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Anne Ogren plays fiddle, viola, and an occasional kazoo in Childgrove. She is a full-time musician. During the day, she teaches middle and elementary school strings in the West Bloomfield schools. She was Brad Battey's first violin teacher! After getting hooked on contra dancing a few years ago, she's been fiddling not only contra and English country dance music, but also Scandinavian dance music. In her spare time, she plays violin in the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and for the Tuesday English country dance.
Brad Battey has been playing for dances for almost as long as he can remember. A high-energy fiddler, he can be found playing contra and english dances around Ann Arbor most weeks with Big Fun, The Ruffwater String Band, or other fabulous SouthEast Michigan musicians. He has played for dance weeks and weekends from Illinois to Denmark and Cape Breton to Texas. He has also been known to play fiddle and nyckelharpa for ECD and Scandinavian couple dancing.
Chris Rietz is well known as a guitarist who's in demand as a session player. Chris also shares a love for Bulgarian, Greek, and Swedish music. He has been an ardent player of the Bulgarian kaval (end-blown flute) for more than 20 years, and continues to be a serious student of the grand Thracian style. He also plays mandocello, Bulgarian tambura, lute, and laouto (Greek lute). Chris's inventive guitar work has made him a sought-after accompanist for many popular folk albums. His work is featured on "Modal Citizens" by Party of 3. Chris has taught both kaval and tambura at Balkan Camp. Chris has frequently been on the teaching staff of the East European Folklife Center's Balkan Music and Dance Camps as an instructor for kaval and Bulgarian tambura and director of an ensemble of Bulgarian folk instruments. Chris's bands have included Galata, Veselba, Party of 3, and other bands that play exciting music that ventures across international and cultural boundaries.
Dave Orlin gave up an early career as a piano student to learn 'Daytripper' and 'Johnson's motor car' on the guitar. He was then exposed to clawhammer banjo and was immediately infected; the experts shake their heads sadly as there's nothing they can do. Complications have included the fiddle, the ukulele, and even Morris dancing, from which he's fully recovered. After extended stints with the Sharon Hollow String Band, the Broadway Playboys, the Lil' Pegheads, and the Contrapreneurs, he's currently playing with Dr. Grangelove, who are living well with their musical necessities.
Debbie Jackson plays and sings a wide range of musical styles ranging from bluegrass to contra to English country dance to swing standards. She currently is the pianist/bassist in the contra dance band Dr. Grangelove and the English band, Childgrove. Other memorable bands she has sparked include the Contrapreneurs, Great Lakes Ramblers, Contratones, and New Balance String Band. She was Music Director for the Attic Theater's productions of "Cotton Patch Gospel" and the "Patsy Cline Story," where she played the non-speaking role of pianist Floyd Cramer!
Her earliest music work was done for the National Songwriter's Guild where she recorded over 200 demo recordings. She has been Music Director at Folklore Village's International Christmas Festival in Wisconsin. She has performed in the bluegrass bands "Wendy Smith and Blue Velvet" and "Division Street."
She is a composer of tunes and songs and the creator of dance happenings like the original "World's Longest Contra Line" and many others, regularly adding to the variety and fun of dancing in Southeastern Michigan. Michigan Dance Heritage recently presented her with its first Les Raber Memorial Award, "for her many contributions as musician, singer, teacher, and community leader for traditional music, song, and dance throughout Michigan." Debbie lives in White Lake, Mi. She runs her own consulting practice for nonprofit management and is a fabulous photographer.
Glen Morningstar, of Highland, Michigan, has enjoyed teaching, calling and playing music for community organizations, schools and churches throughout Michigan, and dance camps throughout the USA and Europe since 1978. On first Sundays of the month you have found him leading the crowds at the American Contra Dance series at beautiful Lovett Hall in Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI, 1981- 2005. This past year, Glen was the Artist-In-Residence for Brighton (MI) Elementary Schools and Hope College in Holland (MI). Glen and fellow members of the Olde Michigan Ruffwater Stringband are currently celebrating their 25th year together. He has led dancing and shape note singing at Berea, Pinewoods, Lloyd Shaw, Michigan Dance Heritage, and other camps and weekend events.
Martha Stokely (oboe, pennywhistle, recorder, and kazoo) is a member of Childgrove and a reformed serious orchestral musician who now has much more fun. Her past musical experiences include playing with a teenage punk band, a Scandinavian fiddle circle, and the Mantovani Orchestra.