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The Living Tradition Home Page

What is The Living Tradition?

The Living Tradition is a non-profit organization working to support and preserve traditional music and dance in Southern California.  We host contra dances and contemporary and traditional folk music concerts at the beautiful Anaheim Downtown Community Center at 250 E. Center St., in Anaheim, California We also host traditional music jams at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 1145 W. Valencia Mesa Drive, Fullerton, Calif. on the second Saturday of the month.

All of our events are family-friendly and are open to the public.  Admission prices for dances and concerts are modest, and children under 18 years are free with a paid adult.  We ask for a contribution of $3 to $5 per person at our music jams to defray rental costs.  Bring your friends, make new friends, get some exercise (dancing), or just relax and enjoy traditional American music.

Our Concerts  

The Living Tradition concert series presents international and local artisans of contemporary and traditional folk music for a modest cost in an intimate setting.  Our Covid policies are listed below.  Usually the recommended donation is $20 per person ($15 with the Living Tradition membership). Here are some of our scheduled concerts, which start at 7:30 PM in Anaheim:
Mar. 18, 2023 Concert.  An Evening of Celtic Music and Dance

Menna McKenzie Welsh Harpist followed by The Lyons Academy of Irish Dance with Atlantic Crossing.

Apr. 15, 2023 Concert.  Rob Verdi - You've seen him at Disneyland with his magical Saxophone!

Concert reservations are required. Call (714) 926-8244 (cell phone accepting voice or text messages), or send an e-mail to livingtraditionconcerts@gmail.com.

Click here to see additional concert information.

Our Dances

Our contra dances allow folks of all ages to dance to live music and enjoy easy-to-learn traditional dance - without a partner.  Usually the recommended donation is $15 per person; $12 for Anaheim residents, Living Tradition members, seniors, and full-time students.  Some of our upcoming dances, which start at 7 PM (dance lesson at 6:30 PM) in Anaheim, are listed below.

Note:  Attendees of our dances must be fully vaccinated and boosted and must wear KN95 or better masks while inside the dance hall.  See our Covid-19 policies below for additional details.
Mar. 25, 2023 Contra dance.  Caller: James Hutson.  Band: Arroyo Seco String Band with Emil Olguin and friends.
Apr. 22, 2023 Contra dance.  Caller: TBA.  Band: TBA.
Click here to see additional information about our dances.

Our Jams

Our traditional music jams bring musicians (and singers) together in a relaxed atmosphere where all levels and talents are welcome, including those who simply want to hear traditional music or song. Our Covid policies are listed below.  Here are some of our scheduled jams, which run from 2 - 4:30 PM at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Fullerton:
Mar. 11, 2023

Recommended donation between $3 and $5.

For more information, please contact Patty McCollom at pattymccollom96@gmail.com.

Apr. 8, 2023

Recommended donation between $3 and $5.

Click here to see additional information about our jams.

Our Covid-19 Policies

Our Covid-19 protocols are intended to protect the health and safety of our community.

Our concerts and jams now follow the same Covid protocols as neighboring organizations that offer similar events.  While we strongly recommend that attendees wear masks at our jams and concerts, we now state that masks are optional for these two events. 

Our dances continue to require that every attendee have a full Covid vaccination and booster and wear a KN95 or better mask while in the hall.  We set these stricter Covid protocols due to the close proximity of the dancers to each other and the active nature of contra dancing.  Specifically, attendees of our dances must:

  • Be free of key Covid-19 symptoms.  Click here to view the CDC list of these symptoms. 
  • Wear either an N95, KN95, or KF94 mask that covers the nose, mouth, and chin Cloth or surgical masks alone will not be considered sufficient protection.  The mask must be worn at all times when indoors. 
  • Present proof of full Covid vaccination and booster.

Our Covid protocols at dances are consistent with the protocols of neighboring contra dance organizations. 

Special Events

The Living Tradition also supports a variety of special events.  See Special Events for more information.

General Questions for The Living Tradition

If you have questions about The Living Tradition, contact the President, Patty McCollom at pattymccollom96@gmail.com.  To view additional contact links for the The Living Tradition, click Contact Us.

Membership: Why Join The Living Tradition?

Members of The Living Tradition enjoy and preserve traditional music and dance in Southern California.  Benefits of membership also include discounts for most of our concerts and dances.  To become a member, simply print and complete the membership form, then mail the completed form and a check for membership dues to the address listed on the form.  (Note that this form is a PDF file; viewing or printing it requires Acrobat Reader to be installed on your computer.)

Thank you for your support.

More About The Living Tradition

Founded in 1982 by Carolyn Russell, The Living Tradition is a group of people bound together by the desire to share traditional music and dance.  The Living Tradition brings us a sampling of today’s brightest traditional music entertainers, provides family-friendly, community-oriented contra dances, and hosts popular monthly jams.

Go to Our History page to read A Brief History of The Living Tradition written by Patty McCollom, and to view a transcription (PDF file) of James Hutson's 1995 interview with Carolyn Russell.

Our contra dances provide an evening of fun – without a partner or formal instruction.  These dances are fun, good exercise, and build a sense of community with other contra dancers.  Many fine bands have graced our dances, and well-known dance “callers” provide lively prompting.  Bring your friends, make new friends, get some exercise, or just enjoy the lively sounds of traditional music.  Our dances are beginner-friendly because each evening begins with a group lesson, and the actual dances are explained and prompted by the “caller”. 

The Living Tradition concert series  presents international and local artisans of contemporary and traditional folk music nearly every month in the beautiful Anaheim Downtown Community Center.  These intimate concerts are reasonably priced and a great way to get together with friends or meet new friends.

We also sponsor regularly scheduled music jams to provide a forum for those who play an acoustical instrument, sing, or simply enjoy listening to traditional music and song.  Our jams are open to all levels and talents, and offer an opportunity for anyone who loves traditional music to participate in a relaxed atmosphere. 

The Living Tradition is all of this and more.  We serve as a catalyst for the preservation and promotion of traditional music and dance and ensure that traditional music, dance, and song will thrive for years to come.

To see this article about The Living Tradition, with more details about our history and concert series, go to the January / February 2001 issue of the FolkWorks newspaper and scroll down to page 13.

Special Thanks Go To . . .  

The Living Tradition extends sincere thanks to John Davidheiser for designing and implementing the original format of The Living Tradition Web site. 

Thanks also go to Tim Steinmeier, who designed The Living Tradition logo.

“A Bit More About Us” was written by Ellen Swope (and updated by Mindy Belli).


Visit The Living Tradition on Facebook.