2011 Staff

2011 featured another exceptional lineup of musicians and callers! Below find lots of info about who played, called, and taught.

Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand

Playing for contras, English, and couples dancing

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Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand have been bringing their brand of high-energy contemporary acoustic music to concert halls, festival stages, living rooms, and dance floors across North America for several years as members of the Andrew and Noah Band, The Great Bear Trio, and Giant Robot Dance. Both Andrew and Noah are accomplished singers, songwriters and multi-instrumentalists; focusing on twin fiddles, acoustic and electric guitars, tenor guitar, mandolin and banjo. Their original music is an organic, rootsy blend of old-time Country, Bluegrass and Americana, Celtic and Appalachian fiddling, Alternative Folk-Rock and vintage Swing, dance tunes from New England to New Orleans and various world music influences. At the forefront of a generation of young trad musicians, Andrew and Noah’s playful, driving, exhilarating dance music is a perfect match for YDW.


Playing for contras, English, and couples dancing

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Anadama is a Boston-based contra dance band and the product of “that one time at folk-dance camp.” Amelia Mason (fiddle), Emily Troll (accordion), and Bethany Waickman (guitar) first made music together in the wild woods of Plymouth, Massachusetts while working at Pinewoods Camp in 2007. After many blissful summer afternoons spent jamming under the trees, the trio decided to take it on the road, and have since toured extensively up and down the East coast in Emily’s tiny silver Toyota Corolla, bound by a shared love of cheese, beer, and Country radio.

Anadama finds its roots in the traditional music of New England, Ireland, and Quebec. Held aloft by the dark pulse of Bethany’s open-tuned guitar, the trio has no need for a bass or drums. They infuse old and new tunes alike with a distinctly modern kick, fiddle and accordion woven together in tight, driving harmony. It is dynamic, earthy music, all—from sweetly rolling jigs to breathless, freewheeling reels—played with vigor and honesty, and dance at its heart.

For a tour schedule, audio clips, and booking information, visit Anadama on Myspace.

Maggie Jo Saylor

Calling contras

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Maggie Jo Saylor is a native of Charleston, SC and is currently pursuing a B.A. in performance theatre from High Point University. As one of the Southeast’s youngest established contra dance callers, she frequently calls at dances all over the Carolinas including Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Greenville, Carrboro, and the Old Farmer’s Ball in Asheville. Maggie Jo recently called at Charleston’s Palmetto Bugstomp dance weekend. Her 2011 line-up includes Asheville’s Summer Soiree as well as YDW. Maggie Jo’s calling is notable for a unique, youthful energy and enthusiasm. She incorporates her theatre performance training into her evenings, which makes for clear, concise instruction and creative programming. Maggie Jo firmly believes that if you’re not having fun, then you’re not contra dancing.

Rebecca Lay

Calling English and Money Musk

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Rebecca Lay is a farmer who loves Money Musk just about as much as she loves growing tomatoes. Which, in case you were wondering, is quite a lot. As a member of the YDW committee, Rebecca is in charge of sourcing the delicious food we eat throughout the weekend; she even grows some of the vegetables at her very own Ten Speed Farm in Brattleboro, Vermont.

When she is not busy weeding garlic, harvesting tomatoes, or seeding salad mix, Rebecca leads contras, squares, and English Country dancing for people of all ages. She has become known in dance halls all over the U.S. for her clear, melodious voice, concise teaching, and community spirit. Rebecca was on staff at YDW in 2009 calling contras. We’re excited to have her leading English dancing this year!

Aaron Marcus

Playing for contras, English, and couples dancing

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From Montpelier, Vermont, Aaron Marcus plays throughout the east on piano, Hayden duet concertina, banjo, and foot percussion. Aaron plays for English, contra, and Scottish dances with the bands Giant Robot Dance, Gift of the Marcii, and The Turning Stile. Aaron’s experience with both traditional dance and classical music began at age 5, and he has more recently taken on influences from further afield, including West Africa. Inspired by YDW, Aaron is now involved in organizing several new central Vermont dances, and is just as often seen enjoying himself on the dance floor as in front of it.

Double Apex

Special live techno contra set, Friday evening

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Double Apex (Julie Vallimont and Brendan Carey Block) fuses the worlds of electronic and acoustic dance music, pairing high energy fiddle tunes and thumping house beats. Using fiddle, piano, synths, and samples, Double Apex will take you on an unforgettable live-tronic dance journey. You’ve never seen techno contra like this before.

For audio clips and more info check out Double Apex on Myspace.