New Year’s Eve Contra Dance!

Note: The first dance of the new year will be English Country Dance on January 15 (third Sunday). There will be no English Country Dance on January 1 (first Sunday), nor contra dance on January 14 (second Saturday).

Caller: Dane Wallinga
Music: Syncopaths
Sound: Amanda Schmidt
Date: Saturday, December 31, 2022
Time: 8:00–12:00 midnight, with newcomer’s orientation at 7:40pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Special NYE pricing: $18 for adults; $12 for college students with ID; $8 for dancers under 18; $40 maximum for families (cash or check)

Join us for four hours of contra dance on New Year’s Eve, 8:00PM to midnight, at Coloma Community Center. This is one of our biggest and most joyful events of the year, along with our Anniversary Dance in April, so you’ll want to be there. It’s a chance to see old friends and make new friends. Even if you can’t come for the entire evening, please come.

The Syncopaths, a Sacramento favorite, will play, with Dane Wallinga calling. Syncopaths are Jeff Spero, Ryan McKasson, Christa Burch, and Joe Craven stepping in for Ashley Hoyer (Broder). From dance floors to concert halls, the Syncopaths bring a fresh, contemporary spin to tunes and songs rooted in the Scottish, Irish, and American folk traditions. Evolving through their contradance origins, they are creating a “chamber folk” sound, characterized by the compelling rhythmic interplay of fiddle and mandolin, rich vocals, and unexpected colors and rhythms of the piano and bodhrån. The exuberant joy they derive from the music and each other is palpable and contagious. Joe Craven is not just an entertaining musician with a penchant for the mischievous, he is a teacher and student all at once and he will draw you into his performance by including you as though you’re part of the show itself. His gift of gab is unprecedented and his musical knowledge impressive. Joe’s openness and expression of gratitude for the gifts he’s acquired make it all the more fun for him to share them with his audience. Syncopaths homepage Joe Craven homepage

Dane Wallinga has quickly become a Bay Area go-to caller, giving dancers a thoughtful program of interesting, fun dances, called with a relaxed style.

We will have a New Year toast with sparking cider at midnight, outside (grab your coats), and a final waltz to bring in the New Year.

We do have higher pricing for the New Year’s Eve Contra Dance. If cost is the only thing preventing you being being there, please talk to the greeters at the door.

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 7:40 pm, perfect for people who have not contra danced before, or who could use some refresher. Experienced dancers are invited to partner with newcomers during the orientation and early dances to help integrate them into the community. No partners are needed, so come by yourself or with friends or with family. Events are accessible to people with disabilities.

Contact: For more information, and lost and found, contact Laura Leonelli, 916-549-7093, or email sactocds@gmail.com. Our schedule of future dances is always available at https://sactocds.wordpress.com/calendar/. You may join our email list on groups.io at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS/. Please enter your name when joining.


COVID Safety Information

We are no longer offering a rapid self-test option, and now require complete vaccination. We did offer a self-test option for a while, but it was never used, and on the request of a number of callers and dancers, we are returning to full vaccination policy.

The SCDS Covid safety policy requires full vaccination, including boosters. Masks must be worn at all times while inside the building. We recommend N95, KN95, or KF94 masks and do not allow masks with exhaust valves (because they don’t protect others), cloth masks, or surgical masks. Please bring your own water and snacks, and plan to step outside to eat or drink. Windows and doors will be open to ensure good ventilation, so please dress accordingly. Most importantly, if you’re not feeling well, stay home and join us next time.

If you haven’t been to a dance yet, please email a photo of your vaccination card to Laura Leonelli at lauraleo524@gmail.com before the dance. Please also print a copy of our waiver form, sign it, and bring your paper copy to the dance. You only need to do this once; we will record that you have provided this information, so that it will be valid for future dances.

