Callers and Bands


See Callers list below.

Andrew VanNorstrand

Insanely talented, Andrew has been setting the standard for great Contra dance music for 16 years and counting!

Andrew VanNorstrand

One of Western New York’s leading traditional musicians, Andrew VanNorstrand has been playing beautiful music since he was a lad. With his brother, Noah, and their mother, Kimberley Yerton, they have delighted dancers as the Great Bear Trio, recently grown into the 6 piece band, Great Bear. Fiddler, guitarist, producer, Andrew excels at whatever music he turns to.

Contact Info:

Performs for: Americana, Bluegrass, Contra, Contra Dance/Folk, Modern Contra

Ginger Majority

Casey Murray - Cello, Guitar
Daphne Pickens - Fiddle
Liza Sommers - Fiddle
Audrey Potter - Fiddle

Casey Murray, Daphne Pickens, Liza Sommers, and Audrey Potter are back with that High Energy Fiddle and Cello dance music. They formed at the Kanack School of Music, an outstanding resource in Brighton. Now Casey is attending the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and Daphne is attending Oberlin. Liza and Audrey are in high school. These blazing kids warm our traditional music hearts.

Performs for: Contra


Jim Sloboda - Accordion
Nancy Sloboda - Violin
Catherine Sloboda McCallen - Violin
Matthew Sloboda - Violin, Mandolin, Guitar

Glenrose is primarily a traditional instrument music ensemble. Glenrose was formed as a Contra Dance band in 1991. Most of us still live in North Rose, NY. The band plays many types of traditional folk dance and listening music, as well as more classically oriented material for weddings, dances and other celebrations.

Contact Info:

Performs for: Contra, Contra Dance/Folk

Great Bear

Euphoric contra dance music

Andrew VanNorstrand
Noah VanNorstrand
Kim "Mama Bear" Yerton

For more than sixteen years, GREAT BEAR has set the standard and pushed the boundaries of modern contra dance music. They are known all over North America for their epic dynamics, genre-transcending arrangements and deep dance grooves. Andrew VanNorstrand (guitars and fiddle), Noah VanNorstrand (fiddle, mandolin and feet) and Kim “Mama Bear” Yerton (piano) are joined by Chris Miller (saxophones and banjo), Rebecca Bosworth-Clemens (clarinet) and Dana Billings (drums).

Contact Info:

Performs for: Modern Contra

Jane, Mark & Roberta

Experienced and talented musicians all!

Jane Knoeck (accordion)
Mark Dumont (flute)
Roberta Truscello (piano)

Experienced and talented musicians all!

Performs for: Contra, English Country

Knives & Forks

Tasty dance music from Springwater, NY

Colleen Liggett (fiddle)
Meg Grindrod (piano)
John Kerr (mandolin)

Knives and Forks is Colleen Liggett, John Kerr, and Meg Grindrod. Meg plays piano and writes a few tunes; Colleen plays fiddle; and John fills in the spaces with his mandolins.

Contact Info:

Performs for: Contra, English Country

Lake Effect

Matt Swoboda (fiddle)
Eric Metzgar (drums)
Chuck Abell (guitar)

A new band made up of experienced Rochester musicians. Lake Effect gives us Matt Swoboda from Rose, Eric Metzgar and Chuck Abell from Rochester for hot, straight up contra music, with a side of swing and waltz as the occasion merits.

Contact Info:

Performs for: Americana, Contra

New Brew

World Contra music craft brewed for balance and joy

Eileen Nicholson Kalfass - fiddle
Jane Knoeck - piano, accordion
Tom Santarsiero - guitar, mandolin, feet

Performs for: Contra, French

Over and Under

Roger Cass (Keyboard)

Over and Under is a collection of musicians having a long association with Contradance in Rochester! Roger Cass on keyboard leads the group through classic contra melodies.

Performs for: Contra

Wild Root String Band

Hot old-time music!

Tom Owens, fiddle
Dan Palmer, banjo
Margaret Mathews, bass
David Frenzel, guitar

Wild Root String Band provides Hot old-time music and good humor.

Contact Info:

Performs for: Contra, Old-time



Bob Nicholson

Bob is a veteran caller from Syracuse. He’s totally focussed on fun, accessible dances. His dance repertoire is deep and his memory is amazing. A versatile caller, Bob handles both Contra and English Country dances with ease, and events from advanced to weddings to introductory workshops.

Contact Info:

Performs for: Contra, English Country

Chuck Abell

In his caller persona, Chuck Abell brings us challenging dances that will exercise your mind and tickle your fancy with their intricate beauty. Chuck organizes the monthly caller meetings in Rochester to workshop new dances. He debuted his “DJ Abell” persona at our 2017 Thanksgiving Festival, with a Taste of Techno Contra session.

Contact Info:

Performs for: Contra

David Smukler

I lead evenings of contras and squares, English country dances, family dances, school programs, and special events such as weddings, festivals, etc. I have also presented workshops on numerous dance related topics. My taste in dances is eclectic, and I tend to present a wide variety of dances when I call. My repertoire includes plenty of New England contras, as well as an assortment of squares, singing calls, mixers, old chestnuts and freshly minted dances. I have a special fondness for English country dances, and my English programs also blend old favorites with new gems.

Contact Info:

Performs for: Contra, English Country, Trad Squares

Maxine McDonald

Young Maxine McDonald calling has a locked-in sense of timing that is never off, and never obtrusive. Quiet and unassuming, she puts the music first for a sweet evening. Her enthusiasm for the dance is contagious, and stems from her love of historical re-enactment at the Genesee Country Village and Museum.

Performs for: Contra

Sarah VanNorstrand

Sarah VanNorstrand has been calling, organizing and teaching contra, square, and family/community dances for seven years. She has a clear and engaging teaching style and a great repertoire of dances to share. Instantly hooked from her first contra dance as a teen, Sarah’s love of dance and her joy in sharing it with all who will is evident and infectious. Above all, her goal as a caller is to make sure the dancers are having as much fun as she is!

Contact Info:

Performs for: Contra, English Country