Oct 192014
 

MUMMERSOn Saturday, December 20, we’ll hold our Annual Solstice Party starting at 7:00 PM. The Monadnock Folklore Society brings this community event to the Nelson Town Hall each year, admission is $5, and treats are appreciated for the dessert potluck. This year the evening will begin with a holiday concert featuring a selection of traditional and original seasonal music performed by The Solstice Sisters(Alouette Iselin, Melanie Everard, Kim Wallach, Heather Bower, & Allison Aldrich) and friends; as part of the concert, this year’s Johnny Trombly Scholarship recipient, Everest Witman, will entertain us with his musicianship. The Folklore Society invites you to bring along your favorite holiday dessert and we’ll supply the beverages for the intermission. After the concert the chairs and benches are 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.

 Posted by on October 19, 2014 at 7:32 pm
Jan 262014
 

CHanterelleCrop

Josée Vachon and Donna Hébert have embodied traditional and original Franco-American fiddle and song all their lives. Twenty years ago, they met and became musical partners, forming Chanterelle with former guitarist Liza Constable and bassist Alan Bradbury. Alan returns with Josée, Donna and her guitarist, Max Cohen, for a performance at the Nelson Town Hall on Sunday March 9 at 7:00 PM. Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr).

Josée’s unabashed ‘joie de vivre’ is infectious. Born in Lac Megantic and raised over the border in Brownville ME, singer-songwriter Vachon is beloved of Franco audiences, who regularly sing along in French. Her long stint hosting “Bonjour” on cable in the Northeast brought her to many Franco-American homes, and she has continued to record and tour. A recipient of awards from the keys to the city of Woonsocket, to a spot on NEA traditional touring rosters like “The Women’s Singing Traditions,” Josée is an icon within the Franco-American culture.

Western MA fiddler Donna Hébert, named an Artist Fellow in Franco-American fiddling by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, was recognized by Governor Deval Patrick in 2009 for “outstanding artistic achievement.” A fiddle instructor at Smith and Amherst Colleges, Donna performs in a fiddle/guitar duo with Max Cohen (who joins them on this tour), Celtic trio Mist Covered Mountains with Max and her daughter, Molly Hebert-Wilson, and the new Panache Quartet with fiddlers Andrea Beaton, Veronique Plasse and Jane Rothfield.

Alan Bradbury’s Cajun group, Magnolia, are the mainstay of the region’s Cajun music and dance scene. Check out their Providence area dances. Alan’s bass, accordion and vocals just make Donna and Josée so happy that it’s always a homecoming to play Chanterelle gigs with him. Donna’s played dances with Alan since the early 1980s, so she snared him early on for Chanterelle.

Max Cohen is one of the best kept secrets in the guitar world, the true musician’s musician (producer, engineer, arranger), the ‘masked man’ of accompaniment who makes the singers realize the song’s potential. Max also accompanies folksinger Priscilla Herdman, who says, “Max is one of those rare guitarists able to create an atmosphere that supports and cradles the voice with both tenderness and strength.” Donna adds that he “rocks like crazy.”

 

 Posted by on January 26, 2014 at 9:30 am
Nov 202013
 

Hunt Smith and Samuel Foucher with fiddleThurston Huntting “Hunt” Smith and Samuel Foucher are proud recipients of a 2013-14 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.

From the nh.gov.nharts website: “Apprenticeship grants fund a master traditional artist to teach an experienced apprentice in one-to-one sessions over a period of six to ten months and in this way recognize master traditional artists for their artistic excellence and commitment to preserving their heritage and support the efforts of promising apprentices who want to learn a tradition and share it with others.”

Hunt has over forty years experience in the fine and decorative arts, and has been making violins and violas at his home in Nelson for several years. Samuel is a recent recipient of the Johnny Trombley Scholarship from the Monadnock Folklore Society as a contra dance musician, studying under the great Bob McQuillen. For the past year, Samuel and Hunt have met regularly as part of Samuel’s home-schooling to learn fine woodworking skills. Now his plan under the apprenticeship is to make a violin of his own! Upon completion of the project, Samuel and Hunt will make a public presentation at the Harrisville Public Library.

