Boston Highland Ball 2020 Cancelled

The following note is from the Highland Ball chair:

It is with great regret that I write to let you know that we are cancelling the 2020 Boston Highland Ball Weekend. We have no way of knowing what the situation will be in less than two months, but we can lessen our financial risk by cancelling now, and living to dance another day. Dancing does not allow for “social distancing” and many of our members and friends fall into high-risk categories.

Our Ball Band leader, Katie McNally, was very understanding, and we thought it would be a good idea to suggest that some of our disappointed dancers visit her website and perhaps purchase some of her CDs so that we can at least listen to great Scottish music while cooped up in our homes for the next few weeks (hopefully not longer!). You can order music from this page: If anyone is interested in commissioning a tune for a special occasion/person or for a dance that they've devised OR schedule a Skype lesson, they can reach Katie at

Katie has agreed to play for next year’s Ball and we will be working to find a date for 2021 that works for all of us. I want to personally thank everyone who volunteered to help with the Ball Weekend and I will be sending individual notes to many of you as soon as I can. I especially want to thank MaryEllen Scannell who helped me understand how to run this event, and Emily Russell, who agreed to host the Brunch. In addition, I would like to thank our musicians for Friday and Sunday, and all those who already put time into creating programs, lining up volunteers, etc. Hopefully, you will be willing to volunteer again, and the 2021 Ball Weekend will be better than ever!

We will be sending refunds to those of you who already sent in your applications. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Stay well and best of luck to all of us.

Marsha F Byrnes
Chair, 2020 (and 2021) Boston Highland Ball Weekend Tel: 781-862-3223

Note from the webmasters:

We are leaving the information for the now cancelled event here as a placeholder for next year. See you then!

Boston Highland Ball Weekend 2020

May 8-10, 2020

Welcome Dance

Friday May 8, 2020

First Parish Church
349 Boston Post Road
Weston, MA

Music by Dirk Tiede on fiddle, Emily Peterson on concertina, and Beth Murray on piano
MC Cathy Fahey

Friday Flier
Friday dance notes and diagrams

Highland Ball

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Melrose Memorial Hall
590 Main Street
Melrose, MA

MCs: Lance Ramshaw, Jen Schoonover, and Vickery Trinkaus-Randall
Music by Katie McNally on fiddle, Neil Pearlman on piano, Shauncey Ali on fiddle and viola, &  Campbell Webster on pipes.

Highland Ball Weekend Flier
Highland Ball Application
Highland Ball Online Application
Highland Ball Dance Diagrams
Highland Ball Dance Notes

Saturday's formal ball is the weekend's main event. This year's Highland Ball will include a cocktail hour with hor d'oeuvres at 6:00, followed by a Grand March at 7:00 and the Ball at 7:15, followed by dessert.  For dinner recommendations in the Melrose area, see the restaurant guide

Brunch Dance

Sunday May 10, 2020, 11am
Location TBD

MC for dancing: Roberta Lasnik
Music for dancing: Elizabeth and Ben Anderson

The weekend finishes with a family-friendly potluck brunch. Please bring a brunch item to share, as we recover from last night's festivities. Around noon, the party moves outside to do some dancing on the lawn. Bring your ghillies or any comfortable shoes for dancing outdoors, and musicians can bring instruments for a jam session!

Directions will be available in the ball booklet or by emailing the ball chairs.

Please contact the ball chairs at

  • if you are coming from out of town and would like hospitality with one of our local members.
  • if you have any questions about the events or need map/directions for Sunday.

Welcome Dance
Friday May 8, 2020, 8:00 pm
First Parish Church
349 Boston Post Road
Weston MA

Highland Ball
Saturday May 9, 2020, 6:00 pm
Melrose Memorial Hall
590 Main St.
Melrose, MA

Sunday Brunch Dance
Sunday May 10, 2020, 11am
Location TBD

from the 2015 Ball

See more Highland Ball photos