Saturday, May 11th, 2019     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) and Art Center East.

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SpringAlive Overview

Saturday, May 11th, 2019, the second Saturday in May, Traditional-Live! (NE Oregon Folklore Society) presents our annual traditional music and dance event, SpringAlive.  We hope you will come and share it with us.

Featured guests:  Our perennial instructors, Massachusetts fiddler and composer, David Kaynor and Portland musicians Sue Songer and Lanny Martin, will be returning once again.  New this year, Portland musician and dance caller Erik Weberg will be sharing with us his extensive knowledge of Contra and English Country dance.

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 Contra Dance and English Country Dance workshops led by Erik, as well as an Introduction to Waltz workshop led by a local dance instructor.  The evening events begin with our signature community potluck feast, followed by our gala festival dance, with live music provided by our guest instructors backed by the Ensemble workshop students.  Join us as we dance on into the night.  There are also opportunities for musicians and small ensembles to get some individualized instruction from our guest instructors.  Check out our online schedule to get an overview of the day's events.

Come to our benefit concert for David Kaynor on the Friday evening before SpringAlive.  The concert features a trio of fiddle-based ensembles, local favorites Blue Plate Special, the EOU Fiddle Ensemble, and David himself, playing with Sue and Lanny.  Enjoy a wide variety of traditional and contemporary music, from Bluegrass harmonies to driving Contra medleys while helping David in his battle with the symptoms of ALS.

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 invite you to participate in our potluck feast before the Saturday night dance.  Welcome to La Grande.

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 dance ensemble workshop, you will want to prepare by getting familiar with the tunes used ahead of time.  Click 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.

A note about David

Not long after his last visit to La Grande, for SpringAlive a year ago, David was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a progressive and incurable disease of the motor neurons.  Currently, it is mainly the muscles of his throat that have been affected, hampering his voice and making him unable to call dances, but leaving him free to make music with his fiddle and feet.  We are extremely fortunate that David is able join us this year, and grateful that he chooses to once again share his considerable knowledge and enthusiasm with our community.

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.

Sue also happens to have been awarded the 2018 Lifetime Contribution Award from the Country Dance and Song Society.  This very prestigous award is awarded yearly to a peron who has made a major and long-term contribution to traditional music and dance in North America.  Be sure to congratulate Sue when you see her.

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.

Erik Weberg

is well known as both a caller of and musician for Contra and English Country dances.  AFter beginning his dance journey in Moscow, Idaho, Erik began to developed his calling craft at the community dances of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.  Following relocating to the "westside", he has become a sought-after caller throughout the Northwest and beyond.  Not just a caller, he also plays flute and reeds in the bands Joyride (with Sue Songer) and The Fine Companions.  Erik composes contra dances too, and can claim a number of widely called dances as his own.

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Saturday, May 11

Fiddle Tunes Workshop (music)

David Kaynor teaches a tune or two, perhaps one of his own compositions.  Players of all instruments are encouraged to attend.

Contact Mark (phone: 541-962-9355, email: info@neofs.us) for more information.
When 9:00 - 10:45 AM, Saturday, May 11
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.

Dancing in Three Quarter Time - Introduction to Waltz (dancing)

A regional caller gently guides wannabe and novice waltzers setp-by-step in learning to dance to three beats with only two feet!  If you've ever felt hesitant to step on to the dance floor at a wedding, this workshop is for you.

Contact Mark (phone: 541-962-9355, email: mlewis@eoni.com) for more information.
When 9:30 - 10:45 AM, Saturday, May 11
Where Art Center East, 1006 Penn Avenue, La Grande, Oregon
Cost $8, $6 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).  Have fun.

Contact Carla (phone: 541-663-0776, email: pickandbow@aol.com) for more information.
When 12:45 - 2:30 PM, Saturday, May 11
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)

Master caller Erik Weberg leads 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 12:45 - 2:30 PM, Saturday, May 11
Where Art Center East, 1006 Penn Avenue, La Grande, Oregon
Cost $12, $10 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 - 4:30 PM, Saturday, May 11
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)

Erik Weberg will lead a workshop He is a master of both calling and composing Contra dances and has an uncanny ability to select the perfect dance and match it with marvelous music, all complemented by his simple, clear teaching.  Enjoy dancing as we get pointers on creating an even better dance experience.  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 - 4:30 PM, Saturday, May 11
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 11
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.  Erik calls while David, Sue and Lanny provide the music for the evening's dancing, backed by Ensemble music workshop participants.  Expect a variety of fun dances approprate for all experience levels.  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 11
Where Art Center East, 1006 Penn Avenue, La Grande, Oregon
Cost $12, $10 members and students.

