Troy MacGillivray was raised in Lanark, Nova Scotia; his musical prowess can be attributed to an especially rare combination of commitment and bloodline. By the age of six, Troy was already impressing audiences with his step dancing skills. By 13 he was teaching piano at the renowned Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St. Anne’s, Cape Breton. He has completed grade seven of the Toronto Conservatory of Music for classical piano, has spent four years in a stringed orchestra and has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music from St. Francis Xavier University.
Whether playing piano or fiddle, or showcasing his stepdancing capabilities, Troy MacGillivray displays a unique sense of pride and commitment to his Celtic heritage and his music continues to add to the history and development of the traditional music that is the epitome of the Maritimes, the place he calls home!
One of Cape Breton’s most promising young fiddlers, Andrea Beaton comes by her music honestly. Listen to her play, the power of her bow, the drive and swing of her timing, the crispness of her attack. She’s making a name for herself in dance halls, concerts, ceilidhs, and festivals. Like the compelling tradition she represents, her reputation is growing, spreading beyond the island. Andrea Beaton seems destined for great things.
She’s the youngest of generations of Beaton musicians. Her father, Kinnon, is one of today’s most influential Cape Breton fiddlers, and you can hear some of his timing in Andrea’s playing. Her mother, Betty Beaton, is one of the great piano accompanists of her generation, contributing to that remarkable Beaton timing.
Her paternal grandfather, Donald Angus Beaton, was one of the strongest and most popular players of his generation, and you can hear some of his power in her playing. Her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Beaton, is a strongly rhythmic piano player, with a great love of the music.
Her uncle, Buddy MacMaster, is the most revered fiddler on Cape Breton island. Her cousin, Natalie MacMaster, is an enormously popular entertainer. And so it goes, back and across the generations. Cape Breton is an extraordinarily musical place, and Andrea is increasingly in the forefront of her generation. Her music is at once her own and deeply rooted in the tradition associated with the Mabou Coal Mines. And, like her father and grandfather, she is a composer in the tradition, adding fine new music to the island’s repertoire.
Born in 1979, Andrea grew up surrounded by music and dance. She was playing a little at ten; at thirteen she took lessons from Stephanie Wills, a very fine traditional player. But it was some years later, when, missing home while doing a two-year course on Prince Edward Island, that she began playing in earnest. And it seems she never looked back.
Please join us for an exhilarating evening of traditional music presented by some of the best young talent around!
The Monadnock Folklore Society presents a special Contra Dance on August 1st in honor of musician Bob McQuillen who passed away in 2014. This double contra dance and dinner will raise money for a scholarship in honor of McQuillen.
The dance begins at 3:30 PM with the Quilltones, featuring students of Bob McQuillen and caller Don Primrose. The QuillTones includes Randy Miller, Gordon Peery, Tad Dreis, and Bob’s students Samuel Foucher and Matt Garland. There will be a dinner break from 6:30 – 7:30 PM with food provided as a fundraiser.
During the dinner break, Sarah Bauhan will host a jam session while dancers can help the fundraising by purchasing from a variety of home-cooked food. All musicians are welcome to join in the jam.
The evening dance from 8 – 11 PM features Tod Whittemore calling with the Sugar River Band.
When Bob (Mr. Mac) was a teacher in Peterborough, he loved to help out kids who needed a friendly but firm push to aim them in the right direction. This scholarship will continue in that spirit, helping as many of those students as possible by paying their fees for college applications and other training programs. You can donate to this fund here: http://www.monadnockfolk.org/?page_id=2687
Admission is $15 for both dances, or $10 the evening dance. Special price of $5 for ConVal students — bring your student ID.
The dance takes place at the South Meadow School, 108 Hancock Road in Peterborough, NH. For more information call 603.762.0235 or visit www.monadnockfolk.org. The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.
From January through May 2015, the Monadnock Center for History and Culture in Peterborough, NH featured an exhibit on the traditional dance and music of the Monadnock region. The exhibit was titled “Gents Bow, Ladies Know How.”
This 43-minute video is an introduction to the traditional music played for dances in the Monadnock region. Beginning with English Country Dance music of the late 17th and early 18th centuries and ending with Scotch, Irish, and French-Canadian tunes of more modern times, this annotated soundtrack traces the history of the music played for square and contra dances. Included are recordings dating from the 1920s to the present day.
Videographer Randy Miller leads workshops in fiddling and has been designated a Master Teacher of Contra Dance Music by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.
Randy collects and publishes fiddle tunes under the imprint Fiddle case Books. His music books include the New England Fiddler’s Repertoire, written with Jack Perron, considered the standard New England tune book for contra dance musicians.
Video Copyright 2014 Monadnock Folklore Society
Join us for a special evening of traditional New Orleans jazz with Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses at the Dublin School in Dublin, NH. This will be an outdoor event, weather permitting, Friday, July 3, 7:00 pm at the Fountain Arts Building on the Dublin School campus. The concert is co-sponsored by The Walden School, the Monadnock Folklore Society and the Dublin School and is free and open to the public.
The New Orleans Moonshiners, Meschiya Lake’s Little Big Horns, Panorama Jazz Band, Rory Danger and the Danger Dangers, Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship?—just a partial list of groups to which Aurora Nealand claims membership. But the Royal Roses, whom Nealand fronted at new Orleans’ French Quarter Fest, are a first. “This is the first group that has my name on it, which I feel funny about,” she says.
