Dec 272010
February 12, 2011
8:00 pm

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Nelson Second Saturday Contra Dance on February 12th, featuring Adina Gordon calling with Jessie Gagne-Hall, Mary Cay Brass, and Roger Kahle.

The world’s most well-traveled caller, Adina Gordon, returns to the Nelson Town Hall for an evening of contra dances. Based in Brattleboro, VT and Asheville, NC, Adina has traveled throughout North America calling dances in communities from Cocoa Beach, FL to Anchorage, AK and Belfast, ME to Honolulu, HI. She can be found anywhere there is community to be created through dance.

Jessie Gagne-Hall with fiddle

Jessie Gagne-Hall

Jessie Gagne-Hall plays fiddle and cello for contra and family dances across New England. Jessie teaches fiddle to all ages at Maine Fiddle Camp and Sandy Island Suzuki Camp, as well as in her private studio. She currently teaches First Grade in Keene, New Hampshire, where she plays her instruments for her students at every opportunity. Mary Cay Brass is renowned for her rich, varied, and above all, driving piano and accordion style. She has energized and delighted dancers and listeners across America, and in Britain and France.

A gifted guitar player noted for his use of both standard and DADGAD tunings, Roger Kahle is recognized as a top-notch accompanist for fiddlers throughout New England. Equally at home with Irish, Quebecois, and Balkan dance music, he combines colorful, lush chords with a remarkably steady beat. Roger also plays mandolin and is a foot percussionist.

Dancing begins at 8:00 PM, with a short workshop beforehand. Beginners and singles are welcome and all dances are taught throughout the evening. Admission is $8 or $6 for students and seniors. The dance takes place in the historic Town Hall in Nelson, NH. For more information call 603.762.0235 or visit The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.

Dec 272010
March 5, 2011
7:30 pm

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents a benefit contra dance for internationally-known caller and musician Mary DesRosiers on Saturday, March 5th at the Peterborough Town Hall in Peterborough, NH.

On November 30, 2010, a devastating fire destroyed the home of Mary DesRosiers in Harrisville, NH. All of the contents of the house were destroyed. Beyond the usual possessions and keepsakes of a lifetime, this included a formidable music collection, many musical instruments and notebooks full of contra dances.

Mary DesRosiers at the microphone

Mary DesRosiers

Mary DesRosiers has donated her time and talents to many organizations and cultural events since she began calling and performing in the Monadnock Region in the 1980s. This contra dance is one of a series of events to raise funds to rebuild her home. For information about related benefits, visit

Many callers and many musicians are expected to perform for this event, which has been rescheduled following the weather cancellation of the dance scheduled for February 5th, 2011.

Dancing begins at 7:30 PM with 30 minutes of walzing, followed by contra dances from 8:00 until 11:30 PM. Beginners and singles are welcome and all dances are taught throughout the evening. Admission is $10 with all proceeds going to Mary DesRosiers. The dance takes place in the historic Town Hall in Peterborough, NH. For more information call 413-369-4369. The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.

Dec 102010

On November 30, 2010, Mary DesRosiers’ home burned to the ground. Luckily, no one was home at the time, but she has lost everything.

Donations should be sent to
Community Church of Harrisville/Chesham
Canal Street, Harrisville, NH 03450
Please indicate designation to Mary DesRosiers

The February Peterborough Dance will be a Benefit for Mary. Look for details here.

A Facebook page has been set up to document items she needs and to plan for several benefit events. Click here or search for “Mary DesRosiers” in Facebook.

Dec 052010
January 8, 2011
8:00 pm

Fiddler Perin Ellsworth-Heller

Fiddler Perin Ellsworth-Heller

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Nelson Second Saturday Contra Dance on January 8th, featuring Rebecca Lay with Perin Ellsworth-Heller, Richard Backes, and Gordon Peery

Rebecca lives in Brattleboro, VT, where she operates Ten Speed Farm, providing local produce to families and restaurants. She has been calling English and contra dances since 2004. Fiddler Perin Ellsworth-Heller was 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. Perin is a student of Mary Lea, one of New England’s most renowned fiddlers and teachers. Mary says “Perin has already played dances for [dance caller] Nils Fredland, who was Perin’s music teacher and mentor at the Waldorf School. Nils and I have constantly marveled at Perin’s sophisticated musicality.”

Guitarist and fiddler Richard Backes of Peterborough has played for the Nelson Monday Night Dance for the past several years. He has attended Maine Fiddle Camp and is gaining a following as a young traditional dance musician. This band of young musicians is backed up by veteran pianist Gordon Peery, who has been playing for dances for more than 30 years.

