Saturday, May 12th, 2018     It's over.  Hope you can join us next year.

Art Center East, 1006 Penn Ave. and St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 1001 O Ave., La Grande, Oregon

A special gathering in celebration of music and dance traditions.
Presented by Traditional-Live! (Northeast Oregon Folklore Society)

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SpringAlive Overview

Saturday, May 12th, 2018, the second Saturday in May, Traditional-Live! (NE Oregon Folklore Society) will present a special traditional music and dance event, SpringAlive.  We hope you will come and share it with us.

Featured guests:  Once again Massachusetts fiddler, caller and composer extraordinaire, David Kaynor and Portland musicians Sue Songer and Lanny Martin, will be returning as our guests.  Monica and Ken Pollard from Boise, Idaho will also be returning, gracing us with their knowledge of Scottish Country dancing.

What's happening:  This year's celebration is a full day of music and dance workshops and an evening potluck and dance.  With music and dance workshops throughout the day, attendees will have choices to make.  Workshop sessions for musicians include Sue's Dance Ensemble workshop and David's Fiddle Tunes workshop as well as an open, instumental jam session.  For dancers there will be a Contra Dance workshop led by David and a Scottish Country Dance workshop led by Monica and Ken.  We'll also have an English Country Dance workshop led by experienced local callers.  The evening events begin with a community potluck feast, followed by our gala festival dance, with live music by our guests and the Ensemble workshop students.  Come dance on into the night.  In addition, there are opportunities for musicians and small ensembles to get some individualized instruction from our special guests.  Check out our online schedule to get an overview of the day's events.

Out-of-town visitors:  At past events, our community has established a reputation for friendly hospitality.  As before, we'll do our best to match out-of-town guests with local hosts for home stays (but register early to give us the best chance to find you a spot).  Commercial lodgings, private rentals and campgrounds are available for those that prefer that option.  And we will be reprising our signature potluck feast before the Saturday night dance.  Welcome to our town.

Registration:  So that we can plan effectively, we encourage particpants to register in advance for SpringAlive events, and we offer a discount as incentive for those that do.  However, pre-registration isn't required, so you can just show up, pay the admission fee, and we'll be happy to have you.  If you're thinking of taking Sue Songer's or David Kaynor's music workshops, you will want to prepare by getting familiar with the tunes used ahead of time.  Click the link to find links to written music files for this year's Ensemble workshop tunes.

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Our Featured Guests

David Kaynor

was born into a prolifically musical family (relatives Cammy and Van Kaynor are also well-known Contra genre musicians) and came of age during the folk music revival of the 1960's.  An early fascination with the guitar and later exposure to a reviving New England Contra dance tradition, eventually morphed into a love of the fiddle and an abiding interest in traditional dance and it's evolving offshoots.  David performs fiddling and calling throughout the country, especially in his native New England, the Northwest, and on regular tours to Sweden.

Sue Songer

is a native of Portland, Oregon with a lifelong interest in music.  In the mid-1980s Sue was introduced to Contra dancing, took to it, and within a few years, had taken up the fiddle and piano as well for accompanying dancing.  Starting in the mid 1990's, Sue began a project of compiling favorite tunes played by Northwest dance musicians.  The three "Portland Collection" volumes resulting have become standard resources for Contra dance musicians everywhere.  Sue is also well known as the primary organizer and director of the Portland Megaband, an 80 member Contra dance band, very possibly the largest anywhere.

Lanny Martin

has played piano and accordion since the mid 1980's, and has been a part of many Northwest dance bands.  He grew up in Baker City, and retains fond memories of NE Oregon, one of the reasons we are able to entice Lanny and spouse Sue out here from their home in Portland.

Monica and Ken Pollard

Monica has been Scottish country dancing since 1981, and has been teaching it for about 17 years.  For the last dozen years she has been the head teacher for the Thistle & Ghillies Scottish Country Dancers in Boise, ID.  She is a Royal Scottish Country Dance Society certified teacher and has taught Scottish dance workshops in Bend, OR, and at the Heather & Rose Country Dance camp at Suttle Lake.  In addition to teaching, Monica plays piano with her husband's band, The Acrasians, at contra dances, and is the band's caller at weddings and other events..  Ken is a violin maker who plays fiddle at contra dances, and also teaches Scottish country dance.

