The last blast of Springtime… April, into May

Oops! Missed blogging about our lovely April dance with Abigail Hobart calling to Amberwing!  It was a fine dance!

Coming up soon…



Callum Armstrong is an experimental piper who enjoys exploring the possibilities of the pipes. He studied recorder at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where for three consecutive years he won the Beryl Maggs Award for recorder and, in his final year, was awarded the Silver Medal for Early Music. He subsequently won the solo prize in 2014 and the ‘Petite Formation’ Prize in 2015 with Cellist George Pasca at the ‘Son Continu’ Festival in France.

Callum started experimenting with the aulos (ancient Greek shepherd’s pipe in 2015. His work developing reeds in an historically informed manner while collaborating with scholars has enabled him to forge his own playing technique and to break new ground reviving the aulos.  He is currently in the US to perform with Columbia University’s production of Euripides’ Herakles, but when I learned that he would be in this country, I encourage him to come to our area to perform and teach a workshop for our local pipers.

Callum’s other recent projects include developing a polyphonic technique for double and triple smallpipes, collaborating with pipe maker Julian Goodacre to develop a chanter with a 3-octave range, and taking part in ‘Nathaniel Gow’s Dance Band’ with Concerto Caledonia. He has played as a soloist with the London Philharmonic orchestra and appeared as the piper in Steven Speilberg’s filmWarhorse. In 2014, Callum won the Château d’Ars solo piping competition and returned in 2015 to win the ‘Petite Formation’ competition with the cellist George Pasca.

He plays multiple kinds of pipes including Cornish pipes, Scottish Smallpipes both Single and Double by Julian Goodacre, Great Highland Bagpipes by Peter Henderson, and Borderpipes in A and D by Jon Swayne.  His concert will be a combination of many things… aulos, recorders and pipes.

Callum will be teaching an afternoon workshop from 3-5pm on melodic ornamentation and techniques for becoming more relaxed as you play.  Pre-registration is advisable, workshop is $25, or $40 for both workshop and concert.

Concert admission is $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMaD members, and $10 students.  Advance Tickets available from Brown Paper Tickets.

Mayday Celebration… a smaller event than year’s past… a May Day cannot be fully appreciated without weaving the Maypole… On the McMurran Lawn at 12:00 noon on Saturday May 4.  Singing, dancing and other celebratory revelry.

May Contra Dance
Saturday, May 4, 8pm 

Come join us for this high energy dance at the Shepherdstown War Memorial Building as Brian Hamshar calls an amazing round of contras and squares to high-energy band from the Shenandoah Valley, The Bouncers with Jim Harrington (accordion), T. J. crow (mandolin), Richard Adams (horns and bass), and Bill Wellington (guitar and banjo).  Beginners workshop at 7:30, the dance starts at 8pm. No experience necessary, no partner needed.  Potluck snacks at the break.  Wear soft-soled shoes to protect our nice floor!
New Admission prices $12 adults, $8 members, $10 students and $5 under 12. New student membership price!  $10/yr.

Our last Monthly Contra Dance until September… we will have a concert or two coming up… including a concert with Piper Barry Shears from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in August!



March Madness! Lots of surprises!

We have some great things coming up in the month of March!   We start off with our monthly contra dance!

March Contra Dance
Saturday, March 2, 8pm 

Come join us for this high energy dance at the Shepherdstown War Memorial Building as Ron Buchananan calls an amazing round of contras and squares to the Boneshakers!  With a lineup that includes Joe DeZarn on fiddle, Gina Faber on mandolin, guitar, fiddle, bodhran and more, Paul Hammerton on guitar and Ralph Gordon on bass.  Beginners workshop at 7:30, the dance starts at 8pm. No experience necessary, no partner needed.  Potluck snacks at the break.  Wear soft-soled shoes to protect our nice floor! Admission $12 adults, $8 members, $5 students under 12. New student membership price!  $10/yr.

Later in the month we collaborate with the Upper Potomac Spring Music Weekend to bring a concert and a dance!