Throughout the Weekend

Individualized Instruction

David, Sue, Lanny and Erik are all 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, David or Erik.
Where by arrangement with Sue, Lanny, David or Erik.
Cost $20 per 30 minute slot, per instructor.  (Want more than one? Pay them each.)
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Other Related Activities

Friday, May 10th

Fiddle Confluence: a Benefit for David Kaynor

Three fiddle-based bands, three approaches to a stringed instrument ensemble, multiple fiddle traditions represented.  Enjoy an evening of string instrument-based music ranging from fiddle tunes with origins lost in time to contemporary compositions.  Proceeds of the evening will go to helping our featured guest, David Kaynor, in his fight against ALS.

Blue Plate Special, consisting of of local musicians Jon St. Hilaire, Sharon Porter, Michael Snider, and Carla & David Arnold serve a big helping of traditional and contemporary Bluegrass, accompanied by tasty side dishes of Old-time and Celtic instrumentals, as weel as vocal harmonies, from train songs and murders most foul to ballads of love lost.

The EOU Fiddle Ensemble, led by Dwane Boyer, covers a wide variety of musical styles, Old-time and Bluegrass to be sure, but Cajun, western swing and others as well.  The ensemble began it's life 20 years ago as a perfomance class to promote fiddling in many styles.  It has become a local institution, doing many, many local performances at univesity and community functions, as well as being featured at the National Old-Time Fiddling Contest in Weiser, Idaho, and the national confrence of Northwest MENC, a music educators group.  Members of the ensemble performed have even performed to a national audience on the Praire Home Companion radio show.

David Kaynor and Friends will close the evening with selections of dance-inspired music.  Along with Sue Songer and Lanny Martin, David will draw from his vast repertoire of contra dance medleys represdenting both the driving and laid-back ends of that genre, including some of his own compositions.  Also, don't be surprised to be exposed to the Swedish traditional tunes that have come back with him from his many visits to that country.  You can bet that their set, and the concert, will end with one of many beautiful waltzs that David has collected from many sources over the years.

When 7:00 - 9:00 PM, Friday, May 10th
Where La Grande United Methodist Church Sanctuary, 1612 Fourth Street, La Grande
Cost $10 suggested donation; any amount accepted
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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 2nd.  (but postmarks of April 29th 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, Lanny Martin or Erik Weberg 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 the instructor 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

Friday, May 10th
Time La Grande United Methodist Church
1612 Fourth Street, La Grande
7:00 - 9:00 PM Fiddle Confluence: a Benefit for David Kaynor
Blue Plate Special, the EOU Fiddle Ensemble and David, Sue and Lanny combine for a concert to benefit for David Kaynor in his fight against ALS.
Saturday, May 11th
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 - 9:30 AM Fiddle Tunes Workshop with David Kaynor (Music Workshop)
9:30 - 10:45 AM Introduction to Waltz Workshop (Dance Workshop)
10:45 AM - 12:45 PM Lunch Break
12:45 - 2:30 PM English Country Dance Workshop with Erik Weberg (Dance Workshop) Dance Ensemble Workshop with Sue Songer (Music Workshop)
2:45 - 4:30 PM Contra Dance Workshop with Erik Weberg (Dance Workshop) Instrumental Jam (Music Event)
4:30 - 6:00 PM Break
5:45 - 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 Weberg, Kaynor, Songer and Martin.
Throughout the Weekend
As Arranged Individual Instruction/Coaching with Sue, Lanny, David or Erik.
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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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 2017's total solar eclipse) , so lodging options tend to be rather basic.  Somewhat unforunately, they do not seem to be equivalently 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 older, pre-interstate era motels stretched out along La Grande's main street, to the more recent ones clustered near the highway interchange, as well as a number of 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.
The Landing (breakfast & dinner only), in a small dining room within a tiny boutique hotel, Chef Merlin prepares the closest La Grande has to gourmet.  Not for the thrifty, or those in a hurry.
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.
Thai Fresh Gardens (lunch, dinner), reasonably authentic Thai food, along with sushi, in La Grande's unique undeground marketplace.
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 (coffee, lunch), owner roasted coffee and light meals.  Al and Colleen are local musicians as well the proprietors here.
2 Broke Girls Coffee Time (coffee, lunch), find soups, samdwiches and pastries surrounded by vintage resale.  They host our instrumental jams.  Oh.. and coffee too.
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.
Kauffman's Market (10214 Wallowa Lake Hwy, Island City) Meats, cheeses, produce, bulk items and baked goods (along with a great deli) are featured at this farmstand-like market.
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 (11301 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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