Traditional Arts in Upstate New York. Traditional Arts of Upstate New York
53 Main Street
Canton, NY 13617
(315) 386-4289


Unless otherwise specified, events take place at The TAUNY Center.

ON THE CALENDAR Wassailing Group Wednesdays, December 2 & December 9 5:30-6:30pm

Ever feel like there’s more to the story when you hear the insistent, repeated cry of “Now give us some figgy pudding?” That’s because there is! In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was traditional during the holidays for agricultural workers to go “wassailing” or “riding the holly circuit”—visiting households around the area singing songs to ask better-off community members for food and drink through a kind of musical Christmas trick-or-treating. This practice is one of the roots of Christmas caroling, and some of those same songs continue to be sung at the holidays today.
On Monday evening, December 14th, TAUNY will host an evening of singing along with wassail songs, and interested singers are invited to meet briefly a couple of times before that, on Wednesday evenings, December 2nd and 9th, 5:30-6:30pm, to learn songs to present informally at that event. This group will be lead by experienced wassailer Joe Andriano, formerly of a Vermont wassailing group, the Hollyriders. This group might pull together anything from a few songs, to a St. George and the Dragon skit, depending on numbers and interest.
If you would like to take part in the gatherings ahead of time or have any questions, please contact Joe Andriano at or Camilla Ammirati at ahead of the first meeting on December 2nd.
The group will meet at The TAUNY Center on Wednesday evenings, 5:30-6:30, December 2nd and December 9th and will lead the community in singing at Wassailing-Along on Monday, December 14th, at 5:30pm.
No specific experience is required, but some comfort with sight-reading or learning by ear will come in handy. Materials will be provided. This is a family-friendly group, and younger as well as adult singers are welcome. (We ask that young children be supervised by adults.)  


TAUNY's Annual Holiday Open House and Sugar and Spice Gingerbread Contest!

Saturday, December 5

10:00am - 4:00pm

Join us for this fantastic party to celebrate the season while you get some holiday shopping done. Music and food throughout the day. (We'll get more specific as the date approaches.) Pick up your pre-ordered wreath, but most importantly, vote for your favorites in this year's annual Sugar and Spice Gingerbread Contest!

Baking with the Bounty with littleGrasse Foodworks

Date: Monday, Dec. 7th, 3-4:30pm
Part of TAUNY Kids Cook! Series

$12 per participant (or pair, if child is being accompanied by an adult), $10 for TAUNY Friends

(10% discount for registering for 3 classes in the series, 15% off for four or five!)

Soon there’ll be plenty of snow on the ground, but don’t forget, stored veggies abound! For many generations, the resourceful people of the North Country have grown a lot of their food and cooked it up in all kinds of delicious ways, making good use of crops even long after the frost freezes the ground. Join local farmers Flip Filippi & Bob Washo from littleGrasse Foodworks to bake some delicious cupcakes using carrots and beets grown in the summer and stored for winter enjoyment. All participants get to participate in whipping up two types of batter and frostings as well as icing their own finished cupcakes.

Wassailing-Along: Caroling with TAUNY

Monday, December 14


What IS figgy pudding, anyway? Learn something about the roots of caroling during an evening of wassail singing at The TAUNY Center—you’ll have a chance to make some music yourself and to learn about the history of this tradition. No need to go wandering the countryside—refreshments will be provided. A community group* lead by experienced wassailer Joe Andriano will lead the songs, and you’ll be invited to sing along.

*You’re also invited to be part of the group leading—interested singers will meet Wednesday evenings at the TAUNY Center, 5:30-6:30, beginning on November 4th. Please contact Joe Andriano at if you are interested.


TAUNY Jams Fall 2015

Starting Friday, September 11

Then, First Fridays October, November, December

(October 2, November 6, December 4)

7:00 - 8:30pm

TAUNY's traditional music jams are open to good-natured folks interested in gathering with North Country neighbors to play old time fiddle tunes and songs from American folk traditions.

All levels of musicians, singers, and step dancers are welcome. Toe tappin’ listeners are encouraged although they may be handed a pair of spoons or washboard before the eve is over! The jams are geared toward guitar, fiddle and other acoustic instruments, and beginners are very welcome.

These evenings are hosted by fiddler Gretchen Koehler and singer/guitarist and host of NCPR's String Fever Barb Heller, with occasional guest-host champion fiddler Don Woodcock and clawhammer banjo player and TAUNY director of research and programs Camilla Ammirati.

More details about the jams are available at this link

Contra Tune School and Dances
Tune School
Tuesdays 4:40-6:00pm, September 29 through early December
Friday, October 30 at The TAUNY Center
Saturday, December 12 at St. Lawrence University
Noble Center Room 109
(Plenty of parking available in the lot outside the building.)

TAUNY and the student contra dance club at St. Lawrence University team up to hold Community Contra Dances and a weekly Tune School.

Acoustic and traditional musicians are encouraged to attend weekly, with the goal to play as part of the band for the contra dances. Tune School meetings are a cross between lessons and a jam, with a melody instrument player teaching tunes each week. Players should be comfortable learning by ear, and are encouraged to bring recording devices and/or notebooks to help with picking tunes up. Both melody and rhythm instruments are welcome.

Styles vary depending on the teachers, who include Cape Breton and Scottish-style fiddle player Jacob Brillhart, fiddler Dillon Black, and Appalachian-style clawhammer banjo player and TAUNY Director of Research and Programs Camilla Ammirati. Attention is given to tunes, etiquette, and methods for playing with other musicians in various styles, and how best to play for dances.

TAUNY Jam players are encouraged to attend Tune School as well! Dust off those instruments and join us! Contact TAUNY at 315-386-4289 or with questions.

Watercolor Circle

Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00am - Noon

A group of watercolorists and other artists gathers at The TAUNY Center each  Wednesday and Friday morning, bringing their own materials and projects, to paint, consult, and converse. The group is open to the public, and you are welcome to bring any kind of art or craft project you’re working on. For more information, call Camilla at 315-384-4289, or email

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