Contra Dance | Keene, NH

Keene, NH: Frozen Farm Fest Contra
— Sponsored by: Stonewall Farm
Featuring: Don Primrose ~ Gordon Peery ~ Perin Ellsworth-Heller ~ Richard Backes ~ Matt Garland
Description: This dance ends a day of festivities (everyone welcome 1-5pm) at Stonewall Farm celebrating traditional New England Winter activities. the cost includes a buffet supper beginning at 5pm, dancing at 5:30.

Venue: Stonewall Farm (242 Chesterfield Rd.)
Time: 5pm – 9pm
Cost: $10

For more information: (phone): (603) 357-7278; Email:

A Civil War Ball

To launch its exhibit, The Civil War, the Peterborough Historical Society is presenting a Civil War Ball, on Friday, March 25, at  7:30 PM. This gala event is open to the public, and promises to be an instructive and entertaining evening.

Dances from the Civil War era will be taught by David Millstone, a dance caller, historian, and documentary film maker from Lebanon, NH.  David is an excellent teacher, however he notes that the dances from this period, which include circle, square, and longway set dances (as well as polkas and waltzes) are not complicated – they can be easily enjoyed by those with little or no dancing experience.

Music is provided by the band Spare Parts, a trio of flute, fiddle and piano who specializes in period dance music. The group has recorded a CD called The Civil War Ballroom, and a companion book, The Civil War Ballroom Band Book. We are especially delighted to have this illustrious trio playing for this event.

Dancers are invited to appear in period costume, however this is not required, and everyone is welcome. While everyone will be encouraged to dance, those who are unable to should feel welcome to come and observe. David Millstone will be providing some narrative about the history of the dances, though the primary emphasis will be on dancing and having fun.

The setting is the Peterborough Historical Society’s Bass Hall, a lovely chestnut-paneled room that serves as an elegant venue for the dance. Light refreshments will be provided.

Admission is $12. It is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance, as the capacity of the hall is limited. They are available from the PHS Website (click here) , or at the PHS office, 19 Grove St. in Peterborough, NH. For more information you may also call PHS at 603.924.3235.

Farm Appreciation Night | Keene

A night of merriment and tribute to local farmers and eaters of farm fresh food, is scheduled for Friday, February 11, 2011 from 5:00–11:00 pm at Stonewall Farm in Keene. On behalf of the Education Committee of the Monadnock Farm and Community Connection, a program of the Cheshire County Conservation District, and Stonewall Farm we invite you to join us for the third annual Farm Appreciation Night. Drop by throughout the evening to enjoy food, refreshment, entertainment, and dancing while you connect with friends, neighbors, community members, and others who make eating local a possibility.

This family friendly evening will include a farm story reading time for kids and families; music by Melanie Everard & Alouette Iselin, a traditional Celtic music duo; Gemini, and Indie Rock duo; and the Cold River Ranters, a band with their own brand of hot gonzo primitive folks jive, and a Contra Dance. Please join us for this festive occasion! The event is open to the public, suggested donation of $5, Cash Bar, and Farmers and their families are FREE! Food and drink donations greatly appreciated. Contact the Conservation District office at 603.756.2988 x.116 or for more information or to arrange for food and drink donation drop off.

Animaterra Rehearsal and New Member Party

Join Animaterra! Open to all women who love to sing!

Langdon Place of Keene, 136 Arch St., Keene

6:00-7:00 PM PARTY!

7:00-9:00 PM New rehearsal season begins!

Prospective members are urged to stay for the rehearsal. No commitment will be required until Tuesday, Feb. 22.

The new season starts Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011.

Future Rehearsals are from 6:45-9:00 p.m. on Tuesdays at Langdon Place, 136 Arch Street, Keene, NH

More information at

MFS Reaches Endowment Goal for Trombly Young Musicians’ Scholarship

Perin Ellsworth-Heller and Bob McQuillen
Musicians, Young, and Young at Heart
The Monadnock Folklore Society, a 501(c)(3) non profit organization (founded in 1980) is pleased to announce it has attained its objective of a $20,000 endowment making the Johnny Trombly Memorial Scholarship sustainable. The Monadnock Folklore Society
directors would like to thank the Society of Musical Traditions for the donation that
helped us reach this goal.

The Johnny Trombly Memorial Scholarship was established 2001, at the request of Bob
McQuillen who provided an initial endowment. Named in honor of Bob’s mentor, the Scholarship is awarded annually to an individual under the age of 18 who would like to study traditional New England contra dance music.

The scholarship provides up to $500 for students to use for lessons, mentoring, music
and dance camps, etc. The money is intended to be used directly for fees related to these
opportunities, not for music, instruments, or other tangible items. Bob McQuillen and Perin Ellsworth-Heller, a prior year’s scholarship recipient,can often be heard often at the Monday night contra dance in Nelson!

The application period starts in January, and is due on March 15th, with the recipient
being chosen in early May. The application form is available here between January 1st and
March 15th.

Mandolin Concert | Peterborough

The Mariposa Museum’s new exhibition The Mediterranean will open with a reception from 6-7pm on First Friday, February 4th and a mandolin concert at 7pm.

The Mediterranean will touch three continents—Europe, Asia and Africa. Its shores gave birth to the earliest Western civilizations; to the empires of Greeks, Romans, Moors and Ottomans; to the great religions of the Western world. The Mariposa’s exhibition will display objects from the rim of the Mediterranean and will present four cultures in greater depth–Greece, Italy, Turkey and the Moors of Morocco and Spain.

Besides the exhibition, the Mariposa has scheduled programs and performances for all ages beginning February 4th and through mid June. A concert of classical music, composed for mandolin and mandolin ensemble begins at 7pm. Works by Vivaldi, Paolucci, Barbella and Calace will represent a wide range of musical styles, from baroque to romantic and will be performed by August Watters, mandolin; Tim Dowling, guitar and featuring the Boston Mandolins. Mandolinist August Watters, an Associate Professor of Ear Training at Berklee College of Music, has spent the past two summers in northern Italy, studying the traditions of concert music. He directs the New England Mandolin Ensemble and Cape Cod Mandolin Camp. He will be accompanied by classical guitarist Tim Dowling of Peterborough. The Boston Mandolins is a six-piece mandolin ensemble specializing in classical music composed for all the instruments of the mandolin family: mandolin, mandola and mandocello, as well as guitar.

Highlights of the Mediterranean calendar include The International Mandolin Orchestra on March 13th; Dunya from Boston performing the music of the Ottoman Empire on March 19th and a Greek Taverna Night fundraiser on May 7th. The First Friday KidCraft from 5-6pm will be Swedish Paper Hearts

All events for First Friday and free (donations appreciated) and open to the public. The Mariposa is wheelchair accessible.

Benefit Events for Mary DesRosiers

Mary DesRosiers at the microphone
Mary DesRosiers
Our favorite caller, Mary DesRosiers, lost her home to a fire on November 30th. The Monadnock Folklore Society is sponsoring three events, which have been developed by a group of Mary’s friends and admirers. Click on the links in each item below for more information about the event.

Sunday February 13th: Coffee House at the Nelson Town Hall. Potluck supper at 6 PM

Saturday March 5th (rescheduled from February): Contra Dance at the Peterborough Town House. Many callers, many musicians. Waltzing at 7:30 pm, Dancing from 8-11:30 PM

Saturday March 19th: Garnet Rogers, Lui Collins and Animaterra in Concert, Peterborough Union Congregational Church at 7:30 PM, this concert WILL sell out so purchase tickets here

More information at