With ever tightening school budgets, many schools are looking for ways of raising funds and, judging from the success of the fundraiser held at West Anstey Village Hall, Devon, last night (25th January 2013), a Burns Night ceilidh or folk dance band together with a traditional meal might be just the ideal solution to raising funds for your school or college.
The evening started off with a few traditional tunes provided by the Barnbuskers Ceilidh and Folk Dance Band as the guests arrived, followed by a splendid meal of traditional haggis with a scrumptious desert. The haggis was played in to the assembly by a fully kilted bagpiper and there were lots of toasts and some traditional poems, all of which got the evening off to a really good start.
|Dance caller Tom Addison at West Anstey Village Hall Devon|
The advantage of having a ceilidh or barn dance band is that the dancers need no dance knowledge to participate in and enjoy the dances because the dance caller shows everybody how to do the dances. Tom Addison was the dance caller for the evening and the combination of his expertise in selecting and organising the right dances for the dancers, together with the astonishing ability of the dancers on this night who picked up the dances really quickly, ensured a good time was had by everybody.
In fact, Tom Addison, newly calling for the Barnbuskers Ceilidh and Folk Dance Band, was so liked by the musicians that he will certainly be top of the band's favourite caller list for future events. His relaxed and friendly style, whilst ensuring the dances suited the abilities of the dancers, enabled the band to concentrate on doing what they most like doing which is providing the pulsating sounds and rhythms that will get the guest's feet tapping and put a smile on everybody's face. Tom's excellent ability to double as sound engineer so the band's sounds were best presented by the PA system was also a massive plus.
Traditional barn or ceilidh dancing is often quite an energetic business when the dancers are enthusiastic so it is usual for the band to play tunes in between dances while the dancers have a rest and refresh themselves. Tunes played in-between dances and for the dances included traditional Scottish, traditional Irish, traditional French, some ragtime, a couple of Klezmer and, of course, a good staple diet of jigs and reels from the English folk dance tradition which is the speciality of the Barnbuskers Dance Band represented on this occasion in photo above by core musicians Rockin' Robin and Martin Hughes (band leader), Tom Addison on folk flute (when not calling the dances) with Gill Seabrook acting as percussionist, photographer, business manager, roady and just making sure everything went smoothly (so well done Gill)!
So, if you are thinking about organising a fundraiser for your local school or college, a ceilidh or folk dance band might be the the ideal solution and Barnbuskers would be more than happy to talk to you about it. Judging from the laughter as the dancers danced, a great time was had by all (see more photos of the dancing at West Anstey Village Hall on Rob's Facebook page) and, given the numbers attending, the event appeared to be an excellent way of raising funds for the local Devon pre-school.