Following are bios of current camp staff; more will be added as they become available.
Aaron Marcus is well-known throughout the country for his performances with Frost and Fire, Giant Robot Dance, and locally with The Turning Stile, and Keys to the Cellar. Aaron brings exuberant energy, danceability, subtle lyricism, and spontaneity to any band arrangement, whether an accompanist on piano or clogging while playing tunes on concertina. Aaron incorporates a variety of old and new styles into his playing and composing, including traditions of the British Isles, Sweden, New England contra dance, West Africa, classical piano, Cape Breton, and the Appalachians. His CD with Frost and Fire, Midwinter Spring, showcases a number of his original compositions. Aaron most loves to teach percussive step dance, and play for English, Scottish and contra dances locally in Central Vermont. When not dancing, Aaron works as an endangered-species botanist, and will happily tell you about all the cool plants of camp.
Abby Ladin grew up immersed in the traditional folk music revival of the ‘70s on the East coast. She was clogging by the age of six, performing with her sister Evie by age 10 and touring nationally at 18 with the renowned dance and music company Rhythm in Shoes. 20 years later she continues to teach the fundamentals and possibilities of clogging to all who crave rhythm in their feet.
Adina Gordon finds an outlet for her loves of travel, music, dance and silliness by calling and dancing at festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada, creating joy and minor chaos wherever she goes. Combining a voice that makes you WANT to do what she says with a commitment to using that power for good and not evil, Adina calls contras and squares both old and new that cause spontaneous eruptions of joy on dance floors. She counts it as a job well done whenever anyone says, "I don't really like squares, but I like your squares."
Alan Gasser is an experienced conductor, professional chorister, singer and voice teacher. He co-directs the Echo Women's Choir (since 1993), and has led countless choirs in Toronto over the past twenty years. Alan has sung Georgian folk music since 1985, with the Kartuli Ensemble, besides founding the Trio Kavkasia and the ensemble Darbazi. He worked with Village Harmony for many years in Vermont, and founded Worldsongs (in Canada) in 2005, as well as the hospice choir Singing Through Life.
Alex Cumming is a traditional singer, accordionist and dance caller hailing from Somerset, England who now lives in Boston, MA. He performs songs and tunes from around the UK and beyond with a great depth of knowledge for the traditions backed up by a Bachelor's Degree in Folk & Traditional Music from Newcastle University. Alex has made his mark on the folk scene with his rhythmic danceable accordion style, strong voice and his fun and engaging stage presence. As a dancer Alex is a member Maple Morris, Newcastle Kingsmen and Newtowne Morris and currently performs in several bands including award winning a Capella group The Teacups, Critically acclaimed duo Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley and New England Contra Dance band Reelation.
Equally at ease on the traverso and recorder, American/Canadian Alexa Raine-Wright maintains an active Montreal-based performance career. Winner of several national and international competitions, Alexa was awarded the Devonna & Amos Gerber Grand Prize and the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra Prize at the 2016 Indianapolis International Baroque Competition. She also won First Prize at the 2015 National Flute Association's Baroque Flute Artist Competition in Washington DC, as well as Second Prize at the 2015 Mathieu-Duguay Early Music Competition in New Brunswick. Alexa is a member of the award-winning ensembles Infusion Baroque and Flûte Alors! Alexa has performed with Arion Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Caprice, Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Clavecin en concert, I Musici, La Bande Montréal Baroque, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She is a graduate of McGill University.
Andy Davis is a music educator in three Vermont public schools, dance musician, caller, storyteller and singer. Andy plays piano, accordion and banjo. He leads community contra and square dances, performs with Nowell Sing We Clear, and is a member of the New England Dancing Masters - publishers of books and recordings for teachers of traditional dance.
Anna Patton grew up in a musical family in northern Vermont and was immersed from a young age in an eclectic mix of jazz, classical, traditional and world music. These days she gets to incorporate many of those influences into playing clarinet for different kinds of dancing, including English, Contra, Swing, and Blues. For the last decade, Anna's innovative dance band Elixir has toured extensively around the U.S. and abroad. She also plays clarinet with other groups like the Julian Gerstin Sextet and the Dunham Shoe Factory. When not on the road, Anna spends her time teaching, arranging, and composing vocal music for the Jazz choir she directs and other choirs around Vermont. Anna also teaches workshops on playing for dancing, aural skills, and improvisation. She received her Masters from New England Conservatory in 2014, focusing on early jazz, free improvisation, and composition in the conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation program. She lives in Brattleboro VT with her husband, Ethan Hazzard-Watkins.
Anna Soloway has attended Pinewoods since 1991 and despite missing a few years in the early 2000s, she still managed to find a husband in the woods between Round and Long Ponds. She and Dennis live in Hillsborough, NC with a multitude of old instruments, a few of which they can actually play! She works at UNC Chapel Hill as a psychiatric nurse where, among other things, she coordinates schedules for almost seventy people. As such, she can say with confidence that you will either have a musician or a nurse at all of your classes.
Anney Barrett, soprano, holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame in Vocal Performance and Great Books and an MM in Vocal Performance from the Longy School of Music. An enthusiastic and adventurous musician, Anney is delighted to be a frequent collaborator with local composers in presenting and recording new solo and choral works, including a recent project with the Boston Composers' Coalition. She performs regularly throughout the greater Boston area with her professional quartet, Anthology, singing 40s jazz, folk, and world music. Recent collaborations include work with Cambridge Concentus, Labyrinth Choir, Schola Cantorum of Boston, The Boston Cecilia, Convivium Musicum, the Boston Concerto Soloists and the Boston Modern Opera Project. Anney co-owns and manages The Green Room, a new arts studio in Union Square, Somerville, where she also maintains a private voice studio. She is the resident soloist at Christ Church Andover, under the direction of Barbara Bruns. Anney is currently pursuing an MA in Mental Health Counseling at Lesley University.
Hailing from the great state of Rhode Island, Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi are seekers and singers of old songs, cultivators of local music, and chronic multi-instrumentalists. They are touted as strong tradition-bearers in their generation, and their genuine affinity for the music is evident in the emotion they draw from it. With a pair of oft-harmonizing voices tastefully garnished with fiddle, free-reeds, and tenor guitar, The Vox Hunters offer an all-natural connection to the living tradition of folk music. Their three mantras are: “Sing Local”, “Sing Often”, and “Roger Williams for President”. thevoxhunters.com
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.
