Mike Reddig, Mary Anne McLeod and Judy Francis
Mary Anne McLeod began her musical career in 4th grade, and played in school orchestras through college. She started contra dancing in college and then, while living in the Boston area in her post-college days got really got hooked on it, dancing to the best of the best. Later, in 1992 while in Ames, IA on her first field job, Mary Anne approached the local band after a dance and asked them what advice they had for a violinist aspiring to be a fiddler. Their advice was to join the band, so she did! Mary Anne was “sidetracked” for another few years – playing for Ethnic Dance Theatre and then orchestra. When she moved to Flagstaff in 2002, she found the local open contra band, Just Desserts…. and the rest is history!
Judy Francis of Benson, AZ has been playing piano for contra dances since the 1980's. She played with Swinging on a Gate monthly at the Scout House in Concord, MA and in other New England venues for 17 years. She is delighted to join up with Updraft in Arizona.
Mike Reddig survived YMCA guitar lessons and campfire singing and graduated to thumping out honky-tonk dance music with the Stage Coach Band in Wilson Wyoming. A decade later he headed to the Southwest where he found true harmony playing mandolin for contra dances. He loves using his mando to highlight the fiddle and drive the tunes while watching dancers connect with the rhythm.
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