Celebration of Strings: English Dance Music and our annual Hammered Dulcimer Showcase
Friday, March 22, 8 pm
Shepherd University Storer Ballroom

The hammered dulcimer is alive and well in Shepherdstown, West Virginia; not only does the area boast two of the instrument’s most respected builders and designers, but also is home to the Upper Potomac Music Weekends, where hammered dulcimer players, fiddlers and other musicians share tunes and techniques and explore a range of musical styles over three days of workshops, concerts and jam sessions on Shepherd University’s campus and the surrounding historic buildings several times each year. The concert this year features special guests, Belgian-born multi-instrumentalist Paul Oorts and pianist Dave Wiesler, who play inspiring dance music in such bands as Cabaret Sauvignon, Gigmeisters, and Goldcrest . Representing our dulcimer staff will be Dave Neiman, Tina Bergmann and Randy Marchany playing a range of repertoire from Classical to Cuban and from Celtic to Klezmer.  Come and be amazed!
Admission: $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email

Special Dance Event!  English Country Dance Program!

Afternoon English Workshop and Evening Dance
Saturday, March 23,  2-5 pm  and 8-11pm 

English Country Dance music combines the intricate melodies and refined qualities of chamber music with the liveliness of the folk traditions into a dance form that has stood the test of time from the Renaissance to the present day. New dances and melodies are being written today, and the program may feature a few dances from dance choreographer, Gary Roodman’s latest collection, Calculated Figures, Volume 12.

Melissa Running will be teaching and calling the figures.  The afternoon music will be provided by Becky Ross on fiddle and Liz Donaldson on piano.  The evening dance will feature a big band of teachers and students … The Oorts-Wiesler Orchestra, led by Paul Oorts and Dave Wiesler, which promises to be a whole lot of fun!  The workshop and dance are $15 each or $25 for both for non-members and $12 each or $20 for SMaD members.  Come experience this unique and vibrant dance form!  Potluck snacks at the break!

Kinobe: Music of Africa
Saturday, March 30, 8pm

St Peter’s Lutheran Church 

KINOBE (pronounced chi-no-bay) is a Ugandan singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose work has been described as “some of the most exquisite music coming out of Africa today.” For more than 15 years, he has captivated audiences with his soothing African rhythms, understated vocals and powerful world-roots-dance melodies that emanate from the diversity of the many traditional instruments he customized to develop his unique sound.

Born along the shores of Lake Victoria and the Nile River, Kinobe developed his passion for traditional African music as a child while listening to the hypnotic drumbeats that reverberated from the Royal Palace—located meters away from his home—all day and into the night.

At the age of 8, he began playing music at the church where his parents sang. Over the next few years, he learned to play multiple instruments including the Kora (West African Harp), Akogo (Kalimba), Endongo (Bowed Lire), Endingidi (Tube Fiddle), Adungu (Ugandan Harp), Tama (West African Drum), Ngoni (West African Lute) and Balafon (Wooden Xylophone).

Although he enjoys performing and recording, Kinobe’s greatest dream has been to teach children how to use the power of music to inspire others to see the world as a global village and that we are all more similar than different. His passion has led him to work closely with M-Lisada—an orphanage in Uganda, UNICEF, the Tender Mercies Foundation, and the Harmony Foundation in Canada, where he serves as a World Ambassador.

In 2013 he co-founded the Dance of Hope Foundation—a nonprofit organization that uses the transforming power of music, dance and storytelling to educate and empower young people to become independent global citizens and improve life quality in impoverished communities.

Join us for a unique evening of beautiful African melodies and rhythm on a score of traditional instrument.

Tickets are $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 members and $10 students,  and will be available  online from Brown Paper Tickets,by mail (send a check to SMaD, PO Box1293, Shepherdstown, WV  25443 with your order), or at the door.


Holiday Concert and into the New Year

Scandinavian Holiday Concert with Andrea Hoag, and Melissa Running
Sunday, December 23, at 4pm
St Peter’s Lutheran Church 

Scandinavian music is enchanting for it’s unusual rhythms and it’s ethereal harmonies, and the perfect music to usher in one of the darkest nights of the year.  Grammy Award nominee, Andrea Hoag, one of America’s finest Swedish fiddlers will be joined by Melissa Running on the Swedish keyed-fiddle, the nykelharpa.  Located in the lovely intimate atmosphere of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, it’s the perfect way to usher in the holiday season.

Tickets are $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 members and $10 students,  and will be available  online from Brown Paper Tickets, by mail (send a check to SMaD, PO Box1293, Shepherdstown, WV  25443 with your order), or at the door.