Hailing from the great state of Rhode Island, Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi are seekers and singers of old songs, cultivators of local music, and chronic multi-instrumentalists. They are touted as strong tradition-bearers in their generation, and their genuine affinity for the music is evident in the emotion they draw from it. With a pair of oft-harmonizing voices tastefully garnished with fiddle, free-reeds, and tenor guitar, The Vox Hunters offer an all-natural connection to the living tradition of folk music. Their three mantras are: “Sing Local”, “Sing Often”, and “Roger Williams for President”. thevoxhunters.com
Betsy Branch, from Portland OR, is a dance fiddler and private fiddle teacher. She plays both contra and English Country Dance music, and her reperatoire includes tunes from Ireland, Scotland, Appalachia and Quebec. She is also the Associate Music Director for Portland's Christmas Revels production, where she is the house fiddler, band leader, and frequent music arranger.
Christa Patton, historical harpist and early wind specialist, has performed throughout the Americas, Europe, and Japan with many of today’s premier early music ensembles including Piffaro the Renaissance Band, Early Music New York, The King’s Noyse, Folger Consort, Newberry Consort, Apollo’s Fire, The Toronto Consort, Parthenia, ARTEK, Pegasus, New York State Baroque Orchestra, and many others. As a baroque harpist specializing in 17th century opera, Christa has performed in many early opera productions including New York City Opera and Wolf Trap Opera. She can be heard playing baroque harp and a multitude of other instruments on recordings such as "Istampitta" [Lyrachord] "Chacona" and "Trionfo d'Amore e della Morte" [Dorian] and Nobile Donna on ATMA among others. Christa is on the faculty of Rutgers University and the Graduate Center at CUNY. She is also musical director of the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College, specializing in the works of early 17th century composers, which she started with co-director David Ronis.
Double-bassist Corey DiMario is one of the most sought after accompanists in the acoustic music scene. He has performed at major festivals and concert venues across North America, Europe and Australia. A diverse musician, Mr. DiMario adds rock solid, low-end accompaniment and driving rhythm to any musical situation. A founding member of the string band sensation Crooked Still, DiMario brings a diverse musical palette and energetic approach to an ensemble. He has performed extensively with New England fiddler and singer Lissa Schneckenburger as well as being a part of the Brittany Haas/Dan Trueman Band, performing original music in Old-Time and Scandinavian styles. Mr. DiMario was in the"house band" for Bela Fleck's New York Banjo Summit featuring banjoists Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Pete Wernick, Eric Weissberg, Richie Stearns, Noam Pikelny and of course Bela Fleck. He also performs regularly with Vermont based American roots and branches ensemble, Low Lily. Corey DiMario received his undergraduate degree in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory in 2001 and is a freelance musician in Brattleboro, VT. He previously studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.
Cynthia Shaw, classical pianist, singer, and actor has been playing for English country dancing in New York since 1995. As one New England dance caller has noted, she plays '...springing and spirited backups for other instruments, and her solos positively sparkle…’. She has been on the vocal and piano accompanying faculties of Pinewoods, Buffalo Gap, The John C. Campbell Folk School, Third Street Music Settlement Chamber Music Program and The Brooklyn Friends School and plays for English Country Dances at CD*NY, LITMA and Princeton Country Dancers. She is a professional choral singer and sang with the NY Philharmonic when they won two Grammy Awards. She is the former musical director for the New York Christmas Revels and is writing a one-woman solo show, Velvet Determination, about her classical piano journey from Pueblo, CO to The Manhattan School of Music in NYC. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, David Simonoff.
Fiddler and guitarist Dave Langford, a founding member of The Latter Day Lizards, also performs with Big Bandemonium, Les Z Boys and others. A veteran of 25 plus years of playing for public dances, concerts, weddings, late night sessions and anyplace there is fun to be had, Dave combines multiple styles of fiddling with fierce energy and drive. He has been a staff member for numerous music and dance weeks and weekends all across the U.S. and beyond.
Dave Wiesler began his musical journey as “the guy who could figure out the chords” in his high school garage band. Nearly 20 years later he discovered playing folk music for dances, and felt that the job description had been written just for him. At home in a wide range of styles, Dave is in demand for contra, English and Scottish country dancing, swing, waltz and vintage dance; and his music has taken him across the country and into Canada, Scotland, England, France and the Galapagos Islands. Dave is a prolific composer of tunes and songs, and is also a capable guitarist and singer. He lives in Newark, DE, with his wife and two young sons who don't let him practice nearly as much as he'd like.
David Merleau is a folklore storyteller and a radio host and producer. He is currently the manager of the radio and podcast program for the Storytellers of Canada. David has worked for the CBC as a journalist and associate producer, and has created Youth Radio initiatives for community radio stations in Canada, including VOBB in Gros Morne Newfoundland. Last year David was the voice behind “Camper's Week Radio”- a short podcast featuring the voices and sounds of the week. He is looking forward to being your Morning Gathering MC!
David Millstone fell in love with English country dance at Pinewoods Camp in 1987, and has been leading ECD for the past twenty years. He also calls American contras and squares, and he loves calling for family dances and other similar events. He is known for clear teaching, a broad repertoire, a gentle sense of humor, and the ability to pick dances that offer the right level of challenge for all audiences. He is currently President of CDSS.
Deirdre Murtha has been a music teacher for the last 15 years, and was a preschool and elementary classroom teacher in New York City for 10 years before that. Her music and dance programs for all ages bring her to preschools, libraries, camps, homeschooling groups and her son's elementary school. Deirdre is a member of the dance education group Pourparler; is certified in Level One Orff, Kodaly, and Dalcroize music education; and holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Hunter College in New York. Deirdre also performs, with her husband Sean, in Strange Potatoes, an Irish traditional and old-time music duo; and as a member of the maritime and sea chantey group The Johnson Girls (www.thejohnsongirls.com). She has also been a member of two Revels productions. Deirdre lives in Norwalk, CT with Sean and their sons Brendan and Graham.
Desiree Melegrito Halcomb
Desiree is an elementary and middle school music teacher at an independent school in Princeton, NJ, where she has been teaching general music classes and conducting choirs for almost 20 years. She is also a conductor of the Trenton Children’s Chorus in Trenton, NJ as well as a private piano instructor. Desiree grew up in a family who loved to sing together and found herself at an early age playing for get-to-togethers with family and friends. She went on to study piano and music education at Ithaca College and Westminster Choir College. She became hooked on traditional music and dance when she attended her first CDSS Family Week at Timber Ridge in 2014. Since then she’s become an enthusiastic contra and English country dancer, and also has enjoyed dipping her feet into calling and leading family dances in her community. Desiree is excited to be returning to Ogontz for the third summer with her 2 daughters, and even more excited to be on staff this year!
