Saturday, July 22nd means more summer contra dancing in the air-conditioned historic gym at the Sautee Nacoochee Center (SNC). Popular local string band Cage Free will bring its lively blend of Old Time Appalachian and New England contra dance music. Veteran caller Doug Singleton, who regularly calls for the band, will also be on hand.
An added feature to the July 2017 dance will be a community potluck dinner at 6:15 p.m., preceding the dance at 7:30. Bring a main dish item, salad or vegetable dish for 6-8 people to share. The contra dance committee will provide paper goods, utensils, and drinks.
The Cage Free string band is a regular participant in the Sautee Nacoochee community and has played for dances and other events in Northeast Georgia since 2007. The members are: Margie McDonald on fiddle, Ann Whitley Singleton on fiddle, Jennie Inglis on acoustic bass fiddle, Mark Baker on guitar, and Walter Daves on claw hammer banjo and penny-whistle.
Doug Singleton has been calling dances far and wide for many years. A regular caller for Atlanta's Chattahoochee Country Dancers Friday night dances, he has called often in such places as Cincinnati, Huntsville, Chattanooga, Berea (Kentucky), Nashville, Tampa, and beyond. Doug is known for his clear teaching and interesting dances. He is married to Ann Whitley, one of the two fiddlers in Cage Free.
Expect great harmony playing from the two fiddlers. Margie McDonald has a long history of classical violin playing and over 10 years’ experience playing traditional fiddle music. Well-versed in genres from New England contra dance to Scottish and English Country Dance music, she is much in demand for playing dances and other music events in Georgia and the Carolinas. Ann Whitley Singleton, also classically trained, has been heavily involved in traditional music for over 35 years, as a contra dance musician, an organizer of several music camps, and a performing and recording artist (Peavine Creek, The Rosin Sisters.) She serves as a director of the Pick and Bow Traditional Music School in Dahlonega.
Three members of the band, Jennie, Mark and Margie, have played regularly for the twice-monthly “Learn and Dance” classes at SNC for several years. Walter Daves is the original organizer and caller for the classes for 10 years. Jennie Inglis is the current organizer and caller.
Community potluck dinner, 6:15 pm; introductory lesson, 7:30 pm; dance, 8-11 pm. No partner or prior experience necessary. SNCA members, $7; non-members, $10; students, $5; children 12 and under, free. The SNC historic gym is located at 283 Highway 255 North, ¼ mile off Highway 17 in Sautee, Georgia. Contact: (706) 878-3300; www.snca.org or www.sauteecontra.com.
By Charles Hawkins and Beth Marsh Hawkins
Dedicated volunteers who help keep the Sautee Community Contra Dance in the public eye.