Sylvia Miskoe to receive Governor’s Folk Heritage Award

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2011 Governors Arts Awards. Awardees will be honored at a ceremony at the Governor and Executive Council Chambers on April 27, 2011.

Folk Heritage Award: Sylvia Miskoe, traditional musician and dancer. Miskoe’s contributions to our state’s musical lore, particularly Scottish, French-Canadian and New England Contra-dancing, are legendary in New Hampshire and beyond. Sylvia joins an illustrious group of prior Folk Heritage honorees, including Bob McQuillen, Dudley Laufman, and Harvey Tolman.

In Seattle, she will be honored at the 5th Saturday dance. Her friend and mentee, Phil Katz, forwards the following: There will be a brief special tribute to tradition, probably before one of the individual dances starts up. Two of Phil Katz’ original mentors in contra dance music are celebrating significant milestones back in New Hampshire the week of April 30. Musician/caller Dudley Laufman will be celebrating his 80th birthday April 30. It was Dudley’s band – Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra (CCDO), with Dudley calling, that was a major force in saving contra dancing and its music from dying off in the “tv generation”, and carrying it onwards to students and young adults in New England during the late 1960’s/early 70’s. Phil heard the CCDO at at festivals in New York State in 1976/1978 and has been doing this music ever since. Accordion player Sylvia Miskoe, of Concord NH, was the first musician to invite me onstage to sit-in, playing for dancers; the Canterbury Town Hall in 1978. She’s organized and played in “The White Cockade” for contras and Scottish country dances for over 30 years, called dances, and done a long list of musical organizing. On April 27 she will receive the New Hampshire Governor’s Award for the Traditional Arts, awarded to one person every two years. Tradition is passed on from actual individuals to others; we will take a minute to pay tribute to two who were significant in starting us, here in the Northwest.

NH Council on the Arts

Dawn Dance | Brattleboro

Labor Day
Sunday Sep 4 2011

English Country Dancing
2:30 – 5:30 pm
Joanna Reiner calls with
Anne Ogren violin, viola
Martha Stokely oboe, recorder, whistle
Debbie Jackson piano

Contra Dancing

8:00 pm – midnight
Tony Parkes calls with
Spare Parts
Eric Buddington fiddle
Liz Stell flute
Bill Matthiesen piano
Mark Murphy bass
Couple Dancing, 12:10 – 12:30am

12:30 – 3:30am
Carol Ormond calls with
The Latter Day Lizards
Dave Langford fiddle, guitar
Bill Tomczak clarinet, dumbek
Peter Barnes piano, guitar, winds
Mark Murphy bass

3:30am – 7:00am
Rebecca Lay calls with
Anadama: Amelia Mason fiddle
Emily Troll fiddle, accordion
Bethany Waickman guitar

Dawn Dance | Brattleboro

Memorial Day
Sunday May 29 2011

English Country Dancing
2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Susan Kevra calls with
Ethan Hazzard-Watkins violin
Anna Patton clarinet
Karen Axelrod piano

Contra Dancing

8:00 pm – midnight
Steve Zakon-Anderson calls with
Alden Robinson fiddle
Peter Siegel mandolin, guitar, feet
Mary Cay Brass piano, accordion
Matthew Kenney percussion
Couple Dancing 12:10 – 12:30am

12:30 – 3:30am
Adina Gordon calls with
Great Bear Trio
Andrew VanNordstrand fiddle, guitar, bouzouki
Noah VanNordstrand fiddle, mandolin, feet
Kim Yerton piano

3:30am – 7:00am
Mary Wesley calls with
Matching Orange
Brendan Carey Block fiddle
Eric McDonald guitar, mandolin
Eric Eid-Reiner piano

Cynthia Macleod Concert | Derry NH




FRIDAY, MAY 13 at 7:30 PM



INFORMATION: (603)437-0505 //

Contra Dance and Localvore Pot-Luck | Putney

East Putney’s monthly Pierce’s Hall contra dance will feature Steve Howland calling, with Amy Cann and the All Comers Band, this Saturday, April 30th. All are welcome and no partner is necessary. All dances are taught.

Come before the dance to enjoy a community “localvore” pot-luck, organized by Transition Putney, to celebrate and share local food. Bring a dish made with at least 75% locally grown ingredients (from VT or within 75 miles of Putney). The pot-luck will start at 6:00. Dancing begins with a beginners session from 7:30 to 8:00, then runs until 10:30.

Admission to the dance is by donation, $7 suggested. To reach Pierce’s Hall from Putney village, go north on Rt. 5 for 2 miles. Turn right on East Putney Falls Road, and go 1/2 mile. Just after passing Pierce Road on the left, take the first driveway on the left, which leads to the hall.
Call 802-387-5357 for more information.

Contra Dance | Brattleboro

Brattleboro Dance Schedule
(more info at or 802-257-9234)
Contra Dance at the Stone Church
Main and Grove Streets, Brattleboro, VT

June 26, 2011
Susan Kevra, calling
with Anadama
Emily Troll, accordion
Amelia Mason, fiddle
Bethany Waickman, guitar

7:30 – 10:30 (beginners lesson 7:15)
$10 / $7 students, seniors, low income
Slow jam 5:30 – 6:30

Contra Dance | Brattleboro

Brattleboro Dance Schedule
(more info at or 802-257-9234)
Contra Dance at the Stone Church
Main and Grove Streets, Brattleboro, VT

June 12, 2011
Quena Crain, calling
Mary Lea, fiddle
Peter Siegel, mandolin
Brendan Taaffe, guitar

7:30 – 10:30 (beginners lesson 7:15)
$10 / $7 students, seniors, low income
Slow jam 5:30 – 6:30

John McCutcheon | Harrisville

Presented by Chesham Arts
Location: Chesham Rd. One mile off of route 101. Tickets $20 and available at or mail check to Chesham Arts, c/o D. McWethy, 24 South Rd., Harrisville, NH 03450. Info: 603-827-2905.

