Roy is known for a driving, rhythmic, fiddle style and an effortless mastery of nuanced interpretation, has been playing fiddle since age 8, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of the music of the Ozarks. He has contributed several musicology segments to the “Ozark Highlands” radio show.
Aviva is frequently heard as the guitarist for the band, but also plays cello and fiddle. She is a powerful ballad singer with a clear, penetrating voice that seems to emanate from the valleys of her Ozark mountain farm. As well as playing music she hand makes beautiful parlor style guitars, often with wood cut and milled by partner Roy Pilgrim.
Clarke is widely known for his classic banjo, a style showcased in the 1980’s by his earlier band, “The Skirtlifters”. Working from his collection of sheet music from the late 1800’s, a performance by Clarke is a musical journey through living history. With the Highballers he brings his many banjo licks to the mix, adding an infectious percussive rhythm.
Seth is harmonica virtuoso, at home with music from all genres. Drawing from a family history of harmonica players that includes his grandfather and great grandmother, he often uses circular breathing to produce continuous notes. With the Highballers he emphasizes rhythm, often playing the tunes note for note with the fiddle.
Joanie Green is a member of the singing group Sugar on the Floor. She enjoys teaching workshops on ballad singing, old-time percussion, and dance. Most recently she has begun singing with her dear friend and neighbor, Aviva Steigmeyer of The Ozark Highballers, as often as possible. They enjoy old songs and simple harmonies, and sharing them with other folks.
Willi Carlyle Goehring
Willi is very much a local institution and a touring success. He is many things, including a singer/songwriter/poet/banjoist/fiddler described in the Washington Post as having “a poetry in describing songs passed down through generations as a most precious cultural commodity, and a passion and immediacy in performing them. Both down home and brainy, (Willi) is worth seeking out”.
As a teacher and caller, Jim has a gift for getting folks moving to music with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of fun. He credits his Motown Detroit dancing days for his feeling for the beat of the music. That, plus family roots in ante-bellum Missouri might explain his choice of contra and square dances that have both movement and fun. Jim sees dancing as a way to build community and connection across the generations.
Harold first began square dancing as a pre-teen in 1965. He discovered both contra and international dancing in the mid 1990s and was one of the founding members of the Anoush International Dance Troupe. Harold began calling contra dances in 1999 and is now one of three main callers for the Fayetteville Traditional Dance Society. He has a friendly, come-one, come-all style that quickly energizes experienced dancers, and put beginners at ease.
Judy readily admits to Scottish descent, and is a Scotophile of the best kind. She has a full teacher's certificate from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, and is known for an energetic and accessible teaching style. She is a founding member of the Arkansas Scottish Country Dance Society, an affiliate group of RSCDS. She dances around central Arkansas, and teaches workshops throughout the region. She lives and dances in Little Rock.
Dan has been calling for over 30 years and is a prolific contra dance composer. He draws on a life of dancing experience that includes his Tennessee years with “Lark in the Morning” English Country Dancers and the Sourwood Morris Dancers. While living in Ireland, he performed with the Dublin City Morris dancers. He also teaches and performs International dance, and was a co-founder of the performing group “Anoush”, funded by the Arkansas Arts Council.
Jan has been involved with international folk dancing for decades and very much enjoys sharing theses world dances with others. She has participated in recreational folk dance groups in Wisconsin and in Arkansas and has been in several performing groups over the years, including one in classical Spanish dance. She attends two or more workshops a year to pick up new dances so has learned dances from Turkey, Greece, Israel, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria and many other areas of the world.
Steve has earliest memories of old time American square dances in his grandfather’s front room in the Missouri Ozarks. He has performed and taught at festivals in Ireland, Scotland, England, and around the US. In 2015 he won percussive dance firsts at the National Buck Dancing Championship, the Clifftop Old Time Music Festival, and the August Heritage Festival. As well as calling old time squares with signature rhyming patter, he also teaches square dance calling. He often works with the group “The Ozark Highballers”, and calls regular old time square dances in the Fayetteville, AR area.
