strathspey Archive: Dance fees

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Dance fees

Message 13693 · Freeman/Pavey · 23 Oct 1998 22:48:07 · Top

Marjorie McLaughlin wrote:

> "Can we please change the subject?"

Sure.

In our area of Eastern Ontario fees for SCD socials with recorded music
are about $3.00 to $4.00 Cdn ($1.95 - $2.60 US , 1.12 - 1.50 UK). We
are having a social in Maberly next month with a live group (a new trio)
and are charging $12.00 ($7.80 US , 4.50 UK). I mentioned the fee to a
local teacher and she raised her eyebrows at the amount - too much
apparently. I thought this unusual in view of the fact that we pay
between $50 and $85 for a ball (with dinner) in Ontario

I think there is a general concensous that we would rather dance to
(good) live music than canned because of the special ambiance of a live
performance along with the added interaction between the dancers and the
band.

Questions:
1) Are these ridiculouly low fees the norm around the world?
2) How can we attract musicians to SCD unless we indicated it is a good
thing for them financially by paying at least as much as a movie and a
bag of popcorn for live music. Before recorded music all performances
were live. I would like to see at least some monthly socials with live
music to make it worth while being an SCD musician and also to increase
the level of enjoyment and participation by the dancers.

Perhaps this just a lot of useless BS that has been thoroughly discussed
before.

Cole
--
http://www.peterboro.net/~tay/
Scottish Country Dancing in Eastern Ontario

Dance fees

Message 13700 · S.M.D.Phillips · 24 Oct 1998 00:07:39 · Top

Your ticket price - dance fee looks a bit low from here if the UK price
quoted is correct. Currently, in this area - Dundee, North East Fife -
ticket prices are about 3.50 GBP. Usually a 3 piece band, and sandwich
supper, and no briefings unless the dance is a new one!
Stella Phillips
-----Original Message-----
From: Freeman & Pavey <tay@rideau.net>
To: rdaly@DalyDuo.on.ca <rdaly@DalyDuo.on.ca>;
strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
<strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de>
Date: 23 October 1998 19:51
Subject: Dance fees

>Marjorie McLaughlin wrote:
>
>> "Can we please change the subject?"
>
>Sure.
>
>In our area of Eastern Ontario fees for SCD socials with recorded music
>are about $3.00 to $4.00 Cdn ($1.95 - $2.60 US , 1.12 - 1.50 UK). We
>are having a social in Maberly next month with a live group (a new trio)
>and are charging $12.00 ($7.80 US , 4.50 UK). I mentioned the fee to a
>local teacher and she raised her eyebrows at the amount - too much
>apparently. I thought this unusual in view of the fact that we pay
>between $50 and $85 for a ball (with dinner) in Ontario
>
>I think there is a general concensous that we would rather dance to
>(good) live music than canned because of the special ambiance of a live
>performance along with the added interaction between the dancers and the
>band.
>
>Questions:
>1) Are these ridiculouly low fees the norm around the world?
>2) How can we attract musicians to SCD unless we indicated it is a good
>thing for them financially by paying at least as much as a movie and a
>bag of popcorn for live music. Before recorded music all performances
>were live. I would like to see at least some monthly socials with live
>music to make it worth while being an SCD musician and also to increase
>the level of enjoyment and participation by the dancers.
>
>Perhaps this just a lot of useless BS that has been thoroughly discussed
>before.
>
>Cole
>--
>http://www.peterboro.net/~tay/
>Scottish Country Dancing in Eastern Ontario
>
>--
>Freeman & Pavey <tay@rideau.net>
>
>

Dance fees

Message 13701 · Ian Price · 24 Oct 1998 00:13:13 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>Marjorie McLaughlin wrote:

> "Can we please change the subject?"<

only if people stop trying to have the last word on it, Marjorie <grin>.

Anyhoo, back to Cole's problem ...

>Questions:
>1) Are these ridiculouly low fees the norm around the world?

Only where the perception persists that the Scots (and the wannabe Scots)=

are cheapskates.