Cash only at door. Reserve early. The church is small and intimate.

The most impressive instrumentalist I’ve ever heard.”
— Johnny Cash

“He has an uncanny ability to breathe new life into the familiar. His storytelling has the richness of fine literature.”
— Washington Post

For more information about McCutcheon go to

NH Arts Council in Grave Danger

The most important action you can take now is to contact your State Senator-before May 10-to let him or her know HOW IMPORTANT THE ARTS ARE TO NEW HAMPSHIRE and our economy.

NH Citizens for the Arts is asking the Senate to restore the Governor’s budget recommendation for the Council, $427,555 (which already incorporates a cut of almost 7% over the current year’s budget).

Background: Now is the time for you to be in touch with your Senator on behalf of the Arts Council! As you know, the House budget bill, HB1, left only $4700 in the Council’s budget, obviously not enough to maintain any semblance of an agency; in its budget attachment, HB2, the House completely eliminated the Arts Council and dispersed the Dept. of Cultural Resources. We have heard that the Senate is not likely to consider HB2 at this time, but they are still dealing with a House Budget that defunds the Council.

Data: We all know reasons why restoring state support for the arts is vitally important. For the statewide impact, the Arts Council has clear new data posted on its web site at Click on Arts Budget Update and Art Matters on the Home Page (the new NHSCA Agency Profile is especially helpful). Please spend a few minutes with this information-it’s important that we get our facts straight.

Contact: The best contact with your Senator would be in a face to face conversation. Next best is an actual letter (on paper!) and next is a phone call. Many Senators are getting so much email that either their accounts are overloaded or they have stopped reading it. In any event, you should contact them as a constituent, with specific examples about how losing the Arts Council will hurt your community and region.

If you write your Senator, please send a copy of your letter to the whole Senate Finance Committee, listed below. Email can be addressed via the Committee aide, Shannon Whitehead, at with “For the Senate Finance Committee” in the subject line. Her phone # is 271-4980, and she may be helpful in making an appointment with a member of the Finance Committee.

An important argument: At this point in their Budget deliberations, the Senate Finance Committee is going to be making a lot of trade-offs. Here is one very important argument you can make: Without State funding for the Arts Council, there may be more than $850,000 in federal money lost to New Hampshire. These are our tax dollars that we have already paid for. Among other things, this money improves education in New Hampshire. There is no reason that some other state should get this money.

Please help New Hampshire Citizens for the Arts ( to fight for arts funding in New Hampshire. More information about the NH State Council on the Arts at

NH Council on the Arts

Mustard’s Retreat | Harrisville NH

Deb’s Chesham House Concerts
In the comfort of an informal living room.

Mustard’s Retreat
Sunday, April 17th at 6:00pm
Potluck at 5:00pm
Tickets $15

Purchase tickets online at TicketStage or
RSVP at 603-827-2905 or
(Limited seating)

“Mustard’s Retreat…come see them. They put words together beautifully.”—Utah Philips

“Uplifting…joyful..the missing link between the traditional and the contemporary.”—Anne Saunders, programmer for the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival

“Mustard’s Retreat represent everything that is best about folk music…extraordinary songs, and attention to details. Their music comes from our common roots and traditions, pays tribute to those roots and expands on them. It is music for real people about real things- life, love, sex and death- the big stuff.. ,and the songs have entered the lexicon of “anonymous” folk songs and are being passed from hand to hand- which is the ultimate tribute to a songwriter. When I’m part of a co-bill I’m usually too nervous to listen to the act immediately preceding me . However, last year I sat, utterly charmed, in the wings of the theatre, watching David and Michael work their spell on the audience. The audience roared for more when they finished. I hated having to follow them. Their music is community music. It is music that speaks to peoples hearts and lives and binds them together as an audience. To watch a Mustard’s Retreat show is not to see a formal “performance” but something more real and precious: a sharing of songs and experience- Michael and David unfold their songs, whether traditional or contemporary or their own extraordinary compositions and one sees the audience being invited into their world and drawing closer together. One watches couples react to the songs-the shared laugh, the sidelong glance, and smile of recognition – this song is about us! the squeeze of the hand or shoulder. In an every widening ” market” where everyone seems to be ” the next big thing” and we are overwhelmed by an endless string of sensitive sullen poseurs who keep one eye on the bottom line and the other on the nearest mirror, David and Michael stand out as the real thing: two grown men singing grown up songs for all the right reasons; writing to make sense of their lives, helping us to make sense of ours, sharing much, talking little, trying to find the most graceful path and being able to laugh at the inevitable stumbles and head bumps along the way- here’s to another 25 years.”—Garnet Rogers

Tickets online at TicketStage

House Concerts build strong friendships between musicians, presenters, and listeners. Most importantly, House Concerts provide the most intimate and compelling performance environment available. – Darryl Purpose

For more music information visit Peterborough Folk Music Society’s web site at