Guest Staff: Midwinter Festival 2019

Guest Staff
Gayle Armstrong began her love of international folk dance as a student of the legendary Nelda Drury at San Antonio College. Gayle is an English Country Dance caller and has directed Mexican Folklórico and English Morris performance groups. She also has a repertoire of folk dances from the Caribbean and  South America. In her younger days she performed with the Ballet Folklórico de México, the Aman Folk Ensemble and La Compañia de Arte Español. She will teach workshops on redova (Mexican norteño dance), Santa Rita polka, merengue, wepa and huapango, corrido, and salsa. She will also be leading English Country Dance at workshops and evening parties.

Sarah Jagoda Larsson & Sarina Partridge sing the rich harmonies of Jewish and Slavic folk music from Eastern Europe. Singing entirely in the songs’ original languages, including Yiddish, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Romanian, and more, the pair showcases the way music has moved through generations of immigrants arriving to North America. With the tight harmonies of a family band and the accompaniment of a banjo and drum, Sarah and Sarina bring you onto a familiar front porch – if your front porch were in Grajevo or Breznitsa. Performing with their band NANILO, the pair find a fusion between Eastern European sounds and an Americana sensibility, spinning out stories of love, longing, and liberation that are carried in the lyrics of this rich tradition.

Sarina has previously studied vocal performance in the Republic of Georgia and is currently a touring performer and instructor with Village Harmony/Northern Harmony, and sings with Mila Vocal Ensemble.
Sarah has studied Eastern European folk music at the Faculty of Music Arts in Belgrade, with the Yale Slavic Chorus, and with numerous heritage singers in Europe and the United States. She currently teaches vocal music and performs with The Nightingale Trio.
Trio Son de Mexico is a Madison-based mariachi band that will join us on Sunday, December 29th at 7:45 PM for our Fiesta Mexicana! The trio will seranade festival-goers with romantic norteño ballads and play cumbia and polka to get our feet moving.
Michael Kuharski is a Balkan folkdancer and producer of the annual Madison Folk Ball. Michael joins us for a Balkan dance workshop and for a special appearance at our Balkan Beats party on Monday, December 30th!
Eliyah Tova Gorman-Baer is a lifelong Folklore Villager as well as an artist who specializes in fiber, photography, and community-centered artwork. This year, they are excited to be leading the community project, where festival participants will be invited to collaborate on a piece of embroidered artwork.
Festival Band
Musicians one and all are welcome to join the fabulous Festival Band, led by Maria Terres and Amy McFarland of Rare Privilege. This group is known to have a bit of the shenanigans in them and they meet every afternoon to play tunes together, laugh, and prepare the special music for favorite New Years Eve dances the Française and Heilsberger Dreieck. There is an additional rehearsal on the 31st.
The Festival Band welcomes all levels and all types of instruments!