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.
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.
Pete is from Greensboro, NC and plays piano and bass for contras, squares and English country dancing with Footloose, piano or accordion for Scottish country dancing with The MacRowdie Ceilidh Band, and bass with the bluegrass-style klezmer band The Sinai Mountain Ramblers. Over the years, he has served on the musical staffs of many dance camp weeks and dance weekend venues from coast to coast for Scottish, English, American contras and squares, and international folk dancing. Dr. Pete also teaches Scottish ceilidh and country dancing as well as colonial American and English dance, does calling for contras and squares, and always loves to join in on any song-fests to share his wealth of silly songs.
David Crandall 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 11th year of teaching Temari at CCDS.
Beginning Temari Craft, Intermediate Temari Craft
Mary is delighted to be returning to Christmas Country Dance School. She teaches English country and contra / square dancing at home in Portland, Oregon, across the U.S. and in Europe. This year, besides being on staff for CCDS, Mary’s engagements include the Bay Area Country Dance Society’s (BACDS) Fall Frolick, the Tommerup dance weekend in Denmark, a special English country dance day in Princeton, NJ, and a Dance Kings (UK) holiday in Torremolinos, Spain, with another Dance Kings holiday booked for Turkey in early 2015. She also loves teaching and coaching callers. Bruce Hamilton and Mary are thrilled to be leading a caller course weekend at Halsway Manor in Somerset, England, in November. Besides calling, teaching and dancing, Mary was President of the Country Dance and Song Society from 2003 to 2006. Mary has been program director for two CDSS English-American Weeks at Pinewoods and for four BACDS English Dance & Music Weeks. Mary currently is on the Portland Country Dance Community (PCDC) Board serving as the English country dance representative and as Secretary.
Advanced English Country Dance; Contra for All;
English Dance Callers Workshop
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.
Intermediate English Country Dance; Contra Dance Open Mic;
English Dance & the Art of Reconstruction
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.
When not making music for Cirque du Soleil, or television shows like Breaking Bad or films like The Lego Movie, or commercials for companies like Oreo and American Express, or video games, Wayne Hankin is performing on instruments of all wind kinds whether playing for the dance or teaching others the joy of recorder (beginner and intermediate) or the Trump (Jew’s harp). 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
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.
Dance Band from the Floor Up
Recently returned to her home base in Montague MA from a grand adventure year of studying Swedish folk music at the Eric Sahlström Institute, lydia plays five-string fiddle and nyckelharpa for Scandinavian and English Country dancing. Her absolute favorite thing about playing in either genre is the boundless opportunity to create rich harmonic lines. As an avid dancer herself, she infuses her playing with rhythmic clarity and sensitive phrasing to produce eminently danceable music. Many of her recent projects — performing, teaching, recording — are collaborations with fiddle partner Andrea Larson, with whom she shared the intensive year of study abroad. lydia was awarded a bronze Zorn medal in Sweden for her playing in the Uppland tradition. http://lydiamusic.org http://lydia-andrea.com
SARAH JO JACOBS
Sarah Jo Jacobs is a third year theatre student who has attended CCDS for 9 years. She has spent the past year teaching at a nonprofit after-school theatre program in Austin Texas and is thrilled to be back in her home town of Berea. Sarah Jo has studied play-writing and folklore and is excited to dive into the amazing world of the mummers play and finally beat out the Morris tour for number of donations.
Atossa Kramer 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.
Songs from the Past to the Present
One might say Roo has been observing, learning and studying Scandinavian dance since she met the Hambo on the dance floor when she was in college. Roo’s hallmarks include clear, positive teaching that incorporates background information, styling and technique and her ability to present the basic concepts of Scandinavian dance to dancers of all levels in a fun and lighthearted manner. She conducts workshops throughout the US, specializing in the turning dances of Norway and Sweden. Roo will be assisted by Harry Khamis, a regular teacher at Miami Valley Folk Dance Club in Dayton, Ohio.
