Photo by Ken Graham

Liz Donaldson

is a full-time musician and dance caller, and has been playing piano for dancing for many years. Located in Bethesda, MD, 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 and square dances, Liz teaches all these styles, and dances, too!

She is a member of Terpsichore, Waverley Station, The New Hipsters, Gyrations, Treble Makers, and Elegant Echoes.  Liz’s newest recordings are “English Echoes II: More English Country Dance Favorites” with Becky Ross, Colleen Reed, and Bruce Edwards, and another Scottish Country Dance CD “A Dancer’s Best Friend” with Elke Baker and Ralph Gordon.  “A Dancer’s Best Friend” is a welcome addition to Caledonian Muse” and “Terpsichore, Scottish Dance Music.” Liz also joins David Knight and Ralph Gordon on “Waverley Station: First Stop!.” She is the Artistic Director and pianist on the hot live Scottish Country Dance recordings “Memories of Scottish Weekend” ‘98 and “More Memories of Scottish Weekend” ’02. 

Liz has published two books of Scottish tunes: “Scottish Dance Class Tunes” (revised in 2021) and “Scottish Tune Medleys” which have become mainstays for Scottish Dance Player’s libraries worldwide.  She has also composed many wonderful tunes, including a host of waltzes. 

Liz has taught and played at numerous dance weekends and music workshops including Scottish Weekend (MD), Pinewoods (MA), and Asilomar (CA).  Her travels have taken her across the US as well as to Great Britain, Canada, France, and Japan.  Liz performed for the Smithsonian Institution’s Piano 300 exhibition in ’00 and has performed with Terpsichore at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage in Washington, DC.  In 2017 she was awarded the Scroll of Honour, from the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society for her contributions to music and dance. 

In addition to playing and teaching music, Liz is in demand as a caller of Scottish Ceilidh, English Country, and Community dancing.  She particularly enjoys working with dancers of all ages and experience levels.

Photo by Ken Graham


Elke Baker, Liz Donaldson and Ralph Gordon

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