Following are bios of current camp staff; more will be added as they become available.
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."
Equally at ease on recorder and baroque flute, American/Canadian Alexa Raine-Wright has shared her passion and talent for early music with audiences across the U.S. and Canada in solo, chamber and orchestral performances. She is a graduate of McGill University, where she studied with Claire Guimond (baroque flute) and Matthias Maute (recorder). She has also studied with Cléa Galhano and Barbara Kaufmann (recorder) and Immanuel Davis and Beth Kelly (baroque flute). In 2015, Alexa won 1st place in the National Flute Association's Baroque Flute Artist Competition in Washington DC, as well as 2nd place in the Mathieu-Duguay Early Music Competition in New Brunswick, Canada. Alexa is a founding member of the ensemble Infusion Baroque, winner of the Grand Prize and Audience Prize in the 2014 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition in Chicago. She is also a member of the celebrated recorder quartet Flûte Alors! She has made recent appearances with Ensemble Caprice, Arion Baroque Orchestra, I Musici and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Alexa has performed at music festivals across North America (including the Montreal Baroque Festival, Boston Early Music Festival and Berkeley Festival & Exhibition) and has recorded with Arion Baroque Orchestra and La Bande Montréal Baroque on the label ATMA Classique. www.alexarainewright.com
Andrew Shaw was dragged kicking and screaming to his first country dance as a teenager in the 60s but has got over that and is now one of the UK's most sought after English country dance leaders, highly regarded for his detailed knowledge, high standards and clear, good-humoured, instruction. His interest in late 17th/early 18th century dances, especially those composed by Nathaniel Kynaston, has resulted in the publication of 5 collections of dance reconstructions, Elephants Stairs being the latest. This is his 4th visit to Pinewoods.
Andrew VanNorstrand is an accomplished singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from upstate New York. As a member of the Great Bear Trio, Giant Robot Dance and the Andrew & Noah Band he has toured extensively all over North America and has been a featured performer and instructor at many well-known festivals and music camps. His repertoire incorporates a wide range of musical genres and he loves exploring the connections between music and dance.
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 Gilbert Duveneck
Anna Gilbert believes that creativity is a kindness best shared with others. From childhood, Anna’s passion for connectedness both within herself and with others has fueled her artistic endeavors and explorations. Her passionate spirit is highlighted in her dance instruction encouraging individuals to honor and enjoy their dance at all levels.
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.
Arthur Davis has been singing and playing music for as long as he can remember. As a dance musician, he has played with the bands Gallimaufry and now Cloud Ten, bringing a sense of classic New England piano playing and old-time banjo. As a singer, he has spent much of the last few years aboard various sailing ships, singing sea songs to accompany the daily work of operating a sailing vessel as well as singing songs just about anywhere he can. When not playing music, Arthur sails on ships and does environmental science in Vermont.
Hailing from Honolulu, Audrey Knuth moved to Boston in 2008 to attend Berklee College of Music and to explore the thriving New England folk scene. After graduating, Audrey has made a name for herself in the music community, as a dance fiddler and audio engineer. With her bands, The Free Raisins, The Gaslight Tinkers, Audacious (with Larry Unger) and Wake Up Robin, she has travelled across the US and Europe, playing for dances and concerts. She’s equally adept at teaching workshops, and has been on staff at various camps including Pinewoods, Ashokan Northern Week, BACDS American week and Halsway Manor. Audrey’s fiddle playing can be described as rhythmically lively; she's guaranteed to get you up and dancing.
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.
Bettie Zakon-Anderson has been dancing most of her life and enjoys sharing the fun of music and dance with people of all ages. She has taught a variety of couples dances, from hambo and waltz to swing and Zydeco, at camps and weekends throughout the U.S. for the past twenty years. She is the business manager of Vävstuga, a Swedish weaving school in Shelburne Falls, MA.