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Saturday, May 12

Fiddle Tunes Workshop (music)

David Kaynor presents a workshop on adding drive, lift and flow to your playing.  Fiddle players will get the most from the workshop, but players of all instruments are encouraged to attend.

Contact Carla (phone: 541-663-0776, email: pickandbow@aol.com) for more information.
When 9:00 - 11:00 AM, Saturday, May 12
Where St. Peter's Parish Hall, 1001 O Avenue, La Grande, Oregon
Enter through the red door on the corner of "O" and 5th and go downstairs.
Cost $12, $10 members and students.

English Country Dance Workshop (dancing)

Regional callers Larry B. Smith and Mark Lewis will lead dancers through the essentials and more of this ancestor of contra dancing.  Not just a cultural museum piece, new and old dances are being enjoyed today in the style of this 500+ year old tradition.

Contact Mark (phone: 541-962-9355, email: mlewis@eoni.com) for more information.
When 9:00 - 11:00 AM, Saturday, May 12
Where Art Center East, 1006 Penn Avenue, La Grande, Oregon
Cost $10, $8 members and students.

Dance Ensemble Workshop (music)

Sue Songer leads her students through the process of creating an arrangement of music that energizes the dancers and dancing.  Expect to gain experience with selecting tunes, building a medley, crafting an arrangement that highlights distinctive features of a particular dance, and the use of musical "tricks" that brings the dancing to life.
Prerequisites: At least novice level skill with your instrument, including being able to learn a tune from written music or by ear.  Written materials will be provided prior to the workshop, and participants will get much more out of the workshop if they are able to learn at least a few of the tunes ahead of time.

Ensemble Workshop Resources

Downloadable files containing written music for this year's workshop tunes are available by clicking this link: Written Music (PDF format).

Contact Carla (phone: 541-663-0776, email: pickandbow@aol.com) for more information.
When 12:30 - 2:30 PM, Saturday, May 12
Where St. Peter's Parish Hall, 1001 O Avenue, La Grande, Oregon
Enter through the red door on the corner of "O" and 5th and go downstairs.
Cost $12, $10 members and students.

Scottish Country Dance Workshop (dancing)

Scottish Country Dancing is the social dance of Scotland.  It uses many of the same figures as contra and English country dance, but also has its own distinctive steps, figures, and musical rhythms unique to Scotland.  The class will be an introductory overview of Scottish Country Dance.  Students will learn the quick-time dance steps, and three or four Scottish Country dances that include some of those Scottish figures.  Monica and Ken Pollard lead.

Contact Mark (phone: 541-962-9355, email: mlewis@eoni.com) for more information.
When 12:30 - 2:30 PM, Saturday, May 12
Where Art Center East, 1006 Penn Avenue, La Grande, Oregon
Cost $10, $8 members and students.

Open Instrumental Jam

Musicians gather to share their music.  Do additional work on the workshop tunes, or play old favorites.  Your choice.

When 2:45 - 4:45 PM, Saturday, May 12
Where St. Peter's Parish Hall, 1001 O Avenue, La Grande, Oregon
Enter through the red door on the corner of "O" and 5th and go downstairs.
Cost No charge

Contra Dance Workshop (dance)

David Kaynor will draw on his considerable knowledge and experience to guide participants through the essentials of New England-style contra dance.  Timing, balance, shared-weight, partner interaction, all add to the sense of joy and connection that can be experienced while dancing.  Whether you are completely new to this form of dancing or are an old-hand, you will discover ways to enhance your own and others enjoyment.

When 2:45 - 4:45 PM, Saturday, May 12
Where Art Center East, 1006 Penn Avenue, La Grande, Oregon
Cost $12, $10 members and students.

Community Potluck

Join us for a shared meal and some time to visit with our guests and each other.  Bring a main dish, accompaniment or beverage to share.  Plastic ware, cups and paper plates will be available, but please consider bringing your own service to reduce waste.  All are invited.

When 6:00 - 7:30 PM, Saturday, May 12
Where St. Peter's Parish Hall, 1001 O Avenue, La Grande, Oregon
Enter through the red door on the corner of "O" and 4th and go downstairs.
Cost No Charge

Festival Dance

The Grande Ronde Valley dance highlight of the year, with extra-ordinary music and calling.  David, Sue and Lanny will lead tunes for the evening's dancing, backed by the Ensemble music workshop participants.  Expect a mix of longways, square and circle dances.  No experience is required; all dances are taught.  Come alone, with a partner, or a group; all will have a chance to dance.

