The Star Hampshire Traditional Music & Dance Weekend may be relatively small, but it's a friendly weekend with a first class staff and a good mixture of traditional and more modern music and dances. We generally have one caller for the weekend, and two bands. Thanks to David Millstone for editing the bios for this year's staff, presented below.
Tony has been calling and teaching American folk dances since 1964. He learned from many of the finest callers of the time, who impressed on him how important it was to keep his dances simple and accessible, and to preserve dancing as an activity that everyone could learn and enjoy. He specializes in old and new contra dances, traditional and contemporary New England squares, and squares from the 1950s (arguably the Golden Age of recreational square dancing). He has led workshops in these dance forms at dance camps and folk festivals in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Tony is the author of a standard text on contra calling and has appeared on many recordings as caller, pianist, or both. He has led dances and workshops for dance enthusiasts in 36 states, Canada, and Europe.
Dave Langford is an experienced and versatile fiddler and guitarist and fiddle teacher from the Boston area. A veteran of 30+ years of playing for public dances, weddings, parties and late night sessions, Dave combines multiple styles of fiddling with fierce energy and drive. He has been a staff member for music and dance weeks at Pinewoods, Ogontz, Mendocino, Augusta and Christmas Country Dance School at Berea KY as well as hundreds of weekend dance events around the US and beyond. He tours widely with The Latter Day Lizards and Stomp Rocket; he also performs in numerous other configurations including Supertrad and Les Z Boys.
Max Newman: guitar and mandolin
Max has been surrounded by traditional music and dance from an early age, often traveling with his dad to local contra dances, Irish music sessions, and folk festivals in his home state of Alaska, before relocating to the Northeast. His guitar playing is refreshing, fun, and creative, and has allowed him to collaborate on-stage with a wide swath of traditional musicians, and his dynamic mandolin playing provides lyrical counterpoint and improvisatory punch. He spends a good portion of his life playing dances great and small across the continent, as well as accompanying Irish music. He performs regularly with The Stringrays with Rodney Miller and Stuart Kenney. He worked as the Youth Projects Intern at CDSS, serves on the organizing committee for Youth Dance Weekend, and loves to lead ukelele workshops.
Liz & Dan Faiella: fiddle, guitar & low whistle
Raised on contradances, fiddle contests, and Irish sessions, Liz and Dan Faiella bring to life the traditional Irish and New England music of their roots with Liz’s lyrical fiddle and Dan’s spirited low whistle and guitar. This sibling duo has captivated audiences at premier folk venues, contradances, and festivals around New England. Liz and Dan have performed at Club Passim, the Boston Celtic Music Festival, the New England Folk Festival, the Acadia Trad Festival, Maine Celtic Celebration, and New Hampshire’s Seacoast Irish Festival.
Liz’s study of Irish fiddling, classical violin training, and love of contradancing have shaped her musical approach. Liz teaches fiddle lessons and coaches folk ensembles at the Concord Community Music School in Concord, NH, where she is chair of the Folk, Jazz, and Popular Music Department and organizes the Music School’s annual Fall Fiddle Festival. Liz has led workshops for the Strathspey and Reel Society of NH, Maine Fiddle Camp, and Acadia School of Traditional Music & Arts.
Dan studied with folk musician David Surette and classical guitarist David Newsam, and honed his Irish low whistle playing at Boston’s Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Boston. Dan has performed with some of the Northeast’s premier fiddlers including Dan Foster, Alden Robinson, and Winifred Horan, among many others.
Photo by Liz Frantz