Musician, scholar and educator Bob Walser’s musical career spans decades and continents. In the early 1980s he made his living as a shantyman (!) at Mystic Seaport, one of the largest maritime museums in the US. Since then he has presented Folklore In Action folk music and dance programs as an artist-in-residence in schools across the USA, and performed as a singer, dance leader and dance musician from Maine to California and overseas. As a scholar, Bob earned his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies. His research in Folk Music and Music Education has been published in the Folk Song Journal and Folk Life (UK) and publications by World Music Press. In addition, he has three CDs for The Old and New Tradition label to his credit as well as guest appearances on recordings in the US, France and England.
Brad Battey has been playing for dances for almost as long as he can remember. A high-energy fiddler, he can be found playing contra and English dances around Ann Arbor most weeks with Big Fun, The Ruffwater String Band, or other fabulous SouthEast Michigan musicians. He has played for dance weeks and weekends from Illinois to Denmark and Cape Breton to Texas. He has also been known to play fiddle and nyckelharpa for English and Scandinavian couple dancing.
Madison, Wisconsin caller Carol Ormand is beloved throughout the dance community for her smooth and unflappable style, wickedly fun dances, and penchant for keeping all the dancers on the floor smiling. Carol’s enthusiasm, paired with her clear and efficient teaching, creates a delightful dancing experience for beginners and veteran dancers alike. Her relaxed style will keep you coming back for more. When she's not calling, you're likely to find her fiddling, taking photographs, singing, quilting, dancing, or examining beach sand through a hand lens.
Chip Prince, originally from New Hampshire (via Utah and California), is a lifelong pianist who also dabbles in choral singing, euphonium playing, and background acting. His main gig, when he has one, is playing keyboards for (and occasionally conducting) Broadway shows in New York and on the road. He first found folk dancing in 1975 as a freshman in college but didn’t pursue Contra and English until 2000. He was a member of the English band Hudson Crossing, and now mostly plays on Tuesdays for Country Dance * New York. Current contra dance bands are The Three Wise Guys and Gig Economy, but in truth, Chip will play with just about anyone who will let him. Chip is thrilled to be attending Pinewoods for his very first time.
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).
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.
Cindy Kallet is a songwriter, singer and guitarist who has taught and performed extensively throughout North America. She tours as a solo performer, as half of the duo, Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen, and as a third of the trio, Kallet, Epstein and Cicone. She adores teaching at music camps, and loves to help nurture the harmony-singing, songwriting and guitar-playing potential in all of us.
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.
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.
Cynthia Shaw, pianist and singer, has been playing for English country dancing in New York since 1995 where she heads the highly successful ECD Musician’s Apprenticeship program. 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 faculties of Pinewoods, Buffalo Gap, The John C. Campbell Folk School, Third Street Music Settlement Chamber Music Program and The Brooklyn Friends School. She is the former musical director for the New York Christmas Revels and professional early music and choral church and concert singer and pianist in NY. www.CynthiaShawMusic.com
Daron Douglas is a captivating fiddler for American and English dance traditions. She plays with the dance bands Foxfire and Goldcrest. Daron also brings a rich repertoire of songs from her great-grandmother, who was one of Cecil Sharp's informants in the southern mountains. She has been on the staff at CDSS dance camps, at Ashokan and at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. She now lives and plays music in New Orleans.
Dave Landreth has toured and taught old-time banjo for decades, as a solo performer and with the Allen Street String band, The Combine, Knock Knock Hoosiers, Dugout Canoe, the Hoosier Crackerjacks, the Vigortones, the Elder Bullies, and as duo with Chirps Smith and all have appeared at festivals, dances, dance camps, workshops and venues of all sizes. He is often heard to say “Playing with these guy is a blast and if it wasn’t I wouldn’t do it”
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 Macemon was fortunate to be introduced to dance when he was invited to help start a high school based performing group that demonstrated English Country Dance, Contra, Morris and Sword dancing. He has been dancing and teaching ever since. David is known for his patient and clear teaching style and communicates the joy of dancing through his teaching and enthusiasm. He has been on staff for dance weeks and weekends around the country including Pinewoods, Buffalo Gap, Mendocino, Hey Days, and Berea Christmas Country Dance School. He is a regular caller for the weekly Portland Country Dance Community's English dance, monthly advanced dance series, and teaches dance English, Contra, Morris and Sword at the Renaissance School or Arts and Sciences in Portland OR.
