2018 Award Recipient   Past Award Recipients    Recommendations   Posthumous Lifetime Award



sue songer lrger

The Country Dance and Song Society is pleased to announce that Sue Songer of Portland, OR, is the 2019 recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award.

It’s hard to imagine the Portland dance and music scene without Sue. She has been integral in the scene since the 1980’s — as a musician, as the leader of the Portland Megaband, as a leader on planning and production committees, and as the walking talking tune encyclopedia we all depend on. When she began learning fiddle tunes in the 80’s, she started to transcribe the tunes she was hearing around Portland.  This eventually birthed the worldwide selling Portland Collection series, including 3 tune books and 4 CD’s to date. Sue plays and teaches in many corners of the U.S.

Sue will be honored on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at a celebration in Portland which will feature music jams, a potluck, an award ceremony and an open band/caller contra dance.




Your help is needed! Do you know someone who has made a long term and exceptional contribution to the mission of CDSS? Has this contribution benefited more than one geographical area and/or generation? Has he or she worked in conjunction with CDSS for more than 20 years? If the answer is “yes” to all of these, then you may know a future recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award (LCA).

Examples of a significant contribution include: increasing the quality of what we do by inspiration, instruction or excellent example; bringing what we do to new communities; expanding the repertoire of dance, music and/or song through scholarship or original composition; working behind the scenes or enabling others to make these contributions.

Recommendations for the 2019 Lifetime Contribution Award must be received by March 10, 2018 — submit your recommendations online here. If you have any questions, please contact Awards Committee chair Mary Devlin.

Your recommendation must include the name, address, phone number and email address of the person you are recommending as well as your own name and full contact information. Recommendations must be for living persons. Please be sure to include one page highlighting the person’s significant accomplishments, innovations and examples of leadership. The Awards Committee may not know the person you are recommending so this is the type of information that would help us get to know her or him.

  • major events involving your candidate, describing the nature of his/her involvement (example: 1994, Program Director, Pinewoods Early Music Week)
  • related organizations with which your candidate has been involved (example: CDS Boston Centre, Board 2004-2010, secretary 2007-2010; NEFFA Board, 2001-2004; PCI Board, 2010-present)
  • candidate’s significant publications and/or recordings
  • description of how your candidate’s work benefited more than one generation (examples: X has taught dancing to children at Family Weeks and to seniors at Road Scholar (Elderhostel) events; Y’s book of contra tunes has been in print for over 20 years and is a standard in the contra dance community)
  • description of how your candidate’s work benefited more than one geographical area (example: founded the San Francisco English Country Dance, later became involved with Boston’s morris and sword community, playing for teams throughout New England).

We also must know if you will ensure the award event organization if the person you recommend should receive the LCA for 2019. If you can’t, please include the name(s) and contact information for people who will do the organizing.

People recommended in prior years stay on the list for consideration until they receive the award (or are no longer with us). The Awards Committee will review new and existing recommendations in March 2018 and submit our recommendation to the CDSS Governing Board for its decision. Thank you for providing informative, thoughtful recommendations. 


CDSS has expanded its Lifetime Contribution Award to include the possibility of awarding it posthumously. It is intended to honor those who were deserving of and likely to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award (LCA) but who passed on before they could be honored. The Posthumous award will be given to honor the work done by such persons and to hold them up as exemplars of the attributes CDSS values. It is not intended as an annual award; there is no obligation to give the recognition every year and no more than one will be given in a calendar year.

Any CDSS member may make recommendations for this award and these may be sent to the Awards Committee at any time. By recommending a posthumous candidate those doing so commit to finding someone to be responsible for organizing appropriate recognition. Recognition could be an event or participation in an existing event, a named scholarship, or a dance, music, song or publication in honor of the person. Recognition will be planned in coordination with CDSS.

Criteria for a posthumous award are the same as for the regular Lifetime Contribution Award with one addition, and include:

  • candidate has been deceased for at least three but not more than six years;
  • candidate has made a longterm and exceptional contribution to the mission of CDSS;
  • candidate’s work has benefited more than one geographical area and/or generation;
  • candidate has worked in conjunction with CDSS for more than twenty years.

A significant contribution may consist of:

  • increasing the quality of what we do by inspiration, instruction or excellent example;
  • bringing what we do to new communities;
  • expanding the repertoire of country dance, music and/or song, whether through scholarship or by original composition;
  • working behind the scenes, enabling others to make any of the contributions listed above (i.e., music or dance event organizing, sound production or programming).

The Posthumous award began in 2015 as a new initiative, part of the CDSS Centennial. This first Posthumous LCA recipient was Warren Argo.

You may submit recommendations for a posthumous LCA here.  

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