Doug Creighton is an inspiring musician on the button accordion and flute. He has a wealth of experience as both dancer and musician for numerous display dance teams, plays in the English dance band Pleasures of the Town and joins in as a guest in numerous contra bands. Doug is internationally known as the guru of The Button Box, where he keeps the world safe for accordions and concertinas.
Elvie Miller grew up immersed in the New England music and dance community and attended Family Week at Pinewoods many times as a camper. A recipient of the Watson Fellowship in 2005, she studied traditional dance music in northern Europe, and subsequently moved to music-rich County Clare, Ireland, where she now lives with her husband, fiddler Denis Liddy, and their twin daughters. She keeps busy gigging at local castles and teaching secondary (high) school English and Music as well as teaching classical and traditional piano and piano accordion privately.
Emily O'Brien is a native of Washington, DC where she played recorder from a young age. She studied recorder and french horn at Boston University, and recorder and Baroque flute at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, Germany. She performs in recorder ensembles and historical chamber music, as well as English Country Dance bands. As a teacher, she works with private students and ensembles in the Boston area and at summer workshops. Emily's solo album "Fantasies for a Modern Recorder" explores the variety and possibilities over four centuries of repertoire offered by the Helder Harmonic Tenor recorder, including a variety of flute and violin music usually inaccessible to the recorder as well as new works commissioned for the project. In her spare time, she enjoys long distance cycling.
A Brooklyn native, Emma Conroy was first introduced to yoga in high school by her mother. She was hit by the yoga bug years later, while living in Lima, Peru. There she began a daily practice and was inspired and amazed by the effect yoga had her body and chronic back pain. In 2012 she completed her first yoga teacher training in Samadhi Power Yoga, and has been teaching in English and in Spanish ever since.
Equally at home on fiddle and viola, Eric Martin is a dance musician who brings joy and soulful expression to many folk dance idioms. Through the freedom and improvisation inherent in traditional music, Eric enjoys the opportunity to break away from his Classical background while playing for English country dances, contra dances, festivals, balls, camps, and concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada with Alchemy, Axelrod-Martin duo, and Coincidance. Eric holds performance degrees from Ithaca College and University of Limerick, Ireland and lives and works at Gould Farm, a therapeutic farming community, in the Berkshires.
Eric Schedler plays accordion and piano for contra and English country dancing with Midwest-based bands the Cosmic Otters and Supertrad. With his playing firmly rooted in traditional Irish music, Eric has performed and taught at camps and festivals around the country, and currently serves as a director of the all-ages Cumberland Dance Week, a project of the Lloyd Shaw Foundation, of which Eric is also a member of the board of directors. Eric lives in Bloomington, IN with his wife, Katie Zukof, where they run a family dance series, raise their two daughters and operate a brick-oven bakery.
Frances Conover Fitch has toured extensively in North America and Europe and performs with many prominent early music ensembles. She helped found the groundbreaking ensemble for 17th-century music, Concerto Castello, and has been described as a “delightfully inventive and compelling” continuo player. Ms. Fitch has participated in major music festivals, including Tanglewood, Aix-en-Provence, Pepsico Summerfare, Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg), the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Festival de Musica Antigua in Mexico. Ms. Fitch has made more than a dozen recordings, including a double CD of music by Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, featuring something from every compositional genre she explored. Her playing has been noted for its “precision and delicacy of wit.” She was a member of the faculty of the Longy School of Music for nearly three decades, and served as Chair of the Early Music department there. In 2006, Longy awarded her the George Seaman Award for Excellence in the Art of Teaching. Ms. Fitch is on the faculties of Tufts and Brandeis Universities and The New England Conservatory. In 2012-13, she was Guest Professor at Ferris University in Yokohama, Japan. With Jack Ashworth of the University of Louisville, she is co-author of the figured bass workbook, Running the Numbers. She also maintains a private studio in the Boston area, and is Minister of Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Beverly Farms, MA.
Fynn Crooks used to have a fear of hurdles, but she got over it. Oh, that’s terrible! As a storyteller, humorist, and teacher Fynn has been sharing bad jokes, tough riddles, and a healthy enthusiasm for life with her students, young and old, for a decade. She loves leading group games to encourage communication, cooperation and just plain goofiness. You might find Fynn launching a rubber chicken across camp, leading a silly circus, lifeguarding, telling a folktale, teaching the art of marshmallow catapults, or just dancing with wild abandon. Whatever she does, you’ll sure want to join in the fun - her energy is infectious, but don’t worry, she washes her hands often!
Gaye Fifer has been calling at dance weekends for many years. Her pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great dance experience. She has also taught numerous waltz workshops at virtually every dance weekend in the East. She now lives in Pittsburgh, PA. and travels whenever she gets the opportunity. Gaye has served on the CDSS Board and has a passionate interest in organizing to support dance community leaders & organizers.
Gene Murrow has been an English country dancer and musician since 1965 and has taught and called since 1988 at clubs, workshops, festivals and balls throughout the U.S. as well as Britain, Europe and Japan. As a dance musician he performs on recorders and concertina, has made four CD recordings for dances of Fried Herman and Gary Roodman, and is the Producer of the series of English dance recordings featuring the Boston-based band Bare Necessities. At the 2001 EFDSS/Dolmetsch Historical Dance Society conference in London he was invited to present a paper tracing the history of English country dancing in America, and in 2004 he was honored as the featured country dance caller and teacher at the gala 50th anniversary of England’s Sidmouth International Festival. He has returned to England many times to teach Festivals, Gatherings, and club dates across the country. In 2006, he toured Japan for two weeks teaching English dance workshops, where he returned in 2011 to instruct over 200 folk dance teachers at the National Folk Dance Federation annual conference. Gene approaches English country dance as a medium in which dancers and musicians alike participate in the realization of works of art. His dance workshops strive to make their richness of structure, musical form, texture, and affect enjoyable and appreciated by dancers of all abilities. Gene is the founder and Executive Director of Gotham Early Music Scene, a service and advocacy organization for early music in New York City, and has served on the Board of Directors of CDSS, Early Music America, and the American Recorder Society. He currently is a member of the Board of Pinewoods Camp, Inc.
