For Musicians

GCD is sponsoring a *lot* of great musical happenings in May & June!

Workshops with Guest musician Chris Rua! A Musical Chairs night. And our annual Fish & Chips rehearsed open band. GCD Musician events are open to all musicians, all instruments, all levels of experience, except the Winds Workshop. Details below. We encourage all musicians to take part!

Three Opportunities to learn from
Chris Rua, Guest musician!

Chris Rua

#1 Rhythm & Syncopation – That’s the True Foundation

Saturday, May 12th, 12:30 – 3:30pm

Callers are invited for first hour, which will explore your own connections to rhythm and pulse, and ways to communicate with musicians about the tempo and the "feel" of a dance.

#2 Winds Workshop
**for intermediate and advanced players**

Saturday, May 12th, 4:00 – 5:30pm

#3 Private Lessons with Chris Rua

Weekend of May 11-12

Contact Kathy soon if you would like to sign up for a time slot, as only a few are available.

Location for all 3 workshops: Merion Friends Activities Building
Price: $20. $10 for GCD members, $15 for non-members who play on Wednesdays.
To sign up, and for more information:

Musical Chairs Night is back!!

Wednesday, May 9th

Not sure what musical chairs night is? It's a kind of open band, except that you get to play in smaller ensembles. Music for each of the 11 or 12 dances that night will be played by a different combination of musicians.

  • Three or four melody instruments and one rhythm player (piano, guitar, bass, etc) will be randomly chosen for each tune.
  • The list of who is playing each tune is below so you can practice with your ensemble if you are all there (not required).
  • Please arrive by 7:30 on May 9th in order to meet the musicians you're playing with, to set up and tune, etc.
  • You're welcome to dance when you're not playing.
  • Stay for the entire evening! The final waltz is really fun--the musicians spread out around the perimeter and the dancers hear different musicians as they waltz by.

Musicians' Grid for Musical Chairs

There are two categories

rhythm melody melody melody melody
L judy kleppel liz snowdon adam oleksa bob stein duple Take a Dance
R kathy talvitie laura alexander peggy leiby steve epstein tim cresson triple Room for Ramblers
L tom goslin sam rotenberg bob stein jane roberts 3 couple St. Margaret's Hill
R robert mills sarah gowen claude epstein judi stellar duple Old Wife Behind the Fire
L mel eberhard tim cresson sam rotenberg judy kleppel liz snowdon duple Gypsy Round
R tom goslin laura alexander tanya rotenberg bill quern claude epstein 4 couple Shandy Hall
L mel eberhard andy smith lenora kandiner adlai waksman duple Pursuit
L bob pasquarello kathryn barnhardt steve epstein lenora kandiner peggy leiby triple Bishop
R jane roberts judi stellar miranda weinberg bob pollack duple Bar a Bar
L robert mills kathryn barnhardt kirsten erwin sarah gowen adam oleksa 3 couple Maiden Lane
R adlai waksman bob pasquarello tom goslin miranda weinberg duple Siege of Limerick
L kathy talvitie kirsten erwin bill quern andy smith bob pollack duple Trip to Amsterdam
kathy talvitie Everyone Final Waltz

Fish & Chips, our rehearsed open band

Led by Bob Pasquarello

For all musicians who want to build their English Country Dance playing skills, and who enjoy playing in a larger ensemble. Open to all musicians, the ensemble meets several times to prepare for its annual GCD dance.

Fish & Chips Dates

First Rehearsal: Saturday, May 19th, 3:30-6:30pm
Location: Summit Church in Mt. Airy

Second Rehearsal: Sunday, June 3rd, 2:00 – 5:00pm
Location: Merion Friends Activities Building

Fish & Chips Tea Dance
Sunday, June 10th 2:00 – 5:00pm
Bob Pasquarello conducting, Joanna Reiner Wilkinson calling
Location: Summit Church in Mt. Airy Please bring a snack to share for Tea.

To sign up for Fish & Chips, and for more information, contact

Playing for Dancers: Our Vision

Germantown Country Dancers (GCD) is committed to fostering a vibrant community of English Country Dancing in the Delaware Valley. This works best when dancers, musicians and callers are fully committed to working together.

GCD offers a variety of workshops for dancers and musicians to achieve this goal, and also looks for other ways to nurture the development of local musicians.

We hope that our musicians will love playing for our English Country dancers and will join us as a dedicated and appreciated part of our dance community.

Music Workshops

Each year GCD provides workshops for musicians. Our purpose is to give musicians an opportunity to learn more about the variety and uniqueness of English Country Dance music. Workshops also explore techniques to help musicians approach the English Country Dance repertoire and to provide great music for dancers. We invite well-known English Country Dance musicians to give workshops on playing for dancing. Past workshop leaders have included Jacqueline Schwab, Mary Lea, Barbara Greenberg, Bob Pasquarello and Kate Barnes.

Playing Music for our Wednesday dances

The Wednesday Music Committee engages musicians to play for Wednesday evening dances. If you are a skilled musician who is familiar with English Country Dance music, is able to maintain steady rhythms, and can play at dance tempo, you may apply with a band to play for a Wednesday dance. Musicians should also be comfortable playing the tunes on the GCD Repertoire List.

Open Band Opportunities

Three times a year for our Wednesday dances we invite both skilled musicians and those who are learning the English Country Dance music genre to play for an “Open Band.” The tune list is available ahead of time, and a rehearsal is often planned before the evening of the dance.

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips provides another opportunity for musicians to work together on the skills needed to play English Country dance music. This rehearsed band, led by Bob Pasquarello, is open to all local musicians. The ensemble meets several times to prepare for an annual GCD dance.


If you have questions or suggestions about playing for Wednesdays, feel free to contact a member of the Wednesday Music Committee: (, Kirsten Erwin, and ). Questions about workshops? Contact who is responsible for GCD's Music Development.