>2) How can we attract musicians to SCD unless we indicated it is a good
>thing for them financially by paying at least as much as a movie and a
>bag of popcorn for live music. =

Do what I have encouraged the VFO's clientele to do over the last few
years. Decide what you think live music is worth an an incremental ticket=

price over the $4 you charge to play records. Then ask the band to play f=
or
$x per head based on certified ticket sales at the event. If they're good=
,
they'll draw a big crowd and get a good fee. If no-one shows up they don'=
t
get paid, you overestimated what the live music was worth (and proved th=
at
the Scots really ARE cheapskates), BUT you lost no money on the dance. If=

the musicians really are good, they'll have no problem taking the risk. T=
he
first gig will attract all the curious anyway, and how they perform will
settle it ... =

I recall the same unenlightened attitude from certain quarters when first=

playing for SCD. The attitude was, "no experience - no fee". We stood our=

ground, but kept the fees reasonable and tried to provide the dancers wit=
h
value for money. We started to get asked back.

Yes it IS worth several bucks for live music. Remember you only get what
you pay for. There are still plenty of fish in the sea, and those to whom=

the price of a fish supper makes a difference to how they spend their
Saturday night, should be thrown back as undersized! Call their bluff!

-2chter

Dance fees

Message 13704 · Freeman/Pavey · 24 Oct 1998 00:45:56 · Top

S.M.D.Phillips wrote:
>
> Your ticket price - dance fee looks a bit low from here if the UK price
> quoted is correct.
Today's exchange rate.
> Currently, in this area - Dundee, North East Fife -
> ticket prices are about 3.50 GBP. Usually a 3 piece band, and sandwich
> supper, and no briefings unless the dance is a new one!

Do you mean you almost always have a live band at your socials? ....
unheard of here.

Cole
--
http://www.peterboro.net/~tay/
Scottish Country Dancing in Eastern Ontario

Dance fees

Message 13705 · Lara D. Friedman~Shedlov · 24 Oct 1998 00:51:08 · Top

I have always been amazed at how low ticket prices tend to be in the UK
for what you get. There's no way we could put on an event with live
music (even with no food at all or potluck) and charge the equivalent of
UK 3.50 without going seriously in the red.

In the midwestern U.S., tickets for dances with live music and dinner cost
US$20-35 depending on the food. We find we can't charge less than US$12
per person (that includes a subsidy from our branch) for an event with live
music. Although that price is certainly a hardship for some participants,
most are agree that live music is definitely worth that much.

Part of the reason for the price differential may be the fact that there
are a lot fewer musicians available and those that we have are in pretty
high demand. Hence, higher prices for the band? Dare I ask exactly what
other folks are paying to hire a band for an evening dance?

--Lara

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If a rock falls on an egg
Lara Friedman~Shedlov Too bad, too bad for the egg
laradf@alumni.si.umich.edu If an egg falls on a rock
Too bad for the egg
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dance fees

Message 13707 · Benjamin Stein · 24 Oct 1998 01:09:02 · Top

The recent E-mail on this subject put the problem of briefings succinctly=

when it stated "No briefings unless the dance is a new one". What may be
old to one group may be brand new to another. While I can dance Bratach
Bana in my sleep and I have a very good repetoir or dances in my head, I
know very well that I couldn't do every one of John Drewry's dances from
the Canadaian Book alone off hand. Bob Campbell is on our social tomorrow=

night and I had to look it up to teach it to my class. How many people fr=
om
"away" would be able to do it without a briefing? Just look in Napier and=

say to yourself "how many of these dances do I know by heart"? I love an
evening of unbriefed dances but we travel to widely and there are just to=
o
many "new" dances around these days to be comfortable without a briefing
when the ball or social attracts dancers from other groups than your own.=

Ben Stein
dancers@Compuserve.Com

Dance fees

Message 13712 · Etienne Ozorak · 24 Oct 1998 01:37:30 · Top

Hi,

Lara Friedman-Shedlov was commenting on the fees versus supply and demand
for musicians. An important difference (at least for my group) is that we
have to fly to at least half of the events we get asked to perform. We can
drive 6-8 hours one way (which means spending two days in a car), but more
than that we have to fly which can cost about $600 US for three tickets. My
guess is that a group the size of Ian's would be out of most people's
range if you have to factor in support of the airline industry. I don't
know how groups manage to fly 5-piece bands and keep if affordable.