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!
Debbie Jackson is a versatile pianist, singer and event organizer who has been playing regularly for contra and English country dancing for over 20 years. As a happy music collaborator, she enjoys composing new tunes, improvising with chording and interpreting music to connect with dancers. She also plays in various swing, folk and couple dance ensembles throughout the Midwest. Debbie has performed in Denmark, Austria, Turkey, France, Ukraine and the Slovak Republic. Her new solo CD will be available at camp.
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.
Denis Liddy, originally from Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare, has been playing the fiddle since he was eight. He is now a primary school teacher in Co. Clare, where he also runs a large traditional music school. Since 1999, his music students have competed in and won numerous competitions, recorded four CDs and toured in Ireland, the UK, France, Spain, Canada, China, Bulgaria, the US, Australia and Sweden. Denis regularly teaches and performs in many music projects and events including the Willie Clancy Summer School, the Milwaukee Irish Festival, the Ennis Traditional Music Festival and the Joseph Browne Traditional Music Festival. He has recorded a number of traditional music albums including Tradaree with his wife, Elvie Miller.
Desiree Melegrito Halcomb
Desiree Melegrito Halcomb
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.
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.
Eden MacAdam-Somer is one of the most exciting and versatile musicians performing today. Hailed by the New York Times as reflecting "astonishing virtuosity and raw expression," her music transcends genre through soaring violin, sweet vocals, and percussive dance, weaving in and out of the many cultures that have formed her experience. Her travels have carried her across the contiguous U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, to Afghanistan, India, China, Iceland, Israel, and the U.K. Eden is a full-time faculty member at New England Conservatory, where she teaches improvisation and serves as Co-Chair of the Department of Contemporary Improvisation. She also makes frequent visits to Kabul, Afghanistan, where she works with young Afghan musicians as guest faculty member at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music and collaborates with local artists. Her solo album, My First Love Story, was listed as one of the top ten jazz albums of 2015 in the Boston Globe. In addition to her work in Boston, Eden maintains an active international performance and recording career as a soloist and with such bands as Notorious Folk, the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and Hebrew National Salvage.
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 and teaches in the Boston area, including the Society for Historically Informed Performance concert series, the Boston Recorder Society concert series, and in fringe events surrounding Boston Early Music Festival, as well as Early Music New York, Helios Opera, and the NEC Baroque Society. She teaches regularly at various summer music workshops including CDSS's Early Music Week and MidEast Early Music Week, and this summer will also be on the staff as a dance musician at Amherst Early Music's New London Assembly. Currently she is working with Friedrich von Huene on his "Well-tempered Recorder" project, a collection of recordings of the entire Well-tempered Klavier in arrangements for recorders. In addition to her early music activities, she plays frequently for English Country Dances in the Boston area. When not playing recorder, she makes instrument cases and bicycle gear for her own company, Dill Pickle Gear. In her spare time, Emily is an avid long distance cyclist.
Eric Haas has taught at New England Conservatory, Tufts University and Wheaton College, as well as numerous early music workshops, including Amherst Early Music, the Long Island Recorder Festival and the Mideast Workshop. Mr. Haas is well known for his many transcriptions and editions for recorder. He performs on recorder and early flutes with lutenist Chris Henriksen as Pentimento and with the Renaissance flute consort Travessada. He served for many years as Music Director of the Boston Recorder Society and manages the retail division of the von Huene Workshop, Inc.
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.
Ethan Hazzard-Watkins performs traditional and original music with infectious energy, passion and grace. His fiery, lyrical fiddling fuses elements of Irish, French Canadian and New England styles, along with influences from swing, blues and classical music. Based in Brattleboro, VT, Ethan tours extensively with the bands Elixir and The Figments. From April 2008 to April 2009 Ethan was Youth Projects Intern for the Country Dance and Song Society, where he worked to encourage young people to get involved in traditional dance and music.
