For Musicians


Live Music is back!

A message for GCD's Callers and Musicians from the Board:

We are assigning bands in the master schedule, however COVID adjustments may mean musicians preparing for dances that may not happen. We don't like the uncertainty but we want to be offering music and dance as often as we can.

The board plans to give callers and bands at least one week's notice before canceling a dance because of health concerns. We also realize that you may decide not to participate in an event due to your own health or COVID rates. If you decide not to participate, please notify the caller and the GCD board at least one week beforehand via info@germantowncountrydancers.org. Thanks!


How you can participate

Attend GCD's music workshops
Stretch your skills and enjoy playing with a variety of musicians. GCD sponsors musician workshops to improve individual and group playing in support of GCD's dancers.

Know what's happening
Click the "Subscribe" button on this page to sign up for the GCD musicians' email announcements about Open Band, upcoming workshops etc. While you're at it, sign up for the GCD mailing list too. (You'll generally get one or two informational emails a month from these lists, including info about COVID changes.)

Support us!
Become a member of Germantown Country Dancers. The modest membership fee ($12/year) helps keep our dance and workshop fees low. Donations towards workshop costs are gratefully accepted, as is help with promoting GCD's events for musicians.


Playing for Dancers: Our Vision

Germantown Country Dancers (GCD) is committed to fostering a vibrant community of English Country Dancing in the Delaware Valley. This works best when dancers, musicians and callers are fully committed to working together.

GCD offers a variety of workshops for dancers and musicians to achieve this goal, and also looks for other ways to nurture the development of local musicians.

We hope that our musicians will love playing for our English Country dancers and will join us as a dedicated and appreciated part of our dance community.

Music Workshops

Each year GCD provides workshops for musicians. Our purpose is to give musicians an opportunity to learn more about the variety and uniqueness of English Country Dance music. Workshops also explore techniques to help musicians approach the English Country Dance repertoire and to provide great music for dancers. We invite well-known English Country Dance musicians to give workshops on playing for dancing. Past workshop leaders have included Jacqueline Schwab, Mary Lea, Barbara Greenberg, Bob Pasquarello, Kate Barnes, Robert Mills, Rick Mohr, Kathy Talvitie, and Chris Rua.

Playing Music for our Wednesday dances

The Wednesday Music Committee engages musicians to play for Wednesday evening dances. If you are a skilled musician who is familiar with English Country Dance music, is able to maintain steady rhythms, and can play at dance tempo, you may apply with a band to play for a Wednesday dance. Musicians should also be comfortable playing the tunes on the GCD Repertoire List.

Open Band Opportunities

Three times a year for our Wednesday dances we invite both skilled musicians and those who are learning the English Country Dance music genre to play for an “Open Band.” The tune list is available ahead of time, and a rehearsal is often planned before the evening of the dance.

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips provides another opportunity for musicians to work together on the skills needed to play English Country dance music. This rehearsed band, led by Bob Pasquarello, is open to all local musicians. The ensemble meets several times to prepare for an annual GCD dance.

Questions

If you have questions or suggestions about playing for Wednesdays, feel free to contact a member of the Wednesday Music Committee: (, Kirsten Erwin, and ). Questions about workshops? Contact who is responsible for GCD's Music Development.