Karen is highly regarded for her creative piano playing at English, American and Scottish dance events around the country and abroad. She is in the band Foxfire, with Daron Douglas. Karen plays accordion with 3rd String Trio, a band that plays old world cafe music. She also plays accordion for Orion Longsword. When not playing music, Karen spends her time managing her dog walking business and coming in last in marathons.
Elke is a veteran dance musician and concert performer, and has played a wide range of styles including contras and squares, English, Scottish, Vintage, and couple dances, at dance events across North America and indeed around the world. She’s a former U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, Washington Conservatory of Music faculty member, and Artist-in-Residence at Montgomery College, and has performed at venerable venues such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and the Birchmere. Her fiddle music was featured in the soundtrack of the film The Boyhood of John Muir. She teaches the joys of fiddle music to countless students, most especially through the Potomac Valley Scottish Fiddle Club, which she has taught for 22 years. She has recorded a number of listening and dancing albums, most recently Out of the Wood with hammered dulcimer virtuoso Ken Kolodner. Playing for dancers is one of her very favorite things…although dancing runs a close second. Beginning Dance Band
Aidan grew up in Scotland surrounded by both folk and classical music. He began playing violin and piano at the age of seven. After studying music in a Swedish high school, Aidan moved to London to attend Trinity College of Music. He has played for numerous musicals and orchestras in and around London and Scotland and frequently travelled throughout the UK and abroad playing, teaching and directing. Aidan has been featured on numerous recordings with The Assembly Players, Halsway Millennium Players and Rest Assured. He is also the featured solo violinist on the motion picture soundtracks for ‘Pride & Prejudice’ and ‘Becoming Jane’ as well as the BBC dramas ‘Cranford’ and ‘Tess of the D’urbervilles’. Aidan now lives in Sweden with his wife Annette and their son Levi.
Sam is a nimble, irrepressible performer on guitar, banjo and mandolin. His original compositions have been profiled on NPR¹s All Things Considered, Salon.com, and The Thistle & Shamrock. His evocative musicianship has been featured in the Ken Burns documentaries, Prohibition and The Dustbowl. Sam is known as one of this country’s most engaging dance musicians, and has been crisscrossing the States playing for dances for 30 years. He is also the author of a best-selling book on pranks and parlor tricks, The Best of Stuntology (Workman Publishing). More information can be found at stuntology.com.
Eshu captivates his audience by telling a variety of African, African-American and World folktales leavened with music, humor and mystery. A former teacher and the founding director of afterschool and summer arts programs in Amherst, MA, Eshu has been telling stories professionally since 1986, visiting K-8 schools and libraries throughout the country. His featured appearances include the Smithsonian Museum, Three Apples Storytelling Festival (Massachusetts), Connecticut Storytelling Festival, Riverway Storytelling Festival (New York), Timpanogos Storytelling Festival (Utah), and the Exchange Place at the National Storytelling Festival (Tennessee.) His story CD Lion in Love won the prestigious Storytelling World Award in 2008. His new CD Dancing Granny and Other Stories to Boogie To is now available.
Beginning Storytelling, Intermediate Storytelling
David grew up in Berea during the ’60s and ’70s, still misses Dodge Gym, and was a fixture at the Berea Christmas School for a decade or two, both as a dancer and staff musician. He is also a veteran of such notable mid-Atlantic area dance bands as Evening Star and the Capital Quicksteps Quadrille Orchestra, and has appeared on the staff of the John C. Campbell Folk School Winter Week. He now lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where he does other things.
Eric is a graduate of Berea College, a Fine Arts major in Textiles. His festive banners, paper cuts, and decorations grace Seabury Center at CCDS. He has been making temari for over 20 years. This will be his 12th year of teaching Temari at CCDS.
Beginning Temari Craft, Intermediate Temari Craft
Laurie has been winding her way in and out of sword dancing for well over twenty years as a member of Toronto Women’s Sword. She loves to work with beginning dancers and those with experience to rejoice and have fun as they find new ways to move together.
