Voyager Recordings & Publications



Ballroom Dance Ensemble

Vivian Williams - Violin

Terry Wergeland - Piano & Accordion

Phil Williams - Guitar


Chassez is a trio devoted to old time dance playing - couple dances such as waltz, polka, schottische, two-step, foxtrot, varsouvienne, stomp, mazurka, etc., as well as longways set dances (contra) and square dances. Its members have been performing together for over twenty years and have played many dances - contemporary ballroom, Victorian and Civil War ballroom, contra dances, and square dances. It has been aclaimed as one of the best old time dance ensembles on the West Coast. The ensemble is all acoustic, using no pickups or "clip-on" mikes, but studio quality microphones on stands, to preserve their control of dynamics. This is an ensemble that performs at a reasonable listening volume level, easy on the ears, and not with the loud, ear damaging blast now heard at most dances.

The members are:

Vivian Williams, violin. Vivian is well known as an outstanding fiddler. In Chassez she combines her fiddle expertise with her extensive violin training to make dance tunes from all period come alive. She understands the structure and history behind the tunes and performs them in keeping with the tune's intention. She also is quite adept at playing variations of the tunes, and seldom plays one through the same way twice. Vivian has been playing dances for over fifty years and speciallizes in seeing the the performance of the tune fits the steps and mood of the dance being done. Vivian has over fifty years of dance playing experience.

Terry Wergeland, piano & accordion. Terry is an outstanding pianist, performing demanding classical piano pieces in addition to his broad repertoire of dance tunes, He has many years of experience playing dances. Terry is outstanding at playing the tune the way it should be played to stimulate the dancers. His work with improvisation is exceptional, and he and Vivian trade off on lead and backup. Terry also plays great dance accordion, either when no piano is available or needed, or if the tune simply demands an accordion.

Phil Williams, guitar. Phil is an outstanding dance accompaniment guitarist, having played for dancing for over fifty years. He uses a 1949 Epiphone Triumph archtop guitar, completely acoustic, and plays in a style that came from his father, a Kentucky guitar player. His style involves bass lines that compliment the lead, and a sense of rhythm and timing to match the dance.

Chassez is available for dances, weddings, parties, etc. in the Pacific Northwest, and can furnish its own sound system, if needed.

Here are some examples in mp3 format, of Chassez playing ballroom dances in Seattle, recorded live on an Edirol::

Beaumont Rag - An old time fiddle rag used as a two-step or foxtrot; Balen i Karlstad - A schottische from Sweden. One of the best known in North America; Valse des Niglos - A great gypsy waltz popularized by Django Reinhard; Braham's Polka -A polka from California fiddler, Verg Evans; Broadway One-Step - The first one-step written. Used for one-step, foxtrot, two-step, or whatever anyone wants to dance to it; Don't Fence Me In - A foxtrot by Cole Porter; Florida Blues - A fiddle blues used for two-step or foxtrot; Glik - A Klezmer waltz; Jenny Lind Polka - The complete version as written in the 1840s; Old Time Waltz Medley - A medley of old time waltzes, Rosin the Beau, Life Let Us Cherish, Lauterbach Waltz, and Believe Me if all Those Endearing Young Charms; Rosebud of Allenvale - A beautiful waltz written by Schottish violinist Scott Skinner; Varsouvienne Medley - A medley of 19th century varsouvennes; Waltz Without a Name - A waltz from the Neilson Manuscript, Willamette Valley, Oregon, in pioneer times; Waves of the Danube - a well known Viennese style waltz written by Romanian composer Iosif Ivonovici.

Contact Information:

Vivian & Phil Williams - 424 35th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122; (206) 323-1112;; www.voyagerrecords,com