Salut,
Etienne

Dance fees

Message 13718 · Ian Price · 24 Oct 1998 02:37:10 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>Lara Friedman-Shedlov was commenting on the fees versus supply and deman=
d =

for musicians. An important difference (at least for my group) is that w=
e =

have to fly to at least half of the events we get asked to perform. We c=
an

drive 6-8 hours one way (which means spending two days in a car), but mor=
e =

than that we have to fly which can cost about $600 US for three tickets. =

My =

guess is that a group the size of Ian's would be out of most people's =

range if you have to factor in support of the airline industry. I don't =

know how groups manage to fly 5-piece bands and keep if affordable.<

Well it was precisely this problem that got us (Schiehallion) into the ga=
me
in the first place. Vancouver was bringing Jack Rennie and five of his
Thistles up from LA in the early seventies and it was a financial killer!=

In comparison, today's air travel is dirt cheap. My recollection is the
total bill for airfares alone was around CA$2500, and this was 25 years
ago. The only alternative in the other direction was Toronto where you ha=
d
a choice of Stan Hamilton, Angus MacKinnon, Ed Bridie or Don Bartlett at
that time, and the fares within Canada were even higher!. Over the next f=
ew
years Schiehallion played enough gigs at fees low enough to hold the tick=
et
prices at previous levels (resisting the temptation to actually lower the=
m
in an era of high inflation), and enough was socked away in profits to
bring out Stan or Angus every couple of years as a treat. As time went by=
,
other musicians caught on in San Francisco, Winnipeg and Seattle, (and
places I'm sure I'll be told I've left out) to the point where we now hav=
e
a great selection of musicians and ensembles to choose from all over the
Western half of the continent. This is great stuff! Jane and I have even
been able to get out to the odd Ball as dancers (except we don't know any=

of the dances anymore <Grin>).

Etienne is right though, there is no way on God's Green Earth we could fl=
y
a 25-piece fiddle orchestra anywhere, not for SCD anyway! So we don't eve=
n
think about it. The sort of wrinkle we used to consider however was
possibly doing a sit-down concert in a destination city on one night, and=

an SCD Ball the next night, thus amortizing the overhead over two gigs to=

different audiences. Promoters out there, think about it, then make a
proposal!

Regards
Ian

Dance fees

Message 13738 · Val Stannard · 24 Oct 1998 12:29:21 · Top

I'm going to a dance tonight - alright, I am having to do a 300 mile round
trip - and UK petrol/gas prices are at least 4 times dearer than in USA - but
I have paid 2 GB pounds for it - there is live music- albeit a one man
accordion. It's a faith supper [i.e. all take a plate of something food-wise].
. I have to admit this is very cheap. I would normally expect to pay between
5 - 7GBP for a band, with food. Perhaps they get the hall amazingly
cheaply, I don't know, but I'm certainly not complaining

There will be no recaps!

Val Stannard

Dance fees

Message 13745 · SMiskoe · 24 Oct 1998 17:53:38 · Top

The Boston Branch has a sliding fee for paying for live music parties,
depending upon the number of musicians. There is a cap for either 4 or 5, I
forget which, and the branch provides the sound system.. The fee increases
when a program has more than 15 dances. It works out to about $50 or $60 for
the evening. While this may seem like an adequate recompense for an evening's
work it no where covers the time involved in arranging the music and
practicing. Other groups pay more, especially if an overnight is involved.
Classes pay peanuts. The Boston area has lots of musicians and since the
supply is large, the prices are kept down.
I joke that I have a day job to keep my stomach full and play music to fulfill
my soul.
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

Dance fees

Message 13749 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 24 Oct 1998 20:22:03 · Top

On Sat, 24 Oct 1998 SMiskoe@aol.com wrote:
{snip}

> I joke that I have a day job to keep my stomach full and play music to fulfill
> my soul.

In the US, the joke goes like this: What's the difference between a 16
inch pizza and a musician? Answer: A 16 inch pizza can feed a family of
four.

I'm sure - sort of - they don't substitute haggis for pizza when they tell
this joke in Scotland, but what do they use?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

Dance fees

Message 13756 · tlb · 24 Oct 1998 21:25:43 · Top

>Lara asked;
>
>> Dare I ask exactly what
>> other folks are paying to hire a band for an evening dance?

We have very quite a few talented and generous musicians in the San
Francisco Bay Area.

I think the price now for monthly parties, with excellent live music and
potluck snacks, is $6 for members and $8 for non-members. Attendance
varies, but it is usually well under a hundred dancers. Most of that ends
up going to pay for the halls, which are increasingly expensive and hard to
find. The musicians are paid 33% of the revenue or a set minimum. There are
usually 4 to 6 musicians. (I'm not on the branch committee any longer, so
this may not be the current arrangement.)

