Feb 082015
March 15, 2015
7:00 pmto9:00 pm



Fay Baird, Kate Seeger, and Kim Wallach…

have been singing and performing together since 1979. They return to the Nelson Town Hall on Sunday, March 15 for a 7:00 PM concert. Admission is $12/$9(senior, youth, or in advance).

Though they are not really sisters, and not particularly short, they do sound like sisters and share a delight in harmony. The songs chosen by the trio tell stories and paint pictures, conveying strong visual images through music. They favor acapella arrangements but also accompany themselves with guitar, autoharp and banjo.

The Short Sisters challenge the audience’s imagination and invite their participation with compelling words, powerful melodies and elegant arrangements. Audiences comment on more than just the trio’s extraordinary harmonies and choice of material. Their playfulness and pleasure in each other’s company leave listeners energized and cheered. Their repertoire includes intricate rounds, songs from American, African-American and British traditions and material from contemporary songwriters. The Short Sisters’ favorite songs, funny or moving, thought-provoking or frivolous, traditional or newly written, convey optimism about tackling life’s challenges.

The trio’s performance list covers Folksong Societies and Coffeehouses in their home states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Florida, forays to Michigan and California, and regular appearances in New Jersey, New England and Washington D.C. They have recorded five albums, four of which are available on CD.

Songs both traditional and new: unusual rounds, musical curiosities and chorus songs, Sacred Harp songs, ballads and much more. Whether acapella or with guitar, autoharp and banjo, the Short Sisters blend their voices in stunning and original harmonies.

How Did You Hear About This Concert?
May We Add You To MFS Email List?

If you prefer to mail a check for advance reservations, make the check payable to Monadnock Folklore Society and mail (so we receive the check at least 1 week before the concert) to the address on our Contact Us page.

 Posted by on February 8, 2015 at 1:50 pm
Jan 192015
March 15, 2015
2:00 pm

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the third in its series of English Country Dances with the theme “Dance Around Monadnock.”

On March 15h from 2:00 to 5:00 PM, the dance will be held at Bass Hall in the Monadnock Center for History and Culture in Peterborough, NH, with Brad Foster 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

 Posted by on January 19, 2015 at 4:53 pm
Dec 192014
February 15, 2015
2:00 pm

This dance is canceled due to weather — our musicians can’t get to Keene.

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the second in its 2015 series of English Country Dances with the theme “Dance Around Monadnock.”

On February 15th from 2:00 to 5:00 PM, the dance will NOT be held at the Cheshire County Historical Society in Keene, NH. For more information call (603) 209-3304

 Posted by on December 19, 2014 at 6:03 pm
Jan 072015

Monadnock Folklore Society events are “CDSS Passport to Joy” destinations for 2015.

Anyone who joins the Country Dance and Song Society in 2015 will receive a Passport to Joy! Join online at www.cdss.org/join.

We will have stickers available to stamp your CDSS Passport at the Snow Ball, the Nelson Monday dance, and the monthly Peterborough dances.


 Posted by on January 7, 2015 at 1:01 pm
Dec 142014

The Monadnock Center for History and Culture and the Monadnock Folklore Society have jointly received $2,220 in grant funding for their upcoming exhibit titled “Gents Bow, Ladies Know How: Traditional Dance and Music in the Monadnock Region 1750-2015.”

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts administers Project Grants for Community Engagement. The goal of the grants are to support collaborative projects that engage the arts and artists for the benefit of New Hampshire residents and communities. For this grant, there was an emphasis on projects that help to document and showcase heritage & traditional arts.

“Gents Bow, Ladies Know How” traces the long history of traditional dance and music in southwestern New Hampshire from Colonial times to the present. The exhibit features artifacts, documents, instruments, photographs and media. In addition to the on-going exhibit, there will be a series of presentations scheduled monthly through May of 2015.

The exhibit will take place in the historic Monadnock Center building in Peterborough, NH at 19 Grove Street, with the opening scheduled for Saturday January 24th in conjunction with the “Snow Ball,” a 12-hour contra dance at the Peterborough Town House. For more information call 603-924-3235 or visit www.MonadnockCenter.org.

The Monadnock Center for History and Culture is a community museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating local history and culture since its founding in 1902. The Monadnock Folklore Society was founded in 1980 to increase the visibility of folk dance and music events in southern New Hampshire, provide new venues for performers, and provide educational services in the folk arts to the community.
NH Council on the Arts Logo

 Posted by on December 14, 2014 at 8:57 pm
Dec 072014

Sacred Harp singing is much more than an interesting repertoire of early American three and four part a cappella folk music. It is a living tradition that treads an unbroken path prior to the Civil War and whose music can be directly traced as a distinct musical thread back beyond the American Revolution, through to rural England, back to Reformation psalmody and beyond to Renaissance polyphony.


Come try out Shape Note singing on the 1st and 3rd Thursday, and the 2nd Sunday, of every month in Nelson NH.

 Posted by on December 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm
Sep 162014

On Monday, September 29th, the world-famous Monday Night Dance returns to the newly renovated Nelson Town Hall.

Here’s a picture of one of our stalwart volunteers working on the repair of the floor.

Max Fixing the Floor, with Don as crew chief and Chris as fixer #2

Max Fixing the Floor, with Don as crew chief and Chris as fixer #2

See this post for more information about the project.