Anniversary Contra Dance on April 23rd

Talent: Susan Petrick calling to the music of Joyride
Date: Saturday, April 23, 2022
Time: 7:00–10:00 pm, with newcomer’s orientation at 6:30 pm
Location: Coloma Community Center, 4623 T St, Sacramento, CA
Cost: special pricing $15 for adults; $10 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $30 maximum for families (cash or check)

Please join us as we celebrate our 36th anniversary and elect our new board of directors at this special event! Joyride is a Portland, Oregon, contra dance band known for fun, skilled play, tunes fit to dance figures, and ringing, rocking, gorgeous melodies that make you want to move. George Penk’s rich and lively fiddle, Erik Weberg’s nimble flute, harmonica and bombarde, Sue Songer’s pulsing piano, and Jeff Kerssen-Griep’s percussive guitar energy breathe big life into modern and traditional tunes. 

Susan Petrick is a regional treasure with national prominence, who tours throughout the country calling for dance weekends and festivals. She is well-known for her clear teaching, efficient guidance, and expert pacing, making even complex dances accessible to all.

Because of Covid restrictions, we will not be able to offer cake or a potluck dinner this year. The SCDS Covid safety policy requires full vaccination, including boosters. Masks must be worn at all times while inside the building. We recommend N95, KN95, or KF94 masks and do not allow masks with exhaust valves (because they don’t protect others) or cloth masks unless they are worn on top of a surgical mask. Please bring your own water and snacks, and plan to step outside to eat or drink. Windows and doors will be open to ensure good ventilation, so please dress accordingly. Most importantly, if you’re not feeling well, stay home and join us next time.

If you haven’t been to a dance yet, please email a photo of your vaccination card to Laura Leonelli at lauraleo524@gmail.com before the dance. Please also print a copy of our waiver form, sign it, and bring your paper copy to the dance. You only need to do this once; we will record that you have provided this information, so that it will be valid for future dances.

A newcomer’s orientation is offered at 6:30 pm, perfect for people who have not contra danced before, or who could use some refresher. Experienced dancers are invited to partner with newcomers during the orientation and early dances to help integrate them into the community.

No partners are needed, so come by yourself or with friends or with family. These events are accessible to people with disabilities.

For more information, and lost and found, contact Laura Leonelli, 916-549-7093, or email info@sactocds.org

Echo Summit will return next year

We’re disappointed to announce that the Sacramento Country Dance Society has decided not to hold Echo Summit Dance Camp this September.  Although we probably could have figured out how to hold camp safely, there were too many constraints and limitations to make the weekend a fun experience. In particular, Camp Sacramento’s Covid-19 guidelines would not allow us to dance inside or to eat together in the dining hall. We expect to return to camp next year and hope to see you there! Thank you for your understanding.

January 10th Audrey Knuth & Amy Englesberg in Concert and Waltz Workshop

Please save the date for our next online concert, with Audrey Knuth and Amy Englesberg, at 4 pm Pacific time on Sunday, January 10th. Earlier on the same day, at 1 pm, Star Thistle will offer a waltz workshop for musicians (preregistration required). Details for both events are below.

The Concert

Audrey Knuth and Amy Englesberg, both classically trained musicians, are two-thirds of the Free Raisins. Audrey, who recently moved to the Bay Area from Boston, plays a driving and lyrical fiddle, while Amy plays piano and accordion. The Free Raisins fuse New England roots with a modern groove. This concert promises a versatile mix of danceable tunes.

You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS, starting at 3:45 pm on January 10th. 

Tips for the band are appreciated: paypal.me/audreyknuth

The Waltz Workshop

On Sunday, January 10th, at 1:00 PM Pacific time, the members of Star Thistle are happy to offer a waltz learning workshop! They will teach two of their original waltzes, one written by Lonna and the other by David. This one-hour online event will lead melody players in learning and playing the waltzes, and offer playing tips and the stories and feelings behind the tunes. There is no fee to attend, but a charitable donation is encouraged. One possibility is the Phoenix fund to help Jeremiah McLane and his family recover from a house fire, in which they lost their instruments and music.