The annual Valentines Ball runs about $30. It is held in a real ballroom,
with a larger band and catered midnight tea. I think the band gets an
agreed upon amount for this event instead of a percentage. Other
once-a-year events (Labor Day Gala, Victorian Scottish Ball, special events)
cost $12 to $30, and probably have similar agreements with the band.

I don't know how (or even if) the gentlemen who kindly show up early to set
up the sound systems are compensated.

When you split the money up among the band members, you can see that they do
not make nearly enough to compensate for all the time that goes into making
arrangements, rehearsing, travelling, setting-up and playing for the event.

Most class teachers are paid a small honorarium, which does not fully
compensate them for the time it takes to prepare for and teach a class. So,
we are deeply indebted to both musicians and teachers for their generous
spirits

~~~Terry Barron
San Jose, CA

Dance fees

Message 13758 · Ian Price · 24 Oct 1998 21:27:55 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
> there is live music- albeit a one man =

accordion.<

=2E.. conjuring up images of two-man accordions ...

"Daisy, daisy, give me your answer do....

=2E.. but you'll look mellow, upon the bellow
of a Stomach-Steinway made for two!" -trala!

-2chter

Dance fees

Message 13761 · Ian Price · 24 Oct 1998 21:28:16 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>It works out to about $50 or $60 for
the evening.<

Your plumber or garage mechanic gets more than that PER HOUR!

The only professional musicians I know of who play Scottish music full ti=
me
in North America are Bobby Brown and Alistair Fraser - and I don't know h=
ow
they can make a living at it. Haven't heard from Bobby for a while, but I=

guess he must fill out his day with the Cape Breton stuff still, and
Alistair of course is now into Celtic Rock on the international scene.

Sylvia's joke about day jobs is no joke. We play this music because we li=
ke
to see the pleasure on the dancers' faces, not in order to eat. In fact
most of us could claim our net earnings from providing SCD music as a tax=

deduction! A bit like owning a professional sports franchise I suppose.

-2chter

Dance fees

Message 13767 · Freeman/Pavey · 24 Oct 1998 22:44:33 · Top

I think a point that came up in this thread is worth noting again. If
we want more live music for "lesser" events such as socials perhaps the
SCD organizers should seriously consider putting on a celtic concert on
the previous night to help allay the travel costs of the band. (Yes,
yes, I know, you're overworked as it is). This means an announcement in
"Coming Events" in the local paper, a few posters in local stores, an
announcement in the local SCD newsletter, renting the hall etc. With
such minimal advertising the numbers may be low but the hassle may be
manageable, the rent is covered, and the band gets a few extra bucks
making it possible for the SCDers to have live music the next night.

I have been disconcerted to learn that in North America, at least, most
SCD musicians are playing more for the "fun" than the money. Surely, 60
dancers at $10 a head could provide almost $150 per musician for a
trio. (I feel that a trio is the fewest number one can have and still
feel that it is a band.)

Also, why not charge a few dollars (shillings? marks? gildars? $HK?)
more for the recorded music socials to build up a fund for having some
live music socials. In Eastern Canada/USA Bobby Brown can only play at
one Burns Night (OK, maybe three if you really stretch the definition of
Burn's Night).

I think relying on musicians to play for the fun instead of the bucks
constitutes a real threat to the ongoing enjoyment of SCD. Where I live
a movie, popcorn and a coke (which I always buy) is about $14.50 ($9.40
US). Surely a night of SCD to live music is worth that! Let's, as
dancers, start actively taking measures to preserve the major source of
our fun .... the music.

Stepping down from the soap box,

Cole
--
http://www.peterboro.net/~tay/
Scottish Country Dancing in Eastern Ontario

Dance fees

Message 13777 · Alex Tweedly · 25 Oct 1998 03:04:15 · Top

At 02:48 PM 10/24/98 -0400, Freeman & Pavey wrote:
>
>I have been disconcerted to learn that in North America, at least, most
>SCD musicians are playing more for the "fun" than the money. Surely, 60
>dancers at $10 a head could provide almost $150 per musician for a
>trio.

That suggests you're getting hall and miscellaneous expenses for $150. Even
if you do pot-luck rather than catered food (often better anyway !!), you
still have costs for punch/tea/snacks, etc. - so your halls must be much
cheaper than we get in San Francisco area.

> (I feel that a trio is the fewest number one can have and still
>feel that it is a band.)

Sounds like maybe you've never been to a dance where Alastair Fraser and
Muriel Johnstone were playing :-)

Or Andy Imbrie and John Taylor - check out their "live!" album to hear how
