Monthly Archives: July 2012

Rima at Camp – part 5: Family Week at Ogontz

A series of summer blogs by CDSS Executive Director Rima Dael:

Hello from the green chairs at Ogontz! It is a lovely morning at camp. Breakfast is over and many scurried off to morning classes. Last night was very special as Daron Douglas regaled us with songs and stories. I am much smarter now from Mary Cay Brass leading us in the Latin rendition of Old McDonald Had a Farm — “Moo Moo, Hic…Moo Moo, Ibi…Hic, Moo, Ibi, Moo.” Lovely dancing called by Brad Foster and Susan Kevra. The great new floor, albeit a little slippery, is wonderful!

CDSS Director of Programs Steve Howe and I are here for the rest of the day and back to Pinewoods after dinner.

Cheers, Rima






Rima at Camp — part 4: Packing up, and the “Meet, Greet and Listen” Tour

A series of summer blogs by CDSS Executive Director Rima Dael:

Some of the books and recordings from the CDSS Store, heading for its week at Ogontz

So the office in Easthampton, MA has been in a flurry of packing as we get ready for Family Week and Teachers Training Course at Ogontz Camp in NH. The pictures are two of our piles ready to get loaded onto the truck tomorrow. I too am getting ready — for a brief trip to Ogontz this weekend and then back to Pinewoods for a day and a night of American Dance & Music Week.

I thought I’d share why I’m making it a point to visit all the camps. First, it is an opportunity to really get to understand the camp programs we do at different locations, with each week having a very different feel to it. Second, I’m on a “meet, greet and listen” tour! At each week, I’m meeting many of our members and constituents, listening to their histories with camp, CDSS, dancing, singing and playing music, and what their thoughts are for how we may celebrate our Centennial. On my way to Timber Ridge next month, I will be stopping in Washington, DC to meet with some funders and potential strategic partners like the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

Sound equipment and cables resting up for the journey

By the way, our Centennial celebration is in 2015. Our goal is to celebrate, on a North American spectrum, one hundred years of dance, music and song within the English and American folk traditions. We are currently in the brainstorming and preliminary planning mode and I’ll be in touch soon with more on our celebratory plans.

Be well, Rima

PS. Please keep your fingers crossed for good weather at both camps!



Rima at Camp — part 3

A series of summer blogs by CDSS Executive Director Rima Dael:

Good-bye Family Week…

What fun to see everyone get dressed up for the Friday parade. Here I am pictured with Kimberly Fields, and yes, that is a horse hat on top of my head! Saying good-bye to Family Week was bittersweet. My daughter has made plans already for next year, asking to maybe start violin again this fall and who her roommate may be. We said good-bye to our fairy houses, the lake and many, many new friends, but we did look forward to getting home to our own beds and starting the mounds of laundry. My husband picked up Karana on Saturday; I followed by bus the next day. Till next year, Family Week at Pinewoods!

…and hello Harmony of Song & Dance!

My single morning of singing with the entire camp, was…well…it touched my soul. It has been a while since I’ve sung with a large choir and it was incredibly moving. If my bus ticket home hadn’t been paid for and nonrefundable, and if there wasn’t work waiting for me in the office, I might have begged to stay one more night.

Let me also share that I was tickled and a little starstruck at the opening of Harmony Week. David Jones, a magnificent storyteller and folksinger is on staff this summer. My daughter and I are big fans. David is featured on the “Sea Music” CD and DVD by Dan Zanes & Friends, and our favorite song, “Strike the Bell,” is one that my daughter has grown up with. No, I didn’t ask for David’s autograph but someone got our picture! When my daughter and husband picked me up at the bus stop Sunday night we watched the DVD with David singing “Strike the Bell” and shared memories of Pinewoods all the way home.

Yes, I get it. CDSS Camps are so very special. Pinewoods is magical — thank you to everyone who help make the magic happen. My BIGGEST thanks go to Steve Howe (CDSS’s Director of Programs) and his summer office assistant Maggie Bye for their hard, hard work to make CDSS Camps what they are. Thanks to Judy Savage (Camp Manager) and the Pinewoods staff for the wonderful facilities and food!

I’m off to Ogontz next, to say hello this Sunday, and will swing back to Pinewoods for a couple of days of American Dance & Music Week — more pictures and thoughts to come.

Cheers, Rima

PS. It took a WHOLE day to do laundry from camp…I get that now too! (Smile.)


Rima at Camp – Family Week at Pinewoods, part 2

A series of summer blogs by CDSS Executive Director Rima Dael:

A great cool Thursday morning from Family Week at Pinewoods…perfect for English country dance, especially after yummy pancakes for breakfast!

A summer storm came yesterday afternoon that cancelled the swim across the lake. Stories from Peter Amidon and Andy Davis kept us riveted and the younger campers distracted from the booming thunder and wind. But all is well now with lower humidity.

Cheers, Rima

Rima at Camp — Family Week at Pinewoods

The first in a series of summer blogs by CDSS Executive Director Rima Dael:

“Hello from morning meeting at Family Week – Pinewoods! Just wanted to share some pictures and say hello. The weather is warm, but bearable. Swimming in the lake is divine. We love our cabin — Quite Carried Away — which used to be the bandshell for C# Minor. The roving monitors are wonderful to help with good sleeping. And Lucretia Fields, one of the second generation campers made a quilt for our auction on Tuesday night. So long for now…”



Handing off the Music (literally!)

Handing off the music to the next generation? Absolutely, and with considerable flair and musicianship, don’t you think? CDSS president and videographer David Millstone describes this video of Bob McQuillen and friends:

Contra dance enthusiasts may enjoy watching a recently-uploaded clip on
YouTube that focuses on Bob McQuillen, the New Hampshire musician and

Composer of more than 1500 tunes to date and well known for his distinctive and
powerful boom-chuck piano style of contra dance accompaniment, Bob was a
2009 recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award. The award itself was
presented to Bob at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) the following April,
part of a “Salute to Bob McQuillen” session that was conceived by CDSS
member Jeremy Korr. Jeremy noted that 2010 would mark the eighth decade (!)
during which Bob had been a NEFFA participant and he helped arrange for a
special group of musical guests to highlight the occasion.

In this clip, Steve Zakon-Anderson calls “Young at Heart,” a contra dance he
wrote years ago for Bob.The musicians shown include Bob’s “Old
New England” bandmates, Jane Orzechowski and Deanna Stiles, and two
members of his Pacific Northwest band, the “Rhythm Rollers,” WB Reid and
Laurie Andres.

Bob has had a long and close relationship with Jane Orzechowski’s family; four
of the Orzechowski children studied piano with him over the years. (The oldest,
Francis, was one of the musicians selected to represent New Hampshire at the
Smithsonian Institution’s 1999 Festival of American Folklife in Washington, DC.)
On the video, you can watch as the piano accompaniment is seamlessly passed
from Bob to Francis, Russell, and Neil, and then back to Bob. When they’re not
playing piano, the video shows the three playing fiddle or accordion.

Bob McQuillen was also awarded the National Heritage Fellowship in 2002 by the
National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honor for traditional artists in the