BELFAST – Belfast Flying Shoes presents “Mac’s Music and Movie” on Friday, Feb. 4, at 6 p.m. at the Basil Burwell Community Theater, 17 Court St. The evening of fiddle tunes and a film marks the participatory dance and music nonprofit’s joyful return to First Friday programming.

Celebrated local musicians Molly Gawler and Ethan Tischler lead an All Comers Band music workshop on tunes written by Bob McQuillen, affectionately known as “Mac,” the beloved contra dance piano and accordion player from the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. Both Gawler and Tischler delight in playing rousing dance tunes, including with the Gawler Family Band, and they are eager to highlight McQuillen’s contributions to our music traditions.

A special showing of “Paid to Eat Ice Cream: Bob McQuillen and New England Contra Dance” follows the workshop. The 70-minute video documents Mac’s career as a dance musician, musical mentor, and tunesmith, and includes a generous portion of the tattooed National Heritage Fellow’s humor.

The event concludes with an All Comers Band jam session, featuring more of Mac’s tunes and other favorites. Musicians of all ages, experience levels, and instruments are welcome. Attendees who don’t play an instrument are invited to enjoy listening from their seats.

Sliding scale admission is $5 to $20 per person. All attendees must wear a mask. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for instrument tuning. For information and updated public health protocols, visit or contact

Belfast Flying Shoes was founded in 2005 with a mission to bolster the spirited dance and music community in Midcoast Maine. BFS programs include the Flying Shoes Radio Hour on WBFY, the “Sing Along and Tap Your Toes” concert series for older adults, and participatory arts residencies in local schools.

Ethan Tischler