☼ Contra Dance: Peterborough NH Town Hall | Caller: Lisa Sieverts | Music: Lissa Schneckenberger & Bob McQuillen

Peterborough First Saturday
Peterborough (NH) Town House
Beginner’s Workshop 7:30
Dance at 8:00 ’til 11:30 PM
Admission $8, $6 seniors and students

Lissa SchneckenbergerRaised in a small town in Maine and now living in Vermont, Lissa Schneckenberger grew up with music. She began playing fiddle at the age of six, inspired by her mother’s interest in folk music and a family friend who was a professional violinist. Soon she was studying with influential Maine fiddler Greg Boardman and sitting in with the Maine Country Dance Orchestra. By the time she was in high school she was playing concerts on her own, specializing in the sprightly New England dance tunes that combine influences from the British Isles and Quebec with homegrown twists that have been evolving since Colonial days. Another of her major influences was the diverse musical community that she found at fiddle camps, where she had a chance to play with and learn from a wide variety of musicians including noted Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser. In 2001 she graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with a degree in contemporary improvisation, and since then has been performing around the US and internationally for a growing audience of enthusiastic listeners. She has recorded seven CDs, (four solo and three with various groups).

Bob McQuillen has been playing for contra dances practically since they were invented. Bob McQuillen at the Nelson Town HallHe is a recipient of the NH Council on the Arts Folk Heritage Award and has performed at the National Folklife Festival in Washington, DC.

Lisa Sieverts is the caller for the Peterborough contra dance on Saturday, July 5th. Lisa has been contra dancing since the late 1960s, when she first attended Nelson and Fitzwilliam dances. She has been calling since 1994, and was active in the Idaho and Seattle dance scene before moving to Nelson a few years ago. She enjoys “bridging the gap” between traditional and modern flavors of contra dancing.

Peterborough Fiddles | Laura Cortese


Stunning fiddler/singer, performs solo and with the band Halali

All events:
6:30pm FIDDLE WORKSHOP ($15)
8pm CONCERT w/ guitar accompanist Flynn Cohen ($10)



Parish Hall

25 Main Street

Peterborough, NH 03458

(603) 924-6245

Peterborough Fiddles is a monthly gathering that showcases the various traditional fiddles styles that make up the musical landscape of New England: Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, Contradance, and Old-Time. We get together on the fourth Saturday of each month in Peterborough, NH for an evening that combines education and entertainment, each time featuring a different world-class fiddler. Here is the format:

The guest fiddler chooses a tune for students to learn in advance, then spends the hour-long workshop teaching authentic traditional bowing and ornamentation. This process highlights the specific stylistic differences between the various fiddle music traditions and lends a greater depth to the students’ musical appreciation and technique. Transcriptions of the chosen tunes will appear on this website, along with links to sounds files. COST: $15

The guest fiddler will perform one long set of of their given style and each will have CDs available. COST: $10

There will be an open session for all fiddle music following each concert (all traditional instruments welcome).

Hosted by guitar accompanist Flynn Cohen. Called “a versatile string virtuoso” by Dirty Linen Magazine, Flynn has recorded CDs and performed all over the globe with many acclaimed artists in traditional and contemporary acoustic music, including: John Whelan, Cathie Ryan, Halali, Annalivia, Adrienne Young, Aoife Clancy, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, Matt Glaser, John McGann, Airdance, The Sevens, Sheila Falls, Skip Healy, Mark Simos, Lissa Schneckenburger, Laura Cortese, Jake Armerding, Bruce MacGregor, and others.


FLYNN 603-784-5094

☼ ☼ ☼ Contra Dance | Nelson | Roger Treat ~ Fiddle, Roger Kahle ~ Guitar, Gordon Peery ~ Piano, Lisa Sieverts ~ Caller

Beginner’s Workshop 7:30
Admission $8 / $6 seniors and students

The driving Cape Breton tunes, energetically rendered by Roger Treat, with the orchestral-strength accompaniment of Roger Kahle on guitar and Gordon Peery on piano, will power the dances.

Lisa Sieverts presents her diverse and interesting blend of dances with clarity and finesse.

Download the poster for this dance.

What’s In a Name?: Tune Titles (Part I)

Many fiddle tunes played at dances and sessions go by the title “Don’t know the name of that one” or simply “Unknown.” The Irish-language equivalent is the familiar “Gan Ainm,” meaning “without name.” But many tunes do have names that are known and recognized wherever musicians gather to play. In Part I, let’s look at some familiar tune titles that conjure up visions of past events and historic figures.

The USS Constitution sailed from Boston, Massachusetts, on August 2, 1812, bound for a raiding cruise off Nova Scotia, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Newfoundland. Commanding Officer Isaac Hull’s mission was to find and engage any active Royal Navy frigates. On the afternoon of August 18, some 400 miles southeast of the British base at Halifax, a sail was sighted that turned out to be HMS Guerriere and a battle commenced the next day.

“Guerriere’s captain, James R. Dacres, was also spoiling for a fight. Despite his ship’s disadvantages in number and size of guns, and number of crewmen, the long British tradition of victory in ship-to-ship combat against European enemies provided reasonable grounds for Dacres’ aggressive optimism,” according to an article published online by the Naval Historical Center. The weather was windy and cloudy and the initial exchange of fire produced few hits and little damage, but as the two ships drew alongside, the battle intensified. “A quarter-hour of intense gunnery by Constitution, delivered with much superior accuracy, battered Guerriere in the hull and masts. The British frigate’s mizzenmast fell over the side, crippling her ability to maneuver. Constitution then moved ahead to rake Guerriere, whose bowsprit caught in the American’s mizzen rigging. Read more

Folknotes: June


Utah Phillips died late in the evening of May 23, asleep, at home in his bed beside his wife. He was 73. He’d suffered from heart disease for a few years, and by last summer was forced to give up touring, though he continued to “perform” via radio and podcasts.

