2021 Instructors & Musicians
San Francisco, CA, USA
RSCDS Certified Teacher
Originally from North Berwick, near Edinburgh, Linda Henderson now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area but travels home to Scotland whenever she can. Linda has been dancing all her life. She began Scottish Country Dancing at primary school and is a former competitive highland dancer.
Linda grew up in a musical household. Her father plays accordion and she played piano in a SCD band; her musical background has a big influence in her teaching as she is passionate about the blending of the music and the dance.
Linda is married, has three grown children and works in elementary school. Before moving to California, she worked for the Scottish Tourist Board.
Linda has taught adult and youth classes in the RSCDS San Francisco Branch, and workshops throughout the United States (including Hawaii), Canada and Europe. She has been on staff at St. Andrews Summer School, Australian Winter School, Pinewoods Dance Camp, and TAC Summer School.
It gives Linda great pleasure to share her heritage and to inspire others to enjoy the music, fun and friendships made through Scottish Country Dancing.
RSCDS Certified Teacher
William Williamson, a Scottish Highland and Country Dancer since a child, leads a life steeped in music, song, and dance. William lives in Amisfield, a village with a vibrant community, where he and his wife Linda teach Scottish Country Dancing.
Scottish Country Dancing has always played a large part in William’s life and he performs and teaches in many parts of the world. In 1980 he danced for the Royal Family at Holyrood Palace for the Queen Mother's 80th birthday. He is a long time member of the Dumfries Branch of The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and has taught at the Society's AGM, Winter School, Summer School and overseas.
William studied music at Napier College and Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh and afterwards took up a teaching post at Moffat Academy. He conducted The Old Well Singers, a community choir he founded in the mid 1990’s. It was part of The Old Well Theatre in Moffat where he was music director for thirty years before retiring in 2014.
William is a well-known singer and has a recording of songs from Dumfries and Galloway called “My Bonnie Gallowa” and another “The Folks Who Live On The Hill”. He enjoys singing the songs of Robert Burns and as a look-alike played the great man on the BBC’s famous children’s television program Blue Peter. William was a freelance broadcaster with the local BBC radio station where he presented the early morning breakfast news program Solway Report and produced and presented many different programs for the national station including the popular Macgregor’s Gathering. He has also been a guest on the BBC’s Saturday night dance music program Take the Floor.
William enjoys walking in the hills and promoting the culture of Scotland.
Bethesda, MARYLAND, USA
Liz Donaldson plays piano and accordion. She is known for her innovative back-up style incorporating exciting rhythms, textures, and harmony lines in her music. In addition to playing
for Scottish, English and American contra dances, Liz teaches all these styles, and dances, too!
She is a member of Terpsichore, Waverley Station, and The New Hip Trio. Her recordings include: A Dancer’s Best Friend (recently released), Caledonian Muse, Terpsichore, Scottish Dance Music, Waverley Station: First Stop! Memories of Scottish Weekend ('98) and More Memories of Scottish Weekend ('02), as well as English Echoes: English Country Dance Favorites (’06) and now English Echoes II: More English country Dance Favorites (’18). Liz also has compiled two books of Scottish tune medleys. She has taught and played at numerous dance weekends and led music workshops including at Scottish Weekend, Pinewoods, and Asilomar. and has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Liz is a 2017 recipient of the Royal Scottish Country Dance’s Scroll of Honor for her contributions to the dance and music of Scotland.
Tom Pixton has been active as a Scottish Country Dance musician for over twenty-five years as accordionist, pianist, band leader, arranger, and CD producer. Based in the Boston area, he has served as Music Director for the Scottish Pinewoods sessions three times, and will be returning to that position in 2022.
As a soloist or with his various colleagues, Tom has provided music and leadership for dance camps, workshops, and special events in the US, Canada, and Japan.
His Scottish recordings include Saucy Bess (with fiddler Catherine Miller and piper Mike Macnintch), Live from C# (a double CD set recorded live at SCD 2010 Pinewoods, featuring an all-star cast including Hanneke Cassel, Calum Pasqua, and Paul Anderson), and Scottish in Salem (with fiddler Lissa Schneckenburger). These are available for purchase at
ELON, NC, USA
Mara Shea has been playing with violins since her mother decided her child had a really good sense of pitch and enrolled her in music school in New Haven, Connecticut. After studying classical violin for 10 years and then taking a 15-year break, Mara discovered folk and dance music. She has been happily playing for dancers since the 1990s—various styles of English, Scottish, contra, ceilidh—and her fiddle has taken her to balls, dance weekends and concerts throughout the US, Canada, England, Scotland, and Europe.
Mara has played and taught at many dance camps including Pinewoods, TAC Summer School, Berea Christmas School, Ramblewood, Scottish Weekend, Stone Mountain, Unicoi, and the John C. Campbell Folk School, in Brasstown, North Carolina. She has numerous recordings with her contra dance band, The Elftones, as well as with other wonderful musicians such as Dave Wiesler (Heather Hills) and Rhiannon Giddens (All the Pretty Horses).
In 2018-19 Mara lived for a year in Scotland, where she earned an MLitt in Ethnomusicology from the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen. Back home in North Carolina, Mara lives in Elon, where she teaches Celtic fiddle and frequently plays for dances. For more on Mara, and to listen to some of her music, visit her website: .