Pete Howard has been a fiddler from the moment he put it under his chin, meaning he became obsessed and couldn't stop fiddling around with melodies. He has played jazz fiddle with the Big World Quartet, Irish fiddle with the Mudlarks, Oldtime fiddle with Fork and Knife and Shout Lulu and bass, fiddle and banjo with the Skirtlifters. Pete is good at picking great tunes and breaking them down into memorable parts for his students. He has taught traditional fiddling at String Band Weekend in Mountain View, the Bethel Youth Fiddle Camp in Bethel, Missouri and the Fayetteville Roots Festival.
A weekend of traditional dance, music, and song.
*********** MUSIC ************
$65 - Full weekend, access to all events, four meals included. ($75 after September 30)
$35 - Friday only, includes access to evening concert and contra dance. Lunch provided.
$45 - Saturday only, includes access to evening dance. Breakfast and lunch provided.
Registration: You can register by mail or online using the links at the bottom of the page. Registration can be for the entire weekend or for a single day. Single day registrations must be done by mail or pay at the door. Single day registrations in advance by mail is preferred because it gives us a head count for meals.
Fine Times at Our House is a three day weekend festival of Traditional Dance, Music, and Song, sponsored by the Fayetteville Traditional Dance Society. It takes place at the Mount Sequoyah retreat center, a 32 acre wooded campus set just 5 minutes from the Fayetteville square. This is a participatory festival with multiple workshop opportunities including contra, International, and square dancing, along with fiddle, banjo, guitar, as well as ballad and harmony singing. The festival kicks off at 11:00am on Friday, Oct.12th and runs through Sunday noon,Oct.14th, with three workshops running simultaneously to give choices between various dance styles, instruments, and singing. Registration includes four complimentary meals, Friday noon, Saturday morning, Saturday noon, and Sunday morning. Friday night includes a concert in Clapp Auditorium and an open to the public dance.
Accomodations:Mount Sequoyah offers a variety of affordable housing options ranging from $45 for a dorm style room with twin beds, to motel style rooms for $75. FTDS has booked a block of rooms in three locations at the Retreat Center for the event. They are being held in the name of the Fayetteville Traditional Dance Society. Contact Mt. Sequoyah at 479-443-4531 for reservations.
********* WORKSHOP LEADERS AND PERFORMERS *********
The Old 78’s came together to explore the musical genres of the early 1930's featuring fiddles, banjos (of many amusing types), and a baritone sax! Ray and Melanie Palmer and Carole Anne Rose have carried on the tradition after the passing of band-mate and renowned fiddler/banjo player, Curly Miller. Occasionally joined by Sara White, Curly’s daughter, they continue to feature Ragtime, Old Time, Romanian, Irish and Traditional American tunes that have delighted audiences from coast to coast.
We have three great bands providing live music for the workshops and the public dances.
The husband & wife duo, Bill & Deanna Lisk of Siloam Springs are the core of the band. Their music revolves around Celtic themes, with an old time interpretation that demonstrates the roots of American string band music. With Deanna on fiddle and Bill on guitar, their rendition of Scottish favorites such as “Johnny Cope” will have square dancers energized and pounding the planks. They organize the regular “Second Saturday” music program in their home town, and play for dances around the Northwest Arkansas area.
A chance meeting in 2014 while busking at the Fayetteville, AR, square farmer’s market led to the formation of this well-known old time string band. Old time to the core, they draw much of their inspiration from the early recordings from the 1920’s and 30’s. Their first CD, featuring all four members of the band, Roy Pilgrim, Clarke Buehling, Aviva Steigmeyer, and Seth Shumate, was reviewed in superlative terms by the Old Time Herald. The Highballers play festivals from coast to coast, as well as around the Fayetteville area.
Fayetteville Traditional Dance Society