Graham Christian started dancing English and Scottish at Swarthmore College. He has taught English country dance all over the U.S. as well as in England and Europe. He has studied Renaissance and Baroque dance with Dorothy Olsson, Kaspar Mainz and Ken Pierce, and has created many reconstructions of Playford-era dance. In 2015, CDSS published, as part of its Centennial celebrations, The Playford Assembly, a major collection of more than 125 historical dances interpreted for modern dancers, with scholarly apparatus; that volume is now in its second printing. He is the author of the popular dance history column Tell Me More for the CDSS News. He is also a stage director: past projects include Trial by Jury, The Pirates of Penzance, H. M. S. Pinafore, Patience, Gianni Schicchi, Carmen, and Brigadoon. He is the co-founder of the acclaimed art song concert series Songs and Serenades with soprano Libby Maxey, and has recently begun concertizing as a solo pianist, with a repertoire that extends from Schubert and Bach to contemporary rags.
Hannah Naiman recently moved up to North Bay, ON where she leads early childhood music classes, as well as dance and music workshops for elementary school kids. A singer/songwriter in her own right, Hannah has recently released her second album of original Appalachian roots music called Know The Mountain. Hannah is an oldtime square dance caller, and a regular at Toronto's old-time square dance series, Hogtown Hoedown. A camper since the age of 7, Hannah is thrilled to be program director this year at Camper's Week!
Héloïse Degrugillier (recorder) has worked extensively as both a recorder performer and teacher throughout Europe and the U.S. She has performed with leading period ensembles, including the Boston Early Music Festival Opera, Newport Baroque, Harmonious Blacksmith, the Dunya Ensemble and L'Academie. Recent performances include a concert at the Indianapolis Early Music festival that was praised by the Indianapolis Nuvo: “Recorder players Justin Godoy and Héloïse Degrugillier blended their dissimilar-looking instruments to near perfection.” Héloïse also enjoys an active teaching career, working with the Boston Recorder Society, Recorder Guild of New York and others. She has recently completed her studies in the Alexander Technique and has a Masters in Music from the Utrecht Conservatory in the Netherlands. She studied recorder with Heiko ter Scheggett, Saskia Coolen and Pedro Memelsdorff.
Hi I'm Hope Tarter! I'm from Berea Kentucky and I've been working in childcare for three years now. I am currently working for Kentucky River Foothills in the Early Head Start program where I spend most of my time with two & three year olds. I love to travel, read, and drink black coffee.
Jamie Platt has been running sound for dances, dance weekends, concerts, festivals, and other special events in the DC area and beyond for many years. He works hard to make sure that the musicians are happy, so they devote their attention to making great music. He’s honored to work with such a wonderful staff.
Jan Elliott began her recorder studies at age 3. Her first teachers were Ruth Guillard, student of Bernard Krainis (and wife of a founding Pinewoods Morris Man), and school music teacher and early music specialist Patricia C. Brown. Later she explored advanced baroque repertoire with W. Britt Wheeler at Wesleyan University, earning a BA in music and education. Her MA thesis from UCLA focused on dance and music relations, and she happily straddles both worlds. She currently maintains a private teaching studio, directs the Woods Hole Recorder Consort, and performs with Ensemble Passacaglia, a quartet specializing in medieval, renaissance and world music. She has been a guest artist with Oyez! and Philidor early music ensembles as well as the Solstice Singers, Falmouth Chorale, Mastersingers-by the Sea and Proteus Consort. She also has an active life in the worlds of traditional music and dance, teaching morris and sword dance at the Waldorf School of Cape Cod, directing the Vineyard Swordfish and playing for the Pinewoods Morris Men. She has been on staff at many Pinewoods sessions, including Early Music week, and now serves on the board of Pinewoods Camp, Inc.
Janine Smith calls Contra, Square, Family, and Ceilidh dances in the Washington, DC area. She shares her humorous (OK, sometimes goofy) and infectious passion for music and dance with dancers from Glen Echo, MD to Seattle, WA and specializes in whoopin' it up, regardless of dance formation. Known for her “Singing Squares”, she is one of the “Hot Square Babes”, a quintet of callers who throw a monthly Square Dance Party in College Park, MD, and a founding member of the DC Square Dance Collective.
Joanna Reiner has taught English dance, Scottish dance and longsword for over a decade. Her calling has taken her from Amherst to Ann Arbor, from NEFFA to Hey Days, including several sessions at Pinewoods Camp. Joanna led the Philadelphia-based Germantown Country Dancers English dance demonstration team for many years, is an avid dance gypsy, and in her spare time, works to support her dance habit.
John Devine is much loved by the Family Week community as the Pied Piper and as a solid mountain of rhythm guitar for all styles of country dancing from English to New England to Southern, with a not-so-secret leaning toward swing songs and joy. He has one of the most beautiful voices you'll ever hear. He brings a gentle power to all that he does, whether playing guitar, singing songs or tending his farm just over the ridge in northeast West Virginia.
Jonathan Jensen is an inspired pianist in musical styles ranging from English country and contra to ragtime and jazz. Jon is a composer of brilliant dance tunes and waltzes, a frequent performer at dance events and a bassist with the Baltimore Symphony. When not playing piano at camp he is often filling in on whistle, recorder, ocarina or mandolin and offering his original songs, both silly and serious.
Jonathan Van Gieson
Jonathan Van Gieson has attended Camper's week since 1986. With the exception of that first year, when he was 12, he has been a teenager for every one of those years, and is therefore an expert on the topic. Outside camp, he is a producer, performer, and emcee for shows off-Broadway, off-off-Broadway, and beyond, in places from his hometown of NYC to Las Vegas to Vienna, and is currently in grad school studying Creative Writing for Children.
Called "the Jascha Heifetz of the recorder," Judith Linsenberg is one of the leading exponents of the recorder in the US, acclaimed for her "virtuosity," "expressivity," and "fearless playing." She has performed at the Hollywood Bowl and Lincoln Center; and has been featured with the SF Symphony, the SF and LA Operas, the LA Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, American Bach Soloists, the Portland and Seattle Baroque Orchestras, and others. She is the Director of the Baroque ensemble, Musica Pacifica, whose performances and nine recordings have received international acclaim and several awards, causing the ensemble to be described by the press as "some of the finest baroque musicians in America" (American Record Guide) and “among the best in the world" (Alte Musik Aktuell). Judy has recorded for Virgin Classics, Dorian, Solimar, harmonia mundi usa, Koch International, Reference Recordings, Musical Heritage Society, Drag City Records (with Joanna Newsom), and Hännsler Classics. She holds a doctorate in early music from Stanford University and has been a visiting professor at the Vienna Conservatory and Indiana University’s Early Music Institute. She has taught at Stanford and numerous workshops across North America, including Amherst Early Music, the Boxwood Festival (Nova Scotia), Pinewoods, and Lark in the Morning folk music camp in Mendocino. She maintains a private teaching studio in Oakland and Palo Alto, CA. In addition to early music, she enjoys playing for English Country Dances, dabbling in Celtic music, and, recently, playing clarinet in a Klezmer band.