When 8:00 - 11:00 PM, Saturday, May 12
Where Art Center East, 1006 Penn Avenue, La Grande, Oregon
Cost $12, $10 members and students.

Throughout the Weekend

Individualized Instruction

David, Sue and Lanny are available for individual, one-on-one or few-on-one lessons when they are not otherwise occupied, primarily during the day on Friday and Sunday morning and early afternoon.

These sessions need to be scheduled in advance.  Contact Mark (phone: 541-805-1308, email: info@springalive.neofs.us) to reserve.
When by arrangement with Sue, Lanny and/or David.
Where by arrangement with Sue, Lanny and/or David.
Cost $20 per 30 minute slot, per instructor.  (Want Sue and David both? Pay them each.)
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Other Related Activities

Thursday, May 10

Family Dance

David, Lanny and Sue will be presenting a dance for families of grade school children in the Central Elementary School cafeteria.  Parents and grandparents, sister and brothers, aunts and uncles all are encouraged to participate along with the youngsters.  Find out what a great activity community dancing is.

When 6:00 - 7:00 PM, Thursday, May 10
Where Central Elementary School Gymnasium, 701 H Avenue, La Grande
Cost No Charge.

Friday, May 11th

Fiddle Summit

David Kaynor, Sue Songer and Lanny Martin are the featured guests for a concert that showcases a wide variety of Grande Ronde Valley fiddle music talent.  Several school-age and adult student groups, our Celtic Session musicians and the band Blue Plate Special will all contribute short sets leading up to the dance-inspired music of David, Sue and Lanny.  Come to appreciate and support the developing talent of our region.

When 7:00 - 8:00 PM, Friday, May 11th
Where La Grande High School Auditorium, 708 K Avenue, La Grande
Cost Free
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For Out-of-town Guests

If you're coming to SpringAlive from out of town, we would like to welcome you to La Grande.  We hope you enjoy your stay enough that you will return for future events we put on.  The following information should help make your time more enjoyable.


La Grande is not a tourist mecca (although that changed somewhat for last summer's total solar eclipse) , so lodging options tend to be basic but also relatively inexpensive.  SpringAlive offers the possibility of a homestay with a friendly local, or you can search online for commercial accommodations or private rentals (ala AirBnB & VRBO).


We will attempt to match visitors that desire homestays with local hosts that offer them whenever possible.  If you desire a homestay, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can have the best chance of accommodating you.  Contact Mark (phone: 541-962-9355, email: homestay@springalive.neofs.us), letting us know how many people, what nights, what number and kind (single, double) of beds, whether there are any allergies or sensitivities hosts should know about, or whether you would like an RV parking space instead.  Please keep in mind that although we have a pretty good track record at finding hosts for all those that desire them, we can't guarantee to place everybody.

Commercial Accommodations

If you would like to stay in commercial accommodations, you can search the following online resources for a range of choices, from the Royal Motor Inn, a budget, few-frills place just a few blocks from our venues, to the historic (and posh) Hot Lake Springs B&B, a 15 minute drive south of town, as well as a few B&B options.
TripAdvisor recomendations for La Grande
AirBnB short-term rentals for La Grande
Eastern Oregon Visitor's Association website


Saturday Evening Potluck

We hope you'll join us at our community potluck Saturday evening before the dance.  Out-of-towners can easily contribute by bringing beverages or prepared foods from a local grocery store, deli or restaurant.


For other meals, a list of local restaurants (with ratings) can be found by searching Yelp.com for La Grande.  Besides a smattering of national chain fast-food places, mostly out near the freeway interchange, there are several locally owned/operated restaurants that may be of some interest.
Ten Depot Street (dinner only, bar), at the higher end of the price scale, has a nice selection of vegetarian fare to go along with well prepared steaks and seafood.
Mamacita's International Grill (lunch and dinner), features a variety of international specialties, and non-gluten options as well.
GC Asian Fusion (lunch and dinner), casts a wide Asian net with Chinese, Japanese and Thai menus; including sushi.
JaxDog Cafe (brunch, lunch), in a cozy alcove overlooking a bookstore, serves a limited but very creative menu.
Raul's Taqueria (lunch), serves inexpensive Mexican food, quickly, in a unprepossessing atmosphere.
The Sub Shop (lunch), a family-run sandwich shop that has become a local institution.
Dusty Spur Cafe (breakfast, lunch, dinner), across the railroad tracks from downtown, this popular, old west-themed cafe has it's own take on classic Americana cuisine.
Joe Beans (lunch, coffee), owner roasted coffee and light meals.  Al and Colleen are local musicians as well the proprietors here.
Le Bebe Cakes Bakery (coffee, pastries), La Grande's best people watching, fueled by coffee, elaboratly decorated cupcakes and a host of other sweet pastries.
Sorbenots (drive-thru coffee), La Grande's coffee-addict alternative to the dominant national brand.  Locally preferred.


