Phylla Mae Fall Fest: 2011

This is an archived page about Phylla Mae Fall Fest 2011

October 14-15, 2011


David Kaynor
Dancing Master

Magic Foot
New England Contra and Irish Music

August Wheat
New England Contra and English Country Dance Music

and more!

United Church of Fayetteville
Fayetteville, NY

Featured Performer: David Kaynor
Featured Performer: Magic Foot
Featured Performer: August Wheat
Weekend Schedule

Featured Performer: David Kaynor

David Kaynor

The incomparable David Kaynor from Montague, MA has been fiddling and leading dances since the early 1970s. David is a fine composer of tunes and dance sequences. His active support over many years has been an important impetus to establishing the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, Massachusetts as a Mecca of contra dancing. David is also the quintessential itinerant dance master. His face and voice are familiar to dancers on both coasts and worldwide. (Among other ventures, David has been on several trips to Sweden and has been influential in promoting Swedish fiddling and dancing in contra dance communities in the US.) David spreads joy in community dances, schools, camps, and festivals, as well as in the living rooms and porches of friends and colleagues.

David could be described as a Renaissance man of the contra dance world. He loves to fiddle and call dances at the same time, like dancing masters of old. Although he is a gifted facilitator of newcomers to dancing, he is also more than willing to “go the distance” with dancers who desire greater challenge. David’s talents also include writing and drawing. His musings about dance are both beautiful and thought provoking, and the hand-lettered dance flyers he creates are sought-after works of art.

David is known as someone who builds community. An enormously talented dancer, caller, musician and artist, he puts those skills to work to support linkages between musicians, dancers, place and time–and then quietly steps back to enjoy watching it all happen.

Featured Performer: Magic Foot

The Members of Magic Foot

Stefan, Christian, Colin, and Brendan of Magic Foot

Playing together first in New York City in January, 2007, Magic Foot is one of the rising young bands in New England’s rich traditional music scene. With Colin Lindsay on fiddle and concertina, Christian Stevens on button accordion, Brendan Taaffe on guitar and vocals, and Stefan Amidon on percussion and mandolin, Magic Foot plays Irish music marked by the tight interplay of fiddle and accordion, lush guitar, trap set–unusual for Irish music–and harmony vocals. A top-flight contra dance band, Magic Foot is also compelling in concert.

The band brings together a wealth of individual talent–Colin is a Mid-Atlantic champion on both fiddle and concertina; Christian one of the top box players in the country; Brendan a singer and teaching artist in addition to his driving guitar; and Stefan recently appeared on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion with The Sweetback Sisters–but it is their chemistry that creates something notable. Rooted in tradition but looking towards the future, Magic Foot plays Irish music with great rhythm and strong emotion.

“Très incroyable! J’adore ta musique, tout le temps.”

“Colin, Chris, Stefan, and Brendan have created exquisite art with this album. Their tasteful, soulful music lifted my heart the first time I had the pleasure of listening to it. My heartfelt congratulations go out to these fine musicians on a brilliant album.” – Brian Conway

Featured Performer: August Wheat

Hope Grietzer

Hope Grietzer

Eileen Nicholson and Tom Hodgson

Eileen Nicholson and Tom Hodgson

August Wheat combines the considerable talents of Hope Grietzer (fiddle), Eileen Nicholson (fiddle) and Tom Hodgson(guitar). You can expect fiddle harmonies to abound in this trio, both for luscious English country dance music and a straight ahead contra sound.

“Grietzer’s transcendent fiddling will touch your soul”
– Dirty Linen Magazine

Hope is a recent inductee into the New York State Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame, as well as a very popular fiddle teacher who is “spreading the word” to young and old. Her playing is solid, warm and bell-like.

Eileen’s father being a popular dance caller, she had no choice but to grow up with this music. Her skills have been honed over the years, and she is in great demand for dances throughout our region.

Tom’s smooth, tasteful playing has accompanied many fine fiddlers from the Irish, New England and Midwest dance scenes, including Randy Miller and Martin Hayes. He plays frequently with both Eileen and Hope, as well as for the Contradictions and other bands.

As usual, our featured performers will be joined during the weekend by other talented callers and musicians from upstate New York.

Weekend Schedule


Friday Dance Hall
8-8:30 PM Welcome Waltzing and other couple dances
Magic Foot
8:30-11:30 PM Friday Contra Fun
David Kaynor and guest callers
Magic Foot


Saturday Dance Hall Lounge*
10:30 AM-noon Scandinavian Couple Dances
David Kaynor
joined by other fine fiddlers
*Participants of any level are
welcome at the Saturday PM
workshops in the Lounge
noon-1 PM Lunch Hour
1:00-2:15 PM August in October
Contras with August Wheat
David Kaynor
Harmony Singing Workshop
Songs from various traditions
Led by Brendan Taaffe
2:15-3:45 PM Wheat Suite
English Dance with August Wheat
David Smukler and Katy Heine
Instrumental Jam Session
(Singers are not the only
ones who can harmonize!)

Led by David Kaynor
4:00-5:30 PM Foot It!
Contras and squares with Magic Foot
Katy Heine and David Smukler
Bowing Clinic
Make your fiddling dance!
Led by Hope Grietzer
5:30-6:30 PM Irish Set Dancing
Brendan Taaffe and
the lads from Magic Foot
Yoga for Dancers
Led by Rita Anderson
6:30-7:30 PM Dinner Hour
7:30-8:00 PM Couple Dancing
August Wheat
8:00-11:30 PM Sizzling Saturday Contra Party
David Kaynor
August Wheat
Magic Foot