T-Acadie plays a dance camp or weekend every couple years. We've toured extensively up and down the east coast, also done weekends in California, Ohio, North Carolina, West Virginia. It was starting to be time to "get out there". Last year we decided we'd like to get out of Maine during the winter and we kind of put the word out.. We were thinking some place nice and warm like Florida.. What came along was a weekend in Central Colorado at 8000+ ft above sea level. After getting used to the fact that we could very easily be heading to somewhere COLDER than Maine, we started to warm up to the idea. The weekend is Stellar Days and Nights (click to read more) and the dates are Feb 18-21, 2016.. Stellar is really a one of a kind weekend. The weekend is put on by Arkansas Valley Music and Dance. Started by Eleanor and Andrew Fahrney in 2005, this intimate camp strives to offer the nation's best talent while remaining accessible to all. Here's the “mission statement”.
(from Bill).. I met Eleanor Fahrney at the Cambridge (MA) VFW Thursday night dance in April 2004, just before NEFFA. I had written a dance the year before, a triple progression contra and had been waiting for an opportunity to call it at a BIG dance with long sets. This was the time and while the dance was going on (successfully), I noticed a young woman having a REALLY good time dancing. It was Eleanor and afterwards she came up to the stage, introduced herself, and said she was a caller from Colorado and what was the title of the dance.. I hesitated, asked her what her name was, and said “well it's Eleanor's Reel” and it still is!! I'm pretty sure that's the last time I saw Eleanor in person, so there will be some catching up to do on Feb 18!
We want to thank the Stellar organizers for hiring T-Acadie for this event. We don't play for dance weekends that often, BUT, we are really perfect for Stellar. Stellar is small and has to get the most they can out of the least number of staff. T-Acadie not only plays for contradances but we play for (and teach) Cajun dancing as well (this will be a part of Stellar 2016, aieeee! here's a clip of Pam, Jim and Bill with their Cajun band: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD3M0b5RzA4). Our caller, Bill Olson, plays guitar and bass in the band, so a weekend gets a trio plus caller with only 3 people. In addition T-Acadie is more than just a dance band. We sing (and LOVE to sing) and are equally as comfortable in a concert setting as in a dance setting. We sing old time Appalachian songs, sea chanteys, Quebecois call and response songs, New England folks songs. We are known for tight 3-part harmonies and often lead singing and harmony workshops at camps and weekends. We are also all multi-instrumentalists.. fiddle, button accordion, 5-string banjo, guitar, mountain dulcimer, piano, foot (and other) percussion, upright bass, mandolin, ukulele, cello, flute, saxophone, hammered dulcimer, jaw harp.. get it?? We are also all experienced teachers and teach every June and August at Maine Fiddle Camp. Getting back to the dance part of this, Bill has been calling for 30 years and has composed many of the contradances that are considerd standards in the present day repertoire. He has an easy-going teaching and calling style tempered with a dry New England sense of humor and is a master at creating programs that fulfill the needs of new-comers and experienced dancers alike. His intimate relationship with the band helps the tunes to match the dances too... here are a couple videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVpBP5N4Fx0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJRxM6l4vcU and finally here's a video of T-Acadie at a dance weekend, Winter Warmup, in Ohio 2010 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebxrL19pxKM
OK, back to Stellar Days and Nights. We are honored to share the stage this year with caller Erik Erhardt, guitarist Jon Sousa, and our good friend Andy Reiner, a transplanted New Englander who you probably all know as the skiing fiddler (from Colorado) and the co-director of “Fiddle Hell” in Massachusetts. This Stellar weekend is going to be the weekend to end all weekends!! Contras, squares, techno contra, Cajun dancing, swing dancing, waltzes, schottisches, polkas, singing, instrumental workshops, callers workshops, open mics for musicians and callers, jamming, GREAT food,.. and just enjoying the community of folks you have a common interest in with traditional music and dance,... and hanging out around the fireplace in the Colorado mountains when it's 10 below outside...! How could it be any better than this??? (East meets West) We'd really like to see you at this weekend.. It will be very unique and very much fun!! come on out!! - bill o
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