The workshop will be aimed for melody players, notably violin/fiddle, viola, or mandolin but is accessible to other instruments. Lonna, David, and piano wizard Cheryl McKinney will offer accompaniment tips, too.

Star Thistle is a contradance band, which has played often at the Newcastle/Auburn and Sacramento contradances, as well as other venues and special events in California. Fiddler Lonna Whipple grew up playing classical violin. As an adult, she began dancing and playing international folk dance music. Then in the nineties, playing and dancing to music cemented her move into the world of Irish and of course contradance fiddling! Playing with her bandmates in Star Thistle has been a rewarding, growing experience, including the opportunity to try composing her own tunes. David Wright also started with classical training, but experienced teen rebellion and gave up playing entirely, only rediscovering the mandolin and fiddle twenty years later – with traditional and contradance music. He joined Star Thistle in 2001 and is still loving the exploration.

The two tunes are easy waltzes in A-minor and D. Participants should be comfortable with C, G, and D scales (no fancy positions). The band suggests learning to play them by ear, though sheet music will also be provided. 

To participate, respond to daveofdavesue@yahoo.com for the link to the event, which will be sent by email in the second week of January.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Upcoming concerts:
Feb. 7 – Rachel Bell and Becky Tracy
March 14 – Caroline McCaskey
April 11 – Turnip the Beat

November 8th Pete’s Posse concert

Mark your calendar for our next online concert, November 8th at 4 pm Pacific with Vermont trad-roots power trio Pete’s Posse. We missed them at Echo Summit Dance Camp in September, but they’ve agreed to join us for 2021 instead!

Composed of acclaimed musician Pete Sutherland, his talented protégé Oliver Scanlon, and the uber-dynamic Tristan Henderson, Pete’s Posse never fails to surprise and excite! Twin fiddles in tight, wild harmony over high-powered guitar and pounding foot percussion with mandolin, clawhammer banjo, jaw harp, rocking keyboards, and soaring vocal harmonies adding color to the Posse’s sonic landscape. 

With a steady flow of powerful uplifting energy that spans their age gap, they tap into many traditions from the north to south, and east to west, to distill a distinct sound that is completely their own. The Boston Irish Reporter recently proclaimed the Posse puts forth “(a) kaleidoscope of sounds and styles with equal parts amiability and energy.”  

The Posse’s signature is variety: all multi-instrumentalists, the band plays a dynamic repertoire of folk-roots genres; songs and tunes, traditional and original. For over four years, they’ve been bringing their brand of ‘neo-traditional folk’ to festival stages, dance halls and concert series across the US, Canada and Europe.

You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS, starting at 3:45 pm on November 8th. 

Tips are appreciated via https://www.petesposse.com/donate.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Upcoming events:
December 13th – Jeff Spero and Christa Burch

September 13th concert with Cloud Ten’s Cedar Stanistreet & Donal Sheets

Don’t miss our online concert on Sunday, September 13th, at 4 pm Pacific time! We’re hosting Cedar Stanistreet and Donal Sheets from Cloud Ten, who were booked to play at Echo Summit in 2020 and instead will be joining us at Camp Sacramento in September 2021. You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS, starting at 3:45 pm. Tips are appreciated – see details below.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Cedar Stanistreet, fiddle

CedarCedar grew up playing both classical violin and traditional fiddle music, and studied violin performance at the Crane School of Music. For the past ten years he has played for contra dances across North America with bands including Nor’easter, Cardinal Direction, Maivish, and Cloud Ten. His spirited, rhythmic playing and clear tone keep dancers on their feet. In between gigs, Cedar can be found at home in Brattleboro, Vermont, growing vegetables, baking bread, and birdwatching. He also repairs violins, violas, and cellos. (Photo credit: David Frantz)

Donal Sheets, cello and guitar

Donal2Donal grew up surrounded by traditional music and dance and played jazz bass and classical cello from a very young age. He has spent many years playing American and Irish music on cello and a variety of other instruments. The resonant chords and percussive rhythms of his cello create an indescribably vibrant soundscape drawing from many different traditions. He has taught and performed at music and dance festivals throughout the United States and is a member of Gallimaufry.

