Karen Axelrod plays piano for English, American and Scottish dance, and accordion for longsword and morris. She currently plays for Orion Longsword, whenever she has the opportunity. In addition to her life as a musician and mother, Karen makes jewelry and performs with the improv comedy troupe, the Villa Jidiots. Intermediate English
Country Dance, Advanced Dance Band
John attended his first Sacred Harp singing more than thirty years ago in Alabama at the suggestion of Bicky McLain. He has since published a book and several articles on the subject and has been a steadfast supporter of this music in the Midwest. His most recent work is an annotated CD recording of the National Sacred Harp Singing Convention. John currently resides in Cincinnati.
Sacred Harp Singing
Frank Boyd has taught woodcarving and folk toy classes for over twenty years. He is a regular instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina and is looking forward to teaching at the Ogontz Family Week this summer in New Hampshire. Frank specializes in carving folk figures, spoons, jewelry, toys, animals, and hiking sticks.
Ron Buchanan began dancing as a kid with his family at their barn dances in western Pennsylvania. He began calling in 1972 after attending the Christmas Country Dance School in Berea KY. Known for an efficient walk-through, quick wit and fast patter, Ron has called, taught swing, and shared many dances he has written at camps and weekends across the country.
Challenging Contras & Squares, Couple Dances, Contra/Square Dance Callers’ Workshop
Julian Cole often performs music in the Boston area – in the Revels, at the Boston Early Music Festival; he has toured English Cathedrals with duo Jadis and appeared in New York as a guest artist with Ex Umbris. He was the bass singer in the jazz a cappella quartet Euphoria. Julian has taught Early Music at Union College, Schenectady and at various workshops in New England including Pinewoods Early Music Week.
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 12 years. Temari Craft
Sue Dupre, who is based in central New Jersey, has been calling contra, square and English country dances for over 23 years. Sue has been a featured performer at various festivals, many dance weekends, and at summer dance camps, including English Dance Week at Pinewoods Camp, English Dance Week at Mendocino Camp, English and American Dance Week at Buffalo Gap Camp and Family Week at Buffalo Gap Camp.
Sue is known for enthusiasm and good humor, for an extensive repertoire representing the best of the old and the new, for clear and efficient teaching, for a rhythmic calling style, and for her work with novice dancers.
In addition to her work as a caller, Sue is passionately devoted to the promotion and performance of historic English ritual and ceremonial dances in American communities. She is the founder and foreman of the first American molly dance team, Handsome Molly, and for many years has directed the mumming troupe, General Mercer’s Mummers.
Intermediate English Country Dance, Mummer’s Play, Fun and Easy Contras and Squares
Brad has been dancing and teaching English country, contras and squares, and morris and sword for over thirty five 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, Brasstown, and Augusta. He is Executive and Artistic Director of the Country Dance and Song Society, a post he has held for 21 years.
Beginning English Country Dance, English Dance Callers’ Workshop
Andrea Hoag played in her first dance band in Berea in 1978, and has never looked back. She has been a full-time musician since 1984. She has played on a hip hop recording, at half-time for the Norwegian national basketball team, and at the Kennedy Center, but thinks there is nothing quite like CCDS.
Shona Kearney is a goldsmith, step dancer, teacher and longtime member of Toronto Women’s Sword. She has enjoyed traveling and performing with TWS since 1989. When at home in Toronto, Shona teaches in the Jewelry Arts Department at George Brown College.
Beginning Rapper, Advanced Rapper, Longsword
Atossa has been a dance musician and teacher in the area for 40 years. In addition to playing for dance workshops, she plays for the Berea College Country Dancers. She is a member of the music faculty at Berea College.
Donna and Lewis Lamb
Donna and Lewis began playing for the Berea College Country Dancers in the 1960’s. They perform and teach old time square dance music and traditional songs at festivals & workshops throughout the region.
Dave is an experienced and versatile fiddler, guitarist and fiddle teacher from the Boston area. He combines multiple styles of fiddling with fierce energy and drive. Dave is a member of The Latter Day Lizards, Barley Moon, and Childsplay. He has been on staff for dozens of dance camps around the country, including Pinewoods, Ogontz, and Berea.
Beginning Dance Band
Emily Miller is rapidly becoming known in folk circles here and abroad as a singer, fiddler and workshop leader. She has taught Appalachian, gospel, early country, and basic harmony singing around the Midwest and New England, and has led Village Harmony camps in the States and Caucasus Georgia.
As dancer, fiddler and itinerant instructor, Jim Morrison has been a mainstay of the American morris and sword dance scene since the late 1960s. His teaching draws on a broad background in traditional and popular dance and music history, and he has founded several influential groups including Greenwich MM, Albemarle MM, Greenwich Sword and Old Swan Tavern Border Morris. A more recent passion, stoked by a friendship with collector/promoter Timmy McCarthy, are the dances and music of Counties Kerry and Cork, Ireland.
