Toronto English Country Dancers present :

A Weekend with Gene Murrow


Peter Barnes
Earl Gaddis
Jacqueline Schwab

of Bare Necessities

Friday, November 14 to
Sunday, November 16

in Toronto, Ontario, Canada



Gene Murrow Gene Murrow
Peter Peter Barnes, Earl Gaddis, and Jacqueline Schwab of Bare Necessities

Quick Links
Overview Schedule
Location Where to Stay and Eat
Silent Auction Registration


You won't want to miss Gene's first visit to Toronto (and The Bares's second!): a superb event bringing together some of the very finest talent from the hotbed of English Country Dancing in North America. A whole weekend of dancing, music, workshops, silent auction, food and community in one of Toronto's famous multicultural neighbourhoods — what could be better?

Thursday night music workshop

Friday night welcome dance

Saturday morning music master class
Saturday afternoon dance workshops for all
Saturday night social dance

Sunday morning workshop for advanced English Country Dancers
Sunday afternoon farewell dance

Gene Murrow

A distinguished specialist in Early Music as well as a renowned English Country Dance caller, Gene has a warm and humourous presence that pervades everything he does. We are delighted to have him with us for his first Toronto dance weekend!

Peter Barnes, Earl Gaddis, and Jacqueline Schwab of Bare Necessities

Peter Barnes, Earl Gaddis and Jacqueline Schwab are three of the world's most celebrated English Country Dance musicians. Their rich complexity of joyous sound and interaction is a treat not to be missed!


Thursday Nov 13th

 6.45               Doors open
 7 – 10  Musicians' workshop with Peter Barnes (St. Barnabas)
Not included in the weekend dance package. Pre-registration required. Topics covered will include
- Tuning up
- Playing for ECD and its wide variety of styles, including reels, jigs, waltzes, 3/2, mixed rhythm (e.g. Jenny Pluck Pears, Monks March), rants, hornpipes, and slow 4 (e.g. Two Cousins, Red and All Red)
- learning what's different about playing in an ensemble for dancing
- the pallette of musical options for varying your sound (trading, dynamics, harmonies, rhythm breaks, etc.)
- phrasing and its vital role in informing the dancers
- the mechanics of harmonizing and improvisation
- basic on-the-spot arranging at a dance
- playing solo for dancing, or taking a solo in a ensemble

Peter will address the group as a whole, then participants will divide into ensembles to work on pre-assigned tunes. A similar format will be followed for his workshop with Jacqueline on Saturday morning.

Friday Nov 14th

 7.15               Doors open
 8 – 10.30  Welcome dance
Lively and elegant dances for everyone

Saturday Nov 15th

 10 – 12 Musicians' master class with Peter Barnes and Jacqueline Schwab (Trinity St Paul; Spadina subway)
Not included in the weekend dance package. Pre-registration required. See Thursday's workshop listing for details.
 2 Silent auction begins
 2 – 3.30 Afternoon dance session for all – English Eccentricity
The "English eccentric" is one of those clichés which happens to reflect reality. We'll look at some dances with very unusual music, figures, and geometry.
 3.45 – 5.15  Afternoon dance session for all – Ball Prep
A preview of some of the dances to be done at the evening ball so that everyone can enjoy the music and the dancing with a minimum of lengthy teaching and prompting at the ball itself.
 5.30 Community potluck supper
 7.30 – 10.30 Modern English Country Dance Ball
Not a costumed historical ball, but festive attire is encouraged! Silent auction ends during the break.

Sunday Nov 16th

 10 – 12  Workshop for advanced dancers (Withrow Club House, a seven-minute walk from St. Barnabas)
An opportunity for highly skilled dancers to tackle some more challenging material as well as improve the quality of their dancing style. Among the dances will be modern compositions as well as some historical favourites worthy of closer attention. Space is limited and attendance is by pre-registration only. Not included in the weekend package price. Pre-registration required.

(* What is "Advanced"?)

 1.30 – 4.30  Farewell dance – Requests!
We'll have a sign-up board available during the weekend for participants to request their favourite dances for this final session.


St. Barnabas Anglican Church hall, 361 Danforth Avenue (Thursday music workshop, Friday dance, Saturday dance workshops and ball, Sunday afternoon dance)

St. Barnabas is located along the Danforth in one of Toronto's most vibrant neighbourhoods.  The church is at the corner of Danforth and Hampton Avenues, near Chester subway station.  The hall has an excellent sprung wood dance floor with great acoustics.   Click for directions.

St. Barnabas hall has a strict shoe policy.  High heels will NOT be permitted on the dance floor at any time.

Trinity-St. Paul, 427 Bloor Street West (Saturday music master class)

Very near Spadina subway. Some street parking and municipal parking lots. Google map of area.

Withrow Club House (Sunday morning workshop for advanced dancers)

A seven minute walk from St Barnabas. Google map of area.

Getting to Toronto

There are frequent flights from most major cities into Toronto's Pearson International airport and Billy Bishop International Airport, which is located adjacent to downtown, on Toronto Island.   Porter Airlines flies into the Island airport and has frequent sales.   Toronto is also well-serviced by VIA Rail trains and Greyhound and Voyageur bus lines.  Public transportation (the TTC) is available from the airports, train, and bus stations.  Taxis, limos, GO, and Airport Express are also available from the airport.

Where to Stay and Eat

Toronto is a wonderful, safe, and clean city with many vibrant downtown neighbourhoods and an excellent public transit system.  The subways run until about 1:30 am, and there are buses and streetcars that run 24 hours a day, so getting around is easy without a car, and quite convenient for many hotels and tourist attractions, as well as the venues.

For billeting, please write us at billeting at torontoenglishdance dot ca

Toronto offers many hotels, B&B's, Airbnb, among other options.

Dining information
The Danforth area has a large and diverse array of restaurants.  Note that all restaurants and bars in Toronto are non-smoking. Some patios do allow smoking. is one of many sites with more information.

More sightseeing sites:
Toronto Tourism & Travel Guide
Toronto CityPass – Admission discounts to 5 popular tourist attractions in Toronto.
TO Tix – Theatre ticket site


Register now!


Questions about the weekend?

For registration or general questions, write us at registrar AT torontoenglishdance DOT ca
For billeting questions, write us at billeting AT torontoenglishdance DOT ca
For silent auction questions, write us at silentauction AT torontoenglishdance DOT ca

Last updated October 30, 2014

English Country dancing in Toronto