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BACDS Playford Ball 2007

Event Staff

Playford Ball Staff

Rehearsal Dance Staff

East Bay Workshop Staff

Peninsula Workshop Staff


Bruce Hamilton

Bruce finds continued delight in the many aspects of English dancing -- the motion, the music, the person-to-person interactions, the choreography, the variety, the beauty, the physical and mental challenges -- and he loves showing those to others. His classes in dancing and calling get good reviews. Bruce also teaches Scottish country dancing, and is currently President of the Country Dance and Song Society.

Sharon Green

Known for her clear and patient teaching, Sharon Green loves to help new and experienced dancers discover fresh opportunities for delight. Sharon began leading English country dances in New York and New Jersey, where she worked closely with Fried Herman, Christine Helwig, and Gene Murrow. A perennial dance gypsy, she has organized and taught at dance weeks and weekends from Maine to Mendocino and has led dances and workshops in the United States, in England, and, most memorably, in Japan.

Jody McGeen

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Playford Ball Musicians

Charlie Hancock

Charlie Hancock (Berkeley, CA) plays piano and accordion for contra, English, and Scottish country dancing. He has played for BACDS dances, camps, and balls for 14 years, with occasional gigs further afield, including Pinewoods and the Portland (OR) English ball. He is also a member of Bay Area folk ensemble Euphonia, and has recorded with Sylvia Herold, Holly Tannen, and Cathie Whitesides.

Jim Oakden

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David Strong

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Renata Bratt

Cellist and clinician Renata Bratt is president of the International Association for Jazz Education String Caucus, chair of the 2007 American String Teachers Association Alternative String Styles Steering Committee and vice-president of the Kuumbwa Jazz Center Board in Santa Cruz. She writes articles and has been interviewed about improvisation and fiddle styles for Strings Magazine, ASTA and the Suzuki Music Association. Her latest CD, "Jazz Trio 2006", with violinist Martin Norgaard and pianist Bert Ligon is now available on Fat Chance Records. Her new CD, "Great Big Taters, fiddle music on cellos" has just been released on Open Path Music. She wrote "The Fiddling Cellist," “Celtic Grooves for Two Cellists, 47 Irish and Scottish Tunes” and the arrangements for Dix Bruce’s “BackUp Trax: Old Time & Fiddle Tunes for Cello”  for Mel Bay Publications. She has taught classical styles, jazz improvisational and fiddling techniques at national string workshops for children and adults (including the Mancini Institute, The Mark O'Connor String Conference, Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling Camp, IAJE, ASTA, MENC and Suzuki institutes and conferences), been an invited recitalist at the Spanish Embassy in Rome, and is a past president of the Suzuki Music Association of California. Ms. Bratt received her Ph.D. in Music from the University of California at San Diego.

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Fanciful Flyers (Rehearsal)

Ruth Anne Fraley

Ruth Anne Fraley plays piano and accordion for English Country Dancing. She has been in the band for Palo Alto's Friday night English Country Dances since 1984 and occasionally plays piano for other BACDS dances in the Bay Area, including the Playford Ball and Fall Ball, and practice workshops for them, as well.

She has been on the music staff at Mendocino English Week, BACDS Fall and Spring Weekends, BACDS Family Week several times each, and also for a week at Pinewoods English Dance Camp.

Ruth Anne played accordion for Deer Creek Men's Morris Team in their early years, providing music for May mornings, Christmas Revels and various other gigs.

Ruth Anne has been playing accordion and singing Scandinavian folk dance music with Nattergal Scandinavian Folk Dance Ensemble since 1991.

When she lived in Wisconsin from 1974-1979, she was on the program and facility staff at Folklore Village Farm, a folklore/folkdance center in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. She played accordion during the weekly Saturday Night Dances and for many international folkdance workshops. She has also been on the music staff for several English Festivals and Christmas Festivals since then, playing piano and accordion.

Avis Minger

Avis plays for the BACDS English Country Dance in Berkeley on a regular basis. She also plays for and performs with Berkeley Morris and Norton's Guard Longsword. Avis has been playing traditional music for over twenty years, and got involved with it originally through performing with dance troupes and leading/directing dance bands at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire and the Dickens Christmas Fair, including one of the incarnations of the Fezziwig's band (She's not doing this currently, except for spot performances with the longsword team, "because I can no longer fit it in on top of my teaching job and having a horse who needs to be ridden on a regular basis").

You can spot Avis by the purple stuffed cat which she uses for a shoulder rest, which is the third generation of cat shoulder rests she's been using since Renaissance Faire days ("The cat can be purple now because I no longer have to answer to the Queen, who is the only one allowed to wear purple at the Faire").

Judy Linsenberg

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Bubble and Squeak (Peninsula Workshop)

Bubble and Squeak is Bangers & Mash without David Strong.

Craig Johnson

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Stan Kramer

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Susan Kramer

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Midnight Smørgåsbord (East Bay Workshop)

Jon Berger, Noel Cragg, and Erin Vang have been cooking up dance mischief together since 2001 in the acclaimed band Midnight Smørgåsbord.

Jon Berger

Jon Berger is a treasure of tunes, fiddle artistry, and then some. He has played for morris, English country, and contra dances since 1976 and is a regular musician at Bay Area and North Bay English country dances. A former musician for Berkeley Morris, he now plays for Apple Tree Morris in Sebastopol, as well as in in Flashpoint and Midnight Smørgåsbord. He is well-known for his powerful music, and his ability to maintain a connection between the music, the dancers and the dance (not to mention his sense of humor and grand singing voice). Jon is a former member of the trio "Cyderman's Fancy" and the Celtic rock band "Tempest."

Noel Cragg

Noel Cragg came to the attention of the folk dance community in 2000 when he began playing box for Mayfield Morris and Sword. In no time he was snatched up by Bufflehead Northwest Morris, and he's since taken up dancing with Deer Creek Morris. He's much in demand as a pianist for English Country Dance events throughout the Bay Area. Noel earned degrees in musicology and computer science at Oberlin College and Conservatory, where he performed in many early music and baroque ensembles. Noel wasted his youth playing the oboe and piano, and in adulthood he plays a mean espresso machine.

Erin Vang

Erin Vang holds degrees in horn performance from St. Olaf College and Northwestern University and has studied with Boris Rybka, Kendall Betts, and Dale Clevenger. She freelanced in the Chicago area for seven years, including performances with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Symphony II, and Symphony of the Shores, and tours of Korea and Germany with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra. Since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, she has been appearing with the Oakland East Bay, San Jose, Marin, Monterey, Berkeley, Napa Valley, and Santa Rosa Symphonies; Symphony Silicon Valley, Sacramento and Women's Philharmonics, Festival and Pocket Opera companies, and the Foghorn Quartet. Erin and various beasts from the brass family have also been known to show up at Bay Area English country dance events and for several years perpetrated tuba for Bufflehead Northwest Morris.

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Nick Cuccia

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Last Updated: Sun Jan 4 14:05:46 2009

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