Everest and Kathleen with Alex Deis-Lauby

Come on out and hear Kathleen Fownes (Fiddle) and Everest WItman (Guitar and Feet) (2/3 of Nova) play the Brattleboro Contra Dance with Alex Deis-Lauby all the way from New York City calling!

As always, we are a fragrance-free dance. Bring your shoes, your cash*, snacks and a smile! We start around seven.

*Volunteers happily accepted, email us at volunteer@brattcontra.org

More about the performers:

June 26: Anadama and Nils Fredland

This weekend we welcome the talented trio of Anadama, a Boston-based contra dance band. Anadama is Amelia Mason (fiddle), Emily Troll (accordion), and Bethany Waickman (guitar). The trio finds its roots in the traditional music of New England, Ireland, and Quebec. In accompaniment we welcome Nils Fredland back, the talented caller and musician who called for us at the last dance, the doorbuster at the Stone Church. We hope you join us again for more merriment!anadama Nils

June 12: Becky Tracy & Keith Murphy, the Student Collective and Nils Fredland

Take Note!

On June 12 we will have a one-time event at the newly-renovated Stone Church in Brattleboro.  The stage will be mobbed by Becky, Keith and the twenty-odd musicians that make up the Student Collective, aka the BMC Megaband.  Nils Fredland  will be calling this event.  Come for the beloved location, come for the calling or the sheer experience of seeing so many musicians on stage, and we will be there with you!

As always, we are a fragrance-free dance.  Bring your shoes, your cash*, snacks and a smile!  We start around seven.

*Volunteers happily accepted, email us at volunteer@brattcontra.org

Becky, Keith and the BMC Celtic Megaband/Student Collective BMC_Megaband

The BMC Celtic Megaband is made up of about 30 students from 10 years-old to 60+, and geographically from Worcester, MA to Windham, VT. They meet every Wednesday throughout the school year with Becky Tracy and Keith Murphy to learn and perfect tunes from Ireland, Quebec, New England, and a peppering of other styles. They have also developed harmonies and shaped beautiful medleys of tunes. This dance is the culmination and celebration of a great year of music making. Dancing to an orchestra of this size is an uplifting experience – we suggest you check it out. Becky and Keith are deeply embedded in the dance scene, Becky a 24-year veteran of Wild Asparagus, and both Becky and Keith were cornerstones of the band, “Nightingale”. They have shared their experience with students at the BMC for more than ten years.


NilsNils Fredland: Leadership with skill and heart

Nils Fredland is one of the busiest and most sought-after artists in the field of participatory dance, music, and song. He is widely respected for his expertise and skilled leadership, and beloved for his sensitivity, generosity, and community-minded approach. Nils believes in the lifechanging benefits the participatory arts. He is poised and ready to connect ALL people to those benefits. Nils has been calling dances with admirable skill and infectious energy since 2000. He draws his material from a large and varied repertoire of dances, ranging from the centuries-old “chestnut” contra dances, to the most cutting-edge contra dance choreography that exists today. Also a square dance caller, Nils is well known for breathing new life into traditional singing squares from the mid-twentieth century, and has co-authored and edited two books on the topic in his role as a staff member in the Education Department at the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS). In addition to his work as a dance caller, Nils is a trombonist. He studied classical trombone at Indiana University, and since 1996 has played his horn in ensembles ranging from symphony orchestras to ska bands. Since 2006, he has been resident dance caller and trombone player for the dance band, Elixir; he is an occasional member of the band, Maivish, as both musician and caller; he also works regularly as a caller and sit-in musician with several other popular contra dance bands, including The Great Bear Trio and Nor’easter. When Nils isn’t on the road, he works in the Education Department at the Country Dance and Song Society in Easthampton, MA as a Project Manager and Education Specialist.

May 22: Audrey and Clayton, with Chrissy Fowler

This coming Sunday we welcome Audrey Budington (violin) and Clayton Clemetson (piano), with Chrissy Fowler calling!

