Dark of the Moon Contra-Band grew out of the initiative of several women who were closely associated with Apple Island, Madison's women's space. One had attended a contradance in Paoli with a band including Mike Briggs and caller Norma Briggs and was so taken by the community feeling that comes with this kind of dancing that she thought there ought to be a women's contradance band and regular contradancing at Apple Island.
Eventually an ad was placed in Isthmus newspaper, and several women showed up for the first practice in January of 1995. The new band, as yet unnamed, played for a number of women's contradances at Apple Island. After Apple Island lost its lease, the band played for dances at places like Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center and Grace Episcopal Church and at various festivals and parties.
Original band members were: Myrtle Wilhite (fiddle), Peggy Lewis (oboe), Katjusa Cisar (recorder), Becky Leidner (guitar and banjo), Susie Grindrod (recorder), Anna Bose (fiddle), and Mary Mullen (guitar and harmonica).
Other women who have played in the band are Ingrid Lind-Jahn (fiddle), Ann Pooler (guitar), Debra Amesqua (guitar), Marjorie Ward (mandolin, guitar), Mary Waller (fiddle, accordian), Jenn Wilgocki (fiddle), Karen Fischer (fiddle), Jennifer Parke (fiddle), Karen Steinle (fiddle), Arlene Sykora (bass), Barbara Walden (flute and whistle), Sarah Riskind (fiddle), Melanie Kalhan (flute and whistle), and Cat Smith (banjo).
E-mail for more information or to schedule a gig.