Phinney Community Contra Band!

If you’ve ever wanted to play for dancers or be part of a band, come join the Phinney Community Contra Band!

Who is this for? – Intermediate-ish players of all acoustic instruments that comfortable learning tunes on their own (recordings and sheet music provided in advance) and have a least little experience playing with others. No previous dance band experience required–that’s what we’re here to help with!

What will we learn? – Our tunes are drawn from the core Northwest old time repertoire–everything from southern hoedowns to Irish jigs, Canadian reels and Scandanavian waltzes–including many that you may already know (Old Joe Clark, Swallowtail Jig and the like).  As for new skills, we’ll learn how to choose tunes for a medley and match tunes to dances, how to communicate with a dance caller, what tempo dances are played at and how to get your tunes up to speed, and lots more!

Where is it?Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center in Seattle

When is it? – Every other Thursday starting January 18th, 7-9pm, running through end of May.

How much does it cost? –  There are 10 classes in total, $150 for the first 6 classes, $100 for the last 4, or $30 per drop in class

What are the COVID precautions? –  To help keep the band healthy and safe for all participants, we require n95/kn95 masks to be worn during class. We also run a HEPA filter in the classroom.

Want to see the band in action? Click here. Have questions or want to register and get advance access to the tunes? Email Sarah here!

What do the band members have to say to prospective new members? 

“When starting my fiddle music journey, I discovered playing old time dance music was my favorite genre.  How to start getting serious about it?  I found out about Sarah’s introduction to dance band class and gave it a try. I highly recommend this class if you would also like to give it a try!!  Sarah starts out with the basics in the dance music, tempos, a bit of music theory, different dance steps and how it all ties together.  Its gets really fun when you  put all the things you learn to use and play for a real dance!”
—Kristina W.

“I joined the class primarily because I was interested in finding people to play music with. I was fairly new to the fiddle and didn’t know a thing about playing for dances. I ended up learning so much and found a wonderful group of people that I’ve been playing music with for the past 8 years. Participating in the class has kept me motivated to practice and it has improved–and continues to improve–my playing. Sarah makes it all so much fun and is a dedicated, energetic, and supportive teacher/band leader. It has been a joyful journey!”
—Rebecca J.

“I started with the Open Old Time Band in the fall of 2019. Most of the other member were fiddlers, with a few guitarists. My instrument is the Scottish Smallpipes, a quiet bagpipe with only 10 notes in the A Mixolydian scale. My musical experience was playing Scottish and Irish pipe tunes. Under Sarah expert and enthusiastic tutelage, I learned to play many of the Contradance tunes, which at first glance didn’t show much promise as pipe tunes. I was so taken with the tunes, that I put together a collection of these non standard pipe tunes to share with my Scottish session mates. They enjoy playing them as much as do.”
— John C.

Comments are closed.