music, but we may learn some simple songs by ear.
Teachers Seminar: Kari Smith
Teacher Training Course participants will join the class teachers and students in the morning to work with traditional material. This will be our daily chance to discuss what we have observed and to try some of the material ourselves.
Stories at the Green Chairs - Donald Davis
Donald Davis - storyteller extraordinaire! Donald will take us on a daily journey during which we’ll guffaw with laughter and nod our heads in recognition of our common stories.
|7:45-8:30||Evening Gathering: Andy Davis and friends|
|8:15||Pied Piper/Bedtime for children 9 & younger|
|8:30-10:45||Evening Dance Party|
|9:30||Bedtime for 10-12 year olds|