All Comers Band

The All Comers Band rocks the Community Dance on First Fridays! ~ Details on the calendar, including the BFS Community Care Policy.

Friday, May 5 ~

Come one, come all!  ACB Leaders, Benjamin Foss and Willy Clemetson present the “Tune of the Month”:

  • Judy and Jim’s Wedding, a waltz by Larry Unger – pdf of Larry’s notation, a video featuring Benjamin Foss & Bob Elliot, and a video with more complicated arrangements and harmonies, featuring Audrey Knuth Jaber (one of Larry’s regular bandmates)
  • Plus, check out all of these Larry Unger waltzes FYI: The 12 waltz tunes in this folder are options for the Open Waltzing program with Larry, Benjamin & The All Comers Band, on Sunday, May 7 at the UU Church (37 Miller St). Workshop is 2-3 pm, with a break for All Comers musicians to warm up, and open waltzing starts at 3:15 pm. Everyone is invited to join the All Comers Band for an afternoon of playing waltzes!

Other 1st Fri tunes will be chosen on the fly, mostly from the “Frequent Flyers” list, below. Come at 6 pm to warm up!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Frequent Flyers



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






  • Sentimental Journey by Les Brown, Ben Homer & Bud Green ~ (MFC version and MFC notation for many instruments)
  • Side by Side
  • Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue
  • More foxtrots in the Maine Fiddle Camp Ukestra repertoire

Special Tunes:

Links and resources

Other places to play & learn:

  • Belfast Bay Fiddlers – Weekly jam for all levels and instruments at the parish hall of the First Baptist Church (entrance in back of building, adjacent to church parking lot), Sundays at 5:30 pm.
  • SeaStrings – Weekly jam at Mermaid Plaza on Main Street in Searsport, Wednesdays at 3:00 pm.
  • Fiddlers Jam – Tunes every other Tuesday in Belfast, 5-8pm at Marshall Wharf Brewing/Three Tides
  • Irish Session – Weekly session in Searsport
  • Maine Fiddle Camp – Weekend and week-long music camp sessions for all ages in June and August in Montville, ME
  • Acadia Trad Festival – Week-long school with a la carte options in early July in Bar Harbor, ME
  • Looking for private lessons? Greater Belfast is home to many excellent teachers of traditional dance music, including Maine Fiddle Camp staff.

Tune Books:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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!