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Fiddler’s Tips for Playing A Square Dance with Amy Alvey of Golden Shoals

Amy is breaking down how to bust down! This workshop is geared toward players who have never played a for a square dance are want to improve on those skills. We will discuss how to communicate with a caller, tips for saving energy, and a dive into ideal repertoire of square dance favorites. Following this workshop, Amy and her bandmate Mark will lead a short jam for workshop participants.

Amy Alvey started playing violin 22 years ago, playing in orchestras in Southern California until she discovered old time and bluegrass fiddling in college. She graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2011 with a Bachelor's of Music in Violin Performance, studying with modern innovators of acoustic music such as Matt Glaser, Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky, Eugene Friesen, John McGann, and Mimi Rabson. Since then, Amy has dedicated most of her summers traveling to fiddler's conventions, and has placed at prestigious old time fiddle contests, notably 10th place at Galax, 5th place at Mount Airy and 2nd place at Clifftop. She's taught at camps and workshops across the country including Blackpot Camp, Dare to Be Square DMV, the Bellingham Folk Festival, and at the Dorrigo Folk School in Australia. These days, Amy's approach revolves around studying field recordings and 78 "hilbilly" records, attempting to grasp the spirit of different fiddlers' styles and how one can incorporate it in their own playing. She also tours nationally and internationally (Australia, U.K., Canada, Europe) with her duo, Golden Shoals.
While quarantining during COVID-19 she's created a play along practice resource called "Tune Packs", which include backing tracks at different tempos and a teaching video for students to improve their rhythm and feel.
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