January Thaw – January 17, 2020

Thank you to all who braved the bad weather to attend our ill-named “January Thaw” dance!

Final program for the dance:
Delia (with recorded music until the musicians could arrive)
(with excellent music by Dave Wiesler and Tim Macdonald)
John the Madman
In the Fields of Frost and Snow
The Happy Marriage
Dance of a Lifetime
Better Day Better Deed
The Longest Night
The New Long Room at Scarborough
January Thaw
Billy’s Waltz
Fast Packet
Cady Laddy The New Way
Highland Farewell


This evening of English country dancing is held in conjunction with the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) Chicago Branch 40th Anniversary New Year’s Ball Weekend.

The dances will be called by Nikki Herbst and Mady Newfield.

We will have music by Dave Wiesler on piano and Tim Macdonald on fiddle.

Admission is $20 at the door (full-time students $10).

Friday, January 17, 2020
7:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Baker Community Center
1010 S. 2nd Street
St. Charles, IL

Printable flyer for this event


Dave will also lead a Workshop for English country dance musicians

Saturday, January 18, 2020
9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Kuhn Barn at Fermilab
Batavia, IL

Suggested donation is $10 (at the door).

Interested musicians, please contact us at chicagolandECD@gmail.com, and fill out this form with information about your background to help Dave plan the workshop.


Additional information

Dave Wiesler

Pianist Dave Wiesler (Newark, DE) discovered English dance music in 1992, and immediately felt that the job description had been written specifically for him. Since then has become highly regarded for his strong rhythm, his technical skills, and his deep knowledge of the genre. He performs most often with his band Goldcrest, but regularly joins other musicians. Dave is at home in a huge range of other styles of music and folk dance, including contra dance, Scottish country dance, swing, vintage dancing, blues, and Viennese waltz. He has played at festivals and dance and music camps across the country, as well as in Canada, Scotland, and England; he has composed hundreds of tunes, many of which are used for ECD; and he appears on over twenty recordings — recent ones include The Goldcrest Collection of mostly English country dances, Hanneke Cassel’s Trip to Walden Pond, and a recent album of original waltzes, Thirty-Three More. In addition, Dave is a capable guitarist and singer, a children’s choir accompanist, and a soccer coach and chauffeur for his two growing boys.

Tim Macdonald

Praised for his “thrilling” music that “only got more thrilling as [he] shredded on” (Chicago Classical Review), Tim is an accomplished performer, scholar, and dancer equally at home on the concert stage and at the dance hall. He was a two-year Artist-in-Residence for the Chicagoland English Country Dancers and has played at Pinewoods and for dances across the country with Dave Wiesler, Karen Axelrod, Susie Petrov, and others. A particular highlight was playing a dance honoring Ignatius Sancho—the first black composer to ever be published—with Rachel Barton Pine. Tim also plays Elizabethan and other Renaissance dance music with the Newberry Consort, an award-winning period instrument ensemble, and, with cellist Jeremy Ward, recently released his debut album, The Wilds, a “fresh and yet authentic sounding” (Dr. John Purser) celebration of the diversity of Scottish fiddle in the 18th century. Learn more at www.tsmacdonald.com.

Nikki Herbst

Nikki Herbst wants most of all to bring the joy, art, and human cooperation of dance, music, and song to as many people as possible. She has been active as a dancer, dance leader, dance organizer, and dance editor for most of her life and invites you to have a look at her website, http://www.nikkiherbst.com, for details. She is on the Board of the Country Dance and Song Society and is the editor of many well-known dance books.

Nikki lives half the year in Amana, IA, and half the year in Hawthorne, FL. She has found that spending half of each year in the Midwest allows for excellent access to wilderness canoeing, raptor rehabilitation work, and therapy dog outreach visits with her big dog Henry, while the half of the year spent in Florida is a great time to hike, photograph wildlife, and work on a never-ending list of house and yard projects. Fortunately, there are opportunities for dancing, making music, and singing with friends everywhere.