much like a band they sound :-)

Two good musicians can provide wonderful music; the desire to have a "full"
band for larger balls and events is very understandable, but I think there
is clear existence proof that duos can do just as well. The greater energy
and excitement at a ball compared to that at a smaller social comes from
the interaction with the dancers (as well as the fact that the musicians
usually are able to put more time and energy into preparations for a ball).

>
>Also, why not charge a few dollars (shillings? marks? gildars? $HK?)
>more for the recorded music socials to build up a fund for having some
>live music socials. In Eastern Canada/USA Bobby Brown can only play at
>one Burns Night (OK, maybe three if you really stretch the definition of
>Burn's Night).

That's an interesting argument - one we've had often in the San Francisco
branch. Actually, not quite, since we have live music for socials; but the
question of whether or not one type of event should subsidize another is
still common.

Our guiding principle has been that each of the three major activities
(monthly parties, major events and branch classes) should be essentially
self-supporting.

We have on the order of 400+ members, 100 or so at each monthly party (out
of a floating group of probably about 150-200) and 250 or so (but not all
Branch members) at the major events. So cross-subsidy didn't seem
appropriate; why should those who only manage to get to one type of event
subsidize another.

Might make a case when it is recorded music paying for less frequent events
with live music; but wouldn't that feel unfair if you were unable to ever
attend them for other reasons ?

>
>I think relying on musicians to play for the fun instead of the bucks
>constitutes a real threat to the ongoing enjoyment of SCD. Where I live
>a movie, popcorn and a coke (which I always buy) is about $14.50 ($9.40
>US). Surely a night of SCD to live music is worth that! Let's, as
>dancers, start actively taking measures to preserve the major source of
>our fun .... the music.

Some of our classes get a significant part of their attendees from the
local student population; the argument is that many students would be less
likely to attend if the cost became significant.

-- Alex Tweedly (recently of the San Francisco branch)

Dance fees

Message 13786 · Freeman/Pavey · 25 Oct 1998 17:35:09 · Top

Alex Tweedly wrote:

> That suggests you're getting hall and miscellaneous expenses for $150. Even
> if you do pot-luck rather than catered food (often better anyway !!), you
> still have costs for punch/tea/snacks, etc. - so your halls must be much
> cheaper than we get in San Francisco area.

Probably. Maberly hall is $30 and I think church halls and school gyms
during the week in Ottawa are about $60 (Chris Collin will correct me
perhaps on that).
>
> > (I feel that a trio is the fewest number one can have and still
> >feel that it is a band.)
>
> Sounds like maybe you've never been to a dance where Alastair Fraser and
> Muriel Johnstone were playing :-)
>
No.

> Or Andy Imbrie and John Taylor

No.
>
> Two good musicians can provide wonderful music; the desire to have a "full"
> band for larger balls and events is very understandable, but I think there
> is clear existence proof that duos can do just as well. The greater energy
> and excitement at a ball compared to that at a smaller social comes from
> the interaction with the dancers (as well as the fact that the musicians
> usually are able to put more time and energy into preparations for a ball).
>
My etimate of a minimum of three musicians was based on a suppostion
unsupported by experience or facts. I find your commments on a duo
really interesting.
> >
> Our guiding principle has been that each of the three major activities
> (monthly parties, major events and branch classes) should be essentially
> self-supporting.

Any discussion of this will inevitably lead to some philisophical
conflicts. My view is that if one can maximize the overall quality of
dancing by subsidizing expensive events (by charging a dollar or two
more on the cheapies), then do so.
>
> Might make a case when it is recorded music paying for less frequent events
> with live music; but wouldn't that feel unfair if you were unable to ever
> attend them for other reasons ?

Yes, and a subsidy doesn't seem necessary in your relatively large
group. I think if you tax one social to help pay for the next you are
taxing and benefitting the same people. Think of it as spreading the
costs of socials more evenly. Since in our area I know of NO socials
with live music perhaps we have to do something if we want to upgrade to
live music for at least some of them.
>
> >
> >I think relying on musicians to play for the fun instead of the bucks
> >constitutes a real threat to the ongoing enjoyment of SCD. Where I live
> >a movie, popcorn and a coke (which I always buy) is about $14.50 ($9.40
> >US). Surely a night of SCD to live music is worth that! Let's, as
