WEEKEND: Prize-winning fiddler to play at Black Diamond contra dance Saturday
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The Black Diamond Fiddle Club — from left, Erran and Rosie Sharpe, Sam Langley, Leah Marsh, Erin Hennessey and Brian Phillips — plays at this Saturday night's community dance at the Black Diamond Community Hall just south of Port Angeles.

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — The Black Diamond Fiddle Club — including alumna Erin Hennessey — will reconvene for a contra dance this Saturday night.

Dancers of all levels are invited to join in.

Admission to the community dance at the Black Diamond Community Hall, 1942 Black Diamond Road, is a suggested $7 donation for adults or $3 for those 17 and younger.

However, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Hennessey, winner of multiple classical- and fiddle-music competitions while growing up in Port Angeles, is now a first-year student at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio.

Oberlin, founded in 1865, is the nation's oldest continuously operating conservatory.

Hennessey is on winter break, having started college there last fall. She had an auspicious first few months of school, making music with noted musicians Chris Thile, Gabe Witcher and Noam Pikelny, aka the Punch Brothers, who recently stopped by for a jam session with Oberlin students.

Fiddlers reunion

This Saturday night, Hennessey will fiddle again alongside her hometown bandmates: Leah Marsh, Erran and Rosie Sharpe, Sam Langley and Brian Phillips.

Lindsey Dono of Tacoma will serve as the evening's dance caller, starting with a beginners workshop at 7:30 p.m.

Then the fiddle club will leap onto the stage to supply music for dancing from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.


Dono, who comes from Massachusetts where contra dancing is enormously popular, prides herself on her easy-to-follow teaching of dance steps.

She notes, too, that she specializes in coaxing “even the most skittish beginner onto the dance floor.”

Saturday's event is the first in a triptych of dancing and live music in the community-contra style.

Next Friday, Jan. 10, a free contra dance lesson and dance will take place at the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St., as part of the library's “Get Moving” initiative for 2014.

The Olympia-based band Riffraff will play while Nan Evans of Port Townsend will be the caller for dancing from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and as always, beginners are encouraged to come learn.

One night hence on Saturday, Jan. 11, yet another contra dance will fill the Sequim Prairie Grange Hall, 290 Macleay Road, with the music of the Old Time Fiddlers.

Tony Mates will step up to call the dance steps from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission this time will be $5.

To find out more about these all-ages gatherings, phone Tom Shindler at 360-457-5667 or visit www.BlackDiamondDance.org.


Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 04. 2014 6:47AM
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