The Royal Roses grew out of the rich resurgence that traditional jazz is seeing in New Orleans amongst the younger generation of musicians today. Saxophonist/vocalist Aurora Nealand has been playing in various groups in New Orleans since 2005, and the Royal Roses, founded in 2010, is her first venture as a bandleader. The Royal Roses draw their repertoire heavily from Sidney Bechet, Django Reinhart and traditional jazz of New Orleans. Comprised of some of the finest young players on the New Orleans music scene today, the Royal Roses are seeking to breath new energy, arrangements and compositions into this genre of music while exploring and learning from its rich history and tradition. They’ve performed in New Orleans at the French Quarter Festival, Satchmo Festival and Preservation Hall, as well as in NYC at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. Their first album “A Tribute to Sydney Bechet: Live at Preservation Hall” was released in 2011 to national acclaim. Their second album “The LookBack Transmission” was released in 2014 and includes original and traditional compositions including one Ms. Nealand wrote for the HBO series “Treme”.
The Royal Roses rotating cast of characters fronted by Aurora Nealand on vocals and saxophone has included many of NOLA’s finest musicians, you won’t want to miss this concert!
Gary Sredzienski returns to the Nelson Town Hall on Sunday, June 14 for a 7:00 pm concert. The concert will feature the versatility of the accordion and tales of the creek presented as only Gary can. His passion for music, the accordion, swimming, and life is infectious! Bring the family to this entertaining and educational performance by a true master. Admission is $12/$9(Sr/Jr).
Gary Sredzienski is an exceptionally versatile accordion player whose repertoire encompasses music from a wide range of world traditions and American music of the 1920s to 1950s. He also plays 1960’s surf rock, traditional ethnic, and his accordion compositions with his Portsmouth based group, the “Serfs.”
Gary has performed extensively in the United States and abroad in concert settings, festivals, and schools. In May of 2000 Gary was nominated by Congressman John Sununu to represent NH in a performance at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in Washington DC. In July of 2000 he performed throughout Romania on a tour sponsored by the Smithsonian Folklife Center, the State Department, and the Governor Jeanne Shaheen of NH. He represented NH at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC in 1999, performed at the American and National folk festivals and was sent to Quebec City for its 400th anniversary as a musical ambassador for NH by Governor Lynch and recently played for the inauguration of Governor Maggie Hassan.
Gary has released a number of solo recordings on his own Bellows Music label. His compositions and music have been featured in a number of feature films and television sound tracks including, Paramount’s “Bad News Bears” and “A Team”, Eddie Murphy’s “Meet Dave,” and multiple major network television sitcoms.
Gary hosts a weekly 1950’s style ethnic radio show, “Polka Party,” on WUNH-FM and has a devoted following. In 1990, he was sponsored by the Edgewood Center of Portsmouth and his radio show listeners to undertake a national tour, performing for 93 nursing homes in 15 states over a five-week period. He was named a ‘Point of Light’ for his efforts. An avid swimmer, in 2008 Gary was the first to swim to the Isle of Shoals in winter and since has raised over $65,000 for 7 different charities in 7 winter swims. The NH charitibles Foundation gave a grant to write, produce, and perform a play on Gary’s musical life and swimming adventures through the Harborlight Stage Theater Company entitled ‘Creekman….. The Adventures of the Accordion Playing Merman.’
The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the last in its series of English Country Dances with the theme “Dance Around Monadnock.”
On May 17th from 2:00 to 5:00 PM, the dance will be held at the Nelson Town Hall in Nelson, NH, with Adina Gordon teaching dances that will appeal to all, from novice to experienced dancers.
Lovely music will be provided by performers Peter Barnes, piano and lydia ievins, violin.
English Country Dance is a form of social dance that harkens back to the days of Jane Austen and “Pride and Prejudice”, but its roots extend further back in time. Its traditions and innovations continue right up to the present.
Hauntingly beautiful tunes, elegant yet simple steps, friendly people and beautiful surroundings combine to make an English Country Dance a pleasant and energizing experience. No special clothing is required, but comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended.
Beginners and singles are welcome and all dances are taught throughout the session. Admission is $10. For more information call (603) 209-3304 or visit http://www.monadnockfolk.org.
Bob McQuillen spoke at the Nelson Town Hall for a Nelson Library Summer Forum on July 14, 2011.
Our thanks to Rich Rommer for taking this video, to CJ Leake for additional audio, and to David Millstone for making it available on YouTube.
Join us on Friday May 8 for the return of Liz Simmons, Flynn Cohen and Lissa Schneckenburger to the Nelson Town Hall for an 8:00 PM concert. Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr)
LOW LILY, formerly called Annalivia, is an American ‘roots and branches’ string trio which draws from tradition and today to create their own brand of new acoustic folk music. The members – Liz Simmons, Flynn Cohen, and Lissa Schneckenburger – are masterful players and have long histories with traditional music, ranging from bluegrass to Irish, Scottish, New England and Old Time Appalachian music. This background, combined with each member’s stellar compositional skills and cutting edge arranging chops, makes for music which sounds rooted yet contemporary. Folk and string-band enthusiasts alike will be drawn in by the expert vocals and songwriting, excellent musicianship, and innovative approach. The members of Low Lily are seasoned musicians and have individually toured and performed with the likes of Ruth Moody, Cathie Ryan, John Whelan, Aoife Clancy, Adrienne Young, Childsplay and Solas, among others.
Click the link below to view the wonderful NH Chronicle episode about the Traditional Dance exhibit at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture and the Snow Ball at the Peterborough Town House.