All Comers Band

We’re resuming All Comers Band programming on First Fridays! ~ Details on the calendar! And BYO chair outdoors.

Tunes of the Month for BFS Community Dance Friday, October 7 ~ led by Willy Clemetson & Bennett Konesni

  1. Huntsman’s Chorus  ~  Julia McDonald-Plumb’s freefiddlelessons.com tutorial has  notation, video, slow/fast audio. Lissa Schneckenburger and Bethany Waickman play it on Lissa’s Dance album, in this audio
  2. Reel de Montreal  ~ Thorough tutorials with notation, video & audio from Baron Collins-Hill on mandolessons.com here and from Julia McDonald-Plumb on freefiddlelessons.com here. Yeah, Team Velocipede!)

Other tunes will be chosen on the fly, mostly from the “Frequent Flyers” list, below. Come early to warm up!

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The All Comers Band (ACB) is a merry assemblage of musicians who play for the Belfast Flying Shoes (BFS) Community Dances.

As the name implies, musicians of all ages, levels, and instruments are encouraged to participate — we are a diverse and joyful group!! The ACB is a great way to hone your skills playing for dancing. Since ear-playing is emphasized, written music is not provided at the dances. (Some players do bring sheet music and others peer over their shoulders!) Come early to tune, warm up, and go over some of the repertoire.

Tunes are chosen on the spot based on the needs of the dance from a common Northeast contra repertoire, especially the classic Maine dance tunes. If you don’t know one of the tunes, just try to pick up whatever notes you can on the fly! Our goal is to play great music at dance speed–and have FUN!

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Frequent Flyers

Reels:

Jigs:

  • Off She Goes / Steamboat Quickstep
  • The Old Favorite / Le Tourment (Nov 2018)
  • Out on the Ocean / The Lilting Banshee (Dec 2018)
  • Merrily Kiss the Quaker/Blarney Pilgrim ~ 3 part jigs
  • Cock of the North
  • Fair Jenny’s
  • Hundred Pipers
  • La Maison de Glace (aka Ice House)
  • Timmy Clifford’s (notation and this tutorial video from Julia Plumb)
  • Portland Fancy aka Sugar Jig (the second setting, in G, in this notation, and this audio by Rodney & Randy Miller)

Marches:

Polkas:

  • Sean Ryan’s (aka John Ryan’s) ~ Sheet music here, and video from March 2020.
  • Galway Belle & Peg O’Brien’s (2nd & 3rd tunes from Ellen Gawler’s Pineland Fiddlers)
  • Riding on a Load of Hay – Barnes’ A Little Couple-Dancemusik pg 162, or here
  • Mairi’s Wedding
  • Road to Boston
  • Green Mountain Petronella (notation and 2nd tune in this audio by Rodney & Randy Miller)
  • Sarah Dell Polka (3rd tune in this set on Rodney & Randy Miller’s New England Chestnuts)

Schottisches:

Waltzes:

Foxtrots:

  • Sentimental Journey by Les Brown, Ben Homer & Bud Green ~ Maine Fiddle Camp has a video and sheet music arrangements (for many instruments.)
  • Others: Side by Side, 5’2″ Eyes of Blue, and more in the Maine Fiddle Camp Ukestra repertoire

Special Tunes:

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
  • Irish Session – Thursdays 6:30-9 pm at Darby’s in Belfast
  • Old Time Session – Second Mondays circa 6 pm at the Apprenticeshop in Rockland
  • 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.

Tune Books:

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In 2020, we assembled a virtual All Comers Band!

The v-ACB video premiered at our 15th birthday party on December 4, 2020!  (more info…) It celebrates the phenomenon that is the All Comers Band.  Imagine a first Friday community dance with 20-40 musicians–of all ages, skill levels, and instruments–playing their hearts out. We never know who will show up to play, and with that spontaneity the ACB is always a diverse and joyful group. We hope the v-ACB captures that essence!