Tips:
Paypal: paypal.me/cedarfiddle or stanis66@potsdam.edu

USPS:
Cedar Stanistreet
130 Belmont Ave
Brattleboro, VT  05301

Upcoming online concerts:
October 11th – Star Thistle
November 8th – Pete’s Posse

August 9th concert with Topher Gayle & Louisa Knabe

On Sunday, August 9th, at 4 pm Pacific time, Sacramento Country Dance Society will host an online concert with Topher Gayle and Louisa Knabe. Please join us for an afternoon of fun!

IMG-4610_LgBASS_edited-2Topher Gayle (OpporTunists, Rosin Doctors, Swingin’ Chickens, Mercury Rising, Chaos Wranglers, et al.) has been happily busy playing contra dance music for nearly twenty years. But he’s been writing funny songs and pretty tunes since he was a teenager (shortly after the Fillmore administration). If you’ve seen him playing at a dance, you’ve perhaps noticed he’s usually surrounded by a music store’s worth of stringed, percussive, and unusual instruments. Many instruments, many styles, many grooves! Topher has several CDs and instructional books available at his web site, www.tophergayle.com

Louisa Knabe (Santa Rosa groups Home Made Jam, The Charms, New Math Trio) plays bass and sings. She was involved in the Bay Area bluegrass scene and — of course! — in playing Topher’s songs and tunes. After moving to Santa Rosa, she added some swing and Americana with a couple of bands. She’s delighted to be able to join Topher for this pleasant event.

Together, this duo will entertain you with a mix of pretty songs, rollicking mandolin tunes, humorous original songs, and a waltz or two. There will be a break in the middle of the concert for everyone to chat and more time for catching up after the music is done.

Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. You can join the concert at https://contradance.link/SCDS. Tips are appreciated by PayPal to music@tophergayle.com.

To receive email announcements of SCDS events, sign up at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS.

Upcoming online events

We hope everyone enjoyed listening to the Syncopaths on July 12th. Our plan is to host an online concert every month, on the second Sunday at 4 pm Pacific, so watch this space or join our email list at https://groups.io/g/SactoCDS for future announcements.

In the meantime, you can find lots of online concerts and dance events on the website of our parent organization, the Country Dance and Song Society: https://www.cdss.org/community/covid19/online-events

 

English XTRA: Playford Ball Workshop

Coronavirus update: Please help us to care for the vulnerable members of our community by staying home if you have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing), if you have traveled to an area with sustained local transmission in the past two weeks, or if you have been in close contact with anyone in those two categories. Risky areas include not only China, Korea, Italy, and Iran, but also local hotspots within countries with smaller outbreaks, such as the Seattle area of the U.S., particularly Kirkland, Washington. Infected people without symptoms can still transmit the disease to others.

Talent: David Newitt calling to the music of Rebecca King and Jon Berger
Date: Sunday, March 8, 2020
Time: 2:00–5:00 pm
Location: Camp Pollock, 1501 Northgate Blvd, Sacramento
Cost: $12 for adults; $8 for college students with ID (cash or check)

Newitt_King_BergerSpecial Program:  This special English XTRA workshop is a fast-paced afternoon for experienced English country dancers, which will NOT include an introductory lesson before the dance. Caller David Newitt, the Dancing Master for the upcoming Bay Area Country Dance Society Playford Ball, will review most of the dances in the program.  To experience the lengthy program with extra work on the more challenging dances, the pace of the afternoon will be more lively than usual.  This is not a dance for beginners!  (Please bring your first-timer friends to the next regular dance on March 15th).  Whether or not you intend to go to the Playford Ball, this dance is a wonderful opportunity to learn or review many dances in one afternoon.