Julie Metcalf, fiddler and violist, can often be spotted at contra and English dances in the Boston area, either on stage playing fiddle or on the dance floor. Coming from a family of musicians, she was encouraged to make music from an early age; Julie picked up the violin for the first time when she was 4 years old and has been playing ever since. Julie holds a degree in Violin Performance from Berklee College of Music, where she studied traditional and contemporary styles music. She has played Celtic chamber music with the Folk Arts Quartet and Mexican music with Boston's Mariachi Palenque. Julie currently performs with the Agnostic Fiddle Insurgency and The Gig Hunters. Julie is also an accomplished jawharp player. She plays jawharps from around the world, as well as other unusual instruments including the marxolin and mouth bow, in concert with Larry Unger.
Julie Vallimont performs nationwide on piano and accordion for contra dances, English and Scottish dance, French bal folk, and concerts. She is known for her sensitive accompaniment, skill in matching the music to the dance, and music with heart. Drawing on teaching skills developed over fifteen years as a natural science educator, Julie enjoys leading workshops and teaching. She is also an experienced live sound engineer. When she has time, she makes crankies, paper art, and pottery.
Kappy Laning enjoys teaching English ritual dances (rapper, longsword, border morris and garland) to children, teens and adults. She has been inspiring her class participants to work together and create exciting performances at many dance camps over the last 25 years. Kappy is a contra and English country dance caller and has been CDSS's WV Camp Director since 1998.
Karen Axelrod is highly regarded for her creative piano playing at English, American and Scottish dance events around the country. She is in the band Foxfire, Alchemy with Eric Martin and Rachel Bell, and Peregrine Road with Rachel Bell. Karen plays accordion with 3rd String Trio, a band that plays old world cafe music. She also plays accordion for Orion Longsword. She loves the ensemble aspect of playing for dancing, as well as the close connection between what the musicians do and what the dancers do. When not playing music, Karen spends her time coming in last in marathons.
Karina Wilson is a Southwestern favorite fiddler, hailing from Santa Fe, NM. The daughter of a noted caller and organizer, Karina has been playing fiddle and going to dances since age five. Starting with classical violin, she has mastered Zimbabwean marimba on her way to swing dance fiddling, with a hot rhythmic style that rocks and rips at your heart strings at the same sweet time.
Kate Barnes has been playing more instruments, in more genres, in more interesting locations, for longer than most of us can remember. She currently plays in the Latter Day Lizards, Bare Necessities, Celantrio and a myriad of pickup bands. Kate also keeps herself busy with teaching, recording, publishing music books, composing, ceramics and wisecrackery.
Katie Zukof is a dancer, caller, bakery owner and mother of two young girls. She has led engaging children's classes at two Lloyd Shaw Foundation camps, Terpsichore's Dance Holiday and Cumberland Dance Week and also serves as the registrar for Cumberland. She runs a family dance series in Bloomington, IN with her husband, Eric Schedler.
Katy German grew up in Berea, Kentucky - a community full of song and dance traditions from Appalachia, England, and Denmark. She was a member of the traveling youth performance team The Berea Festival Dancers, with whom she traveled to Denmark, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Katy's passion is working with youth, inter-generational, and beginning-level dancers. She's been on staff at many family dance weeks, including Pinewoods, Buffalo Gap, Cumberland Dance Week, and Lady of the Lake. During her six years in the Chapel Hill area, she helped coordinate monthly family dances. She now lives in Asheville, NC, singing, dancing, and calling family dances. She remains very involved with Christmas Country Dance School in Berea, as a program adviser, youth program coordinator, and class instructor. Since September, she is the Executive Director of CDSS.
Kristen Planeaux is an emerging pianist on the English and American dance scenes; she brings bold rhythm and warm, imaginative harmony to melodies both traditional and modern. She has played widely with midwest bands The Ripples and Mulberry Street, and has collaborated with a variety of folk musicians across the Eastern US. In addition to playing, she organizes and calls contra dances. Kristen lives in Cincinnati where she sings at any opportunity and holds down a day job teaching music to young children. She is exuberant about her debut on staff at Pinewoods!
Lawrence (Larry) Zukof (recorder and voice) has performed extensively with numerous renowned professional performing groups. He toured the U.S. and Europe with the Boston Camerata and has been a recorder soloist with Civic Orchestra of Boston, Orchestra New England, the Baroque Orchestra of Holy Lutheran and Trinity Church. He sang regularly with the Pro-Arte Singers, Connecticut’s pre-eminent professional chamber choir. As a singer and recorder soloist, Mr. Zukof has also performed with Cappela Cantorum and at the Yale Norfolk Summer Festival, the Yale Center for British. He currently sings with Yale Camerata, the Chamber Chorus and is the baritone section leader at the historic Center Church on the New Haven Green. Mr. Zukof teaches privately and is a regular workshop leader for various chapters of the American Recorder Society (ARS), including the Connecticut Recorder Society, Eastern Recorder Society of CT, the New York Recorder Guild, and Long Island. He has been on the recorder faculty at Amherst Early Music Festival, and has taught early music workshops at Westminster Choir College, Skidmore College, and Early Music Week at Pinewoods where he is the director (2015-16). He is currently a recorder teacher for the ARS national Traveling Teacher Program. Recently, Mr. Zukof stepped down as the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Music School (1996-2014), one of the ten largest community arts schools in the country. Before coming to New Haven, Mr. Zukof was the Director of Brookline Music School, MA (1984-1996). He received his Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, MA) in early music and continues his musical journey currently focusing as well on viola da gamba and violin. www.lawrencezukof.com
Leslie Jeanne Devine Milbourne
Leslie Jeanne Devine Milbourne is our Earth Educator and Nature Goddess and an environmental educator who relishes exploring, discovering and learning how the earth works, and helping others discover the natural beauty around us. She has worked extensively in her field for over 15 years with preschoolers through college students. We are never separate from nature; Leslie helps us to open our senses to the world in which we live. With daughter, Chenaya, and husband, John Devine, she lives just down the road from Timber Ridge Camp where she and John operate their own nature and music camp.
