Saturday, May 9th, 2015     It's over.  Hope you can join us next year.

Willow School Gymnasium, 1305 N Willow Street, 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 9th, 2015, the second Saturday in May, Traditional-Live! (NE Oregon Folklore Society) will present a special traditional music and dance event, SpringAlive, that we hope you will come and share with us.

Featured guests:  Once again Massachusetts fiddler, caller, composer, etc., David Kaynor and Portland musicians Sue Songer and Lanny Martin, will be returning as our featured guests.

What's happening:  As in past years, we have a day of celebration with afternoon workshops and an evening potluck and dance.  Afternoon workshop sessions include the very popular dance ensemble workshop led by Sue with a separate English Country Dance workshop run at the same time for non-musician dancers, followed by a Contra dance workshop led by David.  The evening events begin with a community potluck feast, followed by our gala dance on into the night.  In addition, there are opportunities for individuals musicians and small ensembles to get some individualized instruction from our guests.  If you happen to be in town before the weekend, you can also catch our guests at an open jam session on Thursday evening.  Check out our online schedule to get an overview of the day's events.

Help support SpringAlive by donating items to and participating in our new silent auction fundraiser that will help us to keep putting on this event at a reasonable price for all.

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.  Commercial lodgings and campgrounds are available for those that prefer that option.  And we will be repeating last year's 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, preregistration isn't required, so you can just show up, pay any 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 the link to find links to written music and audio files for this year's workshop tunes.


Saturday, May 9

Dance Ensemble Workshop

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.  Both written and recorded 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

Files containing written music 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 12:30 - 2:30 PM, Saturday, May 9
Where Willow School Activity Room, 1305 N Willow Street, La Grande, Oregon
Cost $12, $10 members and students.

English Country Dance Workshop

A regional caller will lead dancers through the essentials and more of this ancestor of contra dancing.  Not just a cultural museum piece, new music and dances are being composed today in the style of this 500+ year old tradition.

Contact Mark (phone: 541-962-9355, email: mlewis@eoni,com) for more information.
When 12:30 - 2:30 PM, Saturday, May 9
Where Willow School Gymnasium, 1305 N Willow Street, La Grande, Oregon
Cost $8, $6 members and students.

Dance Workshop with David

David Kaynor will draw on his considerable knowledge and experience to guide participants through the essentials of New England-style contra and square 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 9
Where Willow School Gymnasium, 1305 N Willow Street, La Grande, Oregon
Cost $10, $8 members and students.

Community Potluck

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

When 6:00 - 7:30 PM, Saturday, May 9
Where Willow School Gymnasium, 1305 N Willow Street, La Grande, Oregon
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 most of the evening's dancing, but the music workshop participants will have their own chance to show off at the head of the hall as well.  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 9
Where Willow School Gymnasium, 1305 N Willow Street, La Grande, Oregon
Cost $8, $5 members and students.

Throughout the Weekend

Individualized Instruction

David and Sue are available for individual, one-on-one or few-on-one lessons when they are not otherwise occupied.

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 and/or David.
Where by arrangement with Sue and/or David.
Cost $20 per 30 minute slot, per instructor.  (Want Sue and David both? Pay them each.)

Help Support SpringAlive

Support SpringAlive  Contribute to our silent auction fundraiser.

We are planning a silent auction at this year's SpringAlive to raise funds to help keep our event going in future years.  We are hoping you can help us out by donating items that we can include in the auction.  Music and dance related items are especially welcomed, but giving anything that you think will have value to others will help us stay solvent while keeping our prices reasonable and SpringAlive accessible to as many people as possible.  If you have items to donate, please contact Beth at 541-962-1595 or auctioneer@springalive.neofs.us so that we can plan a great auction. 

Of course, you can also support us by planning to bid on the wonderful items other people have contributed.  Either way, we thank you for your support.

Other Related Activities

Thursday, May 7

Open Jam (Slow)

David, Lanny and Sue will be hosting the monthly open instrumental "slow" jam on Tursday evening and all musicians are invited to attend.  It will be held in their home base apartment for this month only, and a potluck dinner will precede the jam.  Participating musicians are asked to bring a main dish and a side dish

When Thursday evening, May 7; Potluck at 6, Jam at 7:00 PM
Where 1101 N Avenue, Apt. A (upstairs), La Grande
Cost no charge.

Our Featured Guests

David Kaynor

was born into a prolifically musical family (relatives Cammy and Van Kaynor are also well-known 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-1980's 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 two "Portland Collection" volumes resulting (a third is expected to be released soon) 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.

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.


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.

If you would like to stay in commercial accommodations, you can search at the Eastern Oregon Visitor's Association website at www.visiteasternoregon.com for a range of choices, from the Royal Motor Inn, a budget, few-frills place just a few blooks from the center of town, to the historic (and posh) Hot Lake Springs B&B, a 15 minute drive south of town.


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.

A list of local restaurants can be found by searching the Eastern Oregon Visitor's Association website at www.visiteasternoregon.com.  Besides the smattering of national chain fast-food places, mostly out near the freeway interchange, there are a few locally owned/operated restaurants that have become local institutions.  At the higher end is Ten Depot Street (located at 10 Depot Street) which has a nice selection of vegetarian fare to go along with well prepared steaks and seafood, followed by Mamacitas International Grill (2003 Fourth Street), with a variety of international specialties, and non-gluten options as well.  On the burgers-and-fries end of the dining scale, Hought's 24 Flavors (602 Adams Avenue) is a popular restored mid-20th century soda fountain and grill, second only in local popularity to Nells-N-Out (1704 1/2 Adams Avenue), a drive-through serving generations of La Grande natives, and most noted for their enormous (and very creative) flavored drinks list.  Bear Mt. Pizza (2104 Island Avenue) serves pizza (of course) but also has beer, wine and a salad bar, as well as providing a gluten-free crust option.  They have been long time supporters of Traditional-Live! and host our Thursday night jams.  Coffee?  Joe Beans (1009 Adams Avenue) has that and meals as well, all served up by local musicians.

You can also find a hot-food deli counter at the local Safeway (2111 Adams Avenue).

Ask a local for their recommendation of a place to eat.  There are a fair number of other good local dining-out options, and everyone seems to have their own favorites.


SpringAlive Preregistation

As an incentive to preregister for SpringAlive we are offering a 15% 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 7th.

Individualized Instruction/Coaching

Individual or small group instruction/coaching is available from David Kaynor or Sue Songer by prearrangement.  Session times are as arranged with the instructor(s), Friday through 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 and/or Sue 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: 541-805-1308, email: info@springalive.neofs.us.

Registration Form

To preregister, download and print the registration form (link below) and send it with your check made out to "NEOFS" to

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

Download Form (Acrobat file, requires Adobe Reader. Download Reader here)

SpringAlive Contact Information

Web: http://springalive.neofs.us/
Email: info@springalive.neofs.us
Phone: 541-805-1308   Mark
541-663-0776   Carla
435-232-8600   Harvey
Mailing Address: NE Oregon Folklore Society
P.O. Box 433
La Grande, OR  97850

SpringAlive Schedule

Saturday, May 9th
Time Willow School
1305 N Willow Street, La Grande, Oregon
Gymnasium Activity Room
12:30 - 2:30 PM English country dance workshop. Dance ensemble workshop with Sue Songer.
2:45 - 4:45 PM Contra dance workshop with David Kaynor.
4:45 - 6:00 PM Break / Potluck setup (Your help is appreciated).
6:00 - 7:30 PM Community potluck dinner.
7:30 - 8:00 PM Potluck cleanup - Dance setup (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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