Bob Wiemken began his musical life as a French hornist many years ago and continued pursuing modern brass for some 18 years. Eventually, however, he became inexplicably enamored of the double-reed instruments and leapt at the chance to begin playing early reeds in the Collegium while a graduate student in Classics at the University of Pennsylvania. That began a long love affair with medieval through early Baroque double-reed instruments that has only crescendoed over the past 27 years of playing, exploring, studying, maintaining, servicing and, above all, making reeds for shawms, dulcians, bassoon, krumhorns and more, for himself and many others. As Artistic Co-Director of Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, he has performed worldwide, recorded extensively, built over 100 programs of Renaissance and early Baroque music and commissioned new works for early winds and chorus. He has been very fortunate to perform with many of the world’s leading early music ensembles, in festivals in North and South America and throughout Europe, and in spaces contemporary with the music that helped him define the role, sound and capabilities of double reeds in historic performance settings. He is an eager and well-appreciated teacher and lecturer in college and university settings, having directed the Early Music Ensembles at the Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University for 20 years, bringing the world of early reeds to modern players. He also teaches regularly at festivals and workshops throughout the country. Currently, in addition to his performing, researching, recording and educating responsibilities, he continues to attempt to plumb the depths of early reed construction, design and technique in an effort to understand the mysteries of these glorious instruments. www.piffaro.org/players/bob-wiemken
Mary Wesley is a dance leader, caller, and organizer for contras, squares, morris, and family and community dances. A native of Vermont, she travels throughout New England and beyond to follow and share her love of dance. She is a founding member of Burlington's Mad Robin Callers Collective, a group dedicated to fostering new callers. Mary also works in the Education Dept. at CDSS and makes radio and video documentaries. Her friendly enthusiasm is sure to please.
Harmony of Song & Dance at Pinewoods
Emily Troll plays fiddle and accordion and currently hails from Portland, ME. An avid lover of French-Canadian and Old-time traditions, she's spent many years at Pinewoods and Maine Fiddle camp honing her skills as informally as possible. You'll often see Emily playing with her all-girl band, Anadama. When she's not playing, she's probably dancing. When she's not dancing, she's probably teaching second grade, or taking a long walk on the beach.
Erik Talvitie has attended Campers' Week since he was 6, and has attended most of those morning gatherings so he's totally qualified to be your host. He looks forward to getting out of the way so you can share your songs, stories, dances, special talents, and the finest in hand-crafted, artisanal announcements.
Kari Smith has been teaching adults and children various forms of seasonal display dance for 30 years. She is the foreman of Guiding Star Clog Morris, and a founding member of The New Dancing Marleys. When she is not at camp, she teaches educators to integrate the arts across the curriculum in addition to her anti-bias educational work around gender diversity. She loves to sing and dance, and to get others singing and dancing!
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.
Natty Smith was raised in the New England folk dance community. He began Morris dancing on Tom Kruskal's children's team Hop Brook and then Great Meadows Morris and Sword in Sudbury, MA. He currently dances and plays for Candyrapper VSOP, Pinewoods Morris Men, Maple Morris, and Thames Valley International. Natty’s distinctive fiddle style, influenced by New England contra dance traditions traditional English styles, can be heard all over New England, Canada, and often England in the spring and summer. Since fiddling for morris and sword can’t pay the bills, Natty also teaches High School English in Salem, MA.