Dayna Berkshire

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Dayna Berkshire
Female silhouette.png
Birth date1 April 1970
FatherBruce Berkshire
MotherAngie Berkshire

Dayna Berkshire is a Bradford Exile and a member of the Bradford High School's Class of 1988, having graduated on June 5, 1988. Her classmates include Jennlynn Swift and Emily Jones.

In April 1995, Dayna was a tallish, dark-haired girl.HT29

Bruce Berkshire, her father, is "about Dayna's height, but heavy-set, thickening up and going bald. Dayna's mother Angie was a slightly shorter and older version of her daughter; there was a lot of family resemblance. She was a few pounds heavier than Dayna, but not a lot."HT9 Her brother Kyle is around two years younger. Her family was very supportive of Dayna, including driving to RenFairesHT19 or being a telephone intermediary.HT21 Her father is a part time auctioneer and both the patter and "working a crowd runs in the family."HT7

Dayna was a sophomore student at Central Michigan University when she dropped out and left to busk with Sandy Beach on the Renfaire circuit. They formed a duo and performed in tight corsets, including the Silver Leaf Renfaire in Kalamazoo where Emily saw them.MC4 They had a few paying dates, but under pressure from her parents, Sandy got married while Dayna continued playing on the road, including gigs in Nebraska and Colorado. Dayna and Sandy had turned tricks while at Central.MC15

As Jennlynn described it, "Dayna was a soulful guitar player, or at least had been, and Sandy had been practicing a little two weeks before, so Jennlynn knew she was no slouch. She could imagine the two playing at a Renfaire, teasing the crowds, having fun, making beautiful music."MC16

By 1998 the duo had formed a two-girl group, had cut some CDs and toured enough to make pretty good money. The couple lived together in Bradford, Michigan. "While both Dayna and Sandy would date a guy once in a while, and nothing had ever been said, it was pretty well common knowledge that they were lesbians, or at least bi."MC26

They had a minor hit sometime around 1999 called Experience of Survival. Its original version included part of the Memphis Symphony and it told of "heroes who had given their lives for their friends." Myleigh Harris included a cover version at her concerts in 2001.BB35 It marked a transition from Renaissance and Blues and "for the first time in a while they were actually picking up some air play"HS19

A Berkshire and Beach concert in Phoenix was one of the first concerts Joy and Ben Russell went to together.CF22

Dayna and Sandy are the main characters in Wes' book Hat Trick.


Studio albums with Sandy Beach:

  • Faire Maiden (1990), Traditional
  • Genie in a Bottle (1990) Blues/Pop
  • Turn Me On (1992) Blues/Pop
  • Together Forever (1996) includes the song Pick Me Please
  • Experience of Survival (1998) includes the title song which made the charts