There are a few market options in town if you are looking for something to grab and go, or prepare a meal for yourself.
Safeway (2111 Adams Avenue) is our local instance of this national chain.  It contains a Starbucks and deli, as well as loads of groceries.
Grocery Outlet (11619 Island Avenue, Island City) features La Grande's quirkiest selection of grocery items; overstock, close-outs, all at bargain prices.
Walmart (11619 Island Avenue, Island City) owned by America's wealthiest family, has groceries, along with everything else.

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SpringAlive Pre-registation

As an incentive to pre-register for SpringAlive we are offering a 20% discount to those that sign up and pay in advance.  There's no requirement do this, but we appreciate greatly those who do.  It allows us better guess how many people to prepare for.  To get the discount, follow the directions for the Registration Form below and get it to us by Thursday, May 3rd.  (but postmarks of April 30th or earlier will be accepted no matter when they arrive).  If you are from out-of-town and would like a homestay, please register as early as possible to give us the best chance of finding you an appropriate local host.

Individualized Instruction/Coaching

Individual or small group instruction/coaching is available from David Kaynor, Sue Songer or Lanny Martin by prearrangement.  Session times are as arranged with the instructor(s), Friday and Sunday, when they are not busy with other commitments.  We expect most instruction sessions will be on Sunday late morning and early afternoon.  These sessions require a separate fee, $20 per half hour, per instructor (you can ask for one or both), payable directly to David, Sue and/or Lanny when you meet with them.  Groups pay the same amount for a session as individuals, so you can split the cost and save.  To sign up for a half or one-hour slot, please contact Mark at phone: 541-962-9355, email: info@springalive.neofs.us.

Registration Form

To preregister, download, print and fill out our registration form (link below) and send it with your check made out to "NEOFS" (important, we can't cash checks made out to SpringAlive) to

c/o Mark Lewis
62139 Fruitdale Lane
La Grande, OR  97850

Download Registration Form (Acrobat file, requires Adobe Reader. Download Reader here)
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SpringAlive Contact Information

Web: http://springalive.neofs.us/
Email: info@springalive.neofs.us
Phone: 541-962-9355   Mark
Mailing Address: NE Oregon Folklore Society
P.O. Box 433
La Grande, OR  97850
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SpringAlive Schedule

Saturday, May 12th
Time Art Center East
1006 Penn Avenue, La Grande, Oregon
St. Peter's Parish Hall
1001 O Avenue, La Grande, Oregon

In basement.  Enter through red door near corner of O & 5th.
9:00 - 11:00 AM English Country Dance Workshop (Dance Workshop) Fiddle Tunes Workshop with David Kaynor (Music Workshop)
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Lunch Break
12:30 - 2:30 PM Scottish Country Dance Workshop (Dance Workshop) Dance Ensemble Workshop with Sue Songer (Music Workshop)
2:45 - 4:45 PM Contra Dance Workshop with David Kaynor (Dance Workshop) Instrumental Jam (Music Event)
4:45 - 5:40 PM Break
5:40 - 6:00 PM Potluck setup (your help is appreciated)
6:00 - 7:30 PM Community Potluck Dinner
7:30 - 8:00 PM Dance setup/Sound check Potluck cleanup (your help is appreciated)
8:00 - 11:00 PM Festival Contra dance led by Kaynor, Songer and Martin.
Throughout the Weekend
As Arranged Individual Instruction/Coaching with David and/or Sue.
Separate charge.  $20 for 30 minute slot per instructor.  Contact Mark (phone: 541-805-1308, email: info@springalive.neofs.us) to arrange.

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