Fiddle Summit Showcase
Friday, January 4, 8pm
Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church

This annual concert presents some of the finest fiddlers from a variety of traditions, including French Canadian, English, Scottish, Irish, New England, and Appalachian into a showcase concert with some extraordinary accompaniment.  Sean Heely is a national Scottish Fiddle champions whose fiery renditions of Scottish and Irish fiddle music are in great demand, French Canadian fiddler, Pascal Gemme is the dynamic fiddler who drives the music of super star band Genticorum, highlights of last year’s Washington Revels.  Old-time fiddle wizard, Rachel Eddy, has been steeped in the traditional music of West Virginia all her life, and has garnered praise and prizes for her music both at home and abroad.  She regularly performs with the Pittsburgh band, The Early Mays, and with Ken and Brad Kolodner. Baltimore-based clawhammer banjo player, Brad Kolodner, represents the next generation of Old-Time musicians pushing the boundaries of the tradition into uncharted territory. Regarded for his delicate touch, expressive style, and original compositions, Kolodner has rapidly gained national attention for his unique approach to the banjo.  Joined by  his father, the highly acclaimed hammered dulcimer player and fiddler, Ken Kolodner, they form a powerful trio.  Fiddler, Jaige Trudel and guitarist Adam Broome form the heart of two dynamic contra dance and English dance bands, Crowfoot and Maivish.  Their driving beat and intricate arrangements make them a delight to listen and dance to. Together, this incredible line-up promises to bring a night of enchantment to all who love the folk violin. Co-sponsored with Upper Potomac Fiddle Retreat. Jam session to follow.Visit the web page to get more information to sign up for classes. Early bird discount before Dec. 1!  Admission is $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email  Tickets Available from Brown Paper Tickets here.

January Contra Dance
Saturday, January 5, 8pm 

Come join us for our first Dance of the year at the Shepherdstown War Memorial Building as Janine Smith calls an amazing round of contras and squares to the Fiddle Retreat Open Band!  Always a great time as our band swells to fill the front of the hall with energy and a unique sound as this years students and teachers provide the music for the dance.  Beginners workshop at 7:30, the dance starts at 8pm. No experience necessary, no partner needed.  Potluck snacks at the break.  Wear soft-soled shoes to protect our nice floor! Admission $12 adults, $8 members, $5 students and included in Fiddle Retreat tuition.

Squeeze the Bag!
Saturday, January 19, 8pm
Shepherd University, Reynolds Hall

The bellows-blown bagpipe is a quieter, more parlor-oriented cousin to the great highland bagpipes most folks are familiar with. You’ll see pipes that are far more likely to be played with flutes, guitars, mandolins, bouzoukis, drums and other instruments in a session-like atmosphere for concerts or dances in smaller, more intimate settings. Four kinds of bagpipes will be featured: the Scottish smallpipe, the quieter cousin of the great highland pipes, the Irish uilleann (or Union) pipes, Northumbrian smallpipes and the Border pipes which are played in the border region between Scotland and England.
The concert is divided into three sections… We’ll open with the tiny Northumbrian pipes of England with Dick Hensold then we’ll move to Irish section of the program with an outstanding uilleann piper, Jerry O’Sullivan whose reputation for technical and melodic mastery of the instrument is unsurpassed. The Scottish section of the concert will feature piper, Nick Hudson, a renowned performer on highland, border and smallpipes, as well as Tim Cummings, who has a diverse repertoire which includes French, Appalachian and other traditions, and Iain MacHarg, a versatile piper who grew up steeped in piping from French, Scottish and Irish traditions who runs the Vermont Institute for the Celtic Arts.  It will all be tied together by our host piper, Bob Mitchell and more, in a set of music from the highlands and border regions of Scotland and Cape Breton on both Scottish smallpipes and Border pipes.
The concert will take place at Shepherd University’s Reynolds Hall.
Co-sponsored with the Upper Potomac Pipers Weekend. Classes available in many kinds of bellows blown bagpipes, flute, whistle and mixed-instruments. More information is on the web page.
Admission: $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students. Tickets available from Brown Paper Tickets here. For more information call the Upper Potomac office at 304.263.2531 or email Come on out and watch these pipers Squeeze the Bag..


Scottish Music and some fine dances…

Scottish Fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas
Thursday, October 25, 8 pm
Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church

Come out and join us for what is sure to be one of the most popular concerts of the season as Scotland’s premier fiddler, Alasdair Fraser returns to Shepherdstown, with cellist, Natalie Haas.