 Posted by on September 16, 2014 at 5:23 pm
Jul 202014

Virginia Lupi has been confirmed as the director of the N.H. Department of Cultural Resources’ Division of the Arts. Lupi was nominated by Gov. Maggie Hassan and received unanimous support of the Executive Council.

Lupi’s extensive work experience includes not-for-profit management, public policy consulting, grant writing and public relations work. Most recently, she served as executive director of the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes in Corning, N.Y.

“New Hampshire’s arts community is critical to our high quality of life, strengthening our cultural identity and our economy,” Gov. Maggie Hassan said. “Ginnie Lupi has a wide range of experience in the arts and management, and her passion for and understanding of the arts’ importance to our communities and economy will be an asset to the Division of the Arts, the Department of Cultural Resources and the Granite State.”

“New Hampshire’s dedication to art of all kinds – physical and performed, traditional and cutting edge and everything in between – garners worldwide respect,” said Lupi. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Lupi was selected after an extensive national search by a committee assembled by Department of Cultural Resources Commissioner Van McLeod. He then brought forth her name to Gov. Hassan.

She will join the Division of the Arts full time this summer.

The Division of the Arts is a publicly funded agency within the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources. It began in 1965 with legislation designed “to insure that the role of the arts in the life of our communities will continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the education and welfare of our citizens.” Funding comes from state appropriations, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Conservation License Plate fund. Learn more at www.nh.gov/nharts

The NH Council on the Arts is an important supporter of the Monadnock Folklore Society.

NH Council on the Arts Logo

NH Council on the Arts Logo

 Posted by on July 20, 2014 at 1:52 pm
Jul 132014

RennAndHarvey2010It is with great sadness that we share the news that Renn Tolman passed away on July 5th in Homer, Alaska.

Renn was born in Nelson, the son of Newt and Beth Tolman. Newt played flute for the Nelson dances and with Kay Gilbert, compiled “The Nelson Collection” of fiddle tunes. The book was used by many musicians in later years to fuel the revival of traditional dance and music. Beth collaborated with Ralph Page to write The Country Dance Book, a collection of dances from the Monadnock Region.

Renn learned to play the flute from his father. He brought traditional New England style dance to Homer, Alaska. In addition, he returned to Nelson regularly where his turn on the stage was always eagerly awaited.



Renn and Harvey at Tolman Pond 2010 Photo Credit: Nate Anable

 Posted by on July 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm
May 242014
Photo of Existing Light Bar in Nelson Town Hall

Photo of Existing Light Bar in Nelson Town Hall

Nelson, NH. April 28, 2014.
After the Monday night dance in Nelson, dancers, musicians and Monadnock Folklore board members carried equipment, fans and even the old violin case that is used to collect the three-dollar dance admission to a neighboring barn in preparation for the renovation of the Nelson Town Hall.

The joke every Monday night is that the musicians & callers get paid in cookies. Don Primrose’s commanding voice will boom this announcement across the hall every week. But the dance does have a cost. The piano was purchased several years ago when the old one just couldn’t stand up to the vibration of feet balancing and fingers on its keys any longer. The hall rent increases every few years and the lighting for the stage is ancient and was rigged “temporarily” twenty years ago using plumbing piping, and if you listen carefully there is a hum from the stage lighting due to the electrical circuit.

Monadnock Folklore Society would like to make an investment in the future by upgrading the lighting to LED fixtures and a more conventional method of hanging the lights. LED fixtures have the added benefit of cutting electricity cost and hopefully helping to keep our rent increases to a minimum, with no hum!

Sound equipment is costly and heavy. Volunteers arrive every week to set up the equipment and speakers, soundboard, cables and microphones. Our goal is to make this easier and improve the quality of sound by installing a lockable soundboard and permanently mounted speakers.

The dance has come full circle and we need your help, please support this campaign to improve the lighting and sound system with a donation to Monadnock Folklore Society. The much needed improvements will cost $12,000.

Please go to our Donations page, or click the Donate button below.

Thank you for supporting the future of dance in Nelson.

 Posted by on May 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm
May 042014

Town Hall LiftedThe Nelson Town Hall Renovation has begun! See http://www.monadnockfolk.org/?p=5205 for background information.

While the hall is being renovated, the Monday dance will continue to be held.

From Monday May 5 through Monday June 2:
The Nelson Dance will be at the Peterborough Community Center (old Armory) at 25 Elm Street. The Community Center has a strict “soft-soled shoes” policy, so please, no dancing in outdoor shoes.

From Monday June 9th through Monday August 25th, the Dance will be at Heberton Hall, next to the Keene Library at 76 Winter Street in Keene.

On Monday September 1, the dance will return to the Peterborough Community Center (old Armory) at 25 Elm Street.

On Monday September 8, 15 and 22, the Dance will be at Heberton Hall, next to the Keene Library at 76 Winter Street in Keene.

Planning to be back in Nelson on Monday September 29th!

 Posted by on May 4, 2014 at 6:06 pm
Mar 162014

There will be a series of events on Saturday, May 3rd in Peterborough NH to celebrate the life of Bob McQuillen.

  • 2-4 PM Memorial at ConVal High School (184 Hancock Rd, Peterborough, NH 03458)
  • 4-8 PM Reception at the Monadnock Country Club (49 High Street 03458)
  • 7-11ish Dance at the Peterborough Town House (1 Grove Street 03458). Musicians and callers welcome to perform, send email to lsievert@yahoo.com if interested so we can keep track.

More details will be posted as they become available.

 Posted by on March 16, 2014 at 7:50 am