Beverly Smith is an award-winning musician who travels the world playing and teaching the music of the southern Appalachians. Having been introduced to old time mountain music as a child, she has made a life of it, stitching together traditional old time tunes and songs with her own originals and has been fortunate to have been in several iconic old time bands with musicians such as Bruce Molsky, Tara Nevins, Alice Gerrard,
Anna Patton is a clarinetist, singer, composer, and educator driven by musical curiosity. She plays with the internationally touring dance band Elixir and with many other contra, ECD, and swing/blues bands. She loves to teach ensemble classes, improvisation, and ear training. In her home town of Brattleboro VT, she directs the Soubrette Jazz Choir which performs her creative arrangements of historical and contemporary American music. She also enjoys drinking good espresso and playing ping pong.
Guitar and mandolin player Max Newman has made a living as a practitioner of traditional music for the past decade and half. Dance music is his central focus, as well as the community that stems from it. In addition to making music, Max co-organizes several events, including Youth Dance Weekend, a camp dedicated to developing leadership among the next generation of contra and English participants. He also worked for CDSS as the Youth Projects Intern,
Scott Higgs has been calling and composing English and contra dances for over 25 years — delighting novices and experts alike. From Seattle to Antwerp, dancers praise Scott’s engaging programs, dynamic presentation, and emphasis on fun. His business card says it all: Playful, spirited, elegant, zesty, joyful contra, English, morris, and couple dancing. Scott has composed dozens of dances in a range of styles, collected in a recent book Key to the Cellar,
Lisa Greenleaf has been treating dancers across the country to her high spirited, witty calling for many years, and is known for precise walk-throughs of zesty and flowing dances. Whether she is presenting cool contras, hot squares, or focused callers’ workshops, Lisa engages the crowd with her humor and community spirit.
Julia Friend is a singer of pub songs, sea shanties, and ballads. She loves the power and vulnerability of the human voice. An occasional performer at small folk festivals, Julia is happiest swapping songs and blending harmonies in dark corners in the wee hours of the night. She co-authored CDSS’s folk singing starter kit, helped launch Youth Traditional Song Weekend, and generally cheers for singing in all its genres. She lives in New Haven,