Frances Conover Fitch has performed extensively in North America and Europe, and recorded for Swiss, German, Dutch, and French National Radio as well as for the BBC and NPR. Her ground-breaking ensemble, Concerto Castello, won critical acclaim as well an Honorable Mention in the Deutsche Schallplatten Preis of 1983. A particularly sensitive and inventive continuo player, she has worked and played with Spiritus Collective, Cantata Singers, Emmanuel Music, Aston Magna, Boston Cecilia, Handel and Haydn Society, Concerto Palatino, and the Boston Camerata, among others. Ms. Fitch has participated in major music festivals, including the Gilmore Festival, the Festival d'Art Lyrique/Aix-en-Provence, Pepsico Summerfare, Tanglewood, Boston Early Music Festival, Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg), the Castle Hill Festival and the Festival de Musica Antigua in Mexico City, where she also gave master classes at the National Conservatory. She has over twenty solo and ensemble recordings on the EMI-Reflexe, Titanic, Harmonia Mundi, Nonesuch, Centaur, Koch International and Wild Boar labels. Ms. Fitch teaches at Tufts University and The England Conservatory of Music and for many years was Chair of the Early Music Department at the Longy School of Music, teaching harpsichord, organ, chamber music, figured bass improvisation and bibliographic research. She has also served on the faculties of Wellesley College and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, and recently completed a semester as Guest Professor in Performing Arts at Ferris University in Yokohama, Japan. Ms. Fitch has degrees from Bard College and New England Conservatory, and pursued studies with Gustav Leonhardt and Veronika Hampe at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. Her playing has been praised as “perceptive”, “stylish” and “spectacular”, and noted for its “precision and delicacy of wit”. www.francesconoverfitch.com
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.
Gillian has been teaching and performing sword dancing on both sides of the Atlantic since 2004. Hailing from the vigorous folk scene surrounding Boston, MA, she also indulges in morris, pub singing, percussive stepdance, and social dancing of many stripes. Her teaching has been described as "engaging, high energy, and accessible". She currently leads Orion Longsword and dances with Candyrapper VSOP and Muddy River Morris. In her copious free time she enjoys social singing, cooking for dance events, and recreational data analysis.
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. http://www.godoymusic.com/pgs/teachers.html
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.
Jeff Warner is among the nation’s foremost performer/interpreters of traditional music. His songs from the lumber camps, fishing villages and mountain tops of America connect 21st century audiences with the everyday lives–and artistry–of 19th century Americans. “Providing more than just rich entertainment, Jeff will leave you with a deeper appreciation of the land you live in” (Caffé Lena, Saratoga, NY). His songs, rich in local history and a sense of place, bring us the latest news from the distant past. The 2016 recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award, Jeff first came to Pinewoods as a staff child and spent years there as a student, teacher, program chair and CDSS board member: "Pinewoods and CDSS have been important to me for a very long time. I’m happy to be back after a long hiatus."
Jeremy Carter-Gordon grew up singing and dancing at Pinewoods. He recently completed an MA in Dance Knowledge, Practice, and Heritage, and currently studies at the Eric Sahlström Institute in Sweden. Jeremy sings with Windborne, a quartet that studies and performs polyphonic singing traditions from around the world. He is known for his banjo picking and powerful bass voice, along with a joyous enthusiasm for song and dance.
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.
John Mayberry, from Toronto, Ontario, went to his first dance at two weeks old, carried in a basket. His love of dance, music, performance and craft has led to a career including carpentry, performance, writing, teaching, directing and almost everything else. He is the Fool of the Toronto Morris Men, an accomplished traditional singer, an experienced street theater and mumming performer and a professor of theatre production in the Department of Theatre, York University, Toronto. In 2006 John danced as the fool with the Toronto Morris Men in the Carnival Parade in Santiago de Cuba.
Jon Berger initially encountered English country and Morris dance at the California Renaissance Faires in the mid 1970s, where he learned his first tunes by actual oral tradition; that is, from people singing them to him. He has played for English country and contra dances in the San Francisco Bay Area since the early 1980s, as well as Berkeley Morris and Apple Tree Morris and assorted other display-dance teams. He can be heard on several highly regarded English country dance recordings, including two with his band Persons of Quality. Jon also plays in a Celtic band, Greenhouse, and a straight-ahead American rock band called the String Rays. (Not to be confused with the no-space Stringrays.) He is a former member of the Celtic rock band Tempest, with whom he toured for two years.
