Pete Sutherland is a warm voiced singer, songsmith and accomplished multi-instrumentalist, known equally for his potent originals and his intense recreations of age old ballads and fiery fiddle tunes. Pete has been on staff at dance and music camps coast to coast and is a widely known year-round teacher and performer at home. Sutherland is a veteran of many touring and recording groups including Metamora, Rhythm In Shoes, The Woodshed Allstars, Woods Tea Company, Ira Bernstein’s Ten Toe Percussion and is a founding member of the long running ‘contradance jamband’ The Clayfoot Strutters. He is also a producer with over 80 projects under his belt, and a prolific songwriter covered by the likes of Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Nightingale and Altan.
Linda Nelson has been an avid dancer since the early 1970s, and a dance leader since 2001. Linda is one of the regular ECD teachers for Country Dance Society, Boston Centre (2004 to the present), and was co-founder, organizer, and leader of an ECD series (2001-2011) on Cape Cod, MA, where she lived for 40 years. Linda has also taught at Pinewoods and other venues around the northeast, with a special interest in keeping classic dances alive, along with enjoying the very best of the new choreographies and reconstructions.
Lynn “Chirps” Smith has played fiddle for more than thirty years. He specializes in playing Midwestern dance tunes. Over the years he has played with the Indian Creek Delta Boys (with fiddler Garry Harrison), The Polecats (with fiddler Mark Gunther), and The Volo Bogtrotters. Current bands include dance bands the Little Egypt Pepsteppers and VigorTones, as well as his latest group, the New Bad Habits. Chirps has played square & contra dances for almost as long as he has played fiddle. Early on he cultivated a strong interest in Midwestern fiddle music- he is a lifelong resident of Illinois after all. The Delta Boys searched out senior fiddlers in IL and collected & learned many fine old tunes. He has learned a lot from fiddlers in the surrounding states as well. He has taught classes at August Heritage Workshops (Elkins, WV), the University of Wisconsin String-Along Weekend, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington, the Montana Fiddle Camp, Blue Ridge Old-Time Week (Mars Hill, NC), and numerous weekend workshops at festivals and dance weekends across the country. In 1997 he was recognized as a master Illinois fiddler and awarded an Illinois Arts Council Apprenticeship Grant with teenager Stephanie Coleman (now an acclaimed fiddler in her own right).
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.
Mel Luedders has had fun singing and playing with children, adults, and teachers in the Northwest for the last 30 years. She directs the Spokane Community Choir where ALL voices are welcome and joyful sounds are made weekly. She is also the Director of Plum Tree School, a preschool where young folks play, sing, dance, explore the outdoors, and make all kinds of things. Mel works with teachers as an adjunct professor for Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She gets to travel to towns large and small throughout the west to help teachers learn how music can be included in all kinds of learning and how to trust their own inner musician. She sings and plays with the little ones every year at Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend WA, and at Lady of the Lake Family Week on Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho.
Corey Walters is a musician and dancer currently living in Montague, MA. As a practitioner of the flute, mandolin, and melodeon, he is equally at home playing for a variety of dance styles. In addition to being a regular musician at the weekly English Country Dance in Amherst, MA, he plays for English, Contra, and Irish Set Dancing throughout the east coast in a number of ensembles including Phoenix, Black River Ironworks, and The Sunny Banks. In addition he dances and plays with the Marlboro Morris Men, Oxbow Morris, and Maple Morris.
Donna Hunt calls contra and square dances with interesting choreography and variations. She is known for utilizing clear, concise instructions to minimize teaching time and maximize dance time. She offers programs of exciting dances in a variety of figures and formations for the dancers’ enjoyment. Donna infuses the dancers with confidence, regardless of their skill level, and she enjoys guiding new dancers and challenging experienced ones.
Josh Burdick studied piano, violin, and musicianship at the Peabody Prep in Baltimore, and (during the summer) at the Walden School for Young Composers in New Hampshire. He took up folk-dancing in college, in Philadelphia, where he has often played piano and violin for English, Scottish, and contra dancing. He has since relocated to Ann Arbor, where he works as a computational biologist, and continues to play for dancing.
Crispin Youngberg grew up in the UK morris community with both parents dancing, and started dancing himself with Great Western Morris in 2006. Since then he has danced with other teams including Morris Offspring, Maple Morris, and Hammersmith Morris Men. In 2014, he won the John Gasson Solo Jig Competition at Sidmouth Folk Festival, and returned to the competition to win the audience appeal prize in 2016. He has been foreman (dance instructor) of Great Western Morris, has led morris workshops at a number of UK folk festivals, and is very excited to teach morris at Pinewoods. Crispin lives in Western Massachusetts and dances with the Marlboro Morris Men, and also enjoys playing fiddle and singing shape note.
Dynamic is certainly the word to use to describe Tristan Henderson! He played a variety of music genres before jumping into traditional music and is quickly becoming a sought after accompanist, session musician and performer in Vermont. His unique ability to play any instrument with strings (and a few without) was set into motion when he picked up the guitar at the age of ten. Tristan is an adventurous and powerful rhythm player who can also hold his own on melody, singing or picking, and he never ceases to inspire with his boundless energy and joyful performances. He was a 2013 winner of the Young Tradition Vermont talent contest with bagpiper Hazen Metro and in addition to Pete’s Posse he can be found performing with Atlantic Crossing, Cape Breton duo ‘Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald’, and anywhere else his diverse bag of tricks is desired.