Bollywood for All, C3* Rapper
Brad has been dancing and teaching English country, contras and squares, and Morris and sword for over forty years. He is well known for sharing the joy found in dance, and has taught throughout the US, Canada and Europe, including at Berea, Pinewoods, Mendocino, John C. Campbell Folk School, and Augusta. He is now Executive and Artistic Director Emeritus of the Country Dance and Song Society, after serving as its Director for 28 years.
Advanced English Country Dance; English Dance Open Mic;
*Congratulations to Brad Foster, recipient of the Country Dance & Song Society Lifetime Contribution Award for 2015!
Earl is a full-time dance musician who has played violin and viola for a variety of English, Scottish, American, and international dancing for many years. He plays at dance camps, workshops, balls and other dance events throughout the United States and abroad, and he has made twenty-some recordings with various musical groups. When not on the road, he lives in great contentment on ten acres of woods in rural Michigan with his wife, Sherry Brodock.
Kent, from Berea, KY, is a regional Appalachian shape note singer/leader and an enthusiastic teacher of the tradition. Originally from Colorado, Kent was introduced to the tradition as a teenager. In addition to participating in sings across Kentucky, he has taught numerous singing workshops and produced a CD of Louisville, Lexington and Berea, KY singers.
Harmony Singing in the Square: Shape Note Singing for One and All
Wayne, a leading performer of early classical winds with over 4000 performances around the world to his credit, is well known in the world of Film (The Lego Movie) Television (Breaking Bad) and Video games (Hero’s Charge). But he is better known to the Berea community for playing all those strange instruments he brings to his recorder and Jew’s harp classes and dances every year. He has received over 30 awards and grants from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, The National Endowment of the Arts and organizations abroad and teaches all over the country with major residencies at the Chatauqua institution and Interlochen. His current project involves bringing the Ocarina into the school system with his latest work, The Ocarina Advantage.
Recorder for the Next Level; Trump (Jaw Harp); Recorder for New Students
Mary has taught English country dancing at workshops, dance camps, Elderhostels, and at Christmas Country Dance School for many years. She brings enthusiasm and a sense of fun to beginners, while teaching in a clear, concise style.
Beginning English Country Dance
Cis has delighted contra and square dancers since 1985 with her clear instruction, welcoming manner, playful enthusiasm, and masterful selection of dances. She is in great demand at music and dance festivals all over the US, England, and Denmark. When not on the road, Cis teaches tai chi classes in her native Atlanta, Georgia.
Mind-bending Contras and More; Calling Contras and Squares; Traditional Squares from the Mid-Century to the New Millennium
For more than 30 years, Andrea Hoag has devoted herself to traditional fiddling. Living in Kentucky and North Carolina in the early 1980s, she pursued Appalachian fiddling with visits to elders and archives. A growing passion for Swedish fiddling led her to study at Malungs Folkhögskola in Sweden, where she earned the certificate in Folk Violin Pedagogy in 1984. Andrea’s music has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Performance Today and has garnered a Grammy nomination. In 2014 she received a Maryland State Arts Council Artist Award for Solo Performance.
Andrea is the originator and Director of Programs for Freyda’s Hands, a non-profit organization which sponsors collaborations across musical traditions, including unique educational programs which combine cross-cultural music with social and academic skills. Andrea Hoag performs with the cross-cultural Dovetail Ensemble; the Scandinavian string trio Hoag, Kelley, and Pilzer; hammered dulcimerist Maggie Sansone; and numerous others. As an educator, she has taught at many music camps including Swannanoa Fiddle Week, Ashokan Northern and Southern Weeks, and the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, and has been a studio musician and workshop teacher for over 30 years. www.freydashands.org www.andreahoag.com
English Dance Open Band
Steve, when not in the CDSS office or at Pinewoods Camp as the CDSS Camp Director, dances with and leads practices for That Long Tall Sword and dances with the Marlboro Morris Men (of MA) and the Green Mountain Mummers. Steve comes from a dancing family in Charlotte, NC and is pleased, with Meg Ryan, that our children are also dancing.