The musical partnership between consummate performer Alasdair Fraser, “the Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddling”, and brilliant Californian cellist Natalie Haas spans the full spectrum between intimate chamber music and ecstatic dance energy. Over the last 18 years of creating a buzz at festivals and concert halls across the world, they have truly set the standard for fiddle and cello in traditional music. They continue to thrill audiences internationally with their virtuosic playing, their near-telepathic understanding and the joyful spontaneity and sheer physical presence of their music.

Advance tickets are $20 adults, $18 seniors and $15 members and $10 students. At the door: $25 adults, $22 seniors, $20 members and $10 children/students. Advance tickets are available at O’Hurley’s General Store or from Brown Paper Tickets.
For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email

 Contra Dance with Devine Comedy

Saturday, November 3 at 8pm at the Shepherdstown War Memorial Building

Join us for our November contra dance as Bill Wellington leads us through a rousing evening of contras to the music of Devine Comedy, with Steve Hickman on fiddle, Marty Taylor on flute and concertina, and John Devine on guitar.  These fine musicians and caller have been favorites at dances here for over 30 years… find out why!

There will be our usual beginners workshop at 7:30pm, the dance starts at 8pm.  All levels of dancers are welcome, no partner is necessary.  Potluck snacks at the break.

The dance costs $12 for non-members, $8 members, and $5 for dancers under 12 yrs old. For more information, call our dance chair, John Sauer at 301-542-3272.

Back in the saddle again! September 1 starts up our 2018-2019 season!

Saturday, September 1 at 8pm

Contra Dance with Janine Smith calling to Critton Hollow String Band

Join us for the first contra dance of the season with our old West Virginia Favorites… the Critton Hollow String Band with calling by Janine Smith. The band features the fine fiddling of Joe Herrmann, Sam Herrmann on hammered dulcimer and mandolin, Joe Fallon on melodeon and bass, and David McLaughlin on guitar. Beginners workshop at 7:30pm. Dance starts at 8pm. Potluck snacks at the break.

No potluck dinner before the dance, but some of go to Maria’s for a quick dinner before the dance.   

Beginners welcome, no partner necessary. At the Shepherdstown War Memorial Building.

Irish Music Concert with Bua!

Thursday, September 27 at 8pm at the Shepherdstown Prebyterian Church

We start up our concert season with the exciting Irish band, Bua. “Bua evokes the good times that Irish traditional music so often celebrates ,” playing in a manner “largely forgotten in today’s overly polished Irish music world .” With “a precision and intensity that is rarely heard on this side of the Atlantic,” their sound stands out among modern bands in the genre by “keeping the music down the path of tradition” while still being able to “raise the rafters with their playing, charm with their singing, and delight with their contemporary energy.” Based in Chicago, Illinois—a long-celebrated center of Irish traditional music—Bua “has established itself individually and as a group in the eyes and ears of the traditional community,” and their 2011 release, Down the Green Fieldsfinds Bua exploring the forgotten sounds from the heyday of Irish music in the City of Big Shoulders with a blend of enchantingly stark song arrangements and bold, pulsing dance tunes. Lauded by The Bluegrass Situation as being the top Irish album of the past five years, Down the Green Fields stands as a testament, from beginning to end, of the lasting essentials of the Irish tradition”.

Advance Sale Tickets available from Brown Paper Tickets.

Keep on the lookout for our October events, including a rare concert with Scottish fiddle wizard Alisdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas on Thursday, October 25 .  This concert is sure to be a highlight of our fall season!


Hooray, Hooray, the first of May!

Winter went by so quickly, with it’s Fiddle, Piping and Dulcimer programs, that I didn’t get the opportunity to blog about them… so it’s on to May… with our first Saturday Contra Dance, May Day and a special Mexican concert with duo Dulcemelos, from Queretaro, Mexico!

