Kate BarnesKate Barnes; photo by Kayla BurnettThe Country Dance and Song Society is pleased to announce that Kate Barnes of Greenfield, MA, is the 2020 recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award. Kate was selected in recognition of many years of performance and teaching at CDSS programs, the international importance of her publications, her generosity of spirit when running music workshops, and her contributions to current and future communities.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kate's award celebration was postponed. We will celebrate online on Sunday, September 26, 2021, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. ET via Zoom. Click here to register, or read the full details.

Tell us what Kate means to you!

Has Kate influenced you or your dance community in some way that you’d be like to share with us? Can you describe it in a selfie video of 15-20 seconds? We are putting together a montage of videos to share at the award celebration and would love to hear from you.

To participate, please record a short video on your phone and email the file to Nancy Boyd. Or fill out this form to add photos or stories to Kate's online scrapbook.

“As a contra dance piano player, Kate pioneered an improvisatory style that brings joy to dancers, and influences musicians directly and through countless workshops. Her decades-long work with Bare Necessities created fresh interpretations of English country dance music to lift our feet, and the three volumes of the Barnes books are the standard reference collections of tunes used by musicians throughout the dance community.”

—David Millstone, Lebanon, NH (caller, former CDSS president)

“Kate has contributed consistently to the scene for more decades than I know. She’s inspired dancers with her music —exquisitely played, full of forward motion and joyful variety, sensitive to the period, tune type and occasion, and in tight teamwork with other musicians. She’s a reason many people like English dancing.”

—Bruce Hamilton, Menlo Park, CA (caller, former CDSS president)

“I’ve had the great fortune to travel the US, Canada and even as far as Denmark with The Latter Day Lizards. Everywhere we go Kate is universally known and respected and admired for her musicianship, warmth and quick-witted humor. I can’t think of a better recipient for next year’s CDSS Lifetime Contribution award!”

—Dave Langford, Arlington, MA (musician, bandmate)

“Since I first heard and started playing with her in the 1970’s, her passionate, creative, traditionally spirited-but-not-stifled playing and composing have been a bottomless wellspring. Kate’s ink-stained (and later electronic) publishing labors of love have saved many musicians from hauling libraries around in order to play for a dances and have encouraged many to learn the underappreciated craft of playing for dancing. I’m grateful for Kate’s strong, courageous commitment to self-expression, and her deep commitment to the much-needed-in-today’s-world, affirming values of our dance community.”

—Jaqueline Schwab, Cambridge, MA (musician, bandmate)

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