Utah was the most entertaining storyteller that I have ever known. He might start to introduce a song, and ten minutes later you’d realize he’d taken a most circuitous route to get there, telling about some important person in his life, or place he’d been, or experience he’d had – all spun so that the ring of truth had to peal through a few layers embellishment. Read more

☼ Irish Music | Denis Liddy and Elvie Miller

Nelson Town Hall
Sunday, August 10th, 7:30
Admission: $12 at the door, $9 seniors/youth

A phenomenal evening of Irish music!

Denis Liddy, originally from Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare has been immersed in music and playing theDenis Liddy fiddle since he was eight years old. He is now a primary school teacher in Co. Clare, Ireland, and has also been teaching music in the Barefield area since 1989. Denis has not only been instrumental in teaching and inspiring students to play traditional music but has also broadened students experience and exposure to music through means of his recordings, concert performances, competitions and international touring. Since 1999, his students have recorded four CDs and toured in Ireland, the UK, France, Spain, Canada, China, Bulgaria, USA, Australia and Sweden.

Denis has won numerous All-Ireland awards as a soloist and as a group and band member. In 2003, he released the CD Waifs and Strays with legendary flute player Michael Hynes and guitarist Rob Shearer, to critical acclaim. This year, he released “Spectacle Bridge” with Michael Hynes, Jack Talty and Eoin O’Neill. Other recordings on which he has played over the years include Ireland – A Musical Journey with the French flute player Michel Sikiotakis, Planxty O’Rourke in 1995, Tuath with Orfhlaith Ni Bhrian in 1999 and The Bees Wing and Seven Streams with the multi award winning Turloughmore Ceili Band.

Denis has involved himself as both teacher and musician in a variety of other music-related projects and events including the Francis McPeake Summer School, the Willie Clancy Summer School, the Ennis Traditional Music Festival and countless other music workshops worldwide.

Elvie MillerElvie Miller has been playing music since she was five years old, and over the years she has shifted from classical piano to Irish/contra dance accordion and piano. She grew up going to contra dances in New England and now she performs at contra and English country dances all over the U.S. In 2005 she graduated from Oberlin College and traveled through Ireland, England, Scotland, Finland, Sweden, France and Cape Breton as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, studying accordion and traditional music and performing internationally alongside Karen Tweed, Timo Alakotila and Maria Kalaniemi, among others. She currently tours with Rodney Miller, Airdance, Night Watch and Denis Liddy.

In 2003, Elvie released “Grapevine” with Naomi Morse on fiddle. She recorded a beautiful CD “Spyglass” in 2007 with her dad, Rodney Miller on fiddle. Night Watch is due to release their first CD in 2008 with Elvie on piano and piano accordion, Naomi Morse on fiddle, and Owen Morrison on guitar and mandolin. Elvie has many beautiful compositions to her credit and also performed at the prestigious Milwaukee Irish Fest with Denis Liddy in 2007.

☼ Troy MacGillivray | Celtic Music

Nelson Town Hall
Sunday, July 27th, 7:00
Admission: $15 at the door, $12 senior/youth/advance

Troy MacGillivray’s 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, spent four years in a stringed orchestra, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music from St. Francis Xavier University and received an Applied Music Technology Diploma for recording engineering.

Troy has a roots-centered approach to his fiddling and piano playing that has the power to inspire any audience. Troy’s 4th CD, Live At The Music Room, is the 2008 ECMA (East Coast Music Association) Instrumental Recording of the Year—it’s a live recording which took place January 2007 at The Music Room in Halifax, NS – one of the finest acoustic spaces in Canada. This unique facility, which houses a New York-built Steinway grand piano, superbly showcases Troy’s musical talents in a live setting and features a wide variety of strathespeys and reels, jigs and polkas, a hornpipe and a piano air .. and even some fantastic step-dancing! His first three recordings – ELEVEN (2005), Boomerang (2003) and Musical Ties (2001) – also received Music Nova Scotia and East Coast Music Award nominations. His latest project, When Here Meets There, is a unique collaboration with Canadian & US National Fiddle Champion Shane Cook that clearly showcases why both fiddlers are at the top of their game!

Troy’s bloodline is equally as impressive. The Lanark MacGillivrays and MacDonalds have been proprietors of the Gaelic tradition in Northeastern Nova Scotia for generations. Troy’s grandfather, Hugh A. MacDonald, is a member of the Nova Scotia Country Hall of Fame – an honour bestowed for his contribution to the Gaelic culture of Nova Scotia. Troy’s immediate family have all displayed their musical talents by joining him on both the stage and in the studio. The award winning tradition continues as Troy has been the recipient of the “Auleen Theriault Young Tradition Award” from the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival in Goderich, Ontario as well as the Danny Kyle Stage Award at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland and recently returned from a Canadian Military Troops Entertainment Tour in Afghanistan.

So, whether playing piano or fiddle, or showcasing his step dancing capabilities, Troy MacGillivray certainly displays an intense commitment to the Celtic heritage he inherited from his Highland ancestors.
For more about Troy, please visit his Web site.