Prairie Gold
Golden Boy Prairie Gold

Gold, the colour of the RSCDS Winnipeg Branch's anniversary in 2013.
Gold, the colour of a prairie wheat field.
Gold, the gold leaf covering the Golden Boy statue atop the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Winnipeg Branch of the RSCDS has compiled a book of Scottish Country Dances and has teamed up with Scotch Measure to produce an accompanying CD. It seems fitting that the CD and book be named Prairie Gold.

Each dance except one has been written by a member or former member of the Winnipeg Branch, and many have a local connection. That one exception is The Golden Boy, written by John Drewry on his first visit to Winnipeg in 1992. The dance has become popular locally and the title reference to a major emblem of our province made it a natural choice.

The tracks on the CD include a number of tunes by contemporary composers, some not previously recorded, as well as fresh arrangements of traditional tunes. While the CD tracks are matched to the dances in the book, they stand on their own and will work well with other dances.

Scotch Measure Scotch Measure has been playing music for the Winnipeg Branch's dances for 32 years. The current members are Ken Nattrass, Ron Krug, Jim James, and Jay MacLeod. Ken and Ron have regularly played as a duo for RSCDS Workshops and Balls in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. They have also served as staff musicians at TAC Summer School, and Ron is regularly called upon to play for Teacher Candidate Classes held in association with Summer School. If you want to read more about the band and its history, visit their web page.



The price of the Prairie Gold CD is $20.00;
the book of dances is $15.00;
the CD and accompanying book of dances is $30.00.
Shipping is in addition and all prices are in Canadian dollars.

To purchase, ask a question, or just make a comment, contact us to send an e-mail.