Special Music:  We are honored to host Rebecca King and Jon Berger, two of the most prominent English country dance musicians in the country, for this special dance. Rebecca King is a classically trained pianist with strong roots in jazz and folk music.  Her interpretations breathe strong, rhythmical energy and deeply moving grace. Jon Berger is an astonishing fiddler and button accordion player, who has toured with Tempest, recorded with multiple groups, and plays with passion and drive.

Special Price:  Admission to this workshop is $12 for adults.

We will begin dancing promptly at 2:00 pm. Please plan to arrive a few minutes early to change shoes and check in so that we can start the program on time. It’s always nice when people bring a snack to share!

For more information or lost and found, call Laura Leonelli, 916-549-7093, or email info@sactocds.org.

Upcoming events:
March 14: contra dance
March 15: English country dance
March 28: contra dance

 

February 29th zesty contra, March 1st English country dance, and February 29th Jane Austen Ball

We’re hosting two dances on the same weekend: a zesty contra on Saturday, February 29th and an English country dance on Sunday, March 1st. Plus, our annual English outreach event, the Jane Austen Ball at Liberty Ranch High, will also be held on the evening of Saturday the 29th. Details for all three dances are below.

Our Zesty Contra:
Please note the special time and location for this dance. In this special zesty contra, dances will be taught quickly. Dancers should be familiar with hey for four, Petronella turns, and contra corners. This is an evening for experienced dancers who want to dance with enthusiasm!

Talent: Lynn Ackerson calling to the music of BLAM!
Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020
Time: 6:30–9:30 pm. No newcomer’s orientation.
Location: Camp Pollock, 1501 Northgate Blvd, Sacramento
Cost: $12 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

Ackerson_BLAM

Lynn Ackerson from Oakland, California, brings a huge and ever-expanding contra dance repertoire. Her gracefully efficient walk-throughs and delightful programs reflect her philosophy: to build the relationship between the band and the dancers and then get out of the way. Hailing from Monterey, BLAM! is Bob Silberstein on piano and doumbek, Elizabeth Todd on flutes, whistle, bodhran, and foot percussion, and Marta Lynch on fiddle.

No partners are needed, so come by yourself or with friends or with family. Potluck snacks are available at the break, and we encourage you to bring something to share. These events are accessible to people with disabilities.

 

Special English country dance event on February 29th:
Please join us as we introduce Galt High School students to English country dancing! The 4th Jane Austen Ball will be held on February 29th from 6-9 pm. Those of you who came last year know how much fun we had and how much the students appreciated your presence. Lise Dyckman will again be teaching and calling to the music of Quite Carried Away. She is very keen to have experienced dancers participate in our big outreach effort! Tickets can be purchased at the event or online.

 

Our English Country Dance:
Talent: Lise Dyckman calling to the music of Quite Carried Away
Date: Sunday, March 1, 2020
Time: 2:00-5:00 pm, with newcomer’s workshop at 1:30 pm
Location: Polish American Hall, 327 Main St, Roseville
Cost: $10 for adults; $8 for college students with ID; $5 for dancers under 18; $25 maximum for families (cash or check)

Dyckman_QCA

Having taught and called English country dance (and contra dance) for decades, Lise Dyckman is known for her clear and concise calling, musicality, humor, interest in dance history and attention to welcoming community. Our house band, Quite Carried Away, is Dick Holdstock on octave mandolin and banjo, Susan Jones on concertina, Arlene Jamar on piano, Jane Kostka on whistle, Martin Lodahl on viola da gamba, and David Wright on fiddle and mandolin. Ask about their CD!

As usual, beginners are welcome and no partners are necessary.  If you are bringing, or know of any, first-timers, please urge them to come at 1:30 for the introductory workshop that precedes the dance.  All dancers are welcome at the workshop, but first-time attendees receive a coupon for half-off admission at their next dance! Potluck snacks are available at the break, and we encourage you to bring something to share.


For more information on any of our dances, and lost and found, contact Laura Leonelli, 916-549-7093, or email info@sactocds.org
.

Upcoming events:
March 8: Playford Ball Workshop
March 14: contra dance
March 15: English country dance