Leslie Sudock has made community-building a way of life in all her endeavors as a public interest attorney, musician, artist and neighbor. A trained musicologist and early music specialist (voice and viol), Leslie’s musical life included performance as a professional orchestral choral singer with the Philadelphia Orchestra, ensemble soloist, and voice teacher. An exhibited textile artist, Leslie makes community art a way of life through textile, printmaking and “eco-art” instruction in Philadelphia’s schools, park recreations centers, and in her own community studio, Ready to Hand, where she specializes in teaching improvisational SAORI weaving and related textile arts. She has led numerous CDSS community quilt projects, and her all-camp indigo dyeing and weaving projects have inspired campers of all ages annually. Leslie and her family have attended CDSS family camps at Kinder Ring, Pinewoods, Buffalo Gap and Timber Ridge for two decades. She lives in Philadelphia with her sometime Morris-dancer Dan Drecksage and large “granddogs” Sadie and Solo.
Lily Leahy grew up dancing and singing at CDSS’ Family Week at Pinewoods and has been hooked ever since. She started dancing Longsword and Morris at age 10 on Hop Brook Morris, and continued on to dance with Boston-area based Orion Longsword for 14 years. She has taught longsword, morris dancing, and other traditional dances and songs to children for both Revels Education Programs and at the Wellesley Community Children’s Center After School Programs, where she worked full time up until having her first daughter 9 years ago. Lily currently resides in the Cork area of Ireland with her husband and two daughters. She is a music educator and conductor of a children's choir at a local school and enjoys singing with two choirs, one of which she has recently started and conducts. Lily has had the pleasure of teaching at Family Weeks at both Pinewoods and Ogontz and is very much looking forward to returning to Ogontz this summer!
Lisa Greenleaf has been treating dancers across the country to her high spirited, witty calling for many years, and is known for precise walk-throughs of zesty and flowing dances. Whether she is presenting cool contras, hot squares, or focused callers' workshops, Lisa engages the crowd with her humor and community spirit.
Lisa Terry (viola da gamba, violoncello) practices, performs and teaches viola da gamba and violoncello in New York City, where she is a member of Parthenia and the Dryden Ensemble (Princeton). Lisa is principal cellist and viol soloist with Tempesta di Mare, Philadelphia’s baroque orchestra, and she serves the Viola da Gamba Society of America as President. Lisa teaches viola da gamba and cello privately in New York and at workshops around the country, with expertise in technique analysis and discovery; baroque viol solo repertoire; lyra viol; and ensemble coaching (especially ‘how to work well as a chamber ensemble’). She was a founding member of ARTEK, and has performed with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, Juilliard Opera Orchestra, Opera Lafayette, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Winter Park Bach Festival, Bethlehem Bach Festival, Concert Royal, New York Collegium, American Classical Orchestra, Four Nations Ensemble, Santa Fe Pro Musica and Chicago Opera Theatre.
Lise Brown went from playing classical music to Latin music, then to swing, and then to contra and English Country Dance. She believes that all music is one music, and likes to combine elements from the various genres in her playing, arranging, and composing. Lise has performed and led workshops at music festivals and dance camps throughout the US and Europe, and is the leader and arranger of the contra dance big band, Big Bandemonium.
Mark David Buckles
Mark David Buckles is a conductor, composer, singer, music educator, and multi-instrumentalist. Mark David's many roles include serving as the Director of Music at Arlington Street Church in Boston, Music Director of The Sanctuary Boston, and Lecturer of Music Theory at MIT. In addition, Mark David is both a prolific composer and arranger of choral, vocal, and instrumental music, and an acclaimed performer and worship leader, leading worship and music services throughout the country with his reverent spirit and infectious energy. When he is not making music and/or spending time with his amazing daughter, Mark David enjoys chess, hiking, bread, and geocaching.
Mary Alice Amidon
Mary Alice Amidon is a warm and engaging music educator who is passionate and dedicated to song, dance and storytelling with young children. She is a multi-instrumentalist, an accomplished singer of traditional song, and a composer of new songs. As a performer she is gifted in forging a bridge between story, music and listener. As a song leader she inspires open-hearted, full throttle participation.
Matthew Kenney has been surrounded by the New England contra-dance music scene for his entire life. He is in the third-generation of a musical family rooted in traditional music, which has shaped his interest and provided him opportunity. He has made guest appearances with The Horseflies including NPR’s radio show Michael Feldman’s Whaddya Know, and at the Grassroots Festival (Ithaca, NY). He has shared the stage with Bela Fleck, Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown Band), Jay Ungar, Rodney Miller, and many others. In addition to Rift, he plays with JEMS, StringRays, Clew Bay, and more. Matt’s ability spans many genres. When Matt is not playing music, he can be found listening to music searching for new creative influence.
Matthew Olwell is a multimedia artist who has been performing and teaching internationally since 1996. The son of renowned wooden flute-maker Patrick Olwell, Matthew began his professional career touring for nine years with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, with whom he appeared in the London production of Riverdance. He has been a featured performer and teacher at numerous festivals and camps, including the Augusta Heritage Center, the Swannanoa Gathering, CDSS at Pinewoods, and the John C. Campbell Folk School. In the summer of 2014, Matthew performed in Russia on a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy tour with The Meaning of Buck Dance, directed by Emily Oleson in collaboration with Urban Artistry and Baakari Wilder. Other recent projects include a 2017 guest appearance with Anam (co-produced by Ireland’s National Folk Theatre and The Dublin Dance Festival), and CyberTrad, Matthew’s debut solo album, which blends wooden flute and Human Beatbox with traditional and original Irish and Breton music, and of which the Irish Echo writes, “Outstanding... Olwell is an artist with a keen vision.” A 2017 graduate of Davis & Elkins College with a degree in Multimedia Performance, Matthew is a second-year Dance Studies MFA candidate at Temple University.
Guitar and mandolin player Max Newman has made a living as a practitioner of traditional music for the past decade and half. Dance music is his central focus, as well as the community that stems from it. In addition to making music, Max co-organizes several events, including Youth Dance Weekend, a camp dedicated to developing leadership among the next generation of contra and English participants. He also worked for CDSS as the Youth Projects Intern, leading workshops and developing materials for dance organizers, callers, and musicians.