May Day is Saturday May 5

May Day Program

Saturday May 5, 2018

Join us to celebrate the May with song and dance.
10am Morris Dancing on King Street in front of Town Hall
11:30am Line up for the Parade on Church Street
Noon  Parade down German Street to the May Pole — Morris teams dance to Winster Processional, with a show figure in front of the Shepherdstown Library.  Community groups and interested individuals are welcome and encouraged to participate.
General Revelry will follow on the green — Sellengers Round, Morris Dances, songs, poetry and more. Each team will perform something under the MayPole.
3PM  Morris Stand with local team Hicks with Sticks and Mason Dixon Border Morris at Rumsey Monument Park.
5 PM Show Dances on King Street
8PM Contra Dance to Otter Loop with Susan Taylor calling. Beginners Workshop at 7:30PM.
Join us for our monthly dance with this fun, high energy, big, traditional band featuring
Julia Borland on fiddle, Robin Wilson on flute, concertina, and sax, Jim Besser on concertina, Larry Robinson on mandolin, guitar and more, Jim Voorhees on melodion, and Charlie Pilzer on piano, melodeon, and bass.  What could go wrong with all those reeds!  Potluck snacks at the break.

Video of Padstow Hobby Horse and song!

Music from Mexico with Dueto Dulcemelos

Wednesday, May 23, 8pm
Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church

Dulcemelos are a duo comprised of Alejandra Barrientos and Héctor Larios from Querétaro, Mexico who are working to keep alive the hammered dulcimer (salterio) repertoire in Mexico. Their diverse repertoire includes Mexican folk pieces, European baroque music, salon and chamber music from the 18th Century and more recent compositions for plucked dulcimer and piano.

Admission is $20 adult, $18 seniors, $15 SMaD members and $10 children.  For information, call (304) 263-2531 or email


March Madness… Cape Breton music, hammered dulcimers and a contradance with Contratopia bring bright days to the end of winter!

Whoa! Where did January go! Fiddle Summit, Open Band and Squeeze the Bag were all so great and happened so quickly they didn’t even make it to the blog… although an email did go out… so if you aren’t on the email list, you should sign up to get all the latest news. Follow the link on the right of the page!

Contra Dance with ContraTopia!  Saturday, March 3, at 8pm at the War Memorial Building.

Ted Hodapp calls, puns and guides you through a swirl of contra dances with the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based band ContraTopia!  The band features the talents of Erik Sessions (fiddle), Patrice Pakiz (piano, oboe, percussion), Pat O’Loughlin (english concertina and banjo), John Goodin (mandolin and guitar) while Ted Hodapp calls, does foot percussion, plays melodeon and concertina and more!  An annual favorite!  Potluck snacks at the break… FREE beginners workshop at 7:30. No partner necessary.  Please bring clean soft-soled shoes to wear to protect our wonderful floor.  Admission $12 adults, $8 members (you should join), and $5 for dancing kids under 12 or Shepherd University students with valid ID.

Celebration of Strings Concert! Featuring a Hammered Dulcimer Showcase, and Cape Breton fiddle and piano duo Troy MacGillivray and Andrea Beaton  Friday March 9, 8pm at the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church.

The hammered dulcimer is alive and well in Shepherdstown, West Virginia; not only does the area boast two of the instrument’s most respected builders and designers, but also is home to the Upper Potomac Music Weekends, where hammered dulcimer players, fiddlers and other musicians share tunes and techniques and explore a range of musical styles over three days of workshops, concerts and jam sessions on Shepherd University’s campus and the surrounding historic buildings several times each year. The concert this year features special guests, Troy McGillivray and Andrea Beaton from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on piano, fiddle and maybe a little step dance. Representing our dulcimer staff will be  Karen Alley, Tina Bergmann and Mick Doherty playing a range of repertoire from Classical to Cuban and from Celtic to Klezmer.  Come and be amazed!
Admission: $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 SMD members, $10 students. For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email

Take workshops with all of these great musicians… at the Upper Potomac Music Weekends, and hone your skills on your instrument!

End of the February/March Blog…

December Holiday Events

December is one of the darkest months of the year, and we have a few holiday events to bring cheer to a few dark December nights!

Our Annual December Contra Dance and Holiday Potluck on Saturday, December 2

Join us for our December Contra Dance and Annual Holiday Potluck before the Dance! Visit with old friends and make new ones as we celebrate the season with this festive dinner and dance!

Bring a dish to share at our Holiday Potluck… it starts at 6pm. 

New Dancer Workshop at 7:30pm. Beginners Welcome, No Partner Necessary…

The Contra Dance starts at 8PM with Greg Frock calling a lively program of contras to the Organic Family Band from Baltimore.

