May 032013
 

Join the Monadnock Folklore Society at Greenerborough in Peterborough NH all day on Saturday, May 4th.

Part home show, part tech fair, part farmer’s market, and fun-filled festival with music, sheep dog demonstrations and more, Greenerborough is entertaining and informative for folks of all ages and with a wide variety of interests.

The Monadnock Folklore Society will have an information table, many of our contra dance musicians will be playing tunes throughout the day, there will be a FLASH CONTRA at 1:15 PM (shhhh, it’s a secret), the Morris teams will dance at 3 PM, and we’ll have the regular First Saturday Dance at 8 PM.

For full information, visit the Greenerborough web page.

 Posted by on May 3, 2013 at 9:27 am
Sep 282012
 

Fiddler Julie MetcalfThe Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on October 6th, featuring Steve Zakon-Anderson calling with Julie Metcalf and Larry Unger.

“Farmers Dance For Free” is the theme for this night because hard-working farmers rarely get to kick up their heels. In addition, information will be available about how to support local farms and purchase local food.

Participating Farms include:

Rosaly’s Organic Garden Peterborough, NH
Fox Den Farm Lyndeborough, NH
Blossom Hill Farm Hancock, NH
Autumn Hill Farm Temple, NH
Stonegate Farm and Flowers Greenfield, NH

Dance caller Steve Zakon-Anderson has been leading contra dances for over 25 years. He has performed at dance camps and festivals from Alaska to Florida. Steve’s clear teaching, precise calling and sense of humor have made him a favorite of dancers of all ages and abilities.

Julie Metcalf began as a classical violinist in Worcester, MA. Coming from a family of musicians, she was encouraged to make music from an early age; Julie picked up the violin for the first time when she was 4 years old and has been playing ever since. Recently, she has immersed herself in the study of both traditional folk and contemporary styles of music, including Celtic, Appalachian, bluegrass, jazz, and Latin music.

Larry Unger, guitarist, has been a full time musician since 1984, and has presented a diverse range of musical performances at contra dances, waltzes, dance weekends, dance camps, festivals, and concerts all across the United States and in Canada, France, Scotland, Denmark, and Sweden. He’s one of the busiest contra dance musicians around, playing for more than 150 dances every year.

The dancing begins at 8:00 PM, with an optional introductory workshop beforehand. Admission is $8 or $6 for students and seniors, and farmers dance for free. The dance takes place in the historic Town House in Peterborough, NH at 1 Grove Street. For more information call 603.762.0235.

 Posted by on September 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm
Sep 142012
 

After taking a break on 9/10, the Monday dances are back.

There will be one more “dark” Monday on November 5th, prior to the presidential election. Then we should be able to go at least two years without having to cancel a dance for an election.

 Posted by on September 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm
Jul 202012
 

On Sunday, July 15, a Monadnock Lyceum was held at the Unitarian Church in Peterboro, NH. All the pews were full for the event, a presentation of Monadnock Region music, particularly square and contra dance music, and Bob McQuillen’s part in it, which has been and still is big. Gordon Peery of Nelson and the Monadnock Folk Lore Society put the show together. Gordon gave a good talk on the history of contra and social dancing . Then Old New England, Bob Mcquillen’s band, himself, Jane Orzechowski, and Deanna Stiles, on flute, fiddles and piano, played some selections of jigs, reels, hornpipes, marches and waltzes, some of them Bob’s own compositions. In the balcony, thirty musicians, all influenced by Bob, or, even influenced him, waited for the four potatoes, and, playing Jimmy Allen in unison on fiddles, accordions, concertinas, banjos and flutes, they processed, youngest first, oldest (me) last down the stairs and up the aisle to fan out across the alter. Then they played Amelia’s Waltz, on DDog.

McQUILLENBob and Dudley share a Laugh

This accordion player is a laughing fellow

with steel gray hair, bribing the bellows.

He coaxes and listens to the Irish in it,

falls of water, hills of granite,

weather brown barns, evergreen tree.

He roars with laughter & slaps his knee,

His music blends with the fiddle man,

the caller, the piano, the summer dancers

with taps on their shoes, fresh from the farms,

the woolen mills.

He tattooed his arms.

Looks like he’s taking a nap on his box,

but what he is doing is coaxing talk,

getting it going like a spinning top,

you can hear it out in the parking lot.

– Dudley Laufman

 Posted by on July 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm
Jul 132012
 

Bob McQuillen at the Nelson Town Hall

Sunday July 15th, 2 PM, 25 Main Street, Peterborough NH

Welcome to a musical program honoring New England legend Bob McQuillen, patriarch of the longstanding tradition of New England Contra Dance music. After a short historical overview of the importance of this music to our region, we will be treated to a concert of contra dance music from past to present featuring Bob McQuillen and his band, Old New England, with Jane Orzechowski, Deanna Stiles and some fabulous surprise guests.

Bob McQuillen is a living local legend who has been instrumental in keeping contra dancers on their toes in the Monadnock area for a very long time, connecting back to the legendary caller Ralph Page in the 30s. In the 70s, he worked with Dudley Laufman and the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra. In 2003, he received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. These days, at 88, he is still found at the piano Monday evenings in Nelson and at the first Saturdays Contra Dance here in Peterborough.

McQuillen is a prolific composer, with close to 1,500 tunes that often carry the name of the person who inspired them. McQuillen compositions are popular among musicians as well as dancers, available in Bob’s Notebooks. “Old New England,” Bob’s current group with Jane Orzechowski and Deanna Stiles, represented New Hampshire at the 1999 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and performed at the Celebrate New Hampshire festival in 2000. “Old New England” has released four CDs.

“Mr. Mac” is also remembered and well loved for the 30 years he spent teaching shop class at Peterborough High School (now Conval). Bob has always taught, mentored and inspired people, especially aspiring musicians. “He’s one of those angels that just floats around making a difference in everyone’s life,” said Leslie Jose, whose son Mike inspired “Mikey’s Reel.” “There’s no way you could even put into words the magic that Bob McQuillen has.”

Narrator Gordon Peery has been playing for contra dances since the late 1970s. He has toured throughout the US, as well as Canada and Europe. Gordon was a founding director of the Monadnock Folklore Society, and is currently President of the Peterborough Historical Society.

 Posted by on July 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm
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