Morris Dance for All; Longsword for All
Jonathan is an inspired pianist in a wealth of musical styles from contra to English Country to ragtime and jazz. A composer of brilliant English country dance tunes and waltzes, Jonathan performs at dance events and camps around the country and is a bassist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which has performed many of his orchestral arrangements. In recent years he has become increasingly active as a songwriter and lyricist.
Kalia has been an active part of the vibrant California Bay Area
traditional dance community since the mid-80s, performing, dancing and
teaching morris, longsword, English and American clogging, English
country dance and contra. She’s known for a relaxed, welcoming calling
style and clear and concise teaching, and has taught and called at camps
and events across the country. She’s delighted to be joining the staff
at Christmas Country Dance School for the first time.
Intermediate English Dance; Contra for All
Atossa has been a long time musician and staff member of Christmas School, playing piano, clarinet, recorder and accordion. Now fully retired from Berea College, she has moved to Black Mountain, NC where she is enjoying the beauty of Western North Carolina as well as becoming involved in the music and folk dance communities in the area.
Abby grew up in the East Coast traditional folk music revival of the 1970s. As a dancer Abby was clogging by the age of 6, performing with her sister Evie by age 10, and touring nationally at 18 with the dance and music company Rhythm In Shoes (RIS). She has collaborated with musician and composer Malcolm Dalglish in The Welcome Table, a midwinter spectacle including original dance, music and choral arrangements of poems by Wendell Berry. In 2014 Abby reunited with RIS artistic director Sharon Leahy and a cast of percussive dance all-stars for Carry It On, a film and performance project celebrating the Wheatland Music Organization’s 40th anniversary festival in Remus, Michigan. She plays stand-up bass and sings harmony vocals in The New Mules, founded by (the late) Garry Harrison, with whom she recorded the now legendary Red Prairie Dawn album in 2000.
Clogging Basics; Clogging Intermediate
Lewis & Donna Lamb
Native Kentuckians, this remarkable father-daughter duo have been making, preserving, teaching, and sharing traditional Appalachian music for many years. With Lewis on fiddle and Donna on guitar your feet don’t stand a chance of remaining still! They began playing for the Berea College Country Dancers in the 1960s. They perform and teach old time square dance music and traditional songs at festivals and workshops throughout the region. Lewis is also known for his folk-art woodcarvings and he and Donna together have crafted numerous musical instruments. Lewis and Donna are 2007 winners of the Kentucky Folk Heritage Award.
Tim Lamm and Paula Harrison
A participant in CCDS since 1976, Tim has been teaching and performing historical and contemporary couple dancing for more than 20 years. He has a talent for breaking dance moves down into small, incremental steps and explaining moves clearly. Tim’s teaching partner, Paula Harrison, has a background in ballet and modern dance and directed international folk dance performances in Birmingham, AL. Paula is known for her graceful style and superb skills as a “follow”. As Steps in Time Historical Dance (www.StepsInTime.us), Tim and Paula have taught at CCDS in 2010-12, Dance Flurry (Saratoga Springs, NY) 2013, Petit Jean Dance Weekend (Morrilton, AR) 2014, and Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival (Sedalia, MO) 2015. They also teach and perform regularly in central Kentucky as members of Lexington Vintage Dance. Beginning Waltzing for Country Dance;
Intermediate Waltzing for Country Dance
David started dancing and attending Christmas school in 1974 and has been dancing and teaching ever since. David is known for his patient and clear teaching style. He communicates the joy of dancing through his teaching and enthusiasm for the dance. David is foreman of Iron Mountain Sword (Portland, Oregon). He has taught English Country Dance, Sword and Morris at numerous dance weeks and weekends around the county. Having grown up in Kentucky, David considers Christmas School as home and is looking forward to coming back this year.