Chrissy has been calling dances since 1999; has helped found two local dances and currently resides in Belfast, ME.  Her easygoing, inviting style has brought many dancers into the fold of the Contra community and spread the fun from fundraisers to family reunions.  It’s infectious!

Audrey and Clayton are accomplished musicians with a unique sound and a knack for new compositions based on Cape Breton and Irish, and Scotch folk music.  They have toured around New England and have recently garnered much praise for their 2014 joint debut, titled The Cat Has No Time for You, featuring all their own original tunes.


We hope to see you, and be ready to be wowed!

The Brattleboro Dance



April 8 – Tuneship

Cedar Stanistreet , Karina Wilson, and Larry Unger play for us this Sunday, with Neils Fredland calling. 


Cedar and Karina are both accomplished fiddle players. Cedar is a classically-trained violinist of Nor’Easter and Cardinal Direction fame, as is  Karina Wilson, who has been playing dances all over the country.  Larry Unger, a banjo and guitar virtuoso, brings a level of mastery to the group which is sure to delight.   If these words don’t convince you, perhaps this video will!

Be There or Be….


Three rugged New England women and some guy from northern Vermont hit the stage with some foot stompin’ tunes and clear calling on Sunday April 24 while we try to work out that square dancing stuff! It may be an ole time favorite… somewhere, but in Brattleboro, we’re new at it. So, if you are, too, or you’re an old pro and want to help us learn, please join us for some dancin’

That guy from northern Vt is back again! Will Mentor calls while Mary Lea and Lissa Schneckenburger fiddle on and Linda Henry keeps the beat on her keyboard! All three of these rugged women are life-long musicians who really enjoy playing so that others can dance!

Admission $10-$12 regular adults,
$8 with college ID and $5 if you’re younger than that. But not too young 😉
This is a fragrance-free event.
Beginners are welcome. All the dances will be taught. You don’t need to bring your own partner; other friendly dancers will dance with you.

As always, be sure to carry in soft-soled shoes to dance in, some water, and a smile.

This event is partially supported by a grant from The Country Dance and Song Society. Thanks, CDSS!

See you on the floor!
for the Brattleboro Dance Committee

April 10: Pete’s Posse with Will Mentor

We extend our welcome to some of the most well-known names in contra and are proud to have them. Pete’s Posse will be joining forces with Will Mentor in a night of great tunes, great figures, and a rollicking good time!

Pete’s Posse is the dynastic trio composed of Pete Sutherland, Oliver Scanlon, and Tristan Henderson. Pete, a mainstay fiddler of the Contra scene, is a longtime stalwart of the Clayfoot Strutters and accomplished vocalist. Oliver, his protege, is making a name for himself on fiddle and mandolin. Tristan can be surely counted upon to tie it all together, give him anything with strings for a rockin’ good time.

Will Mentor will be stopping in to say words at certain times, and make sure things don’t get too crazy.

(but who knows)

March 27, 2016: Polaris in a Debut Appearance!

Live music by Polaris, a new trio of young musicians making their debut appearance! The members are Rose Jackson on fiddle, Jesse Ball on accordion, piano, mandolin and Sam Zakon-Anderson on piano. Join us for a joy-filled evening as these three celebrate their debut with youthful antics and gleeful grins!

Calling by “Proud Poppa” Steve Zakon-Anderson

$10-$12, $8 with college ID, 5$ students. Beginner workshop at 6:45 Dancing for all begins at 7pm Fragrance free.

March 13, 2016: Dancing Enforcement Agency

Live music by The Dancing Enforcement Agency: Autumn Rose Lester and David Kaynor on fiddle, with Brattleboro’s own Everest Witman on guitar. Two fiddles and a guitar promise an evening of lively string licks and hypnotic, twirly contras.

Calling by Dugan Murphy, from Portland, Maine

$10-$12, $8 with college ID, $5 for students. Beginner workshop at 6:45 Dancing for all begins at 7pm Fragrance free.