Dancing begins at 8:00 PM, with a short workshop beforehand. Beginners and singles are welcome and all dances are taught throughout the evening. Admission is $8 or $6 for students and seniors. The dance takes place in the historic Town Hall in Nelson, NH. For more information call 603.762.0235

Dec 052010
January 14, 2011toJanuary 16, 2011


The Spirit of the Past, with a Vision for the Future. Celebrate the New England tradition – excellent music, great callers and friendly dancers.

For 24 years the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend has been celebrating the music and dance traditions that we know as contra and square dancing – traditions that have been a part of New England for the past 200 years! Every year this event brings together some of the premier dance callers and musicians (as well as a lot of phenomenal dancers!) and offers them unique learning and unparalleled dancing opportunities. This year’s retrospective will be on the legacy of Ralph Page and why he is still important enough to have his own dance weekend.

Location: University of New Hampshire, Memorial Union Building, 83 Main St. Durham, NH 03824

The registrar is Dave Bateman,, (603) 397-0042 and registration forms are available as PDF files on the website.

Price: The full weekend is $80. First timer discounts for the full weekend are available with pre-registration only. Individual sessions are $13-$20 and can be purchased at door. Children under 12 are free and attendees aged 12 – 25 are half price.

Dates and Time:    Friday, Jan. 14             7:30 PM - 11 PM 
                                Saturday, Jan. 15      9 AM - 11:30 PM 
                                Sunday, Jan. 16        9:15 AM - 4 PM
Nov 272010
December 11, 2010
7:30 pm

Saturday, December 11, 7:30 pm: Solo piano concert, Stone Church Arts,
Bellows Falls, VT
Immanuel Episcopal Church, 20 Church St., Bellows Falls, VT
Tickets: $17 for adults ($13 for over 60/under 12) in advance; $20/$15 at
the door
Advance purchase:

She’ll be
performing her arrangements of vintage American carols (Appalachian mountain
carols, S. Carolina sea island spirituals and better-known 19th-century
standards), as well as American “heart songs” and dance tunes from Mark
Twain’s era (Stephen Foster, Scots and Irish songs and dance tunes, hymns
and spirituals, and ragtime), plus some contemporary Scottish and English

 Posted by on November 27, 2010 at 9:59 am  Tagged with: ,
Nov 232010
December 18, 2010
7:00 pmto11:00 pm


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.

Nov 212010
December 5, 2010
3:00 pm

Chesham Arts Presents

A Holiday Concert with
Harvey Reid and Joyce Anderson

December 5, 2010, Sunday afternoon
at 3pm
At the Chesham Church in Chesham (Harrisville)
(1 mile off of route 101 on Chesham Rd.)

Tickets $18 in advance/$20 day of concert
Students $10
ages 10 and under free
For more information and to reserve seats in advance call or email
603-827-2905 or
Limited seating in this small church so purchase early.

Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Harvey Reid has honed his craft over the last 35 years in countless clubs, festivals, street corners, cafes, schools and concert halls across the nation. He has been called a “giant of the steel strings” and “one of the true treasures of American acoustic music.” He has absorbed a vast repertoire of American contemporary and roots music and woven it into his own colorful, personal and distinctive style. His 22 recordings on Woodpecker Records showcase his mastery of many instruments and styles of acoustic music, from hip folk to slashing slide guitar blues to bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, ragtime, and even classical.
“…one of the true treasures of American acoustic music .” ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE

“Reid is truly a giant of the steel strings…wonderful twists of originality and emotional depth… a wealth of techniques and ideas.” GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE.

Respectful of tradition but throwing genre to the wind, Joyce Anderson glides effortlessly between traditional & contemporary songs and fiddle tunes, from foot stompers to sultry torch songs. Her seven critically acclaimed CDs (Four with folk luminary Harvey Reid) and her live performance reveal her depth as a American roots musician and highlight her versatility as a singer, songwriter, interpreter and powerful instrumentalist. After a decade as a “side-gal” fiddler playing in country bands (out of Nashville) as well as swing, bluegrass and Celtic groups and playing a dizzying number of studio sessions, Joyce Andersen moved swiftly to center stage as a solo artist. Her recordings shine the spotlight on her guitar, her sophisticated songwriting, her haunting and unique voice, and her powerful fiddling. Her clear and powerful vocal/fiddle duets are a sound that is all her own.

Sing Out! magazine says her CDs “…places her right up there with any of the songwriters out there performing their songs today.”

The Boston Globe says “That neo-traditional current is starting to be felt among the ranks of New England songwriters…among the hottest…New Hampshire fiddler-singer Joyce Andersen.”

 Posted by on November 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm  Tagged with: ,
Nov 212010
December 11, 2010
7:30 pm

7:30 PM

Unitarian Universalist Church

69 Washington Street, Keene