Beginning Rapper; English Dance for All; English Callers Workshop
John, 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, who seem to have a knack for getting invited to perform at interesting events, from the Carnival parade in Santiago de Cuba to the Siglufjörður Folk Festival in Iceland. John is an accomplished traditional singer, an experienced street theatre and mumming performer and a professor of theatre production in the Department of Theatre, York University, Toronto.
The first song Emily remembers learning was the Louvin Brothers’ hit “When I Stop Dreaming,” around age 8, which she sang as a duet with her older brother, Ethan. That should tell you something about her musical upbringing. Old-time country music reigned supreme in the Miller house, no matter where that house was situated (she has called Kansas, Hong Kong, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Nashville, Vermont and West Virginia home). After performing with many different groups in her teenage years (most notably Northern Harmony, with whom she toured all over the US and Europe), Emily formed the honky-tonk country band The Sweetback Sisters in 2006 with fellow singer Zara Bode. They have recorded three full-length records and have performed their renegade retro style of country music in barrooms and concert halls around the world. Emily has appeared several times on national radio programs, including A Prairie Home Companion and WV’s own Mountain Stage. Emily also performs old-time music as a duo with her husband, Jesse Milnes. They recorded their first duo record together in January 2015 and have toured in Australia, California and the East Coast this year. Emily is also musical director for the Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble’s string band in Elkins, WV, which recruits talented instrumentalists and dancers from around the country for a high-level student performance ensemble. She and Jesse make their home in Valley Bend, WV. Group Singing for All; Duet Singing
Jim has been a traditional dance enthusiast since his first Christmas Country Dance School in 1968. He is a collector of traditional community dance in the Southeastern US, New England, England and Ireland, and a pioneer in the study of historic American social dance. Jim plays fiddle and guitar, performing with the Morrison Brothers Band, In Wildness… and the Albemarle Morris Men. He was also the 2014 recipient of the Country Dance and Song Society’s life achievement award.
Appalachian Mountain Dance
Owen 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. He frequently appears on staff at Pinewoods, Augusta, Ashokan and many other camps, and is thrilled to be returning to CCDS this year.
Dance Music on the Guitar
Dave is an accomplished dancer and second generation caller who has attended CCDS many times. He is committed to the preservation of Kentucky mountain square dancing.
Kentucky Running Set
Janet, a basket maker from Rockcastle County, Kentucky, will proudly be joining the CCDS staff for her 15th year. Janet will be offering classes in both traditional and nontraditional styles of basketry with plenty of room for freedom of expression in your individual baskets.
Basketry for All, One, Basketry for All, Two
Anna comes from an eclectic musical background of traditional, jazz classical, and world music. Based in Brattleboro, VT she plays clarinet for contra, english country and swing dancing. Anna also composes and arranges music and teaches classes and workshops in dance music, ear training, and harmony singing. Her current projects include playing with the dance bands Elixir and The Figments, and performing improvisatory Balkan/ African/ South American influenced originals with the As Yet Quintet. Her solo album, “Isadore’s Breakfast” featuring her work on clarinet and vocals along with many fine New England musicians in a mix of french influenced swing and fiddle tunes.
Intermediate/Advanced Dance Band
Jon Pickow began his singing career at a very early age, appearing with his mother, Appalachian folksinger Jean Ritchie, at concerts and folk festivals throughout the country. He performed with Jean until her retirement in 2009 and has produced and performed on many of her albums. Jon has appeared recently at the Great American Dulcimer Festival at Pine Mountain State Resort in Pineville, KY, and at Kentucky Music Weekend in Louisville, KY. He has also taught banjo, harmony and shape note singing at Kentucky Music Week in Bardstown, KY. Check out his bio at www.jonpickow.com.