Michael Barrett is a Boston-based conductor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and teacher. He has performed with many professional early-music ensembles, including Blue Heron, the Boston Camerata, the Huelgas Ensemble, Vox Luminis, the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Nederlandse Bachvereniging (Netherlands Bach Society), L’Académie, Seven Times Salt, Schola Cantorum of Boston, and Exsultemus. He can be heard on the harmonia mundi, Blue Heron, and Coro record labels. Michael has served as music director of Convivium Musicum since 2007. He also directs the Meridian Singers, a vocal ensemble based at MIT, and has served as guest director of Cantilena, a women’s chorus in Arlington, and as a visiting lecturer in choral conducting at Bridgewater State University. Michael is currently an Assistant Professor at the Berklee College of Music, where he teaches conducting courses for undergraduates. He is also Lecturer in Music at Boston University, where he teaches seminars in Renaissance and Baroque choral repertoire for graduate choral conducting students. With his wife Anney he is co-owner of The Green Room, a multipurpose arts studio in Union Square, Somerville, where he maintains a private studio for lessons in voice and music theory. Michael earned an AB in music from Harvard University, an MM in choir conducting from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and a First Phase Diploma in Baroque and Classical singing from the Koninklijk Conservatorium (Royal Conservatory) in The Hague, The Netherlands. In 2015 he completed his DMA in choral conducting at Boston University.
Michelle L O’Connor (Levy) has been performing on and exploring the possibilities of bowed string instruments for over 27 years. O’Connor studied medieval vielle with Shira Kammen, earned a Masters in Ritual Chant & Song from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (University of Limerick), and studied music at Brown University. She has performed internationally with an eclectic variety of ensembles, including Jordi Savall & Hespèrion XXI, Keltia Productions, and The Boston Camerata. She’s been a featured performer at the Vancouver Early Music Festival (2013) with Sequentia & The Elaine Adair Ensemble as well as at the Connecticut Early Music Festival (2010) with Istanpitta Early Music Ensemble, and at the New England Folk Festival 2013 (NEFFA) with her folk dance band, TriTonic. She enjoys playing fiddle for contra and English country dance camps in the woods as well as performing with Shira Kammen's Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to creating music on whitewater rafting trips.
The Mills family first came to this family camp in the year 2000, and fell in love. Having experienced camp from many different positions, they are all excited to get behind the wheel as program directors. As a family, they enjoy playing music together, dancing together, and singing together. They occasionally play string quartets, and they also occasionally play for contra dances under the name “Contrapositive.” As individuals, each brings a unique set of interests and skills to camp each Summer. Janet Mills is the mother and chief logistical strategist. She teaches elementary music, and enjoys a good book. She plays an impressive number of instruments at the fifth grade level, but she specializes in fiddle and viola. Robert Mills is the father and official piano accompanist of the family. He also plays accordion, fiddle, and viola. He enjoys English dancing, and has just started calling. He appreciates a funny joke and a good Beethoven Sonata. Imogen Mills is the older daughter, and punctuality manager. She is studying to be a music teacher at Ithaca College. She enjoys contra dancing, English dancing, and couples dancing. She loves to sing, play fiddle, and play the piano. She is also learning guitar. Cecily Mills is the younger daughter and head writer for the family. She enjoys English, contra, couples, and even Morris dancing. She is attending the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She sings and plays marimba, guitar, uke, and cello. The Mills family hopes to create a fun and inclusive environment at camp this year, and they are looking forward to seeing you there.
Naomi Morse grew up surrounded by music and dance in the folk communities of New England. She is known for her energetic and driving fiddle playing for both contra and English dancing in many bands, including Night Watch, Housetop and the mega-fiddle-band Childsplay. She has toured extensively with the world music ensemble Northern Harmony and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she sings professionally.
Nils Fredland has been singing in choirs since 1980, and calling dances since 2000. Respected for his expertise and clear leadership, and appreciated for his kindness and warmth, Nils is a popular caller for dancers of all ages and levels of experience. He is widely known as an engaging and skillful song leader; his primary goal is to create a welcome and safe environment for all participants, and to deliver a joyful, community-building experience through learning and singing together. Nils is the Artistic Director of Revels North, an independent arts organization based in Hanover, NH, with a 40-year history of building community through song, story, dance, and theater in the Upper Valley.
Orly Krasner discovered English Country Dancing while finishing her PhD dissertation on a totally unrelated musical topic. She apprenticed as a dance teacher under Beverly Francis, Fried de Metz Herman, Gene Murrow, and Paul Ross. (In 2011, Orly and Gene arrived in Japan to lead several workshops just in time to feel the earthquake!) She now teaches regularly at Country Dancers of Westchester and Country Dance*New York; she has been guest teacher at the Lichfield (UK) Folk Festival and other special events throughout the U.S. and Canada. Intrigued by the idea of music made visible, Orly took up choreography, and has recently published Celebrations, a book of 20 English Country dances, the CD for which was recorded by Reunion. Orly also dabbles in baroque dance and has studied with Thomas Baird, Kaspar Mainz, Peggy Murray, and Dorothy Olsson. In “real” life, when she isn’t dancing, Orly teaches music history and theory at the City College of New York.
Owen Morrison is an accomplished rhythm and lead guitarist, at home in many styles of traditional music. His playing, laced with rhythmic power and skillful finesse, has made him popular among dancers and fiddlers alike. Owen has toured the U.S. and abroad with bands such as Elixir, Airdance, Night Watch and The Morrison Brothers Band. A frequent staff member and Program Director at Pinewoods, Ashokan, Augusta, and many other camps.
Patrick Swanson began his career in London as an actor at the Arts Theatre. In 1969, he toured Europe with La MaMa Plexus and subsequently got his world theater education from Ellen Stewart at La MaMa E.T.C. in New York. His numerous directing projects include opera, ensemble, music theater and circus. He was a founding stage director of Circus Flora and is currently Artistic Director of Revels. Patrick taught acting and improvisation at the London Academy of Dramatic Art, the London Drama Centre, and New York University. Directing credits include the Spoleto USA festival; Houston's Alley Theatre and Boston's Charles Playhouse. His Actor's Shakespeare Project production of King Lear with Alvin Epstein was nominated for three 2006 Elliot Norton awards. His most recent acting performance was for Gloucester Stage in their 20th anniversary production of Fighting over Beverley. For Revels, Patrick has directed a contemporary version of the medieval mystery plays. He writes and directs all Cambridge Revels scripts and with music director George Emlen, serves as consultant to the other nine Revels production companies.
Although new to the dance world since meeting his wife Lily, Paul Leahy has wholeheartedly embraced it. Paul has been a regular at dance weekends and camps over the past decade and a half. And although he started out by being dragged there, Ogontz Family week is now the highlight of his Summer. Paul is an enthusiastic singer and watcher of dancing (but has been known to partake in the odd twirl from time to time).