The Organic Family Band brings a range of musical experiences and styles to dance and folk music, blending jazz, Irish, Quebecois, Klezmer, New England, ragtime, rock, and more to create a soundscape that’ll keep you moving and grooving all night long! With veteran lead player Rebekah Geller (13) on fiddle, dad (and experienced jazz guitarist) Michael Raitzyk, older brother Jakob Raitzyk (18) on fiddle and foot percussion, and mom Judith Geller on french horn, The Organic Family Band carries on musical traditions and brings new life into the sound of dance/folk music.
Admission is $12 adults, $8 members (consider joining!), and $5 for Shepherd University students (with ID) and dancers under 12.  The dance takes place at the Shepherdstown War Memorial Building.

Come and Spend the Whole Day!

Earlier in the day, you can watch the Shepherdstown Christmas Parade, the Hicks with Sticks Border Morris will be in the parade at 10am, and will dance for the enjoyment of Holiday Shoppers on the McMurran Bricks at 11:30 and 2:00pm.

The town is decked out for the Holidays and shops and restaurants are putting out enticing things to make your day better… Wine Tasting,  Holiday Decor and other things, most of which are posted on the Visitor Center Web Site

Renaissance Holiday Concert with Tina Chancey and Brian Kay…

4 Centuries of Sacred and Secular music on Early Instruments.

Saturday, December 23, at 8pm at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.

Take a little break from the holiday madness.

These two fine artists return to give us more music from the Renaissance and beyond to add to the beauty of the holiday season.  Offering up soulful, heartbreakingly beautiful instrumentals, and songs to inspire your imagination, this promises to be a wonderful way to share the magic of the season with family and friends and a delightful way to spend a cold winter’s night.

TINA CHANCEY plays medieval fiddles, viola da gamba and renaissance, Old Time and Irish fiddle on roots music from Sephardic and Irish to medieval and jazz standards. Her particular specialty is the five-stringed pardessus de viole. A member of Ensemble Toss the Feathers (based in France), Sol y Sal and Trio Sefardi, she is a former member of the Folger Consort, the Ensemble for Early Music, New York Renaissance Band, Blackmore’s Night and more.  Tina teaches, performs, improvises, produces recordings, composes and arranges (for the National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble, the Washington Revels, and Rondo Publishing’s Celtic Gold series), writes popular and scholarly articles and directs a Christmas Collegium,  on playing by ear and improvisation. The Versatile Viol is her 3-CD series featuring the viol in Scots-Irish music, French baroque music, and American traditional music. Tina has been given an Special Education Achievement Award by Early Music America and four Wammies for best classical instrumentalist by the Washington Area Music Association.

BRIAN KAY  is a modern-day troubadour. Hailed as “Far-ranging”, “Brilliant”, and “Exciting”,-Cleveland Classical  Brian performs throughout the US, both as a solo artist, and with a number of critically acclaimed ensembles. He has appeared on more than 10 album releases at the age of 32.  His recent projects include “Play, Music!” a one-man show featuring music and songs from the plays of Shakespeare, co-direction of a Mediterranean music program with Cleveland’s baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire, and his latest original music release Moonsong.

Advance tickets will be $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 members and $10 students,  and $22 adults, $20 seniors, $18 members and $10 students at  the door.  Tickets will be available online from Brown Paper Tickets, or by mail (send a check with your order to SMaD, PO Box 1293, Shepherdstown, WV  25443.)

Don’t forget the January is our busiest month of the year with dances, concerts and music weekends featuring fiddle and bagpipes and those who play with them!  See the concert and dance pages for details… to sign up for the weekends themselves as a musician… go to the Upper Potomac Music Weekends page!

End of the December Post!**********

November Dance and DoD,DoD

November 4 is a busy day for dancers in Shepherstown… with both our monthly contra dance and the Morris team’s hosted Ale (morris dance party with favorite beverage)… The Day of the Dead, Day of Dance… offering up a number of performances in a variety of locations.

About the Ale

The faint ringing of bells to the raucous sounds of accordions, fiddles, bagpipes, drums and other instruments will be just part of the musical backdrop to the weekend as Mason Dixon Border Morris from Washington, DC, the Albemarle Morris Men from Charlottesville, VA and More or Less Morris from Richmond, VA and our own local team, the Hicks with Sticks bring the many flavors of morris dance to Shepherdstown.  The dancing is part of a gathering called an Ale by Morris Dancers, named for their favorite beverage which is consumed in quantity during the weekend party as fuel for the strenuous dances.  This weekend’s ale is an event hosted by our local Shepherdstown team.

