Father and daughter
Megan Wobus Beller
have been playing contradances together for more than a decade.
Megan first picked up fiddling from her father and
continued developing her fiddling style while she earned her violin
performance and string education degrees at
Eastman School of Music.
Meg is an avid contradancer and while she enjoys fiddling traditions
and contemporary styles, she is very particular about producing
music that fits and aids the dancing and the caller.
Meg's style and improvisation bring an excitement to dances not to
be missed, and her combination of fiddle style, violin technique,
and a dancer's feel for the music make her an outstanding contradance
teaches violin, fiddle, and Klezmer fiddle in the Baltimore, Maryland vicinity.
Formerly in Rochester NY, she taught violin and fiddle at the
Eastman School of Music Community Education Program
Kanack School of music,
including annual summer fiddle camps.
Meg also plays medieval vielle with
and Klezmer fiddle with
12 Corners Klezmer Band,
CoalHouse Klezmer Band
(Megan, Charley, Andrew Marcus, and Michael Ferguson),
and is occasionally found jamming and dancing throughout the northeast.
John grew up studying classical piano, spent a part of his
college career as a piano performance major, later doing graduate
work in music theory. Also during college, John took up
folk and "early" instruments, developing an avid interest in Old
Time, Irish, and contradance music, playing in bands such as
Eventually John came to apply his piano skills to this
music, bringing together his experience as a contradancer, a melody-instrument
player, his musical knowledge, and his piano technique. He has
developed his contradance style over nearly twenty years of playing
for dances in the Central New York region.
John also currently plays in
Rosie's Ready Mix
and can be found jamming on fiddle in the Ithaca vicinity
and looking for folks to play some Cape Breton music.
plays mandolin, banjo, feet, and
other percussion, adding nicely to the band's variety of sound.
Charley also plays with Meg in the
CoalHouse Klezmer Band,
Emily Caltvedt has joined Contranella for English Country
Dances. Emily studied oboe performance at Eastman School of Music.
Emily and Meg have developed a nice duet style for the music.
Meg and John have played contradances around New York State,
Phylla Mae Fall Fest
Rochester Thanksgiving Weekend Dance Festival,
as well as
playing both traditional and contemporary contradance styles.
The band incorporates Irish, Québécois, New England, and
Old Time music, always keeping a danceable beat.
In addition to dances, Contranella also
does concert performances, weddings, parties, and other events.
The band plays
John's and Meg's fiddle tunes
as well as other contemporary and traditional tunes.
Contranella also has an elegant English Country Dance music style, and
is a frequent band for the Syracuse and Rochester English Country Dances.
John and Meg have enjoyed the company of many fine musicians
sitting in with the band over the years including
Ben Gallina on bass,
Henry Jankiewicz, Greg Brown, David Smukler, and
Katie Avery on fiddle,
Zeke Smukler on mandolin,
Laurel Sharp on whistles and recorder,
and Mickey Carter on percussion.
Meg has played in contradance bands
Cat and the Fiddle,
John has performed in bands Tinker's Pig,
For Old Time's Sake.