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AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support the Monadnock Folklore Society every time you shop, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile is available at smile.amazon.com on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping app for iOS and Android phones. When you shop at AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same prices as Amazon.com, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.

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A Monadnock Community Survey about Public Health's Connection to Art

“Arts and Loneliness” survey available

 

Arts Alive! is partnering with Antioch University New England to examine the Monadnock Region’s participation levels in the arts, the common barriers to participation, and how participation and arts engagement impacts loneliness and connection.

“We’re hoping this data will give the community another strong, research-supported reason to invest in the arts,” says Jessica Gelter, executive director of Arts Alive!

Well-being and community connection are keystones of many arts organizations’ missions in the Monadnock Region, and this study aims to collect tangible behavioral data and information that will support both arts engagement and arts-based community health interventions.

With the results Arts Alive! hopes to be able to give artists, arts organizations, and community groups information on what practices and engagement strategies work well to connect the community, and what the additional barriers might be for those who want to have the positive benefits of more arts and connectivity in their lives.

“The time feels ripe for this as we go into an uncertain winter – how will we emerge from the pandemic and reconnect with our communities?” Gelter says.

Arts Alive! will build an advocacy program, a professional development program, and a collaborative arts access program, with artist and arts organization partners as well as public health and community service partners, based on the results of this study. The survey is the first step in the process – the study will include other interactive elements, currently in the design process.

The goal of the organizing partners is to have 900 responses to the online survey by the end of February. Anyone who completes the survey can elect to be entered in a drawing for a $100 gas card or $100 grocery card. Find more information at monadnockartsalive.org/loneliness-survey

BMC presents the Northern Roots Traditional Music Festival

The Brattleboro Music Center presents:

Now a cornerstone of the traditional music calendar in New England, the Northern Roots Traditional Music Festival returns on Jan. 30-31, 2021, in virtual form!

This popular event will continue to offer a unique showcase of a variety of northern musical traditions including Irish, Scottish, English, French Canadian and Shetland. Featured performers Dylan  Foley (fiddle) (Pascal Gemme (fiddle), Nicholas Williams (flute, piano, accordion), Kevin Henderson (fiddle), and members of the Gawler Family Band (singers) will be offering workshops as well as performing in the annual concert.

The festival begins Saturday, Jan. 30, at 11 am with a series of five hour-long workshops (instrumental and vocal).  We will wrap up the day with an evening virtual concert.  For those of you who miss the traditional Northern Roots Festival fare – we will provide recipes for some of your favorites, so you can replicate the full festival food experience!

On Sunday, Jan. 31, we will host three sessions in the afternoon for “all who will” – and while we will miss the ambiance of McNeill’s Brewery, we won’t have to worry about not having enough space!

Learn more about our performers here.

The schedule:

  • Saturday Workshops: (tentative order)
    • Shetland tunes with Kevin Henderson
    • Work songs with Bennett Kosesni
    • French Canadian tunes with Pascal Gemme
    • Swedish tunes with Nicholas Williams
    • Sligo tunes with Dylan Foley
  • Saturday evening concert
  • Sunday sessions
    • 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm  Gawler Family sing-along
    • 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm  French Canadian tunes with Pascal Gemme and Nicholas Williams
    • 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm  Irish Session with Benedict Gagliardi and Armand Aromin

All events are by donation.  Links to all events will be posted later at https://bmcvt.org/northern-roots-festival/

Mummers

☼ ☼ ☼ A Virtual Nelson Solstice Party | Wherever You Are

On Saturday, December 19, 2020, we published our Annual Solstice Party as a collection of YouTube videos. The Monadnock Folklore Society produces this community event every year, and this year we’ll forego the admission and the dessert potluck will be DIY.

In 2019, we had more interest in this event than the Nelson Town Hall could accommodate and many people were turned away at the door. Here is the 2019 Holiday Concert featuring a selection of traditional and original seasonal music performed by The Solstice Sisters (Alouette Iselin, Melanie Everard, Kim Wallach, & Heather Bower) and friends including a performance by our Johnny Trombly Scholarship recipient. 

After the concert, the chairs and benches are usually cleared to make way for a traditional New England Contradance. Unfortunately, or not, the dance is often interrupted by various groups of unsavory characters presenting their idea of seasonal entertainment. These diversions, sometimes involving costumed individuals making complete fools of themselves or performing ancient ritual dances to help us through this dark time of the year, are generally tolerated as once they are applauded and fed we can return to dancing the night away. Last year we had to endure this 2019 Mummer’s Play.

Due to our current circumstances, we are not able to host this event in the traditional manner but we have managed to collect some video performances including Kim’s solo version of the Nelson Wassail and our 2020 Mummer’s Play.

You may also be interested in these videos from previous Solstice concerts:

https://youtu.be/ytHSRV510Ns – harp and hammer dulcimer

https://youtu.be/zvGHVqDU7HY – Green Grows the Holly

https://youtu.be/wdU3NBlvfQY – Let This Be My Prayer

https://youtu.be/sAGjuTFUDMY – Traveler’s Prayer

https://youtu.be/tKWgGlcVlyo  Wassail the Silver Apple

https://youtu.be/4A3guUyKzUk Comfort of Singing Voices

https://youtu.be/0pazXEjvM34 Keep Me Warm Medley

https://youtu.be/5OZEnsU_ICg Children Go Where I Send Thee

https://youtu.be/BlWzz27AQso Walking in the Air

Ted Sannella

New website about Ted Sannella

From Callers David Millstone and David Smukler:

In November of 2020, David Millstone and I sent out a call for stories about Ted Sannella to mark the 25th anniversary of his death on November 18. There was a terrific response, and we are proud to announce a new website, Sannella Stories, where these memories are shared. Nearly 70 people sent in their “Sannella Story.” These range from serious to silly and include brief acknowledgments and more extended entries.