NH Council on the Arts

 Posted by on November 20, 2013 at 10:05 am
Feb 062011
 

Perin Ellsworth-Heller and Bob McQuillen

Musicians, Young, and Young at Heart

The Monadnock Folklore Society, a 501(c)(3) non profit organization (founded in 1980) is pleased to announce it has attained its objective of a $20,000 endowment making the Johnny Trombly Memorial Scholarship sustainable. The Monadnock Folklore Society
directors would like to thank the Society of Musical Traditions for the donation that
helped us reach this goal.

The Johnny Trombly Memorial Scholarship was established 2001, at the request of Bob
McQuillen who provided an initial endowment. Named in honor of Bob’s mentor, the Scholarship is awarded annually to an individual under the age of 18 who would like to study traditional New England contra dance music.

The scholarship provides up to $500 for students to use for lessons, mentoring, music
and dance camps, etc. The money is intended to be used directly for fees related to these
opportunities, not for music, instruments, or other tangible items. Bob McQuillen and Perin Ellsworth-Heller, a prior year’s scholarship recipient,can often be heard often at the Monday night contra dance in Nelson!

The application period starts in January, and is due on March 15th, with the recipient
being chosen in early May. The application form is available here between January 1st and
March 15th.

Nov 232010
 

mummers

On Saturday, December 18 we’ll hold our Annual Solstice Party starting at 7:00 PM. The Monadnock Folklore Society brings this community event to the Nelson Town Hall each year, admission is $5, and treats are appreciated for the dessert potluck. This year the evening will begin with a holiday concert featuring a selection of traditional and original seasonal music; as part of the concert 2010 Johnny Trombly Scholarship recipient Douglas Brunson, a 13 year old, home-schooled 8th grader who started playing piano at the age of five and accordion at age eight will entertain us with his musicianship. The Folklore Society invites you to bring along your favorite holiday dessert and we’ll supply the beverages for the intermission. After the concert the chairs and benches are 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.

Jan 062010
 

Looking Back

It is customary for the January column of any publication or blog to offer some retrospective on the year gone by. We will forego that exercise, but will point out that the structure of this web site allows you to scroll down to previous month’s articles, and when you get to the bottom of those displayed, there is a “previous entries” tab which will take you back to the beginning. Explore.

MFSNL1What we will do this month is go further back in time. The very first MFS “newsletter” was published in November/December of 1981. It included a calendar listing for those two months, and a couple of things are worth noting. One is that Nowell (spelled incorrectly in the calendar) Sing We Clear was produced in the Dublin Church, and this past December (this time with the correct spelling) this same event appeared on the MFS calendar (if memory serves, Nowell in 1981 was produced by Steve Avery, who was the proprietor of Deacon Brodie’s Tavern in Dublin). The other is that the same evening Stan Rogers was finishing a three-night stand at the Folkway in Peterborough, Gordon Bok was playing in Nelson. These two musicians had some things in common, including deep resonate voices, and many songs having to do with the sea. The two giants met for the first timeMFSNL2 at a house party in Nelson following their respective concerts, and we were fortunate to be there and witness a hearty embrace. Continue reading »

Sep 142009
 

mummers

On Saturday, December 19 we’ll hold our Annual Solstice Party starting at 7:00 PM. The Monadnock Folklore Society brings this community event to the Nelson Town Hall each year, admission is $5, and treats are appreciated for the dessert potluck. This year the evening will begin with a holiday concert featuring a selection of traditional and original seasonal music; as part of the concert 2009 Johnny Trombly Scholarship recipient  Perin Ellsworth-Heller will entertain us with his musicianship. The Folklore Society invites you to bring along your favorite holiday dessert and we’ll supply the beverages for the intermission. After the concert the chairs and benches are 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.

 Posted by on September 14, 2009 at 6:29 am
Jul 052009
 

Perin Ellsworth-Heller

[notes from ValVanMeier]

Thunderous applause hoots and hollers of contra dancers echoed in the vaulted ceiling of this gracious space, known as the Stone Church at the Brattleboro, Vermont contra dance on Sunday June 14th

Dancers were showing their appreciation for fiddler Perin Ellsworth-Heller and pianist Arthur Davis, two extraordinary young musicians (ages 14 and 16 respectively), and their mentor, Mary Lea.

Adding to the excitement of the evening was the fact that Perin had just been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Johnny Trombly Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship, sponsored  by the Monadnock Folklore Society, provides funding for an individual under the age of 18 to study traditional music. Continue reading »