> >dancers, start actively taking measures to preserve the major source of
> >our fun .... the music.
>
> Some of our classes get a significant part of their attendees from the
> local student population; the argument is that many students would be less
> likely to attend if the cost became significant.

I'm not suggesting that music for classes is feasible.

Cole
--
http://www.peterboro.net/~tay/
Scottish Country Dancing in Eastern Ontario

Dance fees

Message 13795 · SMiskoe · 25 Oct 1998 21:48:33 · Top

Often the number of musicians is limited because of finances. However, there
are several reasons for having more than two:
Not everyone is comfortable playing solo lead for a whole evening. Having
only one lead musician limits the manner in which the music can be arranged.
You cannot take turns, you cannot do mutual improvisations, you have to be
perfect the whole evening. Will the next economy be to use only one musician?
Also, if you are accustomed to playing with a group, how do you comfortably
tell some that they cannot play because of budget.
It's no fun to be told, "I'd really like to hire you but I can only afford a
fiddle and a piano."
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, concord, NH USA

Dance fees

Message 13804 · Chris Collin · 26 Oct 1998 06:01:30 · Top

Freeman & Pavey wrote:
>
> Alex Tweedly wrote:
>
> > That suggests you're getting hall and miscellaneous expenses for $150. Even
> > if you do pot-luck rather than catered food (often better anyway !!), you
> > still have costs for punch/tea/snacks, etc. - so your halls must be much
> > cheaper than we get in San Francisco area.
>
> Probably. Maberly hall is $30 and I think church halls and school gyms
> during the week in Ottawa are about $60 (Chris Collin will correct me
> perhaps on that).

In Ottawa, costs for halls go something like this: (US and UK prices
approximate!)

Classes: $25 per hour for a school gym (US$18, UK#10) during the week.
Socials: At least $90 (US$60, UK#35) for an evening for a church hall or
some community centres. These are the cheap ones - others charge up to
$200, and often more if you need to use a kitchen.
Balls: more complicated! Usually, the hall is included with the food,
except one place charges $1000 to lay a wood floor over the carpet, plus
$26 per person for the cheapest meal, the other one we have used
recently does not charge for the floor, but charges a fee of around $700
for the room due to the small numbers we have relative to the size of
the hall. The band runs 2000-2500 for their fee, travel, and expenses
(hotel etc.). A single musician runs $600-800. A ball for 100 people
costs around $6000 (US$4000, UK#2500) to put on. And this is paring
things down to a bare minimum. Fancier locations or better quality
meals can up this considerably.

Dance fees

Message 13820 · Moire QUEEN · 26 Oct 1998 17:21:34 · Top

Terpsichore can fill a hall pretty well, too!

As to the amount to charge, in the D.C. area we are also very fortunate to =
have talented professionals, but also work to encourage new folks. =20

New muscians are brought in by playing at monthly classes - where St. =
Columba's charges an small extra fee ($2.00). =20

Also the experienced muscians work with new folks to teach them how to =
play for Scottish Country Dancing - an amount of work & commitment on =
their part (thank you Liz, Elke, Dave) that expands the choices for =
everyone, and has only positive results.=20

Almost every social held in the D.C. area has live music which adds much =
more than the $7.00 difference ($3.00 recorded music; $10 - $12 live =
music) in cost. =20

Moire M. Queen
202-633-9258
moire@ogc.si.edu

Dance fees

Message 13812 · Anselm Lingnau · 26 Oct 1998 12:27:22 · Top

Alex Tweedly <agt@cisco.com> wrote:

> That suggests you're getting hall and miscellaneous expenses for $150. Even
> if you do pot-luck rather than catered food (often better anyway !!), you
> still have costs for punch/tea/snacks, etc. - so your halls must be much
> cheaper than we get in San Francisco area.

Here in Germany, the usual entrance fee for balls including a meal is
around DEM 35 (USD 20, GBP 12). Many of the groups rely on self-catered
meals (where the members bring something for a buffet; the guests from
elsewhere don't usually bring anything) but there are catered meals as
well. Sometimes the hall is free on the stipulation that the catering
will be done by the owner of the premises. This is the arrangement we
have for our annual ball (where 32 marks of the 35 mark entrance fee
goes towards the catering, with the rest put aside for administrative
overhead, and no, we don't have live music :^(), and we're in the lucky
situation that the chef in question is a real artist -- there are
rumours to the effect that part of the audience doesn't really come for
the dancing but for the food.

We don't really have local live music for social events, so if there is
live music (which is increasingly the case) musicians are brought in