Starting at 10 AM at the Rumsey Monument Park, there will be dancers re-enacting traditions dating back to the middle ages in merry olde England.  Each town or village had it’s own particular dance and style and different regions developed distinctive traditions reflecting their history and culture.  If one keeps their eyes open, you can see styles of dance from the Cotswold hills, the agricultural bread basket of England, with it’s hankies, bells and stick traditions, as well as dances from the wild and wooly Welsh border region, where the dancers typically black their faces (for disguise) and wear colorful rag coats.

Dancing will take place in several venues throughout the day in both Shepherdstown and Martinsburg.   The schedule below reflects the day’s activities.

Saturday, November 4

10AM: Short Morris Dance performance at Rumsey Monument Park

11AM Performance on the Library Plaza in Martinsburg  (corner of King and Queen Streets).

2:30PM Performance at  Canterbury of Shepherdstown Nursing Home

3:30PM Dancing at the Bavarian Inn

5PM Dancing on the McMurran Hall Bricks

Shepherdstown Contra Dance 

Join us for our first Saturday contra dance in November with Ron Buchanan calling high energy squares and contras to the the fabulous Morrison Brothers Band with Jim Morrison on fiddle, Owen Morrison on guitar and Will Morrison on drums. Introductory beginners workhop at 7:30pm, Dance starts at 8. Potluck snacks at the break. At the Shepherdstown War Memorial Building.  Admission $12 adults, $8 members (join us!), and $5 dancing kids under 12.

October Events from Shepherdstown Music and Dance

October‘s dance on Saturday, October 7, brings the return of Sugar Beat, with Elke Baker on fiddle, Susan Brant on flute and percussion, and Marc Glickman on piano.  Calling by David Giusti.

We will start our dance with a beginners workshop at 7:30 where all are encouraged to review the moves or help new dancers learn them for the first time. The dance starts at 8pm and runs until 11pm and takes place in the Shepherdstown War Memorial Building. We will be having potluck snacks at the break and encourage you to bring something to share! Our dances are $12 adults, $8 members (this is the perfect night to join or update your membership!) and $5 for Shepherd students and dancers under 12 yrs old.

On Friday, October 13 at 8pm, we bring you the band, Skippers Alley, all the way from Dublin, Ireland!

Skippers Alley
Friday, October 13 , 8pm
Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church

Skipper’s Alley are a modern Irish folk band with an old-school approach. Their influences range from folk revival bands such as Planxty and The Bothy Band to rare, experimental solo players like Tommie Potts and Séamus Ennis.

Once described as “a young Irish ensemble who look like a punk band and sound like The Chieftains” Skipper’s Alley specialise in gritty, high-octane Irish dance tunes on Uilleann Pipes, Whistles, Fiddle, Bodhrán, Bouzouki, Flute and Harp, with occasional detours into the dark, sombre melodies of the Irish song tradition.

Since forming in 2013 Skipper’s Alley have garnered wide critical praise, appeared on national and international TV, and toured on four continents. Write-ups include The Irish Times (★★★★), The Living Tradition, Folk Radio UK, Folk World, and Celtic Music Radio (★★★★★). TV appearances include S4C’s ‘Lorient’ as well as RTÉs ‘Fleadh!’ and The Late Late Show. Festival appearances include Electric Picnic (Ireland), Festival Interceltique de Lorient (France), The Stan Rogers Folk Festival (Canada), Spring Fest (India) and The Dayton Ohio Irish Fest (USA).

In 2014, Skipper’s Alley’s released their self-titled debut album under the production of Trevor Hutchinson (Lúnasa, The Waterboys, Sharron Shannon). To date the record has received wide critical acclaim and sold out several repressings.

Skipper’s Alley are currently touring regularly in North America and are hard at work on a second album due for release in mid to late 2017.
Advance tickets are $20 adults, $18 seniors and $15 members and $10 students. At the door: $25 adults, $22 seniors, $20 members and $10 children/students.  Advance tickets are available at O’Hurley’s General Store or from Brown Paper Tickets.
For more information call Joanie at (304) 263-2531 or email

Look forward to November, where on November 4th you can look forward to seeing Morris dance in and around Shepherdstown as well as come to our first Saturday dance where Ron Buchanan will be calling squares and contras to the Morrison Brothers band with Jim Morrison on fiddle, Owen Morrison on guitar and Will Morrison on drums.

End of the October post.