The All-Comers Band is a merry assemblage of musicians who play for the Belfast Flying Shoes Community Dance at 6:30pm every first Friday.
As the name implies, musicians of all ages, levels, and instruments are encouraged to participate. We are a diverse and joyful group—ages 2 to 82, rank beginners to seasoned professionals, any type of melody or rhythm instrument! The All-Comers Band is a great way to hone your skills playing for dancers. Since ear-playing is emphasized, written music is not provided. (But, some players do bring sheet music and others peer over their shoulders.)2
Admission to the Community Dance is free for All-Comers musicians. (All-Comers also get discounted admission to the Contras.) Just show up and play!
The All-Comers Band is joyfully led by the Gawler Family (Molly, Edith, Elsie, John & Ellen Gawler and Bennett Konesni) Sometimes a couple of Gawlers lead the ACB, and sometimes it’s all six of them!
Tunes are chosen on the spot from a common Northeast contra repertoire, especially the classic Maine dance tunes. Our goal is to play great music at dance speed–and have FUN!
More info? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A Partial Playlist:
Girl Medley: Girl I Left Behind Me, Kitchen Girl
Boy Medley: Jamie Allen, Sandy Boys
Color Medley: White Cockade, Rose Tree, Green Mt. Petronella
Mean Medley: Shove That Pig’s Foot a Little Further in the Fire, Nail That Catfish to a Tree
French Canadian Medley: L’Oiseau Bleu, Reel de Semeur
- Reels: Seneca Square Dance, Liza Jane, Flop Eared Mule, Dancing Bear, Angeline the Baker, Liberty, Home with the Girls in the Morning, Over the Waterfall, Juliann Johnson, Crooked Stovepipe, Redwing
- Jigs: Moon and Seven Stars. Cock of the North, Off She Goes, Smash the Windows, Fair Jenny’s, Jefferson and Liberty, Hundred Pipers, Kesh
- Marches: Coleman’s, St. Timothy, Mairi’s Wedding, Jamie Allen
- French Canadian: Reel de Montreal, Pays de Haut, Deuxieme Partie, La Maison de Glace, La Bastringue, Joys of Quebec, Gaspe Reel
- Polkas: Dennis Murphy, John Ryan, Peg O’Brien
- Waltzes: Ash Grove, Sheebeg Sheemore, Far Away, Amelia, Haapavesi
Links and resources
Other places to play & learn:
- Belfast Bay Fiddlers – Weekly music jam for all levels and instruments Sundays 6-8 pm at Waterfall Arts in Belfast. Website has an extensive collection of written music and audio clips.
- Celtic Jam – Thursday nights 6:30-9 at Darby’s in Belfast
- Maine Fiddle Camp – Weekend and week-long music camp sessions for all ages in June and August in Montville, ME
- Looking for private lessons? Greater Belfast is home to many excellent teachers of traditional dance music, including Maine Fiddle Camp staff.