Gene Murrow (USA), Geoff Cubitt, Ian Jones, Lynne Render, Andrew Shaw, Frances Richardson.
The Night Before
Pick N Mix
GUEST ARTISTS 2014
Gene Murrow returns to the festival by popular demand! He will be familiar to Lichfield regulars from 2005 & 2012 and is a man of many tallents -- English country dancer and dance leader, teacher of dance and early music workshops throughout the U.S. and in Europe, musician, successful businessman, and arts manager. The dances Gene leads are favorites with "newbies" as well as folks with decades of experience, since he succeeds in approaching English country dances as works of art, striving "to make their richness of structure, musical form, texture, and affect enjoyable and appreciated by dancers of all abilities."
Gene plays concertina, accordion, crumhorn, pipe, tabor, and just about anything else that comes to hand. His degree in music is from Columbia University and he once performed at the White House for President Reagan. Based in the Philadelphia area, A Joyful Noise began in 1992 and has played at dances, weekend workshops, and dance camps throughout the United States and several foreign countries.
Geoff is well known as a caller for American Squares and Contra and English Ceilidh. He has been invited to call at national dance festivals, including Whitby, Chippenham and Sidmouth, and is well respected among his peers. He has considerable experience as a dancer himself, particularly in Appalachian dancing, performing at many festivals.
His experience as a dancer stands him in good stead when calling, as his sympathy with those on the floor means that he is helpful to beginners as well as extending the expert dancers.
Andrew was dragged kicking and screaming to his first country dance as a teenager in the 60s. Initial reluctance overcome, he was quickly attracted to the dances and their music, went on to gain a basic grounding from some of the more fearsome instructors of the day and, under the influence of his friend and mentor Tom Cook, to develop an enthralling interest in and enthusiasm for the history and performance of the English Country Dance. As an interpreter and exponent of these dances he teaches at weekends, festivals and other courses at home 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. The She Favourite also throws light on the activities of the little-known dancing-master Richard Motley, whilst Farnicle Huggy features dances "Compos'd by a Person of Quality Recommended to Mr. Nathaniel Kynaston". The recordings accompanying the first three collections all feature Paul Hutchinson on accordion: some with Paul Sartin as Belshazzar's Feast, and the third with John Hymas. The most recent was recorded in California by the multi-instrumentalists Rebecca King, Jon Berger and Jim Oakden. In-between times, in 2004, Andrew also 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.
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."(Set & Turn Single,No. 48)
Lynne Render is a dancer & caller from Loughborough in Leicestershire. She is a regular caller at local clubs, and also calls for dances, ceilidhs and workshops at clubs & festivals throughout the country. Lynne calls for dancers of all abilities, and has worked with many well-known bands. She has called at Sidmouth, Chippenham, Eastbourne, Lichfield and Bromyard festivals, at Casterton and other dance weekends, and is a regular caller for The London Barndance Company at Cecil Sharp House, the Alcester contra series, and the Peeping Tom ceilidhs.
Lynne likes to call a mixture of American & English dances, and is always on the lookout for interesting, but nicely-flowing dances to add to her repertoire. She firmly believes that a clear explanation will enable the less-experienced dancer to enjoy a good dance. Lynne enjoys a wide range of dancing herself through social dance, ceilidhs and Appalachian clogging.
Gordon's violin lessons started when he was about six or seven in a garden shed in Northumberland with a retired coal miner – how traditional is that? He reminisces: “One of the first tunes I learnt was the Irish Washer Woman and it has haunted me ever since”. Playing with local orchestras the music ranged from light classical to symphonies, then, on moving down to Stafford in 1950 he played for what used to be called modern and old time dances.
After six or seven years of this Gordon joined Stafford Folk Dance club as well as the Morris Men. Since then he has played in a number of local bands and called at the club and for numerous barn dances. Gordon was encouraged to start running regular winter music workshops in the nineteen seventies and have seen many good musicians emerge from them. The workshops are still running and everyone is welcome, the first Sunday in the month from September to April. Give him a call on 01785 662398 for details. He quips: “I no longer dance but for better or worse I'm still on the fiddle.” - a worrying remark from the Festival treasurer we hear you cry, but, no, we can reassure you he is quite sound on that score.
Frances Richardson first started dancing whilst at school, and hasn't stopped since! It was with the local University group where she first fell in love with Playford style dancing and she particularly enjoys the variety of music styles in this genre. Whilst specialising in leading English and Scottish dance sessions (she holds the RSCDS teaching certificate), she also enjoys American and other forms of folk.
Not only is Frances Dance Director for Lichfield Folk Festival with all that involves but this year she will be using her considerable experience calling at this year's festival. Her calling career includes other festivals and dance weekends such as Sidmouth and Southam, plus Saturday dances and workshops around the country. Apart from working full-time as manager for a charity, she runs a local dance club called "Maggots and More".
Daphne has been involved in English folk dancing and music most of her adult life. As well as dancing herself and playing for dancing she writes tunes, two of which have been used by Philippe Callens for his dances. She has known Graham and Stephen for some years, mostly in connection with classical music. They decided to form a band in 2003 after a very successful collaboration as the musicians for a Dance Leaders' workshop in Canterbury.
They all live in Kent, where they have done most of their playing, but are now travelling further afield to play in various parts of England. In 2006 they were the musicians for a folk dance course in Belgium led by Kathryn and David Wright. Daphne has also played for two years running at Christmas Courses in the Netherlands.