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.
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.
Kalia Kliban has been part of the Bay Area dance community since the mid-80s, performing and teaching morris, longsword, American and English clog and English country dance. She is program director for BACDS's upcoming Fall Frolick weekend and has also programmed BACDS Family Week. Her clear and humorous teaching style has gotten feet tapping at camps and gatherings throughout California and beyond.
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 Ann Hoffman
Karen Ann Hoffman is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. Her works are in the permanent collections of the: Smithsonian Institution -NMAI, The Wisconsin State Museum, The New York State Museum, Indianapolis Childrens' Museum, Memorial Hall Museum, Deerfield, MA, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS , and the Iroquois Indian Museum, Howes Caverns, NY. Karen Ann’s award winning Beadwork has been displayed at: Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Evanston, IL; Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Appleton, WI; The Neville Museum, Green Bay, WI; The Castellani Art Museum, Niagara Falls, NY; The Ukrainian National Museum, Chicago, IL Karen Ann was a member of the Skanikwat Project, Nakuru, Kenya, Africa. The project, led by Samuel Thomas, used tribal beadwork as a medium to foster peace across languages, races, religions, and continents.
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.
Kari Sickenberger is a singer and songwriter from Asheville, NC. She and musical partner, Laurelyn Dossett founded the band Polecat Creek and made three records together with world class banjo player Riley Baugus. Kari has also toured with and sung on recordings by Ginny Hawker and Tracy Schwarz. She teams up with Vollie McKenzie in the Asheville band, The Western Wildcats, a classic country and honky tonk dance quintet, and she regularly teaches private and public singing and harmony workshops. Kari draws on her vast experience as a world traveler and a Spanish and English teacher and her lifelong love for and experience with music to create a safe and encouraging environment for new and experienced singers alike.
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.
Kathy Anderson is widely admired for her exciting squares, quirky contras, and swift, clear teaching. She has long been a favorite caller across the U.S., Canada, England and Denmark. Kathy's smooth delivery and intriguing repertoire make for an entertaining and engaging dance experience.
Kathy Talvitie, from the Delaware Valley, is active in the dance community as a musician, dancer, organizer and composer. In addition to playing piano with Hold the Mustard and A Joyful Noise, Kathy plays guitar with the contra band Raise the Roof and is a member of the Fiddlekicks clogging team.
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.
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.
Kelly Bosworth is a singer, a songwriter, an obsessive harmonizer, a guitar player, and music teacher. Although she hails from the coolest town in the world - Portland, Oregon - she currently resides in another pretty cool place: Bloomington, Indiana. She is working towards a graduate degree in Ethnomusicology at Indiana University and she studies the complex intertangling mess of music, community, emotion, and identity.
A Kentucky native now living in Houston, TX, Kendall Rogers is a piano player who also dabbles in accordion, DADGAD guitar, bodhran and whistle. In addition to being a regular member of the Houston-based Irish band The Jig is Up!, Kendall enjoys participating in contra and English Country dancing, whether playing, dancing, calling or running the sound board. This year he also joined the board of directors for the Houston Area Traditional Dance Society. Kendall has also led piano workshops at the O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat and Youth Camp for the last several years, in addition to playing piano at their ceilis.
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!
Larry Unger has been a prolific tunesmith and full time musician for over 20 years, and probably logs more road miles each year than any other contra dance musician, playing guitar, banjo, piano and bass with numerous bands. Larry's broad musical interests include old-time, blues and swing AND he's a great teacher too.
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
Laurie Cumming is a founding member of Toronto Women’s Sword and has been wending her way in and out of sword dance for over 25 years. She has long been a fan of old Ontario-style step dance learning routines from the repertoire of the Alec Mulligan. More recently her newest passion is the South East Asian dance form known as Bollywood. Laurie’s collaborative and enthusiastic teaching style inspires her students to bravely tackle new movement challenges. In her away-from-camp life, Laurie enjoys teaching junior and middle school students in the Toronto District School Board.
