All Comers Band

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

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Friday, March 1 ~

Jenny Lind Polka – This classic tune is often played AB (no repeats) for the dance “Heel & Toe Polka”.

Everything else will be chosen on the fly. Arrive and tune before 6pm to be part of the picking process!

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The All Comers Band (ACB) is a merry assemblage of musicians, led by Willy Clemetson & Benjamin Foss, 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, although many tunes in the list below do have notation. (And some ACB 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:

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

Marches:

  • Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine (more and more)
  • Coleman’s March
  • Jamie Allen
  • McQuillen’s Squeezebox (by Ralph Page) (more and more)
  • March of St. Timothy (more and more)
  • Meeting of the Waters (more and more)
  • Mistwold (by Dudley Laufman) (more and more)
  • Rollstone Mountain (more)
  • Snowy Breasted Pearl (more and more)

Polkas:

Schottisches:

Waltzes:

Foxtrots:

  • 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
  • Many 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:

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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!