Scandinavian Dance Basics; Further into Scandinavian Dance;
Hambo Skills and Dancing
Harry Khamis taught international folk dancing at Wright State University for 13 years. He is a regular teacher at the Miami Valley Folk Dance Club and Flying Ghillies Scottish Country Dance Club in Dayton, OH. For Swedish polska dancing, he received his “Big Silver” medal in 1999 and is the only person outside of Sweden to hold 13 “diploms.” For more information about Harry, please look at his website:
Scandinavian Dance Basics; Further into Scandinavian Dance;
Hambo Skills and Dancing
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), and has been foreman for Deer Creek Morris (Palo Alto, CA) and BaltiMorris (Baltimore, MD). He has taught Morris, Sword and English Country Dance 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.
Cotswold Morris for All
Suzi grew up in Somerset, Kentucky where she developed a love for singing, dancing and playing music for dancers early in life. Since her first CCDS in 1978, she has returned to Berea many times to participate as a singer, dancer and musician. Close to her heart are the musics she finds and people she meets as she travels to sit in with folk musicians in various regions of the southern U.S. and the world. Suzi coordinates the Music Education program at Appalachian State University, and plays music with the Mountain Laurels, a women’s ensemble of Celtic, Old Time, Bluegrass and other mountain roots music.
Harmony Singing; Play Party & Singing Games
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 is also the 2014 recipient of the Country Dance and Song Society’s life achievement award.
Sets of Cork and Kerry
*Congratulations to Jim Morrison, recipient of the Country Dance & Song Society Lifetime Contribution Award for 2014!
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.
Sets of Cork and Kerry; Intermediate/Advanced Dance Band
Will’s inventive drumming has been inspiring dancers from Virginia to the Faroe Islands since 1997, starting with the Morrison Brothers Band and playing with the Capital Quicksteps Quadrille Orchestra, Serpentine, and Catharsis. His style starts in the rhythms of contra dancing itself and is informed by Jazz, Funk, and Rock. Will has been attending CCDS since 1995 and excited to be joining the illustrious staff.
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 14th 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 One, Basketry Two
Storyteller, writer, playwright, and actor, Jim Pfitzer would rather paddle a canoe than drive a car and prefers watching birds to watching television. Jim has performed and taught storytelling from coast to coast and is currently performing his one-man play, Aldo Leopold – A Standard of Change. This year marks the fifth year Jim has taught at CCDS.
I Can Tell A Story! What Do I Do With This?
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.
Shape Note Singing
A member of the contra dance band, Serpentine, the Danish/Faroese band, Spælimenninir and the Scandinavian trio, Hoag/Kelly/Pilzer, Charlie has played too many dances to count. When not playing music, he records, mixes and masters CDs at Airshow and is fortunate to work on all kinds of wonderful projects. Charlie lives in Takoma Park, MD.
email@example.com Open band for Contras
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 5th 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.
Gillian Stewart has been doing rapper since the tender age of 9, when she managed to persuade a teacher at a dance camp that that she was, in fact, strong enough to bend a sword. Since then, she has performed, taught, and judged rapper on both sides of the Atlantic whenever her schedule permits. After falling in love with the statelier graces of longsword in her teens, she joined Orion Longsword, with whom she currently dances. She also enjoys doing morris whenever possible, as well as any kind of stepdancing that she can get her feet on.
Intro-mediate Rapper; Advanced Performance Rapper; Longsword 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
Darlene, from Cincinnati, Ohio has been spreading joy for many years. Darlene lifts the spirits of everyone in the room with her seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy and smiles as well as her very skillful way with a roomful of dancers.
Advanced Contras: Contra Callers Workshop
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 plays the fiddle, tenor banjo, double bass, and electric bass guitar for dancing. He plays with Footbridge, Intellectual Property, and Elise & Nathan. His greatest thrill is making music with his daughters Adéla and Anna in their band called Dreamdance. Nathan brings his love for music to others through teaching orchestra in the public schools, and as music director at his church in Lexington. He is also, without a doubt, one of the world’s most under-appreciated random storytellers.
Will coordinate After Dance music