In addition, we’ve assembled a collection of photographs, audio files, and videos. You’ll also find dances and tunes that were written for Ted, an index of all his dances, and links to other sites with information of interest.

Of course, it’s still possible to add to this collection; you’ll find that link on the site as well.

The two of us will be presenting a short “Ted Talk” as part of the virtual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, an event scheduled for Sunday afternoon, January 17. Details are still being arranged, but updated information will be available at the RPDLW site.

Our sincere thanks to the many people who contributed and in this way are helping to keep alive the memory of a major figure in the world of New England traditional dance.

David Smukler

New Edition of “A Time to Dance” book and DVDs

Looking for something to do during this time of no dancing? It’s a good time to read this great book, recently reissued.

New Edition of A Time to Dance: American Country Dancing from Hornpipes to Hot Hash by Richard Nevell; original edition 1977 St Martin’s Press, new edition 2017 Bauhan Publishing.

Plus two Films: Country Corners and Full of Life A-Dancin’ Produced By Richard Nevell and Robert Fiore, back in print on one DVD with an additional portrait of legendary tune writer and musician, the late Bob McQuillen.

“I love this book! In A Time to Dance I like that there are different styles of dancing in different parts of North America, be it Southern Appalachia, New Hampshire, Quebec, Cape Breton. Dancer Daron Douglas says “There is a certain amount of courting at these dances” That is important. The book is free of academics. In Country Corners, it is nice to see The Ed Larkin folks dancing Chorus Jig the old way without the hurried corner turning and frantic balance, and swinging when it’s not called for, in Full Of Life A-Dancin’ we see clogging you’ll never see in New England, a regional difference. -Dudley Laufman, Canterbury, NH

Two book reviews:

“The immense scope is handled with clarity and insight, fitting American country dancing into the broader context of American studies…Nevell records American country dances as historical artifacts, as social expressions of rural and urban communities, as manifestations of democracy, and as an evolving traditional art that changes to meet the needs of a changing American society. Valuable for students of dance history, American studies, cultural anthropology, liberal arts, and of interest to both academic and public libraries. From the Choice journal of the American Library Association.

“A splendid book, at once personable and probing, I predict will become a dance classic.”
Denver Post

For info about where to find the films and book please contact author / producer Richard Nevell at atimetodance2017@gmail.com

Support Musicians, win a fiddle! – RAFFLE NOW CLOSED

The raffle is now closed – thanks to all who donated!

Luthier Jacob Brillhart is volunteering to build a violin over livestream video to help raise money for musicians hit hard by the pandemic. Bow makers Eben Bodach-Turner and Evan Orman are donating a fine, handcrafted bow.  To purchase raffle tickets for your chances to win the $10,000 value violin and $5000 value bow please consider donating here: https://go.rallyup.com/musicianaid 
Your donation is 100% tax deductible.

Musicians!  If you lost the majority of your performance and teaching income due to the pandemic, please fill out this short Google Form: https://forms.gle/86HQeMBrxS4Ddmvb8   

We will be distributing $250.00 aid packages on a first come, first served and vetted basis. All proceeds will go directly to musicians with a very small percentage going to the Seven Stars Arts Center per our Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement policy. This covers administrative costs.
 
Violin-Building Fundraiser For Musician Aid
A live crafted violin raffled to support musicians’ canceled livelihoods.
 
83% raised of $50,000 Goal

☼ ☼ ☼ MFS Events and COVID-19

The Monadnock Folklore Society has been deeply affected by COVID-19. All contra dances and concerts have been canceled since mid-March 2020. MFS events fit into the category of “Super Spreader activities,” in that each typically involves individuals being physically close and either breathing with exertion or singing out loud. These activities have been shown to be especially effective for transmitting the novel coronavirus.

Thus, all contra dances and Sacred Harp sings are canceled indefinitely and will not resume until permitted.

As of March 2021, MFS is hoping to hold a couple of outdoor concerts this summer.

For guidelines on responsible and common-sense ways of dealing with COVID-19, please review the COVID-19 Statement from CDSS.

CANCELLATION ☼ ☼ ☼ Genticorum | Nelson Town Hall

Canceled due to COVID-19

We’re excited about being the first stop on Genticorum’s upcoming US tour on Friday, April 10 at 7:30 PM at the Nelson Town Hall. admission is $20/$17(seniors, students, or in advance)

Over the past 18 years the Quebec trad group Genticorum has become a fixture on the international world, trad, folk and Celtic music circuit. The band’s six albums met with critical acclaim in Canada, the United States and Europe, assuring the band a brilliant future. Known for its energy and its stage presence, Genticorum has given more than 800 concerts in more than 15 countries. Firmly rooted in the soil of their native land, the energetic and original traditional ‘power trio’ also incorporates the dynamism of today’s North American and European folk cultures in their music. They weave precise and intricate fiddle, flute and accordion work, gorgeous vocal harmonies, energetic foot percussion and guitar accompaniment into a big and jubilant musical feast. Their distinctive sound, sense of humor and stage presence makes them a supreme crowd pleaser.

Don’t miss this show!