Peter Amidon fell into the world of traditional music in 1975 and has never turned back. He is thrilled to now be able to make a living as a freelance musician/educator/publisher: telling stories to all age groups, leading harmony singing with adults and teaching and leading dance with children, teachers and families. Peter Amidon, a founding member of New England Dancing Masters, publishers of books, CDs and DVDs of traditional dance for children and community dancing, leads workshops on leading dance with children and communities throughout the United States, often headlining (with Mary Alice Amidon) at state and national music teacher conferences. His choral arrangements are being sung by community, church and hospice choirs throughout the U.S. and the UK. He has led dancing and singing with children and adults at CDSS Camps for thirty-five years.
Rachel (Ray) Fifer started with contra dance and waltz, then sampled every dance she could, from Lindy Hop, Salsa, Scandinavian partner dances, Clogging, English sword dancing, Tap, West African, Ballet, Tango, Blues, Kizomba, to Fusion. After DJ-ing for Fusion and Blues for about 3 years, Ray has most recently been passionate about exploring the musical and historical context of Blues dance. In conjunction with this intentionality, Ray's pursuit of movement has become focused on smaller, gentler movements that unlearn the high tone and tension many of our American folk dances teach our bodies. Let's explore our roots of movement together!
Rani Arbo has been singing with and for others since she joined a cathedral choir in 3rd grade. In the last 20 years, she's toured North America with a four-piece string band, singing lead and harmony, playing fiddle and guitar, writing and arranging songs, and interpreting music from sources as diverse as Fiddlin’ John Carson, Bessie Jones, and Leonard Cohen. She has an abiding interest in (and not nearly enough time to devote to) arts in medicine and hospice work.
Rick Mohr is a nationally-known contra caller and choreographer and an accomplished morris dance leader, singer and musician. His enthusiasm, humor and deep dance and music repertoire help groups of kids, teens and adults experience the joys of traditions old and new.
Family Week at Pinewoods
Robin Hayden leads English country dancing in her home community of Amherst, MA, and at workshops, weekends, camps, festivals, and balls across North America. The range of expressiveness in English country dance has beguiled and inspired her as a dancer going on 37 years now. As a leader, she is particularly interested in techniques for understanding, articulating, and improving the way we move, and thus the way we express ourselves within this idiom – individually, as partners, and as a set. Robin finds further outlet for her passion and eloquence as the Director of Development for CDSS.
Roger Reed, better known as Roger the Jester, has 40 years of experience as a master of mirth in his bag of tricks, as well as innumerable feats of object manipulation, magic, music and mayhem. Laughter guaranteed.
Sam Bartlett is an irrepressible mandolin, banjo and guitar player, known to dancers across the country for his fine musicianship and philosophy of stuntology. His original music has been profiled by NPR's All Things Considered and Sing Out! magazine declared him a member of “the rhythm players hall of fame.” The inventor and most distinguished practitioner of stuntology, Sam will amaze and delight us with his latest discoveries. Sam's community art projects bring the whole camp into the creative process. Mr. Bartlett has made large scale paper sculptures and puppets for more than 30 years, from the hills of West Virginia to the public school in Gustavus, Alaska.
Sarah Mead teaches, performs, and proselytizes polyphony in the Boston area. She is a Professor of the Practice of Music at Brandeis University where she has directed vocal and historical instrument ensembles and taught music history since 1982; she currently chairs their interdepartmental program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. In 2007 she received the Thomas Binkley Award from Early Music America for outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a collegium musicum. She served as Music Director of the annual Conclave of the Viola da Gamba Society of America for seven years and oversaw their 50th anniversary celebration. Overseas she has performed and taught in Brazil, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, and is a sought-after lecturer and ensemble-coach in the US, where she is a founding member and music director of Nota Bene Viol Consort. Her editions and commentary on both recent and historical works for viols are published four times a year in the Newsletter of the VdGSA under the title "NewsMusic," and her original music for viol consort is published by PRB.
Sarah Nicholson feels blessed to have been born and raised in Antigua, WI. She is grateful for her devoted husband, (Roger the Jester), of 26 years and the 3 children they have raised together. She is honored to be a doula, earlier for birth and now for transition and end of life, serving elders and others in their homes. She is passionate about choosing joy and sharing it with others.
Sarah VanNorstrand has been calling, organizing and teaching contra, square, and family/community dances for over ten years. She has a clear and engaging teaching style and a great repertoire of dances to share. Instantly hooked from her first contra dance as a teen, Sarah’s love of social dancing and her joy in sharing it is evident and infectious. Above all, her goal as a caller is to make sure the dancers are having a wonderful time connecting with the music and each other.
Scott Higgs has been calling and composing English and contra dances for over 25 years -- delighting novices and experts alike. From Seattle to Antwerp, dancers praise Scott's engaging programs, dynamic presentation, and emphasis on fun. His business card says it all: Playful, spirited, elegant, zesty, joyful contra, English, morris, and couple dancing.
Susan Kevra began calling in New England in the early '90s and quickly became known for her warmth, clear teaching and diverse repertoire of singing squares, Western patter calls, contras and English country dances. In 2000-2001, Susan lived in France where she toured throughout Western Europe calling dances, many en français, introducing eager French dancers to American dance and song. Susan teaches French and American Studies at Vanderbilt University, where she has developed a new course, American Social History through Dance.
Suzannah Park comes from a family of three generations of ballad singers, storytellers, and dancers. Her interest in the performance and study of traditional music of many kinds has taken her from music-filled kitchens to concert halls across the U.S. and Europe. Whether she’s teaching American ballads, South African or Bulgarian village songs, good times abound. When not on tour with the Starry Mountain Singers or Village Harmony, Suzannah lives in the NC mountains of her birth where she dances with the Green Grass Cloggers and leads the Wild Asheville Community Chorus.
Wade Bartlett is a family week veteran making his debut as a staff musician in 2018. He’s a classically trained violinist who studied at the Indiana University String Academy for nine years with internationally known professor of pedagogy, Mimi Zweig. He is currently the principal second violinist in his high school strings orchestra, and recently successfully defended his chair in a blind challenge. He has recurrent dreams of being able to use The Force.
Wendy Graham Settle
Wendy Graham is a self-described "dance maniac." Her passion for music, song and dance caught fire in 1991 a youth dance tour in Denmark. Today, Wendy leads English, American, and couples dances in Durango, CO, across the country, and abroad -- as far away as Alaska, England and Denmark. She proudly served on the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) board and is currently a Lifetime Contribution Award committee member.
Will Mentor is a contra and square dance caller from Northern Vermont known for his clear teaching, upbeat wit, and relaxed stage presence. He loves to choreograph evenings with a variety of dances and tempos that at times surprise and always delight, all the while keeping intact his guiding principle as a caller: "It's about the dancers!"