July/August Waltz Time Newsletter


July/August 2014
When you dance, your purpose is not to get
to a certain place on the floor.
It's to enjoy each step along the way.
Wayne Dyer
Greetings from Waltz Time! This newsletter offers a calendar of upcoming waltz dances and workshops, dance community news and informative articles.
Our newsletter is sent every two months and offers a calendar of waltz dances and workshops, dance community news and informative articles. We encourage your articles for our newsletter. Or tell us what would you like to know! Please send your story or suggestions for topics to staff@waltztimedances.org.
Waltz Time is an all-volunteer committee that produces the twice-monthly Sunday afternoon waltz dances and the Annual Strauss Ball at Glen Echo Park's Spanish Ballroom. View Waltz Time's entire 2014 calendar on our web site.
We hope you enjoy our newsletter. At the end of this page, there are additional links that you can use to forward this newsletter to a friend or to unsubscribe.
From all of us at Waltz Time


Our Musician of Note
After one of our dances two years ago, I sat next to Alexander Mitchell over a beer at the Irish Inn. He had just played with one of the several groups he graces - and I was embarrassed I didn't remember his name. Our talk inspired me to write these occasional profiles of of the musicians who play frequently for our enjoyment - many, like Alex, for all of our nearly 20 years.
Alex started playing fiddle in 1978 after hearing fiddle music for the first time "in a bluegrass setting." At first he said his previous acquaintance with the music world was playing guitar in a rock band and singing. I asked if his parents were musicians - jug band or symphony? His mother studied piano at Columbia College in NYC with Nadia Reissenberg, possibly the pre-eminent female pianist of the 30s, 40s and 50s. His father, on viola and piano, accompanied his sister, Jeanne Mitchell, a violin wunderkind, in several of her concerts at Carnegie Hall. (Just as I suspected - jug band.) As soon as Alex picked up the fiddle, he decided he wanted to go to Berklee College of Music (the best music school you probably never heard of) to learn as much as he could about music. While in Boston as a student, he joined a country band called John Lincoln Wright and the Sourmash Revue, recorded in Nashville and played up and down the Northeast with that band. Then he started his own trio called Itchy Fingers, playing clubs, coffee houses, weddings and other gigs.
Over the years he developed his skills in bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, Klezmer, ballroom, swing and jazz, as well as folk waltz. He also mentioned that the waltz venue has introduced him not only to many styles of music with which he was unacquainted beforehand, but to an appreciation for the high level of dancing that the local folks exhibit on a regular basis. Later he joined the national tour of Woodie Guthrie's American Song with the Missouri Repertoire Theater (1990) and played for and appeared in Ted Turner's documentary "Gettysburg." We know him for his wonderful fiddle work in such bands as the Gigmeisters,Triple Helix, Rhapsody and Liz Donaldson's fine groups, but Alex is equally adept with mandolin and guitar, which he plays with other partners and groups. He teaches at home in his studio in Walkersville, Maryland, and at Boe's Strings in Frederick, Maryland. Alex has just released a new Celtic CD, "Skylark." Look for it the next time Alex plays for a waltz.
In the many reviews he has been given, the words "professional" and "talented" keep coming up. We all completely agree!
Paul Crumrine

FREE Summer Concerts at Glen Echo Park
The Glen Echo Park Partnership is pleased to present the annual FREE Summer Concert Series every Thursday night from June 19 - August 28, and a special Family Jazz Day on Sunday, July 20, co-sponsored by Blues Alley! Enjoy fabulous live music and carousel rides with your friends and family. Thursday night bands include:
  • June 19: QuinTango
  • June 26: Clarence "The Blues Man" Turner
  • July 3: Flutes on the Brink
  • July 10: Orrin Star Duo
  • July 17: Rockville Swing Band
  • July 24: Trio Caliente
  • July 31: David Schulman & Quiet Life Motel
  • August 7: Redwine Jazz Band
  • August 14: U.S. Navy Band "Country Current"
  • August 21: Ursula Ricks Project
  • August 28: U.S. Navy Band "Cruisers"
All Thursday night concerts are FREE and start at 7:30 p.m. in the Bumper Car Pavilion.
On Sunday, July 20, Blues Alley and the Partnership join forces to present FAMILY JAZZ DAY - an afternoon of jazz music performed by four different bands. Enjoy the U.S. Army Blues Band, the Blues Alley Youth Ensemble, the Capital Focus Jazz Band, and the Jazz Academy All-Stars.
We recommend that you bring a picnic dinner or visit the cafe and dine while you enjoy the concerts. Of course, dancers always welcome! A perfect opportunity for families to bring children who may also ride the Carousel and enjoy the playground. For more information, visit Summer Concerts at Glen Echo Park's website.

Art Walk in the Park: Second Fridays of the Month
May through October, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Arrive a little earlier than usual when you head to a dance at the Park on the second Friday of the month. From 6:00 - 8:00 pm on these nights, you can stroll through the grounds and visit the art studios and galleries. On these special evenings, visitors can see art demonstrations and exhibitions, purchase artwork, and enjoy refreshments. Participating studios include:
  • Art Glass Center at Glen Echo - fused glass studio and gallery
  • Yellow Barn - painting and drawing studio and gallery
  • Glen Echo Glassworks - blown glass studio and gallery
  • Glen Echo Pottery - pottery studio and gallery
  • Jordan Bruns Studio - painting and drawing studio and gallery
  • Photoworks - digital and darkroom photography studio and gallery
  • Sculpture Studio - a stonecarving studio
  • SilverWorks - silversmithing studio and gallery

Labor Day Art Show: "Call for Entries"
Many of our dancers are also artists! For those of you who want to enter the 44th Annual Labor Day Art Show at Glen Echo Park, please visit the Call for Entries page to learn how you may submit your artwork. For dancers who are not artists but want to learn more about the art show, please visit the 44th Annual Labor Day Art Show page for more information!

Upcoming Sunday Afternoon Waltzes
JULY 2014
July 6: TAYLOR AMONG THE DEVILS with Marty Taylor (winds, concertina), Steve Hickman (fiddle), Alexander Mitchell (fiddle, mandolin), Jonathan Jensen (piano, vocals)
July 20: GREEN LIGHT KARMA with David Knight (fiddle), Andrew Marcus (accordion), Dave Wiesler (piano and/or guitar)
August 3: WALTZ MAGIC with Alexander Mitchell (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Barbara Heitz (flute), Liz Donaldson (piano), Ralph Gordon (bass)
August 17: TERPSICHORE with Elke Baker (fiddle), Liz Donaldson (piano), Ralph Gordon (bass)


All events are held at the Spanish Ballroom (or Bumper Car Pavilion where noted), Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, MD and sponsored in cooperation with the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, Inc., the National Park Service and Montgomery County, Maryland. Visit Glen Echo Park's WEBSITE for directions, a park map and more information about social dancing, classes and special events.