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!
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.
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 Vice 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. http://www.learningmusician.com/gambalisa
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.
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.
Soon after moving to Boston in 1978 Mary Lea encountered musicians who serendipitously became her musical trail buddies in the English country dance band, Bare Necessities, and in other bands that offered up music for contra, couple, international and vintage dancing. Playing both violin and viola, she is known for her tone, passion and creativity with the ECD repertoire and has played for dancers around the country, across the seas and on the seas for workshops, dance weekends, cruises and music and dance weeks. Surprisingly, playing for dancing and teaching fiddle became her day job, and she feels fortunate that that was the case. Along the way Mary has also been involved in numerous recording projects, including the CDS Boston English Country Dance series, Gary Roodman's recordings, and other projects of her own. Besides birding and reading, she has taken up painting in oils, studying Portuguese fiendishly, and helping run various long-standing dance events and concerts in her hometown of Brattleboro VT.
Matthew Duveneck started waltzing when he was in his mother’s womb and hasn't stopped since. He embraces many folk dance traditions and especially loves Morris and couples dancing with a particular passion for Argentine Tango. During the last ten years he has found a fine balance between his passion for forest ecology research and dance— traveling around North America for both. Matthew is currently a professor at The New England Conservatory of Music, Boston where he teaches science electives and a social dance class.
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.
Melissa Running discovered folk dance in college (PE credit! With music!) and hasn't stopped since. She plays piano for English, Scottish, and contra, plays nyckelharpa for English and Scandinavian dance and the occasional concert, and calls English across the country, most often locally in the suburbs of DC, Maryland side. Aside from music and dance activities, she works at linguistic precision as a technical writer and editor, and knits with the zeal of the newly converted.
Michael Barrett (voice, chorus) is active in the Boston area as a professional musician and teacher. As a singer he has collaborated with the Boston Camerata, Huelgas Ensemble, Blue Heron, the Netherlands Bach Society, L'Académie, Seven Times Salt, and Exsultemus, and has performed in several recent operas produced by the Boston Early Music Festival. He can be heard on harmonia mundi and Blue Heron record labels. Mr. Barrett directs the Renaissance choir Convivium Musicum and the professional vocal ensemble Sprezzatura, and he serves on the advisory board of L'Académie, a professional ensemble for Baroque music. Mr. Barrett has worked as a conductor and music theory teacher at Harvard University. He is a faculty member of IMC, a New York-based company for music curriculum and instruction, and has served as a workshop leader for professional development courses. He also maintains a studio for private instruction in voice, piano, and music theory. Mr. Barrett earned an AB in music from Harvard University, an MM in choir conducting from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and First Phase Diploma in Baroque and Classical singing from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. In the fall of 2010 he began doctoral studies in choral conducting at Boston University.
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.
A soulful fiddler, mandolinist and spellbinding tunesmith, Oliver Scanlon began his journey of musical discovery with a stint in the Vermont Youth Orchestra, picking up the viola when he was nine. Shortly after he was introduced to his mentor Pete and the immense parallel universe of fiddle music! His keen interest in fiddling led him to seek further learning and performing opportunities through Mark Sustic’s “Fiddleheads” program, and soon he began attending music camps where he studied various styles with Alan Jabbour, Kimberley Fraser, Andrea Beaton, Eric Favreau and other master fiddlers. In 2013 he both co-founded Pete's Posse and became the youngest member of Pete’s long running dance band The Clayfoot Strutters. Recognized not only for his classy and mesmerizing playing, but also for being a meticulous sound tech, Oliver stays quite busy when not on the road with the Posse!
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).
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.
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.