Masquerade are very versatile musicians and happily play for club nights, Playford-style evenings, Scottish and American workshops etc. They have played for Philippe Callens at Cecil Sharp House, and for three years running for social dancing at Broadstairs Folk Week. They were very well received on their first appearance at Whitby Folk Week in August 2007.
Ian Jones & Kendal Green
Ian Jones is famously known for being both a superb caller and an excellent band-leader ( frequently at the same time! ) All are envious of this multi-tasking ability.
Ian and Margaret Jones, aka 'Kendal Green Folk Dance Band' met through folk dancing. Once married, in 1968, and having moved away from the lively Merseyside folk scene to Appleby in Westmorland it was a very short time before they had formed a band and were much in demand in the Eden Valley district for dances.
In 1975 ‘Cumbrian Gap Folk Dance Band’ was formed and Ian and Margaret led that band for over 30 years. They initiated and continue to be involved with regular folk activities in Cumbria, notably Reelfolk, the Spring Weekend at Casterton and the Summer Week at Morland.
Now, as the duo Kendal Green, they run the regular ‘First Sunday Club’ in Cumbria, an annual weekend at Cober Hill near Scarborough and have appeared at the Southam, Bromyard, Chippenham and Lichfield Festivals, the Bournemouth ‘Light Hearted Dance Weekend’ and elsewhere in the UK, France, Holland and Lithuania.
Kendal Green plays regularly for dances and workshops and particularly enjoys the opportunity at weekends, festivals and workshop days, to encourage dancers to respond to the music so that the dances become ‘visible music’.
Instruments and style
Ian and Margaret play a variety of instruments including accordion, piano, concertinas, recorders and drum. Ian has even been heard – from time to time – playing his self-built Hurdy-Gurdy!
Although the band particularly likes to play dances in the ‘Playford’ style they also enjoy playing for American Squares and Contras and traditional English dances. In that connection Ian has, recently, edited the music for the new edition of the ‘Community Dance Manual’.
Dave Brown plays Fiddle, Julia Day on Keyboards andShane Day on Accordion. ConTradition are equally at home with their inspired approach to Playford through to an exciting, driving Contra style.
Described by Mike & Gill Swash as “…one the best bands there is,” and by a leading American caller as “…providing superb music …being the key to the success of the evening … representing the highest level of achievement and showing a professional attitude ….oh! … And you guys are lots of fun to be with as well!!”
How can you not have ConTradition for your next dance event? ConTradition enjoy playing at festivals, such as Eastbourne, Sidmouth, Chippenham, Broadstairs and residential dance weekends such as those run by Mike and Gill Swash in Symonds Yat. They will also play for anyone – including Colin Hume! (Smile!)
The Night Before
Nicky, Alan and Adam form the core of this exciting new dance band who play for both ceilidh and contra. Their energetic and vibrant sound combines the lyrical tune, delicious harmonies and driving rhythm of fiddle, accordion and guitar. Inspired by an eclectic mix of folk dance music, they bring out the best in the tunes that they love to dance to. The Night Before delivers excellent high energy music that makes it very hard to sit still. It's modern, lively and fun while being firmly rooted in proper folk sounds and tunes.
Students. Science. Swords. The perfect combination. The question is, what for? The answer – sword dancing! Warwick Rapper proudly announces itself as a set of sword dancing science students from the University of Warwick:
“We emerged from the laboratory several years ago in search of something not involving test tubes and since then have enthusiastically embraced the traditional short sword dance of the North East of England. In order to blend into our surroundings in Coventry we have Midlands-ified the tradition through a series of carefully controlled experiments. By which we mean we have changed the pronunciation of the word “dance”.
If you have never tried dancing with swords before, come along to our workshop and we’ll show you the ropes (well, blades). And if you are a closet swordsman why not see if you can learn something new.”
Who better to experiment with than a bunch of scientists!
The Festival Band
The Festival Band combines all the festival band musicians who are able to gather at the final afternoon session, this year under the leadership of Chris Dewhurst, who will also be running a Sunday morning workshop to prepare for the afternoon. Would all musicians who wish to play in the band, please contact them first, via Gordon – see notes on programme pages.
Displays will be in various locations in the town and at the Festival Site
FOLK SONG & MUSIC
The Folk Shop
Derek and Ann Appleing have run their Folk Shop for the past 30 years as a wayof saying thank you for the enjoyment they have had during 40 yeaars in folk activities. They started as one of several EFDSS sales points and worked as such for many years, but all were eventually declared non-viable by EFDSS and the links were cut. Despite this setback, Derek and Ann have continued as an independent supplier for the last dozen or so years, providing an uninterrupted sales service to the folk community. Now, we are proud to welcome them once again to Lichfied Folk Festival for their umpteenth visit, in the hope that you will spend some time this weekend, browsing and buying.
The shop will be sited, in the Sports Hall in the King Edwards School Leisure Centre . Please note that the shop stocks over 1,000 lines in books and dance CD's. The shop has over over 100 suppliers and imports from 3 countries. It supplies Folkies all over the country , including EFDSS by email, telephone and post. From the oldest to the most recent of publications the vast majority are available from this comprehensive stock. However, if you can't find what you are looking for on the shelves, it may be in stock at their base, so please enquire. Happy browsing, and please remember to tell Derek and Ann how much you appreciate their efforts. We don't know what we would do without them and hope that we never have to.
Mistress Shaw will be displaying her wonderful costumes again, during the Festival and will have a variety of accessories for sale, such as gloves, fans, hair ornaments, gentlemen's hose and shoe buckles. She will also be happy to give advice on costumes.