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Sharlene Penman (piano), visiting from New Zealand, is the band leader for the 2019 Tea Dance.
Our fiddlers are Jenny Evans and Amy Beshara.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Westchester - 25 January 2012

It was a Burns night party and an end of session party combined and I tried very hard to keep the program to a realistic length - and finally got it right 'cause we weren't rushed and we ended on time.

We opened with the St. Bernard's Waltz (for warm up).

The country dances were:

The White Cockade (32 R 3)
The Lea Rig  (32 S 2/3C set)
Barley Bree  (40 J 4)
Ca' the Ewes tae the Knowes  (32 S 2)
Caberfei  (32 R 3)

a break for haggis and whiskey (as well as neeps and tatties) and then dancing continued with:

Ann Arbor  (32 J 3)
Monymusk  (32 S 3)
Montgomeries' Rant  (32 R 3)


The White Cockade:- I have been dancing it for years and, I must confess, I still like it. It must be the music.

The Lea Rig:- The music is sublime but the dance is tedious, especially if it goes the full eight times through. thankfully I had a six times through version.

Barley Bree:- I was very pleasantly surprised. I expected breakdowns during the strip the willow part and that didn't happen. I also saw a lot of smiles and I didn't expect that either.

Ca' the Ewes:- The song tune is hauntingly beautiful but we don't dance to it. What a shame. Sigh.

Caberfei:- I love it! It has so many moments! This is one of my Top 10 reels.

Ann Arbor:- From the mind of one of New Haven's own, Bob Gregg, it is a delightful dance that is easy on the legs and makes a good re-warmer for a second half.

Monymusk:- I long disliked this dance and then, one evening at Scottish Weekend at Buffalo Gap, I had such a band and the music went off the page and I went through the roof. Oh my goodness! Steve Hickman, Earl Gaddis and Alistair Fraser with Liz Donaldson and crew. I got a pirate recording of that performance, and it is a crummy recording, but I have been using it ever since to the almost complete exclusion of all other recordings because the magic of that night comes through.

Montgomeries' Rant:- I have only seen smiles and heard cheers after this dance is done and this night was no exception.

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