Appalachia Music

Dance Musicians Week @ the JCCFS

Dance Musicians Week JCCFS 2014

Chitter and her band the Music Mongers

This past week Chatter and Chitter attended the Dance Musicians Class at John C. Campbell Folk School. This year was the 20th anniversary of the class.

Playing music all day-dancing all night-spending time with good friends and eating the folk school’s scrumptious meals = living the high life for Chatter and Chitter.

Dance Musicians Week JCCFS 2014 2


Chatter and David Kaynor

This is the 3rd year the girls have taken the annual class-thanks to an amazingly generous person(s). They adore their teachers-David Kaynor, Sue Songer, Peter Siegel, and Naomi Morse. And they adore their fellow classmates as well.

By weeks end all the students are placed in ‘bands’ and they have an opportunity to play alone as a group for one of the nightly dances being called. The other students stand near the stage-whooping and hollering and calling out encouragement to band members, some of who may have never played for a real live dance before.

Dance musicians have to have skill and stamina. Many dances last over 10 minutes-that’s a long time if you’re the one holding the instrument. Often during a dance the musicians will switch tunes mid-stream. Changing songs on the spur of the moment is hard enough-knowing the dancers out there on the floor and the caller standing beside you need the transition to be perfectly smooth makes it even harder.

The band tradition brings the class full circle-allowing students to work together as a team and show off what they’ve learned during the week.

Watch this montage of Chatter and Chitter’s bands, Triumph and The Music Mongers, to get a feel for the class.

I hope you enjoyed seeing part of the culmination of Dance Musicians Week @ JCCFS.


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  • Reply
    July 14, 2014 at 6:03 pm


  • Reply
    July 14, 2014 at 12:53 am

    What a glorious experience!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    July 13, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Wonderful talent and stamina!!!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 13, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    You know, it takes a lot of nerve on Chatter and Chitter’s part just to be seen on in the presence of people four or five times their age. You have yourself a set of remarkable young women there.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    July 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Chitter and Chatter can put those ole
    Irish tunes in your head too. It does
    me good to see them blending with others
    and having fun dancing and making music.
    Seems there’s always something going on
    at the Folk School…Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Well, I do “declare,
    Chatter and her “guitar”
    and in the “middle”
    it’s Chitter and her “fiddle”!
    Say hidey, hidey ho,
    and around we go!
    Play a while,
    dance a while toe to toe!
    PS. Wish I could dance and play all night, by the light of the moon! However, I am a great watcher and listener when the musicians and dancers like Chitter, Chatter and family keep playing on with their music and dancing.

  • Reply
    Mama Crow
    July 13, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Lovely to see the fruits of their labor. My how they have grown just since I met you at the JCCFS barn a few years ago. Beauties with talent, what a blessing. Mama Crow.

  • Reply
    Mary Rutherford
    July 13, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Oh I love this! Hearing that great music and seeing the joy on the girl’s faces is paydirt for their benefactor/s I am sure!

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    July 13, 2014 at 8:45 am

    That was really good. It was almost like I was there in person…

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    July 13, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Nothing like a good Irish Jig to get one’s blood flowing in the morning. The clogging brings back good memories of days gone by before the knees went.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Those are 2 very lucky and talented gals—good job Chitter and Chatter —how happy and proud you must be of them Tipper!!!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Great toe-tapping music! I can see how the girls look forward to this type of class. Great way to awaken your readers to a beautiful day! You go girls!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Looks like they had tons of fun… That’s called “making memories”.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 13, 2014 at 7:30 am

    You know how to make a grandmother proud! The girls did a beautiful job. I can’t help noticing that they are the only young people playing. Their talent is very seasoned for their young age. I look forward to hearing their stories about this year’s class!

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