Ritchie Family Songs & Traditions
Jamie has been running sound for dances and concerts, mostly in the Washington, DC area, for many years. He is a regular at Glen Echo Park and specializes in all types of traditional music. He has also been running sound for a number of dance weekends and other events much further afield—from Gulfport, FL to Ann Arbor, MI. This will be his 6th adventure at CCDS. Jamie’s approach has been to make each instrument and voice sound as close to natural as possible, work hard to make the musicians happy, and let them carry the show.
Meg Ryan, from Northampton, MA, is an outstanding performer and teacher of both English and Anglo-American clog dance styles. She has studied under some of the masters of the traditions of English clog, including Pat Tracey, Harry Cowgill, and Alex Woodcock. Meg has performed in England, Canada and the U.S., and was a member of the now-defunct New Dancing Marleys, who perform the routines of Anna Marley of Rockville, CT. She also teaches and performs Northwest Morris with Guiding Star Clog Morris from Greenfield, MA.
English Clog Int/Adv; English Clog for All
Patty is a member of the Ritchie Family of Eastern Kentucky with a repertoire of traditional Appalachian songs and singing games. She plays dulcimer and sings and enjoys leading groups in song.
Will coordinate Morningsong and Stories, and Evening Parlor
Al teaches Appalachian music for string instruments at Berea College and is best known for his mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and banjo playing, teaching any and all of these when asked. Al plays fiddle in the Berea Cast-Offs dance band and has been an artist-in-residence for the Kentucky Arts Council in storytelling, folk music and dance. He also has been a staff member at Pinewoods, Buffalo Gap, Kentucky Summer Dance School, and other dance weeks.
Alice, third generation participant and CCDS staff member, plays bass and sings with her husband, Al. She’s performed across the US and abroad, from the Grand Old Opry to the Kennedy Center, to a school gym north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska, to another in Hobart, Tasmania. Locally, she and Al can be heard accompanying the Berea Festival Dancers, playing for contras with the Berea Cast-offs, or doing concerts with her sister, Ruth McLain Smith.
Will coordinate evening staff music
Nathan is a veteran of over 30 years in country dance music. He plays the fiddle, mandolin, tenor banjo, double bass, electric bass guitar, and piano. Currently, Nathan plays with The Morrison Brothers Band, Elise Melrood, Footbridge, Intellectual Property, Websters Edition-Jazz, Paw Paw Pickers, and the Lexington Community Orchestra. Nathan has recorded and performed with The Lamb Family Band, Mitch Barrett, Funny Bones, Tim Lake and the Little Big Band, and many others. His greatest thrill, however, is making music with his daughters Adéla and Anna in their band, Dreamdance. Nathan brings his love for music to others through teaching and mentoring orchestra students in the Kentucky public schools, and as music director at his church in Lexington. A 1986 graduate of Berea College, Nathan also studied jazz at the Manhattan School of Music, studying with David Liebman, Harvie Swartz, and Arnie Lawrence. Nathan holds two advanced degrees from Eastern Kentucky University: Masters of Music in Theory and Composition and the Masters of Arts in Teaching Music. Nathan is also a certified Suzuki Double Bass instructor teaching students of all ages the art of making music with the bass. He is also, without a doubt, one of the world’s most under-appreciated random storytellers.
Larry has been a full-time musician since 1984 and has presented a diverse range of musical performances across the United States, Europe, India, Afghanistan, Israel, the UK, and Scandinavia. Titled “master guitarist” by Dirty Linen, Unger has played with many top contra dance bands and has accompanied such fiddlers as Judy Hyman, Matt Glaser, and Lissa Schneckenburger.
Larry’s original music has been played and recorded by musicians around the world, and can be heard in several Ken Burns documentaries. His music has been played on the Grand Ole Opry and by the San Luis Obispo Symphony Orchestra.
Initially studying blues guitar with Etta Baker and John Jackson and later taking up the banjo and bass, Unger has become one of the most sought-after rhythm players in the country. He has a great breadth of understanding of traditional music to complement his considerable technical proficiency and enjoys telling stories about the origins of his music and the people who taught him.
Will coordinate After Dance music