English Country Dance Program: New London Assembly
Week Two, July 13-20, 2014
Brad Foster, Director
An All-day program of classes, lectures, and evening dancing. Learn traditional English country dances and learn about the 17th-century French country dances they inspired. You can also take a music class if you wish. Staff: Brad Foster, Andrew Shaw, Shira Kammen, Carol Marsh, Emily O'Brien, Jacqueline Schwab.
This event is supported in part by the Outreach Fund of the Country Dance and Song Society.
Festival registration now open!
Andrew Shaw developed an enthralling interest in and enthusiasm for the history and performance of the English Country Dance as a teenager. Now as an interpreter and exponent of these dances, he teaches at weekends, festivals and other courses at home (England) and abroad, including three visits each to Pinewoods and Mendocino dance weeks in the USA. His own annual dance weekend at Halsway Manor in Somerset was inaugurated in 2001; featuring the musicians Paul Hutchinson and John Hymas, it draws dancers from far and wide.
Andrew's interest in the dances of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, especially those composed by Nathaniel Kynaston, has resulted in the publication of four dance collections to date: Mr. Kynaston's Famous Dance in 2000, The She Favourite in 2002, Emperor of the Moon in 2006 and Farnicle Huggy in 2009. In 2004, Andrew edited The Dances Of Brian Wedgbury, in memory of this fine dance composer and near-neighbour, with an accompanying CD by John and Sue Stapledon on English concertina, keyboards, and violin.
Andrew lives near Altrincham in Cheshire where he runs the Lemmings Reprieve dance club - a name which oddly but neatly sums up his belief in the life-enhancing qualities of this dance form.
From a recent review: "Andrew Shaw reminds me of a good parent or teacher when he presents his workshops. He has 'nurtured' his dances and watched them grow with affection so that he knows and understands them well and can teach with that intimate knowledge. Andrew's use of short demonstrations is also most effective and illustrative especially when delivered with the style and panache that we have now come to expect from his teaching."
Shira Kammen received her degree in music from UC Berkeley and studied vielle with Margriet Tindemans. A member for many years of Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings, she has also worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, Teatro Bacchino, Kitka, and the King's Noyse, and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to performance on river rafting trips. She has performed and taught in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, Morocco, and Japan, and on the Colorado and Rogue Rivers. Shira happily collaborated with singer/storyteller John Fleagle for fifteen years, and performs now with several new groups as well as Fortune's Wheel: a new music group, Ephemeros; an eclectic ethnic band, Panacea; and Trouz Bras, a group devoted to the dance music of Celtic Brittany. The strangest place Shira has played is in the elephant pit of the Jerusalem Zoo. She hopes to spend more time playing music of all kinds in the wilderness.
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 and the NEC Baroque Society. She is also on staff this summer at the Country Dance and Song Society's Early Music Week at Pinewoods, and plays frequently with Jacqueline Schwab for English country dance in the Boston area. Currently she is also 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. Emily works for the Von Huene Workshop and the Early Music Shop of New England in Brookline, MA. In her spare time, she enjoys long distance cycling. For more information, see www.emilysdomain.org.
Jacqueline has played piano for as long as she can remember and loves telling stories and creating moods with her music, as well as inspiring people to dance. She has specialized in improvising or composing meditative, spirited arrangements on traditional and vintage tunes from America, England, Scotland and beyond—spinning out stories, in her variations on the themes.
In Ken Burns’ words, “Jacqueline Schwab brings more feeling and intensity to music than anyone I know. Her playing is insistent, physical, heartfelt and ... unusually moving.” Jacqueline Schwab has been heard on over a dozen of Burns’ documentaries, including the Civil War, Baseball, Lewis and Clark, Mark Twain, The War, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, and the recently-premiered Dust Bowl. She has also been heard on other PBS documentaries. She has performed at the White House for President Clinton, and also, with singer Jean Redpath, on Minnesota Public Radio’s A Prairie Home Companion and CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman.
Schwab has performed her solo arrangements concerts and festivals throughout the US, including at the Savannah Music Festival and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, in Cincinnati. Her performances draw on a wide repertoire—Stephen Foster and Civil War song tunes from North and South, Victorian ballroom dance tunes, Scots and Irish songs and dance tunes brought over by settlers, hymns and spirituals, ragtime—plus Latin waltzes and tango and Billie Holiday blues, as well as contemporary-style Celtic and English traditional music. Jacqueline’s arrangements of American heart songs honor the community and improvisational spirit of music making reported in Twain’s times but also link to the present day.
She has recorded with Scottish fiddlers Alasdair Fraser and Laura Risk, Scottish singer Jean Redpath, the English dance music quartet Bare Necessities and others. She has three solo recordings: Mad Robin, Down Came an Angel and Mark Twain’s America. Recent recordings include three CDs of Civil War-era music. An upcoming solo CD of waltzes and airs in many styles, True Blue Waltz, is in production (see her successfully-funded kickstarter video, at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/133109880/true-blue-waltz-solo-piano...).
A dance musician for many years, Jacqueline plays for many different types of dancing and also leads English country dancing. She is a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music, where she majored in piano improvisation. She is married to Edmund Robinson, the minister of the UU Meeting House, in Chatham, and she lives on Cape Cod. For more information, see Jacquelineschwab.com, or listen to sound clips onmyspace.com/jacquelineschwab.
Carol G. Marsh received her Ph.D. from the City University of New York, with a dissertation
on early 18th-century English dance sources. She is Professor Emerita at the University of
North Carolina at Greensboro, where she taught music history, viola da gamba, early music
notation, and directed the Collegium Musicum. In Spring 1998 she was a Fulbright Scholar
at the University of Salzburg. Her books include Musical Theatre at the Court of Louis
XIV: Le Mariage de la Grosse Cathos (with Rebecca Harris-Warrick), La Danse Noble: An
Inventory of Dances and Sources (with Meredith Little), and the facsimile edition of L’Abbé’s
New Collection of Dances. An internationally recognized authority on Baroque dance and
dance notation, Dr. Marsh has published extensively in this field, including articles in Grove
Music, MGG, and a number of historical dance journals. She has lectured and given dance
workshops at numerous universities in the United States and abroad, and has been on the
faculty at many early music and dance workshops in North America and Europe, teaching
viola da gamba, Renaissance music notation, and historical dance.
In 2010 she moved to Washington, DC, where she enjoys a vast array of cultural offerings
along with a car-free life.