Border Morris, Kerry Sets
Owen has become a regular playing guitar and mandolin for dances throughout the mid-Atlantic. His playing excites dancers with its blend of fine musicianship and danceability. Owen’s current passions and pursuits include Irish polkas, swing guitar, Bach, and Flamenco guitar.
Dr. Patrick E. Napier
Pat is an Appalachian square dance caller, author of Kentucky Mountain Square Dancing, storyteller, and Presbyterian minister. He is also on the CCDS policy committee. This is his fifty-fourth year at CCDS.
Kentucky Set Running, Storytelling for All
Janet is a self taught basket maker from Rockcastle County, KY. She has been making baskets for eight years and teaching basketry for six years. This will be her fifth year with CCDS. She enjoys working with materials native to her region and truly loves to share the joy and knowledge of basketry with other interested individuals.
Large Market Basket
Ruth Pershing has long been active in traditional music and dance circles, performing with the Cane Creek Cloggers for 19 years, and regularly calling contras, squares and family dances. She has taught clogging and led dances at Brasstown (NC), Ashokan (NY) Pinewoods (MA), Wannadance (WA), Mendocino (CA), Merlefest (NC), Moosejaw (MN), and Hindman (KY). She studied buck dance with bluesman John Dee Holeman of Durham (NC), and worked with Mike Seeger to co-produce Talking Feet, a video-documentary on southern step dance. She has also worked with traditional music and dance in event production, archiving, and radio. She currently teaches mathematics to middle school kids and parents her own three children in Chapel Hill, NC.
Beginning Appalachian Clogging, Advanced Appalachian Clogging
Bruce has been part of Boston’s contra and English country dance community since the mid-70s as a dancer and musician. He plays contradance piano in the Boston-based band, Phantom Power, with New York’s The Fish Family, and with lots of other great New England-style fiddlers. Bruce is seen most years conducting the NEFFA Festival Orchestra. In the early 90s, he took up the button accordion, playing for Ha’Penny Morris for many years; Bruce is now musician for the Commonwealth Morris Men.
Chris Rua has performed in the US and abroad on recorder, oboe, flute, bagpipes, and a multitude of other instruments as well as voice with such ensembles as Piffaro, New York’s Ensemble for Early Music, Ex Umbris and Voice of the Turtle. She has been on staff at Berea Christmas School, Buffalo Gap and Pinewoods, where from 1998-2000 she was program director for Early Music Week. Last year she toured England with Bare Necessities which culminated with a spectacular ball in Bath’s Assembly Hall.
Jacqueline Schwab is pleased to be returning to Christmas School! A founding member of the Bare Necessities English dance quartet, Jacqueline has played for country dancing since the mid 1970’s, has taught country dancing since 1982, and with Bare Necessities, plays and teaches at workshops, festivals and dance camps across the US, Canada and England. Her solo interpretations of vintage American music have been heard worldwide on ten PBS documentaries by Ken Burns, including the Grammy award-winning “Civil War” and the Emmy award-winning “Baseball.” She has performed at the White House for President Clinton, as part of a celebration of Burns’ “Lewis and Clark” documentary. She can be heard on over forty recordings, including three solo ones (“Mad Robin,” “Down Came an Angel,” and “Mark Twain’s America”) and ten with Bare Necessities. Jacqueline’s dance leading emphasizes the joy of the dance, the flow of the figures and connection to the other dancers and the music. Her teaching reflects the early twentieth-century Cecil Sharp style but is also informed by recent research on period style. Jacqueline also enjoys working with instrumentalists in their search for a personal vision of how to make this traditional music “dance.”
Advanced English Country Dance, Advanced Dance Band
Susan Spalding has been a devoted participant in Appalachian square dancing for 20 years. She is the editor of the Dance section of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia and served on the committee to plan the Appalachian section of the 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. She has documented and explored Appalachian dance traditions in her book, “Communities in Motion,” and in her video “Step Back Cindy.”
Appalachian Square Dancing
A dance leader and organizer for more than twenty-five years, Joe has been Program Director of CDSS Family Week at Buffalo Gap and is Squire of Foothills Morris Men in Berea. He was the interim Director of CCDS in 1990 & 1991, and has served as Director of CCDS since 2000.
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 for Elderhostel groups in and around Berea.
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, KY Summer Dance School, and other dance weeks.
Alice grew up singing and playing traditional, bluegrass and gospel music with her family in the McLain Family Band. She is an early elementary school teacher and plays bass in the Berea Cast-Offs.
Nathan is an inspired bassist in a wealth of musical styles from contra and old-time to classical and jazz. Currently plays bass with Sheila and the Geezers, Tim Lake and The Little Big Band, and Lewis and Donna Lamb. Nathan also directs a church music program and teaches music privately. His love of dance music is something he shares joyfully with people of all ages.
Sound by Doug Dorschug