Rob Rohr is a fiddler and Morris dancer hailing from Toronto, Ontario. Rob's fiddling draws from Quebecois, English, Irish and New England fiddling traditions. Rob plays each month with Sweet Felons All at Another Bloody Folk Club and frequently plays Quebec square and contra dances across southern Ontario with Les frères Gemme, Mango chaud point and St.-p'tit-Claude. Rob fiddles for local dance sides, Toronto f Morris Men and Toronto Women's Sword, and each month shares the joys of the music of French Canada at his session, TOQueTrad . Rob also dances with the Toronto f Morris Men, and has convincingly acquired the status of "Cirque du Soleil's Worst Dancer" while dancing in the 2015 Pan Am Games Opening Ceremony. Rob's favourite quote - "A frequent lower chromatic neighbour to scale step five does not a Lydian mode make." Rob's favourite pastime - creating new and creative alternates to Quebecois curses.
Robin Davis has been participating in community folk music and dance activities much of her life, including healthy doses of Cotswold and Northwest clog morris. A retired professional baker, Robin now teaches preschool. She enjoys gathering children and adults together to DO ART, such as modular origami, Ukranian egg dying, bookbinding, printing and paper collage. She sings with the River Singers, a large multi-cultural choir, and a hospice singing group called Hallowell. She has led children's classes at Pinewoods, Ogontz and Lady of the Lake family weeks.
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.
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 Henry is a long-time member and leader of both Ring o' Bells Morris and Half Moon Sword. Sarah has been a creative force behind lots of fun stuff at recent Campers' Weeks -- everything from rapper, English clog, longsword, and morris to 'bacca pipes, string figures, giant puppets, and pysanky eggs. In "real" life, Dr. Sarah is a historian and museum curator and administrator.
Sarah Mead teaches, performs, and proselytizes polyphony in the Boston area. The 2007 recipient of the Thomas Binkley Award from Early Music America, she is Professor of the Practice of Music at Brandeis University, and has taught 16th-century theory and performance practice at the Longy School of Music. Her handbook on Renaissance Theory is used in historical music programs around the country. She has given master-classes, lectures and workshops in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. She serves on the Boards of the VdGSA and EMA, and is Conclave Music Director for the Viola da Gamba Society of America.
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.
Steve Rosen has been a driving force in the Midwest old time scene for 35 years, laying down guitar rhythms and driving banjo with the Volo Bogtrotters, as well as dozens of other bands, has played for hundreds of dances, festivals and bars, mostly old time as well as bluegrass and country, and teaches banjo and fiddle at the Old Town School of Folk Music. One of his favorite hobbies is run-on sentences.
Steve Zakon-Anderson has been calling contras, leading workshops for callers and teaching couples dance for over 25 years. He has performed at dance camps and festivals in 36 states, including Pinewoods, Ogontz, Buffalo Gap, Lady of the Lake, Augusta and Brasstown. His own dance compositions are well known to dancers and other callers. Steve's clear teaching, energetic calling and sense of humor have made him a favorite of dancers of all ages and abilities.
Sue Hulsether calls dances for groups of all ages and abilities, equally at home at a dance hall, school, barn, or camp. Her dance repertoire includes squares, contras, circles, reels, play parties, and singing games -- as well as teaching the rhythmic delights of flatfoot clogging and spoons. Following a career in music education, she has been working as a full-time caller for 12 years and is recognized for her clear teaching, welcoming manner on the mic, and engaging humor.
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.
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.
Val Mindel is a longtime musician, teacher and workshop leader, known for bringing out the best in singers, whatever their level. Her specialty is the close, buzzy harmony that makes American old-time, bluegrass and country harmony so compelling. She has taught at numerous music camps – here in the U.S. at Augusta Vocal Week, Ashokan Southern Week, Voice Works, Allegheny Echoes and others and in the U.K. at Sore Fingers fall and spring camps. In addition to her solo work, Val teaches and performs in various combinations, including with California-based Any Old Time, with singer/multi-instrumentalist Joe Newberry and with daughter and old-time country musician Emily Miller and her husband Jesse Milnes (they have two CDs together: In the Valley and Close to Home), and has just published a book, So You Want to Sing Folk Music, part of the “So You Want To Sing” series for Rowman & Littlefield and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Val teaches classes across the country and abroad as well as regular workshops at Brooklyn’s growing old-time music school, Jalopy. She lives in Elkins, WV.
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!"