Mary Cay Brass

Mary Cay Brass

Mary Cay Brass has been involved in traditional dancing since childhood. In the 1970's she spent two-and-a-half years in the former Yugoslavia studying traditional song and dance on a Fullbright Scholarship. She has put out two recordings and song/dance collections of this music entitled Village Harmony and Balkan Bridges.

"She is a master music teacher."

Since the early 1980's she has been playing for traditional New England contra dances all over the country.On both piano and accordion she has the rhythmic drive and energy that make her a much sought after musician. She plays regularly with the Greenfield Dance Band based in Greenfield, Massachusetts and nationally and internationally with the band Airdance. She has a number of CD's of traditional dance music to her name, available at Great Meadow Music.

Mary Cay worked for 8 years as a classroom music teacher in public and private schools in southern Vermont. She now works regularly as an artist-in-residence in New England schools, working thematically with teachers to create programs of songs and folk dances. Her specialty is finding songs and dances to complement themes being studied in a classroom or school. Some examples of themes she has worked with are: Africa, African- American history, Australia, Asia, France, eastern Europe, Vermont history and culture, whaling, May day festivals and winter solstice celebrations. Using traditional music to create community is her life-long passion and commitment.

"In Mary Cay's classes every student participates with their complete spirit, expressing joy in each song or dance and working together on a very high level. She is a master music teacher. Within a few hours students are singing with gusto. The final performance is magical and brings great enjoyment to both the audience and performers. Mary Cay is an extremely skillful and creative teacher with an impeccable sense of timing which keeps the group focused at all times. MC is one of the finest teachers I have ever worked with."

-Claire Oglesby