from the UK. With those, arrangements differ as well -- some of the
bands will play for travelling expenses, board and lodging plus pocket
money, while with others you're talking serious wages. Sometimes
musicians have been hired by several local groups in order to spread the
transportation cost. Also, on a week-end, it is common to have the band
play for a social dance on the Friday night (for those that can make it)
as well as the actual ball on the Saturday night. Many of the musicians
who come here are really based, widely speaking, in the London area
because flights from there to Germany are noticeably cheaper than those
from Scotland.

As far as classes are concerned, recorded music is the norm in Germany.
Workshops often do have a live pianist, but for many of them this is a
fairly recent development. Usually the workshops with a teacher from
Scotland will also hire a pianist, either from the UK or locally.

> Two good musicians can provide wonderful music; the desire to have a "full"
> band for larger balls and events is very understandable, but I think there
> is clear existence proof that duos can do just as well.

I don't know about Alasdair Fraser and Muriel Johnstone, but I have
heard Keith Smith and Angela Young. There is a small number of bands
that can match what these people are doing between the two of them, but
I would just as soon miss out on the vast majority, thank you very much.

> >US). Surely a night of SCD to live music is worth that! Let's, as
> >dancers, start actively taking measures to preserve the major source of
> >our fun .... the music.
>
> Some of our classes get a significant part of their attendees from the
> local student population; the argument is that many students would be less
> likely to attend if the cost became significant.
>
>
> -- Alex Tweedly (recently of the San Francisco branch)
>
>
> --
> Alex Tweedly <agt@cisco.com>
>
>

Musicians

Message 13813 · Anselm Lingnau · 26 Oct 1998 12:59:47 · Top

[Oops -- my previous note got off too early because I hit the wrong key
...]

Freeman & Pavey wrote:

> Let's, as
> dancers, start actively taking measures to preserve the major source of
> our fun .... the music.

As an SCD musician, I'd like to see this suggestion widely implemented
:^) Here in Germany, there is a (small) number of musicians around that
enjoy playing for Scottish country dancing, but most of them are also
dancers and they are quite far-flung. We do enjoy a tune when we're
together but it would be difficult to prepare the music to play for a
ball on that basis!

Of course, there are lots of non-dancing people around who play an
instrument. It would be nice to be able to entice some of them to give
SCD music a try, but, with SCD music being what it is and the amount of
work involved in arranging, practising, travelling, etc., they would
certainly expect to earn a little bit more than smiles and a few words
of praise at the close of the night.

Being a pianist, I do most of my playing for week-end workshops. I must
admit -- and I assume the other musicians on the list will frown at me
-- that I usually `work' for expenses plus whatever the organizers can
(or want to) afford as `pocket money' (I have had pleasant surprises
about this in the past). No big fees to be earned here, but I'm not
complaining; it gets me out and about doing what I like to do, I have a
day job to pay the bills, and I think live SCD music in this country is
still at a stage where it needs to be subsidized. (I have a nagging fear
that most organizers, if faced with so many marks per hour for live
music, would rather stick to tapes and CDs. If this means I'm not
getting any gigs at all, I don't like it.)

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
Efficiency is intelligent laziness. -- David Dunham

Dance fees

Message 13748 · Malcolm and Helen Brown · 24 Oct 1998 18:59:00 · Top

Lara asked;

> Dare I ask exactly what
> other folks are paying to hire a band for an evening dance?

Well in the York area, about 200 miles from Edinburgh and London,
we are paying between 350 and 500 GBP for a band - and this means
that there are some bands who would charge more that we cannot
afford. We are currently charging about 7 - 8 GBP for our dance
tickets to a band, although for the 75th ball held in Doncaster
we charged 12GBP - and long was the discussion as to whether we could
sell enough tickets at this price (since 5GBP went directly on the
catering, we had little option over the charges!); we sold 400!

Although the bands in Scotland do not have to travel so far to dances
held in Glasgow and Edinburgh, my limited experience of the big
dances there is that they have sit down meals, and the ticket prices
are 15GBP plus; here in Yorkshire we tend to go for less food (or even
Faith Suppers) and cheaper tickets, but maybe that's because we
have long pockets and short arms?

Malcolm

--
_ _
|_|_ |_| Malcolm & Helen Brown - York (UK) - m.brown@netcomuk.co.uk (Tir-Nan-Og)
_ |_|_
|_| _|_| Connecting via NETCOM Internet Ltd
|_|

Dance fees