Dance Tunes Description
The Golden Boy (8x32J) The Popinjay (Adam Laird), Miss Sheila Barber (Adam Laird), Carlingwark Loch (Adam Laird), Bill Little (Adam Laird) The Golden Boy is a statue on top of the Manitoba Legislative Building and is gilded in 24 K gold. John Drewry wrote this dance in 1992 when he came to Winnipeg to teach at a workshop.
John T (8x32S) John Trevenen (Adam Laird), Strathaven Way (Adam Laird), Cora Linn (Adam Laird), Tinto Top (Adam Laird) John Trevenen was a beloved dancer and teacher in the Winnipeg Branch who encouraged dancers making eye contact with each other. In this dance the enjoyment is enhanced when the partners flirt with each other with their eyes.
Forty Below (4x40R) It's a Dry Cold (Ron Krug), O'er the Hills and Far Away (Trad.), Draw the Sword, Scotland (Trad.), Crown Point (Trad.) A lively dance that flows from a long wise set to a square set and back to a long wise set. At that temperature you have to keep moving. Trivia: -40F = -40C so the dance works in both Fahrenheit and Celsius.
A Timbit for Janis (4x32S) Jessie Smith (Trad.), Mrs. Garthland's Strathspey (Nathanial Gow), Haughs o' Cromdale (Trad.), The Iron Man (J. Scott Skinner) Written for, and now in memory of, Janis Platts. Lots of reels, including a "covalent" reel of four with crossing from Timothy Conrow's dance Covalence. The other "covalent" reels occur in a companion dance, A Timbit for George, which is available on the web site Eight by Thirty-Two. The tune set on the CD is suitable for either dance.
Leaving York Factory (3x32J) The Harmonica (Trad.), The Rakes o' Kildare (Trad.), The Bugle Horn (Trad.) Quite a simple dance, whose title refers to the arrival of the second group of Selkirk Settlers in 1813. Like the first group, these settlers would have embarked at northern Hudson Bay posts such as York Factory for the perilous journey to the settlement at the forks of the Red and Assinbiboine Rivers.
The Kelvin Strathspey (3x32S) Miss Allison Brown (Adam Laird), Lord Hume's Reel (Trad.), Mrs. Blair (of Blair) (Robert Mackintosh) Written in 1999 for the senior girls in the Margaret Zadworny's Kelvin Dancers, a local children's SCD class. The progression is based on an idea from a dance by Judy Mott, The Lynx Lake Loons.
A Trip to Sucker Bay (8x32J) Across the Line (Ron Krug), Fred's Fancy (Muriel Johnstone), Windmill Bastion (Muriel Johnstone), Ayton Jig (Muriel Johnstone) In the 1970s and 80s, dancers from Winnipeg and The Twin Cities met from time to time to dance and socialize. This dance recalls one such weekend, held at Akeley, Minnesota, the birthplace of Paul Bunyan! Some fun with advance and retire, and other goodies as well.
Annie Douglas (8x32S) Sarona (J. Scott Skinner), The Flower o' the Quern (J. Scott Skinner), Thou Bonnie Wood o' Craigielea (Trad.), The Cradle Song (J. Scott Skinner) The dance begins with a two couple knot, and the rest of the dance continues the graceful, flowing character of that formation. It is well supported by Ken's arrangement of slow airs.
Cathryn's Reel (1x88R) John Spence of Uyeasound (Trad.), Kirsty MacFarlane (Trad.) This is a demonstration dance, written for a Mug Pub show in the 1980s. The set transforms from triangular to longwise and back. Of course, we don't all have frequent opportunities to use demonstration dances; happily, the tune set will also make a good alternate or encore set for some of your favourite 88 bar squares.
The Lairds' Diamond (6x32S) Mountain Mist (Adam Laird), Archie and Marie (Adam Laird), Rose among the Heather (Trad.), Miss Douglas (Trad.) A celebration of the 60th wedding anniversary of Rena and Adam Laird in 2003. Adam is a former leader of Scotch Measure and a number of his tunes are included in this CD. The dance includes a reel of four and, of course, a "diamond" poussette. A companion dance, "The Lairds' Chain", is available on the web site Eight by Thirty-Two and may be useful for introducing reel of four in small classes. The tune set, featuring a couple of Adam's tunes, is suitable for either dance.
Red River Welcome (4x48J) Red River Welcome (Douglas A. Will), Paddy's Leather Breeches (Trad.), Dundee City Police Pipe Band (Jimmy Shand Sr.), The Glendarual Highlanders (P/M A. Fettes) This is the oldest dance in the collection, by one of the founders of the Winnipeg Branch, with a tune by another original member. Don't be put off by the length; during each repetition, two couples have opportunities to rest and watch.
A Prairie Crocus (3x32S) Marci's Strathspey (Paul Machlis), Miss Jean McColm (Muriel Johnstone), Patty's Flute (Paul Machlis) Written for a workshop class on knots in 1996 and named by the class. The dance includes a different approach to advancing, retiring, and setting.
Return of the Loons (8x32J) The Sailor's Wife (Niel Gow), Belfast Ham (Niel Gow), Ap Shepkin (Trad.) Bonnets o' Blue (Trad.) A reminder of an island camp on the Lake of the Woods in Ontario. The dance includes a diagonal half reel of four as in Portnacraig, and the corners' chase around the "counter" turning first couple. An earlier version of the dance, which may still be "out there", used the same progression idea as The Kelvin Strathspey. The version published now is a little different, but still includes the diagonal half reels of four as in Portnacraig. The tune set is good for either version.
Lord Selkirk (8x32S) Campsie Glen (Frank Reid), MacKenzie Hay (J. Scott Skinner), The Gareloch (Trad.), Finnan Haddies (Carl Volti) This is probably the most "traditional" dance in the collection, ending with set to and turn corners, followed by reels. The title honours the founder of the Selkirk settlements, so arguably the founder of modern Winnipeg.
The Selkirk Settlement (6x32R) The Boatie Rows (John Ewen), Riding on a Load of Hay (Trad.), The Barnyards of Delgaty (Trad.), Whistle O'er the Lave O't (John Bruce) This is another fairly basic dance, written in the context of the bicentennial in 2012 of the arrival of the first Selkirk settlers. It was written for possible inclusion in school history and social studies modules about the Selkirk settlements.
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