Message 13838 · Bryan McAlister · 26 Oct 1998 22:34:19 · Top

>Dare I ask exactly what
>other folks are paying to hire a band for an evening dance?
>
In Central Scotland Country Dances would charge about 4-5 GBP for a
dance with a snack buffet, paying bands anything from 15-300 GBP.

On the Ceilidh scene admission may be 6-7 GBP, Caerketton the Ceilidh
Band in which I play would charge 450-550 depending on function plus
travel expenses and overnights if distance was involved, occasionally
much more if we are providing effects lighting, pipers etc as extras. We
dont play Country Dances and we are definitely not full time musicians,
we couldnt afford to be.

It is worth considering the costs to a band of PA, 5000 GBP for a decent
rig, insurance for instruments and equipment say 700 GBP per annum,
travel costs, fee for sound engineer etc. You dont get a well equipped
band for a small fee simply because their running costs are high.
Equipment costs are probably lower in the US on a dollar for pound
basis.

We have flown to gigs with all our PA but only when sponsored by the
Airline. Usually now the PA is hired locally with an engineer, and we
transport instruments only, reserving secure hold space in the aircraft
hold in advance. The days are gone when fiddles could be transported as
hand luggage and the costs can still can be quite considerable once you
add in keyboards, guitars etc. The PA needs to be specified in
considerable detail.

One slight point of contention that we as a band have is with the
business of playing for charitable gigs. We tend to restrict reduced
fees now to causes with which the band members have a personal interest
as we have found that when we were asked to cut our fee for charities,
the hotel and bar charged their normal fee, the cost of admission, food
etc was unchanged, where did the contribution to charity came from? -
yes you've guessed it the band via their reduced fee.
On the plus side of it, a few years ago we declined to play for a
reduced fee for one big charitable function and after a years interval
have been asked back every year since at full fee as the organisers
found they got a better result than with a cheap band.
This last point may sound like a gripe. Have other bands experienced the
same situation?

--
Bryan McAlister

Dance fees

Message 13844 · SMiskoe · 27 Oct 1998 00:18:33 · Top

I disagree with Brian that fiddles don't go as hand luggage on airplanes. My
flying experience has been that fiddles, flutes, and modest sized accordions
still fit into the carry on category. You just have to be near the front of
the line to ensure that the overhead bin is not full of other stuff.
Cheers,
Sylvia Miskoe, Concord, NH USA

Dance fees

Message 13851 · Ian Price · 27 Oct 1998 04:23:08 · Top

Message text written by INTERNET:strathspey@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.d=
e
>On the plus side of it, a few years ago we declined to play for a
reduced fee for one big charitable function and after a years interval
have been asked back every year since at full fee as the organisers
found they got a better result than with a cheap band.
This last point may sound like a gripe. Have other bands experienced the
same situation?
<

Schiehallion used to charge the full amount, then DONATE BACK a portion o=
f
the fee on our own cheque, in return for a tax receipt. That way everyone=

was happy including the Revenue.

-2chter

Dance fees

Message 13856 · John Chambers · 27 Oct 1998 06:17:39 · Top

| Schiehallion used to charge the full amount, then DONATE BACK a portion of
| the fee on our own cheque, in return for a tax receipt. That way everyone
| was happy including the Revenue.

Not at all unusual. I've seen a number of cases in which a
group offered to perform free, and were told that it would
be better if they would accept full payment, and then make a
donation. It's not just tax laws that favor this. One of the
standard bits of psychology is that the more donations an
organization can collect, the more people are willing to
donate. "We took in 3 million in donations last year, and
paid out 3 million in expenses, so we are truly a successful
non-profit organization."

Dance fees

Message 13867 · Marion Peutherer · 28 Oct 1998 01:01:54 · Top

Sylvia Miscoe wrote:

>I disagree with Brian that fiddles don't go as hand luggage on airplanes=
=2E =

My
>flying experience has been that fiddles, flutes, and modest sized
accordions
>still fit into the carry on category. You just have to be near the fron=
t
of
>the line to ensure that the overhead bin is not full of other stuff.

I'll never forget a school choir trip to Germany where I was took my
bassoon onto the plane as hand luggage. The problem was not fitting it i=
n
the overhead locker, more the curiosity of the staff with the x-ray machi=
ne
at Nurnberg Airport. Once they had seen what was in 'the box', I was
allowed to proceed!

Marion Peutherer
Newcastle upon Tyne
England

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